Well, technically they tempted Lori. I don't know if I did something to annoy Starwood or if they just really understand how decisions are made in our house, but while ignoring me they decided to offer Lori a free night in the future if she spent one night at one of their properties. I never got a great offer like that, but I suppose offering it to Lori is just as good. We had the entire summer to pick a Starwood property anywhere in the world for a one night stay. Possibly the easiest promotion we'd ever have to complete.
Fast forward to the last possible minute. Our summer ended up being a little more hectic than usual, so as the final weekend rolled around we decided that we absolutely had to get this stay in and claim our prize. Unfortunately, in Kelowna, we're still seven or eight months away from getting our own Starwood hotel, so the nearest place we could find a qualifying hotel was Kamloops. Not my dream destination, but at least it was only an hour and a half away. The girls decided to join us for a Saturday night journey, and off we went to try out our first Starwood property.
Now as I always do before going to a hotel, I checked out Trip Advisor. There were a few mixed reviews on this hotel, so instead of writing my own description of the room, I'm going to answer some of the Trip Advisor comments for this hotel. Some people are picky (complaining because you didn't get an upgrade isn't a valid complaint), but some issues were raised over and over again. Happily we encountered very few of those, but the most repeated problem still is an issue:
|Parking if you arrive in the day|
|Parking if you arrive around dinner|
A common theme in the reviews was that you should ask for a remodeled room, as the older rooms were a little sub-par. Fortunately, the interior renovation is now completely finished, and all of the rooms have been remodeled. Quite nicely too I might add. They all have large flat screen TVs, a safe, coffee maker, and a mini-fridge. I don't know what they looked like before, but the new rooms are great.
You're definitely not going to get great views if you're looking out the back of this hotel, but out the front there's a nice view of the Kamloops valley....if your eyesight is good. While this picture looks like a pretty nice view, it's taken with the zoom engaged on my camera. Take the zoom off...
...and the view isn't quite as engaging. If you view your life with 20x zoom, you'll love the views from the front of this hotel.
Bathroom Was Dirty
I saw a couple of complaints that their bathroom was dirty, but ours was absolutely spotless, and blindingly white. I'm sensing that the message about dirty bathrooms has been passed on to the housekeeping staff however, as they even went to the trouble of labeling the room as "clean" for us.
We were given the room directly above Ric's Grill, so if anybody was going to have a noisy room it should have been us, but we didn't hear a single noise from below. On the other hand, if we opened our window, the smell of the great food from the patio at the restaurant was totally unfair to people who just had pizza for dinner.
Pool Small / Crowded Fitness Room
OK, the pool is a little small, but most people are only in it for a few minutes then they go to play on the waterslide. If you're looking to swim laps for fitness, this probably isn't the ideal pool for you. As for the crowded fitness room, I guess it's possible that you might have to wait a little bit for a machine. It's hard to argue when there's finely tuned athletes perfecting their technique ahead of you.
Written by Steve Pratt