British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley is a popular destination for wine lovers, with more than 200 wineries located in this warm, dry region, about a four-hour drive east of Vancouver.
The town of Penticton sits roughly in the middle of the Okanagan Valley, where its central location makes it a good base for wine-touring and exploring. Each time I visit, I find more things to do.
My husband Alan and I did a road trip to the Okanagan recently, and our base in Penticton was the Penticton Lakeside Resort.
Here’s the scoop:
Penticton Lakeside Resort is just that — a resort-style hotel on the waterfront, at the south end of Okanagan Lake. The property’s 270+ rooms are spread across two buildings: the older original building, which also houses the property’s restaurants, bar, and gym, and the newer West Wing.
Guest Rooms and Amenities
In the original building, rooms come in several different configurations, from units with one king or two queen beds to larger suites. The furnishings are slightly old-school, although you might not care, since many of the rooms look directly over the lake.
In the West Wing, a separate building that opened in 2017 next to the original structure, the rooms are quite contemporary, with blond woods, red accents, and sitting areas with fireplaces, as well as modern baths with spacious, walk-in showers.
Room amenities include mini fridges, microwaves, coffeemakers, and complimentary Wi-Fi. The West Wing rooms also have balconies, many of which offer views of the lake.
Wine Experience Centre
A unique feature of the resort, located in the West Wing, is the Great Estates Wine Experience Centre, a tasting room and education facility that’s operated as a partnership between nine Okanagan wineries.
You can sample wines from Black Sage Vineyard, Dark Horse, Inniskillin, Jackson-Triggs, Nk’Mip Cellars, Steller’s Jay, See Ya Later Ranch, Steller’s Jay, Sumac Ridge, and Sunrock Vineyards — a great way to get an overview of the region’s different varieties.
Other wineries aren’t far away either. TIME Winery & Kitchen is located in downtown Penticton a short walk from the hotel, and you’ll find more than two dozen wineries in the hills along the Naramata Bench just above town.
From April through October, Penticton hosts one of the region’s largest farmers’ markets, taking over several blocks downtown — also a short stroll from the Penticton Lakeside Resort — with booths selling all sorts of fresh produce and prepared foods.
Of course, with lakes right nearby, it’s easy to get out on the water. You can rent stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, and other water toys from Castaways Watersports, on the beach behind the resort. Penticton-based outfitter Hoodoo Adventures offers a range of kayak tours and other excursions around the area, including a kayak wine and cheese tour, that combines time on the water with visits to several local wineries.
If you’re thinking about a visit to Penticton, and to the Penticton Lakeside Resort, plan at least one more day than you think you need. From wine touring to outdoor adventuring, you’ll find plenty to do in Penticton, in the center of the Okanagan Valley.