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Plans for the $50 million Sparkling Hill Resort and Wellness Hotel in Vernon, British Columbia
Expected to Incorporate Swarovski Crystal Elements into Many Aspects of its Design

March 18, 2009 Vernon, BC- Sparkling Hill Resort and Wellness Hotel perched high on a cliff above Okanagan Lake, have unveiled the first architectural details of the resort. Until today the design concepts on the project have been a tightly kept secret. Sparkling Hill Resort has confirmed that its hotel will be the first hotel project in North America incorporating Swarovski Crystal elements into every aspect of its design. Mr. Andy Altmayer, head of Circle of Innovation, at Swarovski, Austria, is overseeing the project design.

“Sparkling Hill Resort will dazzle. Guests will be in awe from the moment they see the hotel right up to the moment they see the guest rooms. By incorporating stunning elements from Swarovski with the beauty of Lake Okanagan, Sparkling Hill will be the first of its kind in North America. The structure will be a visual and architectural masterpiece,” says Hans-Peter Mayr, chief executive officer of Sparkling Hill Resort. “We are delighted to have Andy Altmayer as chief designer. His vision and imagination knows no boundaries. We are excited to see how he incorporates the versatility of crystal with functionality and ambiance.” 

Mr. Altmayer has worked for Swarovski for over 35 years creating stunning crystal designs. His creative genius has been applied to a vast array of special projects. 

Sparkling Hill Resort construction site overlooking Predator Ridge Golf Resort
“My inspiration comes from the possibility of imagination,” says Altmayer. “Many people assume Swarovski is glittering figurines and chandeliers but it is so much more. Swarovski is a century old company that strives to invent new ways to incorporate crystals into fabrics, lights, jewellery, optics and even signage for roadways and offices.” 

The uses are limited only by the imagination, like Altmayer says, but he is the first to point out that too much of a good thing can be bad. “If it’s all a rainbow, you never see the rainbow. The purity of the light reflected with crystals has to be respected,” says Altmayer. 

The $50 million dollar, 150 room hotel project is on schedule for the grand opening for spring 2010. Hans-Peter Mayr is confident when he says “There will be a market for Sparkling Hill Resort, and its unique facilities will change how the standard for the spa and wellness industry in North America is viewed. This will be a wellness experience like no other on the continent and it will attract international visitors from North America, Europe and Asia.”

Owned by a private European Investment group, Sparkling Hill Resort’s first phase will be a 150-room luxury resort and wellness hotel. It will offer the traditional treatments, including reflexology, aromatherapy, soothing moor mud wraps and a variety of therapeutic massages, along with a complete aesthetics program. But the Sparkling Hill wellness centre will go beyond conventional pampering, drawing guests from all over the world to experience its own unique standard of wellness, while enjoying the beauty and hospitality of the North Okanagan.

The management team of Mr. Hans-Peter Mayr (CEO), Mr. Tim Spiegel (CFO) and Mr. Jim Radford (COO), are brimming with expertise and are dedicated to the resort and its exceptional product, but they are keeping the specific offerings of the wellness hotel “under wraps.” Until the concept and amenities are entirely committed, the management team politely refuses to expound on the details other than to promise that this hotel will set the new standard in resort luxury and wellness in the Western Hemisphere.

Hans-Peter Mayr, is confident when he says that there will be a market for Sparkling Hill. “Sparkling Hill Resort will change how the wellness industry is viewed in North America. This will be a luxury wellness experience like no other and will attract international visitors from North America, Europe and Asia.” 

Mayr who has recently moved to Vernon from Bad Haering, Austria has extensive experience in the planning and management of new boutique hotels and spas, having opened numerous resorts in Austria. Sparkling Hill Resort and Wellness Hotel is owned by a private European investment group. 

Tim Spiegel, Chief Financial Officer for Sparkling Hill Resort, oversees the financial management of the resort development. “The Sparkling Hill construction permit was the highest ever issued by the city of Vernon and the resort is the single largest building under construction in the city. We project the final development cost to come in at well over $100 million. While we are fortunate that our investor backing is strong, we will be very diligent in the financial management of this project to ensure we stay true to our cost projections” says Spiegel.

What is being released right now is a hint of what will be the stunning design of the building. Chiselled from the granite bedrock the wellness hotel will be 22,400m2 (240,000 sq. ft.) and built in a fluid style respecting and infusing the natural landscape. With unobstructed access to the sun and its shimmering reflection from the lake, light plays a pivotal role in the overall structure as well as throughout the unique interior. The resort, named after its “sparkling hill”, will be enhanced further by incorporating “Crystal Architecture” designs and components from Swarovski of Wattens, Austria.

Cannon Design, of Victoria and Vancouver B.C., are the architectural designers, while the interior design is provided by the Seeton Shinkewski Design Group of Vancouver. Designing the hotel infrastructure are the companies of Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd., for structural engineering, and Stantec, providing the mechanical and electrical engineering.

Miles Prodan, Chief Communications Officer for Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) confirms Mayr’s confidence in the resort when he says, “Sparking Hill Resort is positioned to be an international draw and will have a tremendous impact on tourism in Vernon and the Okanagan. The North Okanagan has world class skiing, golf and some of the warmest weather in Canada, it is the ultimate vacation destination.”

While the specific offerings of the wellness hotel are not being released at this time, information about the architecture gives a hint of what will be a stunning design. Chiselled from granite bedrock, the wellness hotel will be 22,400m2 (240,000 sq. ft.) and built in a fluid style respecting and infusing the natural landscape. 

With unobstructed access to both the sun and full moon, and their shimmering reflection from the lake, light and crystals play a pivotal role in the overall structure as well as throughout the unique interior. Sparking Hill Resort will infuse the crystals in waterfalls, in fireplaces and in overhead lights. They will dazzle and set the mood with bold prisms in public areas while subtly creating a feeling of warmth and rejuvenation in the wellness centre.
Sparkling Hill Resort and Wellness Hotel is a luxurious European inspired hotel specializing in whole body wellness. The resort is located in Vernon a city of approximately 35,000 residents in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, a scenic 25 minute drive north of the Kelowna International Airport .The valley is recognized for its majestic mountains, refreshing waters, lush vineyards, world-class golf and skiing and one of the warmest climates in Canada. Sparkling Hill Resort is the neighbour of the Predator Ridge Golf Resort permitting guests to indulge in wellness, relaxation and championship golf during their stay. 


Holly J Wood
403 466 3482

Also See: Boutique Hotels & Resorts of British Columbia Opening the 150 Suite Cove Lakeside Resort, Kelowna, British Columbia / August 2006

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