Blackstone in Canmore has been a favourite getaway for years, we vacation with other families, and my gals always join me there for my winter birthday after a day of x-country skiing. Last year, we arrived in the hot tub very tired, cool air around us, clear view of the mountains. Soon, a group of rather giggly 20 year olds approached donning rather odd outfits. Turns out they has all forgotten their bathing suits and the girls found replacements at the local dollar store: coconut shell bikini tops and fake grass bottoms, with the guys deciding to “class it up” by wearing accompanying leis. The makeshift suits covered everything nicely, and we all ended up having a wonderful visit with it all reminding us middle agers of our university days. We always meet great people at Blackstone, which is part of its appeal and keeps us coming back.
(I took this picture just before they arrived).
~Roberta, Calgary, AB
On August 12, 1979 we were married and honeymooned in Banff and Alberta Canada having a wonderful time! 25 years later we decided to return but was able to stay at Mystic Springs in Canmore, Canada. There were so many places to visit again and so many beautiful nature hikes to be found! Mystic Springs was perfect–two stories, two bathrooms a wonderful kitchen and a spectacular pool and spa outside! Even the day it rained, we sat in the spa underneath an open roof enjoying the warmth outside! The managers met us with a card for our anniversary and a bottle of wine to enjoy. Memories… how precious they are! Maybe we will return on our 50th!!
~Karen & Doug
In early August 2010, our family stayed at Spirit Ridge for the 2nd time and convinced our friends from Calgary to join us. It happened to be the Dad’s birthday. It was a spectacular day on the lake with tons of sun and hot temperatures and then while eating a fantastic salmon dinner on one of the balconies, just as we brought out the birthday cake – boom – there was a black-out. All of of Osoyoos went dark and now the birthday candles were really obvious. And if that wasn’t enough, someone set off fireworks in the harbour as we finished singing Happy Birthday. What a memory!
Beautiful sunset during my evening stroll on resort in late July. Really amazing resort and grounds.
~Tim, Victoria, BC
Our summer trip to Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort & Spa in July was our first experience with Bellstar Hotels & Resorts and it was wonderful. As the weather on the west coast has not been overly warm or sunny this spring and summer, we wanted to go somewhere with the girls for sun and fun.
We left Victoria on Friday afternoon and spent our first night in Vancouver. Early Saturday morning, we started our drive to Osoyoos. The drive along Hwy 3 was enjoyed by all, the girls got to spot the local wildlife including a bear in Manning Park.
The resort was just so pretty as we approached from below with the vineyard. The girls loved the pool with the waterslide, lots of daddy time while I got to read and relax by the pool. We loved the suite with the great kitchen and the 2-bedroom suite was ideal. Spacious and with everything we could have asked for and more. The dryer was great for wet towels and bathing suits which meant no whinging by the girls about their suits being cold and wet still. BBQ on the deck worked really well, never used an electronic one before. We borrowed videos for the girls to watch in the evenings from guest services. Enjoyed a wonderful lunch with friends on the Nk’Mip patio, fabulous view and great that they had grill cheese and colouring books for the kids. The Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre’s snake show was a hit with the girls and they loved learning about the Aboriginal Culture.
Had a wonderful time exploring the local town, parks, vineyards and orchards with the girls when we could get them to leave the pool. Our favourite discoveries was wildlife spotting which included more deers, marmots and quails and the La Stella Vineyard, delicious wines and the clock tower was a hit with the girls. Made a special visit to Stoneboat for icewine.
We had a great family holiday at Spirit Ridge and would recommend to our friends.
~Bren, Victoria, BC
We have stayed at several Bellstar resorts over the past few years and we honestly think you and the Bellstar crew have done an amazing job at Solara. We first stayed at Solara in September when it first opened as a way to celebrate our year of dating. This past weekend Dave asked me to Marry him up by Spray Lakes, and what a wonderful surprise he had in store for me when we pulled into the Solara Resort and he exclaimed! We’re here!
If you care to read the romantic story of Dave’s proposal you can http://pavementtoprairie.ca/blog/?p=968 we have included a link to the Solara website.
We love Bellstar resorts for the amenities, the pet friendly units (as we usually have our dog Farley with us on our stays). My girlfriends and I have made it a yearly pilgrimage to Spirit Ridge to stock up on wine and great laughs, everyone loves it.
~Tracy, Edmonton, AB
My love story with the Bellstar resorts began when my husband won an online auction organized by the Calgary Herald. So far we have stayed at 3 Bellstar resorts and simply loved all of them.
Our first stay was at Mystic Springs where we have now stayed twice. The accommodation really suited my family of four as it had two bedrooms and a very well equipped kitchen. All we had to carry was food. The fact that the pool was heated enabled us to swim even in the cooler months.
We always drove through Canmore and headed straight to Banff, thinking that Canmore does not have much to offer. After staying at the Mystic Springs, we realized that Canmore has a lot to offer too and this led to yet another stay at a Bellstar resort and this time it was Solara, the recently completed resort. It was my birthday treat. Our stay was awesome. I could not have asked for a better birthday weekend. I especially enjoyed the shower. I think it was the best I have ever had with water spurting from all directions to massage my body. They rooms were very nice and again the kitchen well equipped and I must say everything was of very high standard. The swimming pool was not ready at the time of our stay but we swam in the local pool and still had blast! I will definitely return to Solara the next time I decide to get away from the hustle and bustle of Calgary.
Our most recent visit to a Bellstar resort was Spirit Ridge in Osoyoos. We simply loved this place. It so different from Calgary and has such a relaxing atmosphere. The kids loved the pool and could not get enough of it. Again the rooms were big and very nice, kitchen well equipped, and when we requested a room change, our requested was promptly answered. Bellstar, you are doing a great job. One of the staff at the Spirit Ridge recognized us from one of our stays in Canmore! My family has every intention of visiting all your other resorts on our quest to visit the many interesting places in Canada. I must add that because of our stays in these resorts, my young kids now very high expectations of every hotel in which we stay and I just have to remind them that not all hotels are like Bellstar resorts.
~Susan, Calgary, AB