Monday 7 May 2012

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Watermark Beach Resort in Osoyoos

It had to happen eventually. As our kids have grown up, we've given them more freedom in choosing which adventures they want to go on with us. We discourage them from opting out simply because they're feeling lazy, but as they've gotten older, the demands of schoolwork and extra-curricular activities have increased as well. Sometimes life is just too busy to escape, yet it still came as a shock last week when I announced that we would be spending Saturday night at the Watermark Beach Resort in Osoyoos and all three kids had good reasons not to come along. That meant that it would just be Lori and I on an overnight trip!

I think I remember how to do this.

It's been a while since I got an overnight date with my wife, but fortunately, anything I didn't remember, the front desk agent was more than willing to explain to me. I've never had such a thorough explanation of how a hotel works as I was treated to at check-in. I guess there's some people who have never stayed in a hotel before, but I like to think that Lori and I present ourselves as at least somewhat seasoned travelers. Apparently not though, as we were treated to explanations of why we had to give a security deposit, how the key to the room worked, and the nearest three locations that we could buy alcohol. We may not seem like we know what we're doing as far as hotels go, but we obviously look like we know our way around a bar.

Once the explanations stopped, we made our way up to the room. The Watermark Beach Resort consists of 1, 2, or 3 bedroom apartment style rentals, complete with a full kitchen. Ours was a basic 1 bedroom with a mountain view, although they did manage to get us into a room with at least a partial view of the lake (and a great view of the grocery store next door). The room was far too large for us as we hadn't brought much stuff considering we were only staying the one night. I did my best to spread out as far as possible on the couch, and Lori made more cups of coffee than any one person could possibly consume in 24 hours, but despite our best efforts, the size of the room was pretty much wasted on us during our short time at the resort. Over the course of a week, I imagine that the room would be about the perfect size.

What really struck me about the room though, is how great it would have been if we had brought the kids with us. All that room to stretch out in would have been perfect for them, but it wasn't the only thing in the resort that had us thinking about the ones we'd left behind. The pool had lots of seating and a medium-sized water slide. Our kids would have loved that. The lake was smaller than ours at home, but it was also a lot less crowded and mere steps from the hotel. Another huge plus for our children. Finally, the very large number of dogs chasing balls and running along the beach would have thrilled my girls, even if I would have personally preferred to see some of the larger breeds leashed.

Partial Lake View from our deck
That's the good. Here comes the bad. The Watermark Resort has possibly the worst internet connection that I've ever tried to use. It was absolutely brutal, and eventually I just gave up and used my cellphone. Not only was the connection slow, but every five minutes it would kick you off and you'd have to restart from scratch, including entering the password again. Fortunately I didn't have too much work that had to get done (or at least not much work that my wife was willing to let me do on a date night) so it wasn't that big a deal, but while the large rooms might scream out for a longer stay, the internet connection would probably prevent me from spending anything longer than a night here. I've tried the whole "unplugged" thing before, and I hated it. I guarantee you my kids wouldn't be fans of it either.

The Watermark Resort has great rooms, a pleasant (and very thorough) staff, and a perfect lakeside location. It just has a terrible internet connection. If that's not a big deal to you, and your goal is to simply relax and enjoy yourself, then you'll probably love the Watermark. If you're the kind of person who absolutely has to have an internet connection, even on date night, then this place probably isn't for you. More importantly though, if you're one of those people who needs the internet on date night, and your wife actually lets you get away with that, then please leave me a few tips in a comment below. I'd love to hear how you get away with that.