Have you heard of Sparkling Hill? It’s a gorgeous, Swarovski crystal adorned wellness resort, located just outside of Vernon, B.C.! What sets this resort apart is that it boasts an array of saunas, steam rooms, spa treatments, and an incredible infinity pool overlooking Okanagan Lake – and you can access it all for free when you book a room.
If you’re an Okanagan local like me, maybe you’ve thought to yourself, ‘I could never afford that’. It’s true that average rates are typically in the $550 range, and when you add on spa treatments, a restaurant dinner, and more… you’re looking at a hefty bill. It’s a good thing that there are ways to axe that bill – and today you’ll learn how.
With some insider know-how, I’m going to tell you 5 ways you can cut corners on costs, and still have an incredible experience at Sparkling Hill. Read on, to learn how I plan my stay here!
1. BOOK OFF SEASON
In order to score a hot deal on a room (I’m talking around $250-$300 a night instead of $500-$550), book off-season. That means don’t book between May-August, or around Christmas and New Years. Great times to check: January, February (not around Valentine’s day), March, October and November.
Book midweek – think Monday through Thursday. Book a Standard King room for you and your SO, or to score an even sweeter deal, plan a girls trip. Go in on a Standard Double Queen room with 3 friends, and split the cost of the room. You might end up only paying $60-$75 each!
2. ALWAYS USE A DISCOUNT CODE
There are ALWAYS ‘special offer’ discount codes at Sparkling Hill – I never book without one. Sign up for offers to be emailed to you, or check this page. If you’re able to, you can also book 3 months in advance, to score a 90-day-in-advance deal.
3. SETTLE FOR A LESS THAN PERFECT VIEW
When you book, you have the choice of either a mountain view room, or a lake view room. Mountain view is always cheaper, and while the rooms are all outfitted the same, you should be prepared that if you scored your mountain view room in the $200 range, it might be on the ground floor, near hiking trails.
That means you may want to keep the blinds drawn when you’re changing or in the tub, and you might be disappointed if your photos aren’t what you’d pictured.
However, you honestly won’t be spending much time in the room – the whole point of Sparkling Hill is of course, the resort’s spa: Kurspa! But, if the view is important to you and you don’t want any surprises, I would suggest contacting the resort directly when you book to see the best rate they can offer. Ask for a room on floors 1-2, and not floors -1 or -2.
If you do decide to shell out the extra cash for a lake view room, this is the kind of view you can expect to get:
For some, this is one part of the Sparkling Hill experience they won’t sacrifice.
4. SKIP THE SPA TREATMENTS
The most expensive part of any spa? The actual treatments!
In case it wasn’t clear – the rooms do not come with individual treatments such as massages, beauty treatments, salon treatments, or specialty services. But in my opinion, you don’t need those things to enjoy the resort. The saunas, steam rooms, and pools will keep you busy during a 1 night stay.
That being said, if you’re with your spouse, and want to add a bit more romance to your night, why not give each other massages? Pack along some essentials such as a nice lotion or oil, a candle, and music.
I also love to plan a couples bath in the jacuzzi tub.
I always bring along the Cadillac of bath products – Lush! Pictured here I have a Melusine bath bomb, a So White bomb, a You’ve Been Mangoed oil, and a Flower’s Barrow oil. Also pictured is Harper + Ari Exfoliating Sugar Cubes in Juice Cleanse.
Special note: never leave a candle unattended, and for the love of god, don’t use tea lights! They’re dangerous, and messy. Wax droplets all over an expensive hotel room? No, thank you! Instead, bring along a lidded candle in a metal tin, and always make sure to blow it out before you leave the room.
4. BYO DINNER
Skip dinner at the resort restaurant, and instead BYOP (picnic)! Not only is packing a lovingly made picnic romantic, it’ll also save you $$$.
I like to put together a charcuterie platter, with assorted cheeses, cured meats, fruit, crackers, and jellies. Up the ante by bringing along a platter, and cutlery.
Arrange your food artfully, take some insta-worthy pics, and eat in bed, or in the seating area of your room.
In your complimentary robes, or in the buff – you decide!
If you still really want to have the experience of going out for a romantic meal, why not try Sparkling Hill’s bar, Barrique & Java? There is a small menu of sandwiches, salads and snacks that are very reasonably priced. The bar also has a great view, and a small patio (which may or may not be open, depending on the weather since you’re booking off-season!).
Pro-tip: the refrigerators at Sparkling Hill are very small.
To avoid this problem, meal prep to reduce packaging, and bring everything in a cooler bag with some frozen water bottles. That way, if your food doesn’t fit in the fridge, you can just leave it in the bag and use the fridge for drinks.
BONUS TIP – GO FOR A HIKE
If you’re not booking any spa treatments, might I suggest exploring one of Sparkling Hill’s hiking trails? This is especially nice if you’re booking a one night stay, but you want to start the experience earlier than 4pm. Plus, hiking is completely free! Here’s a comprehensive map of the resort trails.
CHECK IN/OUT, AND AMENITIES HOURS:
- Check in: 4pm
- Check out: 11am
- Saunas and steam rooms: 9am-11am, 4pm-10pm (closed between 11am-4pm)
- Pools and hot tub: 7am-10pm (basically open all day)
- Complimentary (free!) buffet breakfast at Peak Fine: 7am-10am
Before you go…
CHECK OUT THESE USEFUL TIPS
- wear your robe to breakfast! It really adds to the experience, and the resort encourages it. I suggest wearing your bathing suit underneath, so you can go straight to the pool afterwards.
- when you book your room, request an extra robe. The one you wear to the spa always ends up soaked, and you’ll want a dry one to wear to breakfast in the morning. On that same note, bring two bathing suits, too!
- set an alarm for breakfast. Arrive at Peak Fine before the crowd – that way you can request a table by the window and enjoy breakfast with a view.
- bring a water bottle with you to the spa. There are water dispensers all over the resort to fill it with.
- I like to carry a lip balm in my robe. All that time spent in the sauna can be dehydrating!
- if it’s a sunny day, bring a pair of sunglasses with you to the outdoor infinity pool.
With your room, you gain access to these amenities:
- 3 unique saunas (I love the panorama sauna)
- 3 unique steam rooms (my favourite is the rose steam)
- 1 cold room
- Kneipp Hydrotherapy (a water walking track that alternates between cold, warm, and hot, to stimulate the nervous system and reduce swelling in the legs and body)
- indoor pool
- indoor hot tub
- outdoor infinity pool (my favourite!)
- fitness studio (gym)
- tea room
- serenity room
Best of luck with booking your stay at Sparkling Hill! I hope these tips help you have an amazing time. You’re sure to come back feeling rested, relaxed, and rejuvenated. Don’t be surprised if you feel motivated to take on the world! Just go with it!
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