Surrounded by three lakes and a gorgeous landscape of rolling hills and mountains, the city of Vernon in British Columbia has all the beauty, amenities and activities you need and want on a short break.
Vernon is also well located as a stopover when travelling between Vancouver and Calgary.
But where’s the best place to stay in Vernon, I hear you ask? With such a variety of hotels, resorts, motels, campgrounds and vacation rentals, it can be hard to decide.
But we’ve got you covered. Not only have we visited Vernon during all four seasons, we’ve also stayed in a variety of accommodation types as well.
Based on our first hand research, this post will feature our favourite places to stay in Vernon, British Columbia. As indicated by the title, we have personally stayed overnight every place mentioned in this post.
Here’s what to expect:
- Prestige Vernon Lodge and Conference Centre
- Sparkling Hill Resort
- Predator Ridge Resort
- Fairfield Inn & Suites
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites
- Ellison Provincial Park
Vernon is located on the traditional territory of the Syilx people of the Okanagan Nation.
We visited Vernon in partnership with Tourism Vernon. This post includes affiliate links. If you make a booking or purchase via one of these links, we may receive a percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.
Choosing a place to stay in Vernon, BC
To make your stay in Vernon the best it can be, here are some essential tips:
- Narrow down your desired experience: Do you want to be close to downtown? Or right next to the highway? Choice of restaurants nearby? What about hotel amenities?
- Make a reservation early. In the summer months, advance booking is essential to secure a great place to stay. Weekends can be busy during the rest of the year as well
- If you can, visit during the shoulder seasons. Personally, we think Vernon is a great spring and fall destination. The weather is milder here than so many other places in BC!
Prestige Vernon Lodge and Conference Centre
Don’t underestimate the unassuming exterior – the Prestige Vernon Lodge is one of the most unique places to stay in Vernon!
The airy and bright reception area leads into a beautiful three story high glass enclosed atrium. Featuring more than one thousand live plants and a natural creek, entering this atrium area feels like staying at a tropical resort.
The majority of the 124 rooms look directly out into the atrium, providing a fun ‘outside in’ atmosphere. Needless to say, staying at the Prestige Vernon Lodge in winter is a particularly special experience.
A variety of room configurations are available, which makes the Prestige a good choice for larger groups. Our King Room had a separate bedroom and a balcony looking over the pool area.
Located just off Highway 97, this hotel is only 5 minutes walk from the Performing Arts Centre and Recreation Complex. Downtown Vernon is an easy 15 minute on foot.
Sparkling Hill Resort
Sparkling Hill Resort is a luxurious adults-only spa retreat, designed to restore mind, body and soul. If you really want to treat yourself while visiting Vernon, Sparkling Hill should definitely be your destination!
Situated atop a granite bluff just south of Vernon, the resort is surrounded by Okanagan Lake on one side and the rolling hills of Predator Ridge on the other. All rooms enjoy gorgeous panoramic views with the help of expansive floor to ceiling windows.
The ground floor of the main hotel building is dedicated to the KurSpa, the largest of its kind anywhere in Canada. As well as an indoor pool, hot tub, Kneipp Hydrotherapy circuit and eight themed steam/sauna rooms, there is an outdoor infinity pool, perfectly positioned for sunset.
Three restaurants are located within the resort itself, with the main PeakFine dining room showcasing sweeping lake views. Robes and slippers are encouraged at breakfast, which is complimentary with every stay.
Not just a destination in itself, Sparkling Hill Resort is well located for active pursuits. A network of multi-use trails starts right from the hotel. Guests can also enjoy a few rounds of golf at nearby Predator Ridge.
Predator Ridge Resort
Predator Ridge is a resort community located on a hilly plateau next to Kalamalka Lake, about twenty minutes south of Vernon.
It’s the ideal place to stay in Vernon if you’re looking for an active vacation, with two award winning golf courses and 35km of maintained multi-use trails situated on site.
The Lodge at Predator Ridge is in the heart of the resort, overlooking the legendary Predator golf course and just steps away from two restaurants and a market.
There are studio, one bedroom and two bedroom condominium style vacation rentals available, each with fully equipped kitchens, jetted soaker tubs and private balconies. An outdoor swimming pool and hot tub is open from May to September.
The trail system is accessible right from the front door of the Lodge. Guests can also take a shuttle to the nearby Okanagan Rail Trail, which runs from Coldstream (on the edge of Vernon) all the way to Kelowna. Bike rentals are available as well.
Fairfield Inn & Suites
At the time of writing, the Fairfield Inn & Suites is Vernon’s newest hotel. And a good looking one it is too, with colourful yet modern décor throughout. The rooms are spacious, made possible with the help of innovative space-saving furniture.
The indoor swimming pool and three story waterslide is a definite hit with families. For us, the highlight was the large hot tub. If we hadn’t been so active on our recent trip, we may have spent time in the small gym as well.
The complimentary breakfast buffet is pretty standard, with eggs and sausage as well as cereal, yogurt, fruit, waffles and baked goods. There are a number of chain restaurants nearby as well as a large grocery store.
In terms of location, the Fairfield is an ideal place to stay in Vernon for ski-focused trips or quick overnight stopovers. Situated right next to Highway 97, the hotel is also only three turns from 48th Ave, which leads directly to SilverStar Mountain Resort.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites
Convenience is the name of the game at the Holiday Inn Express. Like the Fairfield (above), the Holiday Inn is perfectly placed for ski trips to SilverStar Mountain Resort.
The Holiday Inn has a number of other similarities to the Fairfield, also offering complimentary breakfast and access to an indoor swimming pool, hot tub and gym. The rooms are a very similar size as well.
Of the two, I would say that I prefer the Fairfield as the location is more central to local stores and restaurants. The Holiday Inn is still only a short walk away but it’s just that bit further.
Ellison Provincial Park
I couldn’t finish a list of the best places to stay in Vernon without mentioning at least one campground! And without a doubt, my top pick has to be Ellison Provincial Park on Okanagan Lake.
71 spacious, vehicle accessible campsites sit beneath a beautiful canopy of Douglas Fir and Ponderosa Pine trees, only a short walk away from two excellent swimming beaches. There’s a pet friendly stretch of sand as well, plus a scenic cove (see photo below).
The park also features 6km of hiking paths (including an interpretive hiking trail), an underwater dive park and climbing/bouldering opportunities. Mountain bikers will love the easy access to a large network of trails, which connect to those at Predator Ridge Resort.
The campground is open from the start of April to mid October. 61 of the 71 campsites are reservable via the BC Parks Reservation System, two months before arrival. I would say that a reservation is absolutely essential between mid June and early September.
Things to do in Vernon during your stay
For such a relatively small city, Vernon has a lot to offer visitors. This is especially true if you like to explore nature. Here are some of my top suggestions:
- Visit BX Falls, a small cascade accessible via a short 700m return trail
- Swim or paddle one of Vernon’s three lakes – Kalamalka, Swan and Okanagan
- Hike to the top of Middleton Mountain for a panoramic view of the city
- Taste and eat local produce on the Vernon Tasting Trail
- Walk or bike the Okanagan Rail Trail, which runs along the shore of Kalamalka Lake
- Explore Davison’s Orchards Country Village, a family run farm with local produce market, bakery, café and playground
- Hike to Rattlesnake Point or Cosens Bay in Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park
- Snowboard, cross country ski, snowshoe, tube and ice skate at SilverStar Mountain Resort
- Take a guided wine tour of Lake Country with Wine Boss Tours
- Walk the easy 1.8km interpretive trail at Swan Lake Nature Reserve
- Be transported back in time at O’Keefe’s Ranch
- Go for a mead tasting at Planet Bee Honey Farm and Honeymoon Meadery
- Enjoy live music with a flight of locally brewed craft beer at Marten Brewing Co.
- Discover 30+ more things to do in Vernon in our dedicated post
Check out these other Vernon posts next:
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