The Okanagan

Kelowna Cabin Rentals
May14

The Okanagan Valley is a perfect vacation location in Canada. People from across Canada and around the world travel to British Columbia to enjoy the hot weather, expansive beaches, and vibrant wineries. You might be looking for Kelowna cabin rentals as an affordable and personable alternative to corporate hotel brands. If so, there are a few things you should consider before booking your cabin rental.  

What is Your Budget for the Trip?

Vacation budgets vary wildly and also depend on how long you’ll be staying and what type of activities you’ll be participating in while there. Kelowna is a great destination because there are plenty of free activities to partake in, like exploring the local hiking trails.   

Sit down with a spreadsheet or checklist and brainstorm how much you are looking to spend on lodgings, food, activities, and travel expenses like gas or plane tickets. Remember: You’ll be spending a lot of time at your rental cottage and will want it to be comfortable, spacious, and safe. You can skimp on your food and drink budget but it’s best not to skimp on where you’ll be sleeping.   

Regardless, there are vacation cottages in Kelowna ranging from $100/night upward so you are sure to find something that fits within the range you set for yourself.  

How Many People Are Staying with You?

This will help you determine how many beds and rooms are needed within your vacation cottage of choice. More rooms tend to have a higher expense. Fewer rooms will allow you to save money. See if anyone in your group is willing to sleep on a couch or pullout bed—these tend to be located in the den area and don’t add much extra cost.   

1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom cottages are pretty reliably available, as they tend to be the more popular sizes. However, if you are planning an event or traveling in a large group, you can look into event rentals that hold a lot more—up to 6 bedrooms with 26 sleeping spots!   

You can also consider splitting your group up into smaller, more manageable parties and booking separate rentals for each clan. For something like that, you might want to seek out a rental cottage community so that you are still in close proximity to one another. 

Are Pets Allowed at Your Cabin?

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Not every vacation property allows pets so be sure to call ahead and get a clear yes or no answer before you pack Fido up in her kennel!  

Are There Budget Vacation Deals Available?

Watch for booking deals for longer stays, last-minute rental discounts, or off-season specials to save a bit of money on your per-night rate. The best way to do this is to follow local Kelowna tourism companies on social media, where they are most likely to post and advertise these sorts of things. For example, you can find La Casa Cottages on Facebook and Instagram!  

How Well-Cared for are the Kelowna Cabin Rentals?

Check online ratings, look at photos (and ask how recent they are), and email the cottage owner about cleaning regulations between guests. You don’t want to be stuck in a place that looks like it’s falling apart, nor do you want to be deceived by interior images that are way out of date. Don’t be afraid to push a bit here and get all the information you need to make the best decision.  

Does it Come with Any Perks (pool access, WIFI)?

Not all cottage rentals will come with extras, nor should they, but it’s always a nice thing to have! Ask about:  

  • Free WIFI access   
  • Private yard space (with furniture?)   
  • Pool access   
  • Firepit access  
  • BBQ access  
  • Boardgames   
  • DVDs or Netflix login  
  • Any other perks you can think of 
  • How Long are You Staying? Is It During Busy Season?

If you are planning a longer trip or booking for the busy season (summertime, holidays, and so on) then be sure to start looking far, far in advance to make sure you get what you need before it sells out.   

Do You Need Some Expert Help Picking between Kelowna Cabin Rentals?  

Give us a call or email at La Casa Cottages if you need help picking a cabin or cottage rental that works best for you. We have several luxury cottages available in West Kelowna with a lakefront view and easy access to beaches, parks, wineries, and more.   

Winter hikes
Dec04

Wintertime in Kelowna tends to be mild and sunny—perfect for winter hikes. That’s because the region is a semi-arid desert! Sure, you will always get a bit of snow but the temperature rarely drops uncomfortably low. Plan to work up a bit of a sweat and you won’t even notice the chill.

That’s why we’ve compiled this great list of winter hikes for you in the Kelowna area.

  1. Cedar Mountain Regional Park

Cedar Mountain Regional Park (AKA the Kelowna Crags) was renamed the Johns Family Nature Conservancy Regional Park after a substantial land donation after the 2003 wildfire that devastated the area. Now, hikers can enjoy over 403 hectares of natural land, an easy and short walk, and a stunning view of the Okanagan Valley at the top.

  1. Spion Kopje Hiking Trails 

Sometimes written as Spion Kop Hiking Trails, this central Okanagan trail system takes hikers to the peak of the Spion Kopje mountain. You’ll find these trails closer to Winfield, about a 33-minute drive North from Downtown Kelowna. Follow the markers for a clear view of Lake Kalamalka and parts of Oyama.

  1. Mill Creek Regional Park

Mill Creek Regional Park is a family-friendly hike that is highly rated by experts and novices alike. The trail is moderately flat and all forks in the path take you to the same destination so you don’t have to worry much about getting lost. The area tends to be a haven for mosquitoes in warmer months, making it a refreshing winter walk even if you have done this trail before!

  1. Rose Valley Regional Park

Enjoy 250-hectares of parkland in the West Kelowna Rose Valley neighbourhood. The Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir-filled forest land has winding natural trails, a conservation area and pond, and views of Okanagan Lake. Dogs are also welcome on-leash and Rose Valley Regional Park is open to visitors year-round.

BONUS: If you are looking for a day trip, E. C. Manning Park is about a 3-hour drive from Kelowna and is one of the most popular parks in the province. Located in the heart of the Cascade Mountains, the climate and geography make it a perfect natural location for year-round visits. The park has hiking trails for all levels, from 15-minutes walks to a 6-day excursion!

Just because there is snow on the ground, doesn’t mean you hiking enthusiasts need to be stuck indoors. The Okanagan is known for its scenery and wintertime is no exception. So bundle up, pack a snack, and take a relaxing winter hike amongst the trees.

Looking to book a spot for hiking, skiing, or other winter sports? Ask us about La Casa Mirador, our large group vacation rental property in West Kelowna. Open year-round! 

BC Beer
Oct30

Let’s chat about B.C. beer. We talk a lot about wine on this blog. After all, B.C. is considered the “wine country” of Canada. Beer drinkers need not despair! We have plenty of craft breweries in the area, too. B.C. craft beer is rising in popularity, especially on Vancouver Island and in Vancouver proper. That means there is a ton our there for beer lovers to try.

Autumn and winter come with their own flavours (think: dark beers, like stouts, and anything spiced). And B.C.-based breweries are more than accommodating to these seasonal tastes. Try any of these fall/winter season B.C. craft beers. You won’t regret it.

  1. Granville Island Lions Winter Ale

If you don’t already know, Granville Island is a peninsula and shopping district in Vancouver, B.C. Granville Island Brewing was Canada’s first modern microbrewery. Their beers are ubiquitous across the province. You’ll have no problem finding the Lions Winter Ale, and more, at any local liquor store. The Lions Winter Ale has a vanilla-like flavour that pairs well with full-flavoured foods and cream-based sauces.

  1. Whistler Brewing Chestnut Ale

You can probably guess by the name, but Whistler Brewing is located in Whistler, British Columbia. This ski-resort-town is bustling with winter sports and year-round entertainment, including eateries and breweries. The chestnut ale is a spiced/herbed beer with a blend of caramel and crystal malts. It’s a “Warm you up from the inside out” kind of drink. The bold, nutty flavour will do well with any rich winter meal.

  1. Hoyne Dark Matter

Hoyne Brewing is located in Victoria, B.C., so if you are staying at one of our Parksville or Qualicum Beach vacation properties, a day trip for a tour is not out of the question. (It’s about a 2-hour drive away.) Dark Matter is a delicious stout-meets-brown-meets-porter. It’s a bit of an enigma, soft to sip with hints of chocolate. This is a beer for everyone, even those who tend to avoid darker brews.

  1. Nelson Brewing Co. Faceplant Winter Ale (Organic)

Nelson Brewing, located in, obviously, Nelson, has been a staple in the local community since 1991. They produce all nature, full-flavoured beers. They are certified organic, producing without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or genetic engineering. The Faceplant winter Ale has hints of brown sugar and molasses. It’s sweet, malty, dark, and smooth.

  1. Driftwood Satori Harvest Fresh Hop IPA

Driftwood Brewing is located in Victoria, B.C. The Satori Harvest Fresh Hop IPA can only be brewed once a year when fresh Centennial hops are collected from Satori Cedar Ranch near Chilliwack. This IPA is hoppy, floral, piney, smooth, and grassy. Everything we love in a fall and winter season beer. It has a 7% ABV, so enjoy responsibly.

Find something you like thanks to this guide? Let us know online! Use @lacasacottageresort on Facebook and @lacasacottages on Instagram. Want to visit some B.C. breweries first-hand? Ask us about our Kelowna area vacation rentals.

Halloween events Kelowna
Oct23

Are you visiting the Kelowna in October? Luckily, there are Halloween events all month long. Visitors can enjoy a spooky date night or a family-friendly event. Read on, here are just a few yearly events you can look forward to.

  1. Halloween Nightwings

Don’t miss this all-ages adventure! Learn and discover who is flying around the Okanagan at night. This is a not-very-scary event, so bring the whole family. The Okanagan Heritage Museum staff introduces guests to local nocturnal fauna.

Location: Okanagan Heritage Museum, 470 Queensway Avenue.

  1. When Death Comes Calling: A Cemetery Tour

Take a spooky tour through a cemetery. Learn true stories about Kelowna’s “dead.” Lovers of history and true crime will enjoy this unique event. This is quite a popular tour. As a result, registration is required for this event.

Location: Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery, 1991 Bernard Avenue.

  1. Field of Screams

This cornfield maze is filled with ghoulish play-actors and chilling backdrops. Also, every year is based on a theme! For instance, they have done Alice in Wonderland in the past. Check out sprawling set pieces, horror movie clichés, and everything else we love about the season. Note, this event is not suitable for young children.

Location: O’Keefe Ranch, Vernon.

  1. Kettle Valley Halloween Terror Train

All aboard the Halloween train for 2020! The Kettle Valley Steam Railway showcases a unique part of the Okanagan’s history. They do plenty of holiday-themed events throughout the year. The Halloween train trip tours the preserved section of this historic railway! The duration is 60 minutes. Lastly, reservations are a MUST.

Location: Kettle Valley Steam Railway, 18404 Bathville Road.

Contact us if you need somewhere to stay in the Kelowna area in order to attend any of these events. We have multi-bedroom cottages, lakeside views, full kitchen suites, and more.  Plus, we often offer last minutes deals. Subscribe to our newsletter to keep an eye out for them.

Vacation Home Pros
Sep25

Thanks to services like Airbnb, travellers everywhere are rethinking vacation accommodations in a big way. Traditional hotels are fine and are certainly reliable but they have many downsides, too. Vacation home rentals offer a more personal, community-based travel experience that can really add a lot to a vacation or trip.

Let’s take a look at why traditional hotels and motels aren’t keeping up with the times.

The Cons of Staying in a Hotel

So why are modern travellers turning away from common hotel brands? There are a few reasons.

  • Hotels are the Same Around the World. A branded hotel looks pretty much the same from city to city and sometimes even country to country. That means you might be missing out on unique aspects of that culture or community!
  • Hotels are Bad for the Environment. From over-washing sheets and towels to maintaining huge amounts of empty rooms during downtimes, hotels can have quite a negative impact on the environment. In fact, they produce up to 60 million tons of CO2 emissions annually. Yikes! They tend to use a lot of power and water, much more than is needed to sustain a private vacation rental home or cottage.
  • Hotels are Crowded. Vacationing usually means you are looking for some rest and relaxation. But with a packed hotel, you never know what kind of neighbours you are going to get. With other patrons above, below, and on either side of you, you might be exposed to all sorts of racket.

Why we Recommend Vacation Homes

Taking up in a rental home instead of a traditional hotel gets you closer to the community you are visiting, gives you more peace and privacy, and often comes with personable perks that hotel chains don’t offer.

  • Supporting local businesses. Many rental properties (like ours!) are owned and maintained by residents of the province or city itself. That means your money is going right into the hands of long-standing community members, rather than CEOs somewhere oversees.
  • A personal touch. Vacation homes tend to be less stuffy and corporate-feeling, so you can feel right at home asking for recommendations of what to do or reaching out directly to a property manager if you have any concerns.
  • Budget travel. Vacation properties come in all shapes and sizes so you are sure to find something that fits your requirements and budget. You can shop around until you find something that fits your budget perfectly before committing to anything.
  • Last minute travel deals. Vacation rentals often have special deals for any open spaces available on a last-minute notice. For example, you can join our newsletter to be notified about special deals as they arise.

What do you think? Have we convinced you to give up stuffy hotels and try out a unique vacation home bursting with personality? Contact us to see what we have to offer, whether you are booking a quaint overnight stay or a big seasonal bash.