Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Spa Girl's visit to Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa

Thanksgiving, whether you celebrate it in October or November is a time to give thanks for the bounty of the fall harvest and express our gratitude for all we hold dear. It is also one of my favourite holidays as I just love the fall.

This year I decided to celebrate by heading with a friend to the newly opened Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa located in the stunning landscape of the interior of British Columbia, just outside Vernon. Not only is this wine country, it is dotted with hundreds of amazing lakes, rolling valleys and spectacular mountain vistas.

If you saw the film "My American Cousin", traveling to Sparkling Hill will bring to life all that unforgettable scenery--and there is nothing like the real thing!

Named after the sun drenched mountain it sits atop of, this resort is the perfect blend of Canadian and Austrian elegance. Built as an international destination for extended wellness holidays and designed by Canadian architects this $122-million resort was funded by Gernot Langes-Swarovski, the patriarch of the Swarovski crystal empire.

And crystals you get, every aspect of this facility is infused with crystals from the breathtaking iridescence of the sculptural lighting in the four storey open lobby and dining room, with their panoramic views, to crystal fireplaces in each room, crystal encrusted washroom signs, imbedded in the backs of chairs and cupboard doors and sculptures throughout, this place hums with energy and magical prisms.

And then there is the Spa!

Sparkling Hill KurSpa is a expansive 40,000 square foot European inspired wellness centre designed after Spa Girls motto, relax, rejuvenate, and restore! In their own words, KurSpa "is a place of calm and tranquillity; where a distinctive sense of time and place pervades in the character and quality of the spaces".

In addition to a myriad of treatment options guests have the luxury of indulging in seven unique aromatherapy sauna and steam rooms, an indoor salt water pool with underwater music and a starry Swarovski crystal ceiling, a hot pool, outdoor infinity pool, a Kneipp waterway, state-of-the art fitness studio, tea room and Serenity Room.

KurSpa services, when fully staffed, are offered by physicians, physiotherapists, massage therapists and trained estheticians. I opted to have four treatments starting with a Fango (Italian for mud) wrap consisting of pure volcanic ash and warm water mixed into a buttery mud which detoxifies and invigorates the muscles. A perfect appetizer prior to the KurSpa massage. My second day I enjoyed the elegance of the beauty section at KurSpa with a facial and pedicure. I had considered trying KurSpa's famous Cold Sauna (-110 degree C) popular in Europe and the first in North America, but it was out of order. This treatment known as cryotheraphy involves spending up to three minutes in this icy chamber (feet, hands, ears and mouth are protected) and purports to help improve circulation, alleviate pain, improve joint and muscle function, reduce skin irritation and leave you feeling refreshed (no kidding) and energized!

After two days at Sparkling Hill I felt like I had spent a week relaxing and re-energizing, indulging in fine dining and treating all my senses.

This remarkable Canadian destination was the dream of Hans-Peter Mayr the resorts President and CEO whom we had a chance to meet on the day we left. Mayr is determined to make this resort known for its quality and outstanding service echoing inside the breathtaking beauty of the Monashee Mountains and Lake Okanagan which encircle Sparkling Hill Resort and Spa.

It is impossible to describe in one blog all that this amazing resort has to offer, so check out their website.


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