Sparkling Hill Resort is a 5 hours drive from Vancouver and is touted as one of the most relaxing and beautiful resorts in BC. Using a BC resident discount code, I decided to take my girlfriend for a couple days to relax and enjoy our vacation together.
The first impression as we arrived, it smells like roses in their lobby and the air-conditioned space was welcomed. In my reservations, I asked if we could be assigned a lake view room and pay the extra. The lake view wasn't an option when I first booked but I was hoping for someone else to cancel. Unfortunately, they couldn't accommodate us but here's a pro tip, make sure you're on level 2 or higher for the mountain view side for the best views. Check in was quick, they charge everything onto your card as you check in including your security/damage deposit.
Entering into our room, we see the gorgeous views and the crystals in the decor. This was perhaps the fanciness hotel room I've ever stayed in. The walk-in shower was huge, the tub was perfect for two people, their toilet... It doesn't have a fan so just be aware of that.
The robes and slippers you use during your stay felt a bit cheap and rough. The robes could definitely use some fabric softener for the amount you pay per night here. We quickly got changed into our bathing suits and went into the infinity pool. Phones are discouraged and you will be asked to put it away if you take it out. Whispering is not enforced and it could put a damper on your experience especially in the pool area.
The pool is heated and I think it's salted cause the weightlessness was so relaxing. When we got there, it was peak time so there were a lot of people in the pool. It has a great view but it's sort of blocked by a glass fence. If you want to tan, sometimes you have to wait for people to leave before you get a nice spot to people watch and tan. They also have an indoor pool if you want to do laps and also a whirlpool for those tight muscles.
One of my favourite things to do there was a hot and cold stepping pool that helps with blood pressure and muscle swelling. You walk 5 meters in hot water and then another 5 in freezing water. It was recommended that you do 3-4 laps twice a day.
The sauna and steam rooms are open at weird hours so plan accordingly (open from 9am-11am then it is closed until 4pm-10pm). My favourite rooms included the rose steam room, the aqua meditation room, the igloo room, herbal sauna, and the shower experience. Be sure to use all the settings of the shower experience and use it often between steam/sauna sessions.
Other amenities include a serenity room that is purely silent, a gym, paid physio and massages, paid ice sauna, a tea room which is also a quiet space, and a beauty bar if you want to get a facial or your nails done.
As for food, you have 3 options, in room service that includes a $10 delivery charge, their Peak Fines dining lounge, or their bistro for snacks and desserts. Our first night we went to Peak Fines for dinner, it's recommended you make reservations as soon as you arrive or you'll have a late dinner like us at 8:15 pm. I ordered the strip loin with potatoes and veggies. It was a pretty decent steak. My girlfriend ordered the roasted chicken pasta which was pretty good as well.
In the morning, we returned to Peak Fines for their complimentary breakfast buffet. Highlights of that buffet included fresh orange juice, smoothies, their own drink concoction, breakfast sandwich sliders, waffles (on the second day), fruit salad, sausages, and scrambled eggs. If you want to skip lunch, you can definitely load up in the morning.
At the Bistro, there is a happy hour from 4pm-6pm for their wines. The selection is ok but not the greatest. It's nice to just sit in comfy chairs and relax a bit and away from the sun.
Here are some tips:
- Bring small bills for tips
- Bring snacks and wine if you want to save some money and have options
- They have complimentary valet
- Bring something nice to wear for Peak Fines
- Bring a book for the pool
- Sunscreen is key
- Book the lake view
- Use a promo code when possible
If you have any questions or recommendations, feel free to comment below and I'll answer them as soon as I can.
Location: The Vancouver Art Gallery
On the weekend, we checked out the Takashi Murakami exhibit. Fortunately for us, we had advance tickets and skipped a ridiculously long line.
Things you should know:
- The exhibit for Murakami is one level (level 2)
- I would think he was definitely on acid, but it's cool
- Don't take acid before you go, I'm 100% sure it's a recipe for a bad trip
- Expect some weird but cool shit
Was it worth it?
The VAG is like $24 bucks now? I think if you're a huge fan of his work then definitely worth it. But if you don't know who he is you may want to save the money. I thought it was cool to see because I appreciate the anime style cartoon art but it's not everyone's cup of tea.
The exhibit is live until May 6th 2018.