If a trip to somewhere tropical isn’t in the cards, you can still plan a resort getaway — in Canada’s Okanagan Valley.
And at the Eldorado Resort on the shores of Okanagan Lake, created through the merger of two adjacent properties, you’ll find both a variety of rooms and plenty of activities to keep a multi-generational family busy.
Here’s the scoop:
The Eldorado Resort is located in Kelowna, British Columbia, a metropolitan region of more than 220,000 in the center of the province. Kelowna has the typical suburban sprawl of a mid-sized city, but it also has an enviable physical setting directly on Okanagan Lake, surrounded by rolling hills and many of the wineries that the agricultural region around the city is known for. The Kelowna area alone has more than 40 wineries, ranging from small family-run ventures to larger corporate producers.
Kelowna is about 4.5 hours’ drive from Vancouver and 6.5 hours from Banff in the Canadian Rockies, making it a reasonable stopover on a Western Canada roadtrip between the Pacific coast and the mountains.
The Eldorado Resort includes two formerly independent lakeside resort hotels that now share common management and facilities: the Hotel Eldorado and the Manteo Resort.
Originally built in 1926, the Hotel Eldorado has a classic, traditional feel, with 53 guest rooms that vary in size and design. While the building has since been reconstructed, the hotel highlights its history, with black and white photos from the region’s earlier days in the lobby and lining the hallways.
The Hotel Eldorado has two wings — the older Heritage building and the slightly more modern Arms section. In the smaller Heritage rooms, the furnishings are dark wood with marble and brass accents. The premium Heritage units include balconies overlooking the lake.
Although the bathrooms have been modernized, some in the Heritage wing retain clawfoot tubs. Some of these offer views of the lake while you bathe.
The rooms in the Arms wing are larger and brighter-feeling, with floor-to-ceiling windows and white painted furnishings that give the units more of a beach ambiance.
All of the Hotel Eldorado rooms come with coffeemakers and mini-fridges, and there’s Wi-Fi throughout the property.
The Hotel Eldorado’s Lakeside Dining Room is a popular spot for brunch, when you can enjoy the views of the lake through the wall of windows facing the Eldorado Marina. A seat on the spacious patio is an even more coveted location for a meal or a drink when the sun is shining.
The Hotel Eldorado is also known for its whiskey lounge, which offers more than 150 varieties.
While the Hotel Eldorado has a more adult ambiance, the Manteo at Eldorado Resort next door is better suited to families. The 102 rooms include a combination of standard guest rooms, suites, and villas, all with a colorful Mediterranean-style theme. As in the Hotel Eldorado, many of the guest rooms overlook the lake.
The standard rooms are equipped with fridges and coffeemakers, while the one-bedroom suites have kitchen facilities.
The larger multi-level two- and three-bedroom villas are designed either for couples traveling together or for families. The most spacious units would accommodate a multi-generational holiday.
The Manteo’s main draws are its activities: two indoor pools, two seasonal outdoor pools, tennis courts, a pickleball court, and a sandy beach on the lake.
Guests staying at either the Manteo or the Hotel Eldorado can use the facilities on both properties, so there’s plenty to do regardless of which style of lodging you choose. And that’s before you head off on a wine-tasting adventure.
The tropics? Who needs them when you have this much to do — in Canada.
For more ideas of things to see and do around the Kelowna region, browse through the options on the Tourism Kelowna website. Looking for a completely different style of lodging in Kelowna? Check out our review of the Hotel Zed Kelowna.
The Eldorado Resort has a wide range of room types and a correspondingly large range of rates. The Heritage Rooms in the Hotel Eldorado start at CAD$149-249/night, while the rooms in the Arms wing start at CAD$179-209.
The Manteo guest rooms start at CAD$149-249/night, while the suites begin at CAD$299-349 and the villas from CAD$449-649.
Hotel feature by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller. Photos © Carolyn B. Heller. Destination British Columbia and Tourism Kelowna, in partnership with Eldorado Resort, provided support for my Okanagan region research trip.