Spirits Soar at Spirit Ridge

Regular readers of this blog may recall that in January, 2015, my (late) husband, cat, and I spent a month in Beautiful British Columbia (BC) on Canada’s West Coast. Our destination was Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort in Osoyoos, a tiny community situated in the southern tip of BC’s legendary wine country–the Okanagan Valley.


You really feel the First Nations presence throughout Spirit Ridge in Osoyoos.

I had done reflective posts during our R, R & R time away (that’s rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation), as spirits really do soar at Spirit Ridge. It is truly a place to come if you want to enrich your spirit. But I had not done a travel post highlighting some of the things visitors to Spirit Ridge in Osoyoos might enjoy. Time to correct that, and so in this post, I’d like to entice you with all of the reasons we loved Osoyoos and our stay at Spirit Ridge.


This beautiful fountain is located on the shores of Lake Osoyoos at the south entrance to Osoyoos.

6 reasons to choose Osoyoos as your Okanagan destination


Spirit Ridge in Osoyoos has a magical setting, with mountains on one side, and the vineyards and Lake Osoyoos on the other.

  1. Less traffic than some of the other Okanagan centres. As Osoyoos is located in the southern tip of the Okanagan Valley, it is smaller and less congested that some of the larger cities like Kelowna (the hub of the Okanagan) and Penticton, it’s smaller sister. I like that, as it’s perfect for a retreat when you want to get away from any hustle and bustle, and just enjoy the peaceful serenity of the location. Yes, Osoyoos, does get busier in the summer, but there is still far less traffic even at peak times, than you’ll find in the heart of the Okanagan.
  2. The Aboriginal/First Nations presence. Spirit Ridge is situated on property owned by the Osoyoos Indian Band, and so you will see more aboriginal art and feel more of a First Nations presence in Osoyoos than you will in the rest of the Okanagan. The Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre at Spirit Ridge will teach you much about the native peoples of the area.
  3. Osoyoos is practically situated on the international border with the USA. Within five minutes of our hotel, we were in Washington state! We enjoyed two trips to Washington while we were in Osoyoos, and were surprised at the quality of the Mexican food we enjoyed in the tiny communities of Oroville and Tonasket. Tonasket was about 15 minutes further than Oroville, but was home to the Rancho Chico Mexican Restaurant that was well worth the trip with its great food and handpainted Mexican chairs. We later learned that there are quite a few Mexican immigrants in northern Washington that work on the farms and orchards throughout the region.
  4. Osoyoos is home to Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort, where you’ll find a laid-back resort populated by Canadian snowbirds from other parts of BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Spirit Ridge is also home to the award-winning Nk’Mip Winery, the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, the Solterra Desert Spa, and the Desert Dunes Golf Course. And I have no doubt you’ll be captivated by the Indigenous/vineyard inspired cuisine of The Bear, The Fish, The Root, and The Berry Restaurant overlooking Lake Osoyoos.
  5. Good food, wine, and chocolate. You’ll find great food at the various dining establishments at Spirit Ridge. I loved the Nk’Mip wine, and did I mention that the wine shop (which also sells a good supply of locally made artisan chocolate) was just a two-minute walk from our suite at Spirit Ridge? And within a short drive from Spirit Ridge, there are several other terrific vineyards including Burrowing Owl–which also features some custom-matched artisan chocolate to pair with the wine.
  6. You know I’m a fan of interesting spa treatments. While at Spirit Ridge, I had the pleasure of experiencing the Desert Sacred Wrap–a tribute to the natural surroundings and the aboriginal roots of the site. The full body wrap features red clay earth and an invigorating scalp massage followed by a soothing sage and cedar oil effleurage. I loved the smell and feel of the cedar oil.

The treatment rooms at the Solterra Desert Spa reflect the spirit of the local Indigenous people.

Editorial note: In October, 2017, the Spirit Ridge Resort became part of the Unbound Collection by Hyatt. During the 2017-2018 winter period, a $5.2 million renovation took place at Spirit Ridge, with continuing renovations and updates being completed throughout 2019 and in early 2021. The resort remains open during times of renovation. I can’t wait to return to Spirit Ridge and see all the new improvements! If you’ve been there lately, please let us know how it was, or how you enjoyed Osoyoos.


Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

43 Responses

  1. Ami Bhat says:

    The spa does sound heavenly. Right now, I think I so need one. Cedar oil is something that I have never used before and am quite curious to know how it would smell.

    • Hi Ami. Cedar oil is quite aromatic. I liked it so much, the owner of the spa gave me a small container of it to take with me and remind me of the experience! Have you never smelled a cedar tree in the wild? They are quite distinct in their scent.

  2. Osoyoos sounds like a great place to relax and rejuvenate. Love the fact that it has the feel of a First Nation and the presence of aborigine culture makes it even more fascinating.
    But I missed the chocolate in this post!

  3. You must have had a wonderful holiday! The “magical setting” of Spirit Ridge is the most inviting to me, since there’s snow all over the place and I love cold atmosphere. This would defitnitely be one of my destiantions for holidays in the future.

  4. Osoyoos is so pretty. I prefer offbeat destinations like this. It makes sense to be in a place with less traffic and congestion.

  5. Betty Jackson says:

    We just spent the month of February at Spirit Ridge. The suites are very comfortable and well kept with friendly staff. The heated pool is open year round for easy exercise.
    There is the opportunity to take long walks unhindered by snow and ice underfoot. The new Art Gallery by a co-op of local artists is just out standing. There is so much more to keep a person busy.

  6. Travelled with your cat? Now I am definitely looking for that post!!! Thanks for sharing your BC experience! It never crossed my mind to travel here and I have no idea why. Good to know there’s heaps to do. Xx
    Trisha Velarmino recently posted…Best Travel Destinations for 2016My Profile

  7. vineyards covered in snow is such a strange sighting for me, but I guess it does snow in many places where there are vines and they just go into lethargy
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  8. This is really interesting, we drove through a First Nations area on our way to Joffre Lake yesterday but I’d like to stay at Osoyoos.
    Gemma Two Scots Abroad recently posted…Overheard Whilst Travelling – Rockies’ RebelMy Profile

  9. Catarina says:

    Love the look of the vineyard. Am not surprised you found it relaxing. Get the feeling it’s the kind of place where you naturally get into mindflow…
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  10. Amanda says:

    Love the mountains, great reasons to visit Osoyoos indeed!! Lots of peace and a great get away destination!!
    Amanda recently posted…How To Get Rid Of Underarm Smell: Home Remedies That Work!My Profile

  11. Loving the sound of this, Doreen.
    Never visited a vineyard before but this looks like the way to do it 🙂
    What a beautiful landscape too! Looks fab!
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  12. Elizabeth says:

    I love the statue at the beginning of the post. I will have to go and find your other posts about this area. We were just talking about it today. I don’t think we will make it in 2016, but maybe 2017!
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  13. Jessica says:

    Good food, wine, and chocolate. Those three are more than enough for me to choose Osoyos. 🙂 Thank you for briging me to this place virtually. Lovely experience! 🙂

  14. The place looks really cool and the sound of good chocolate and wine makes its all the more inviting for me.

  15. Oh this sounds so fantastic Doreen & how wonderful to visit somewhere with such First Nation influence. What a beautiful part of the world.
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  16. Esther says:

    Once upon a time in a past life we had friends in Pentiction, and we spent an afternoon at the beach one hot summer day. It was a fabulous day for a dip in the lake and I really love the sun. I understand Osoyoos is one of the hottest places in Canada, weatherwise.
    Also, I do love the idea of a spa day. You make it sound so enticing.
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  17. This place looks amazing! I grew up near BC, but I’ve never been here. A spa day at Osoyoos sounds perfect!
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  18. This sound fabulous, Doreen. I’m glad you are going to another warmer place for a while. We just got our first snow and I’m reminded of why I prefer warmer weather. Can’t wait to hear about this location. Have a great time!

  19. Pat says:

    I got to enjoy all of the above with you many years ago!! I remember even looking into possibly buying a suite and using it for holiday/rental purposes. It is an awesome place to stay and I was quite jealous when you and Reg got to spend last December there!!

  20. Sounds like a blast. What wines are they growing/making up there?
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  21. Chris says:

    Love the look of that Vineyard with the snow covered hills as a backdrop.

    Do they produce the ‘Ice Wine’ here like I saw plenty of in Ontario?

    Looking forward to reading about your favourite place in Canada (for me it’s the Yukon, but hey, I’ve only seen a fraction of your gorgeous country)!
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  22. Can you recall a couple of the wine and chocolate pairings?
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  23. Thanks, Jeannette. It would be hard not to like Spirit Ridge.

  24. What a great gateway location. Sounds so restful and beautiful. I haven’t been there but I’m glad you found it so restful and nourishment for your body and soul.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…Give Thanks by Giving Jobs to Our VeteransMy Profile

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