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.
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.
6 reasons to choose Osoyoos as your Okanagan destination
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.