When John and I covered the Western Canadian Music Awards in Kelowna last weekend, we were guests of the Delta Grand Okanagan.
The Grand is the largest conference centre and resort hotel in the Okanagan and was recently voted Best Resort/Hotel in the Okanagan by readers of the Georgia Straight in the 2010 “Best of Vancouver” issue. My only previous experience at a Kelowna hotel was during a road trip with John in 2006 (where we stayed at the Best Western) and during a rugby tournament when I was in high school (where we stayed at a motel in Rutland) — needless to say this was definitely a treat.
Upon arriving at The Delta Grand you’ll immediately notice its proximity to Prospera Place, home of the WHL Kelowna Rockets and live concerts with big-name acts who pass through the region. Located within walking distance of downtown shops and eateries, it’s also in the heart of the cultural district. The Center for the Arts, the Kelowna Community Theatre, and the Kelowna Art Gallery are just around the corner.
Our room was in the Royal Private Residences section of the resort, past the main building, lobby, and casino. These suites are purchased privately and then rented out by the hotel (as they do with vacation properties in Whistler or on the Sunshine Coast). Our 3-bedroom well-exceeded our needs but it was great to see what they offered aside from the standard hotel room.
The resort is located right alongside Lake Okanagan and features a lagoon, suited for peddle boats and lovely wedding backdrops. Joggers run along the lakeside pathway that also connects the resort to restaurants and amenities on its way to the downtown core. Conference and banquet facilities also compliment a giant fitness centre nestled beside the Spa at the Grand.
We were impressed with the dining options at the Grand, especially when we ducked into the late night lounge for some margherita flatbread after the awards ceremony. The following day we had lunch in the Grand Bay Cafe where we were treated to a fruit-topped salad, basil pea soup, and the sandwich of our choice. The pea soup was one of the best I’ve had.
As has always been my experience with Delta (being most familiar with the Ocean Pointe in Victoria) they staff was incredibly friendly and helpful at all times. They also cater to families and activities either inside the hotel or out in the community. In Victoria I know they used to have storytime in their lobby that saw sleepy children in their pajamas come down to enjoy a bedtime tale and glass of milk before dozing off. At the Grand, you can sign up for a wine tour or float plane tour in the lobby or have a family bingo night.
Heading into ski season, you can find rooms online for about $139 a night. Although we only spent one night at the resort, it got me thinking about returning for industry events or conferences, or even to catch a Rockets game.