Valentine’s Day Getaway: Sparkling Hill Resort

- By Andrea Mestrovic - 
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If I told you that Sparkling Hill Resort located outside of Vernon, BC, Canada is more stirring than The Plaza in New York City, would you believe me?  Many pale in comparison to The Plaza, but once in a decade there comes an extraordinarily close second, which startlingly shifted my personal paradigm of hotel opulence.  When a certain prospect invited me to stay at Sparkling Hill over New Year’s Eve and review/enjoy this atypical place, I packed up my NYE tuxedo, and 2 suitcases later I was ready to ring in 2012 in Swarovski style.
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The lobby, left, with Swarovski crystal chandeliers, and the stunning lake view

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Sparkling Hill is an architectural feat indeed.  It is carved into a granite cliff overlooking Lake Okanagan and Monashee Mountains.  Surrounded by complete stillness, it is strictly serene (yoga included).  Creating this sum of equanimity came at a weighty price: $122 million to be exact.  Mr.Gernot Langes-Swarovski, patriarch of the Swarovski family, is the primary owner and one who appointed Andreas Altmayer, Swarovski crystal architect, to undertake this project.  Altmayer integrated 3.5 million Swarovski crystals in practically every building block of the property, making it the very first public building in the world with crystal architecture – and his finest work to date.

Hans-Peter Mayr, President & CEO (far right) with his staff

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But it was certainly not just the glitter that had me head-over-heels.  It was an ebullient combination
of sorts: the remoteness, the views, the victuals, the spa, and the highest level of Austrian infused hospitality.  Even Hans-Peter Mayr, President & CEO, was on hand, available and pleased to assist guests in any way possible.  Immense number of guests were European fur-adorned jet-setters looking for the extremes – complete tranquility and/or perilous heliskiing.  It was bewilderingly fascinating to people watch in Sparkling Hill.
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The KurSpa

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The hotel’s mandate is to celebrate whole body wellness and that’s precisely what you can expect to do in their 40,000 sq.ft. spa – named KurSpa.  The experience starts with aqua meditation steam room, which at 30°C is the perfect place to de-stress and ready the body for a state of harmony.  The hint of orange essence in the air is most refreshing here.

The Serenity Room

Next stop is the fragrant rose steam at 38°C where the heated wall tiles embedded with rose petal tenderly release rose-infused aromas.The list goes on…salt steam at 40°C rumored to slow ageing and smooth wrinkles, crystal steam at 42°C adorned in Swarovski crystals with healing powers, herbal sauna at 60°C, panorama sauna at 80°C, Finnish-classic sauna at 90°C and finally Igloo cold sauna at 10°C, meant to reduce the body temperature, while the scent of peppermint and eucalyptus bring the body back to the present.
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The signature KurSpa treatment and one most talked about is the cold dry sauna – set at an astonishing -110°C.  Although cold saunas and cryotherapy are quite common in Europe, KurSpa introduced it for the first time in North America in 2010.  I shied away this time around, though many declare that it instantly alleviates pain, inflammation, improves joint and muscle function, and reduces skin irritation.

My already extensive repertoire of the most unique places to “spa it” has grown yet again.  As a result, Valentine’s Day weekend plans are now solid and absolute.  You can find me romanticizing in the house on a hill.

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Two night packages with meals start at CDN $455 per couple.

1.877.275.1556 | 888 Sparkling Place, Vernon, BC, V1H 2K7, www.sparklinghill.com

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Andrea Mestrovic is a multi-lingual, multi-talented, but modest multi-tasker who has lived on both sides of the Atlantic. Andrea has a sure-footed instinct for discovering magnificent finds all over the globe. You can follow her on twitter @AndreaMestrovic

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Andrea Mestrovic is a multi-lingual, multi-talented, but modest multi-tasker who has lived on both sides of the Atlantic. Andrea has a sure-footed instinct for discovering magnificent finds all over the globe. You can follow her on twitter @AndreaMestrovic or read all her posts on http://oliviapalermo.com/author/andrea

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