There are millions of reasons why we think B.C.’s Sparkling Hill Resort – located 25 minutes from the Kelowna International Airport – is the ultimate girls’ getaway destination.
Three and a half million reasons, actually. This would be how many Swarovski crystals are featured within the building’s unique design.
When we first heard that the one-of-a-kind, European-style resort and spa featured “crystal architecture” – we wondered how designers could pull something like this off.
But as Amy Rosen wrote in her Globe and Mail story (published after the resort’s 2010 grand opening) – Sparkling Hill proves the Austrian crystal empire is about “so much more than jewellery and figurines.”
During a recent girls’ trip with mothers and daughters in tow – we went, we saw, and we were impressed.
With the crystal waterfalls that greeted us from above as we walked through the resort’s front doors. With our rooms that featured tiny crystals embedded in the ceiling, creating a playful “starry night” effect. With the breath-taking beauty of The Tea Room sculpture featured in the photograph above.
“Of course, you have to be careful how you use crystals,” Sparkling Hill Resort President and CEO Hans-Peter Mayr told us recently – referencing the art of crystal architecture.
“The crystals have to be employed selectively – like jewellery on a woman. Too much and you lose the elegance.”
Austrian-born Mayr – who says the idea for Sparkling Hill came to him about ten years ago – approached Gernot Langes-Swarovski himself with a proposal for a Canadian-based European spa that would emphasize health and wellness.
Langes-Swarovski was so enthusiastic about the concept that he personally financed the $122 million resort and, according to Mayr, he dreams of creating an international chain of similar hotels.
More than a year since its opening and about 75 per cent of the resort’s patrons, we’re told, are women. But golf enthusiasts – male and female alike – are thrilled to find that the resort’s neighbour happens to be Predator Ridge, one of Canada’s premier golf courses.
Other memories that stand out from our stay?
Gorging on incredible vistas of Okanagan Lake from the giant windows in our rooms. Inhaling the soothing smells of the Rose Steam Room, one of the spa’s seven aromatherapy saunas and steam facilities. Hearing moms and daughters “oooh” and “ahhh” at every sparkly turn as they toured the property.
Sparkling Hill Resort is an original – one we plan to return to soon.
How about you? Any spas in your corner of Canada that you would recommend to our readers? If so, why?
*Our writer was a guest of Sparkling Hill Resort. This post was not reviewed or edited by the resort before publication.