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Travel Guide: Kelowna, British Columbia at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort

Travel Guide: Kelowna, British Columbia at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort

I consider myself pretty blessed this year because of all the opportunities I’ve had with Marriott to travel within my own country. Prior to this year I had never visited anywhere else in Canada other my home city of Toronto (which doesn’t really count since I live there…) as well as Montreal. Visiting the British Columbia has always been a dream of mine and with it’s endless views of the ocean and the mountains I got to find out first hand why everyone who has visited this side of the country speaks of it with a dreamy look in their eyes (the same look I’m positive I will have now when I re-tell stories of my travels here).

While Vancouver is one of the most well-known and visited city in this province Kelowna is fast becoming the newest Canadian west-coast hot spot. About 4 hours west of Vancouver, Kelowna is known for it’s wineries, craft brewing scene, and provincial parks. Basically it is a mecca for those that want breathtaking scenery paired with culinary delights that will challenge and spark their taste buds. I’m certainly raising my hand in both of these regards. A vast expansion is even underway for Kelowna’s airport in order to accommodate the steadily increasing visitors to this city year after year.

Where to Stay – Detal Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort

I stayed at the  Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort. The rooms here are bright, modern, and stylish and true to Marriott form each guest is welcomed with sampler platter of desserts that are made by in-house restaurant Oak + Cru alongside a bottle of wine from a local winery.

Now calling this place a “Resort” is no small challenge and the Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort certainly lives up to the title. With both indoor and outdoor pools (which connect), whirlpools, event & meeting spaces, fitness center, and spa, it also offers bike rentals, boating, jet-skiing, kayaking, table tennis, and water skiing as activities.

 

Kelowna, British Columbia: Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, Room Suite
Kelowna, British Columbia: Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, Room Suite
Kelowna, British Columbia: Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, Welcome Gift
Kelowna, British Columbia: Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, Welcome Gift

If all that wasn’t quite enough to entice you maybe their location will (and it definitely will). Located directly in the middle of downtown Kelowna it is situated directly along the waterfront with panoramic views of the water and the mountains. Waking up to this view below was certainly something I could get used to and all from the balcony of my suite.

Kelowna, British Columbia: Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, Room Suite View
Kelowna, British Columbia: Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, Room Suite View

Members of Marriott’s loyalty club have access to the hotel lounge which provides breakfast, afternoon appetizers, evening dinner, and 24 hour beverages. I always get excited to eat at the hotel lounge because the offerings are always fresh yet incredibly accessible for those days when your travel schedule is packed with tours and activities. In addition to all this the lounge also has access to the same breathtaking views as the room suites. Coffee and the mountains? Yes please!

Kelowna, British Columbia: Delta Grand Okanagan Resort Club M
Kelowna, British Columbia: Delta Grand Okanagan Resort Club M

Finally there is the in-house restaurant Oak + Cru . Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night drinks and appetizers their menu is rooted in the farm-to-table mentality and features everything that local producers of Okanagan Valley, Kelowna have to offer. A truly local taste of Kelowna you taste the best the city has to offer without ever having to leave the hotel.

Kelowna, British Columbia: Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, Oak + Cru Watermelon Salad & Oasis Cocktail
Kelowna, British Columbia: Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, Oak + Cru Watermelon Salad & Oasis Cocktail

I was treated to the compressed watermelon and prawn salad (lime & O+C honey compressed watermelon, rasp parma, O+C dehydrated olives, O+C orange vinaigrette), lamb sirloin (garden rosemary marinated lamb, boursin polenta, farm veg, Fire Deck tomato, O+C plum & red wine demi), as well as a side of fries and fire-grilled shrimp. Washing it down with their expertly crafted Oaisis gin & elderflower cocktail made this the perfect end to a long day spent touring.

Kelowna, British Columbia: Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, Oak + Cru Dinner
Kelowna, British Columbia: Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, Oak + Cru Dinner

 

What to Do

While there is no shortage of places to see and visit while in this stunningly gorgeous city (I could probably spend days in the same spot taking in the views and it would be time well spent) there are definitely a few gems in this entire gem of a city that will questioning whether or not you will even go home (unless of course you’re lucky enough to call Kelowna your home).

Okanagan Lavender and Herb Farm

A family owned farm for over 100 years the Okanagan Lavender and Herb farm boasts endless fields of award winning lavender, herbs, and florals. The smell itself is absolutely intoxicating and while my home province of Ontario has some pretty stunning lavender fields never have I seen lavender quite as tall and lush as some of the verities that were found here. The lavender here can be found infused throughout Kelowna’s culinary delicacies in the form of lavender ice cream, baked goods, and oils.

Kelowna, British Columbia: Okanagan Lavender and Herb Farm
Kelowna, British Columbia: Okanagan Lavender and Herb Farm

Arlo’s Honey Farm

Arlo’s honey farm is is home to one of nature’s hardest working all-natural producer – the bee! Local honey produced from Arlo’s hives are found as the sweetener throughout some of the Kelowna’s finest confections, baked goods, and dishes. Daily tours of the honey farm are available but the most commendable part of Arlo’s is not just their honey (which is phenomenal in itself) but the utmost care and respect that is given to the bee population. The entire farm is spray and pesticide free so as to not harm the bees in any way as well as to honour the process Mother Nature so lovingly created. Be sure to pick up a jar of clover leaf or raw honey or A few of the beeswax candles which are beautifully poured on-site. Arlo’s Honey Farm is a true testament to the type of city Kelowna is – one that has the utmost respect and care for all that is pure and good. Not to mention for any food lover the proof is in the taste as locally used ingredients like Arlo’s honey can directly be attributed to the elevated tastes and craftsmanship this city has to offer.

Kelowna, British Columbia: Arlo's Honey Farm
Kelowna, British Columbia: Arlo’s Honey Farm

Tantalus Winery

Tantalus Winery is so much more than just a winery and vineyard (although it is that too!). As British Columbia’s first ever LEED certified it has built itself up to be a sustainable well oiled ecosystem. Energy efficient and forward thinking there are not pesticides or herbicides used in the vineyards and everything is nurtured by hand or thorough the cultivation of a vast biodiversity which includes a wide variety of wildlife.

In addition to all of this above all else they also produce some damn fine wine. Their Riesling in particular is mouthwatering to the point where it drove me to actually check-in what was originally supposed to just be a carry on luggage because I couldn’t bear to to not bring some of this wine back home with me to Toronto. Sadly they currently do not sell in my province of residence but hopefully soon so I don’t have to keep filling up my suitcase with their wine bottles and then hope it survives the plane cargo.

Kelowna, British Columbia: Tantalus Winery
Kelowna, British Columbia: Tantalus Winery

 

Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Summerhill Pyramid Winery is known for for their sparking wines which are grown organically and then fermented in a pyramid shaped cellar. The sacred geometry of the pyramid is believed to have an acute affect on the fermentation of the wine as well as bring an overall sense of harmony. While there may not be any concrete scientific evidence on the affect of pyramid shape on the fermentation process perhaps the multitude of awards the sparking wines here have won globally  indicate otherwise. While I myself can not attest to sacred geometry what I can attest to is that this sparkling wine will make you want to savour every last drop. Two more bottles of this are purchased and then stored amongst the large growing collection of Kelowna wine I plan to take home.

Kelowna, British Columbia: Summerhill Pyramid Winery
Kelowna, British Columbia: Summerhill Pyramid Winery

 

Sunset Organic Bistro

Sunset Organic Bistro is actually the resident restaraunt inside Summerhill Pyramid Winery. Bringing the whole farm-to-table to a whole new level the ingredients for th menu are sourced directly from their own gardens grown on site. The chef himself can even often be seen foraging amongst these gardens for the daily special.

The menu is nothing  short of exceptional. Everything from classic comfort favorites like pizzas and pasta to creative and chic offerings like the Nasi Goreng – a peanut, jalapeño, cabbage, and yogurt fried rice dish that has been topped with a fried egg, scallions, and deep fried paper thin rice cracker garnished with black sesame.

Kelowna, British Columbia: Sunset Organic Bistro, Nasi Goreng
Kelowna, British Columbia: Sunset Organic Bistro, Nasi Goreng

 

Caldwell Heritage Farm

Husband and wife duo Kristi & James live, own , and operate the farm along with their 2 daughters. I’ll admit that upon arriving I wasn’t sure why the tour had taken us here. From the outskirts it looks like a simple family home nestled away in rural Kelowna but the further you venture through Caldwell Heritage Farm you slowly discover hidden gem after hidden gem and find yourself all of a sudden in love with it. In addition to the most beautiful farm fresh eggs, animals, and gardens it is also home to an impressive collection of fully restored antique and heritage farming equipment and tools. With these gorgeous grounds often used as the backdrop for weddings and events there are plans in the works to open add a craft farm distillery on-site with hand-crafted small batch spirits. What will be unique is that the raw ingredients will either be grown directly on their farm or sourced from local BC farmers in the area and bringing farm-t0-table to the bottle.

Kelowna, British Columbia: Caldwell Heritage Farm
Kelowna, British Columbia: Caldwell Heritage Farm

 

Kelowna, British Columbia: Caldwell Heritage Farm, Future Distillery
Kelowna, British Columbia: Caldwell Heritage Farm, Future Distillery

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This post was done in collaboration with Marriot Hotels Canada. All opinions expressed are my own. All offerings and prices are accurate as of time of posting. Please refer to restaurant/shop for most up to date information.

*All images are copyrighted Allons.Y Styling & Photography. Please do not use or re-post without written consent and provide credit where applicable

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