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For too many Canadians east of Alberta, the Okanagan Valley is a well kept secret.  It’s time to change that. It is a national and natural treasure.  And Sparkling Hill Health Resort is a crown jewel.

For years, my wife and I have been looking for a high end health retreat in North America, only to end up in Arizona or California.  Little did we know that one of the best in the world is just a few hours (and a direct flight) from downtown Toronto.

Unfortunately, with both my wife and I working in sports media, this summer has been a scheduling nightmare and with her working on the Pan Am Games, I took my first ever solo vacation looking for a chance to re-charge after what had been the busiest 18 months of a 30 year career.

The moment I walked into Sparkling Hill I started exhaling the stress I had imported from Ontario.  The views from the suites literally take your breath away and make you want to leave the skyscrapers behind for good.

Where else in Canada can you get the combination of a world class spa and health retreat, mountains, lakes, spectacular golf and some of the best wine in the world?

My retreat to Sparkling Hill Health Resort started with a meditation session.   For a stressed out executive from Hog-Town, I wasn’t sure if I could survive an hour without my iphone, much less successfully ponder anything other than a business crisis.  But much to my surprise, my stress level continued to decline and I made it through an unplugged hour wanting more.

And more is exactly what I got.  A week of workouts, massages, golf and even my first ever pedicure left me more relaxed and balanced than I have been in a decade.  The mountain air, combined with the 5-star hospitality, staff and facilities were literally just what the doctor ordered.

Sparkling Hill, along with the fabulous golf at Predator Ridge and the Okanagan Valley in general, are – as my mother would say – truly good for what ails you.  I for one will try to ensure that it is a secret in the East no longer.