The Okanagan

best day spas in Kelowna
Aug27

Vacations should be about rest and relaxation—and what says R&R better than a luxury visit to one of the best day spas in Kelowna? A trip to the spa can make any weekend special. They make for a perfect bachelorette activity or date night, or just a special gift to reward yourself for getting through a tough year! 

These are some of the best day spas in Kelowna and what we love about them. 

Kelowna, B.C. Day Spas

Namaste Day Spa

Namaste Day Spa is just off the highway on Gordon Drive, so even those just passing through can’t miss it! They offer a 3.25 hours “half-day” spa package: a classic customized organic facial including exfoliation and extractions, sixty-minute massage with flowing Shiatsu, and a pedicure including nail care and a sea salt scrub. 

Amora Day Spa

Amora Day Spa is located within downtown Kelowna, right near the waterfront as well as the bridge to West Kelowna (perfect for those choosing to stay on that side of town). Set aside 2 or 3 hours to visit them for a full body massage, relaxing facial, body wrap, or mani-pedi. Or all of the above! 

Beyond Wrapture Day Spa

Beyond Wrapture Day Spa is attached to the Coast Capri Hotel on Harvey Avenue. It’s right downtown Kelowna near Water Street and all the bars, eateries, shops, and parks that that comes with. They offer some of the most length and substantial packages on this list with treatments that last up to 6-7 hours. A truly luxury experience.

West Kelowna, B.C. Day Spas

Talking Tree Day Spa

Talking Tree Day Spa is located in central West Kelowna and handles everything from massages, body wrap, facials, manicures, pedicures, gel nails, waxing, tinting, and silk threading. They have many spa package options that combine different varieties of their service list. Their stand-out treatment is the “Head to Toe,” which, as you can probably guess, offers a complete body relaxation package. You’ll get a massage, feet treatment, facial, and manicure.

Okanagan Massage

Okanagan Massage is a massage-centric service provider that offers packages for relaxation, full-body, deep tissue, hot stone, and/or foot treatments. They also offer a couples massage package at a discount, making it perfect for romantic getaways, honeymoons, anniversaries, or Valentine’s Day. Note: the couples massage package can be used for anyone in pairs of two, romance not required!

 

What do you think about our list of best day spas in Kelowna? What other Kelowna travel activities do you want us to cover on our blog? Let us know!

Need help organizing your trip? Call or email us at La Casa Cottage Resort and we’ll find the perfect overnight venue for your local vacation plans.

You might also like: 10 Kelowna Attractions and Hotspots You Should Visit.

B.C. Forest Fires
Jul09

The truth is that B.C. is both heavily forested (which we love) and can be incredibly hot and dry (perfect for beaches)—but sometimes these two beautiful sentiments combine into something nefarious: B.C. forest fires. First of all: take a deep breath! You don’t necessarily have to cancel your trip and forest fire-related casualties are exceedingly rare (and more likely for emergency personnel like police and firefighters).   

That being said, here are 6 things you should know about B.C. forest fires before your trip.  

Many, Many Forest Fires are Human-Started  

This is the sad truth. So many forest fires could be prevented each year if campers, hikers, visitors, and locals worked together to adhere to fire safety rules. Never throw a cigarette butt on the ground; listen to fire bans in the area; make sure your fire pit is completely extinguished before going to sleep; never leave live flames unattended.   

B.C. Averages 1,352 Wildfires Annually, but…  

Many of them are small, quickly put out, or far away from human civilization of any kind. In fact, forest fires are a natural and important part of the ecosystem. It clears away dead matter from the forest floor and makes room for fresh, new growth. Sometimes controlled burns (human started and monitored) are used to “clean up” the ecosystem on purpose.   

COVID-19 Actually Decreased the Number of Fires in B.C.  

This is mainly because people were not travelling and therefore were not lighting fires or leaving them unattended. As stated before, please, please take care while camping or hiking so that you aren’t the cause of an unexpected blaze.   

Many B.C. Cities and Towns Are Not Affected  

Many areas don’t get that many forest fires and the most you see will be a bit of smoke in the sky. You will still be able to be outside, go to beaches, attend events, camp, and go about your daily life. The only time you need to take caution is when there is an air quality warning.  

You Can Track Current Wildfire Activity  

Worried about whether a fire will pop up in your area? You can track B.C. wildfire activity yearly using the B.C. government’s wildfire dashboard. Fires are very common but most of them are so small or isolated that you won’t even notice them during your stay.   

La Casa Resort Will Inform You of Noteworthy Fires Beforehand  

We send out newsletters that encompass everything from local events in the area to wildfire warnings. If something is amiss, we’ll let you know well ahead of time. This includes anything like water advisories, major highway shutdowns, and anomalous weather events. We strive to keep you informed all throughout your trip!   

Always be fire safe but also keep in mind that fires are a normal part of the first lifecycle and are usually not cause for alarm at all. Still have questions? Give us a call at La Casa Cottage Resort.  

You might also like Beach Safety for B.C. Summer Trips: 5 Quick Tips

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.