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Where To Go: Canada’s Okanagan Valley

A-Vista-Villa-pool

A Vista Villa: Home of Honeymooners, Elopers and Lovers

by Habeeb Salloum

A Vista Villa – a villa set in a panoramic landscape, is an honest description of a home built for lovers. When I stood on the terrace and looked over the landscape before me there was no doubt in my mind that it was a vista villa in all its splendour.

Set in B.C.’s beautiful Okanagan Valley on the edge of Kelowna,  the largest city in the Valley, it is a place where honeymooners, elopers, couples and those wanting to renew their vows, come to enjoy a few days of relaxation, leisure and pleasure  at this small delightful lover’s nest.  Called a “B and B” (Bed and Barbecue) getaway, it oozes an aura of invitation to travel here and forget the world.

As couples enter the establishment and walk down the bridal aisle, they begin their journey of love in the magnificent landscape of the Okanagan Valley, Canada’s summer wonderland.  Called by some ‘the Western Garden of Eden’ and by others ‘the Florida of the north’, it is Canada’s land of orchards, sunshine and relaxed tourists.

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Lying between the Columbia and Cascades Mountain Range, the Okanagan Valley with a population of a near one-half million is considered to be The Shangri-La of Canada’s fruit lands.  Some 200 km (124 mi) long and 20 km (12mi) wide, it is a landscape of oblong lakes originally formed by glacial activity and low wooded hills making it a naturally created resort area.  Along the Valley floor are remnants of a half dozen glacial lakes, the largest of these being Lake Okanagan, one of the 10 most beautiful lakes in the world.  Extending 155 km (96 mi) in length, and averaging 2 km (1.2mi) in width, Lake Okanagan is the drawing card for visitors to the Valley.

In the midst of the green wooded mountains that overlook this lake lies Kelowna, the most visited city in the Valley. It is famous for its beaches, dry climate, orchards, wineries, and Ogopogo, the fabled monster of the Okanagan.  Encompassed with sunshine and fragrant fruit blossoms during summer and in winter, this is transformed into a promised land for skiers.  Visitors pour in to enjoy one of the sunniest and driest climates in Canada.

Amid this endowment of man and nature stands A Vista Villa, a luxury abode overlooking the handiwork of nature.  It is located in the prestigious Golfview Estates neighborhood of Kelowna.  Not only is its area quiet and elegant, it is also the heart of the Valley’s vineyards.  The A Vista Villa sits perched aloft a landscape with the most beautiful sweeping views of the lake, city, mountains, and edging golf course.

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Sherrie Cote, owner and designer of this romantic getaway, has built a majestic paradise that both man and nature have to offer.  It is a hidden haven not known to many that when once discovered is not easily forgotten.

The complex with its heated salt-water pool and four self-contained Jacuzzi suites allows for intimacy, providing couples with special attention and pampering.  Among these suites are The Regal Suite, a room fit for royalty; The Majestic Suite with a shaded gazebo and pool deck; The Royal Suite, furnished perfectly for a newly wedded couple; and The Imperial Suite, the largest suite, an ideal retreat for honeymooners.

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During the tour, Sherrie made sure to give me a detailed description of the suites, and ended my visit at the Panoramic Dining Terrace.  Here couples can enjoy a gourmet meal as they gaze on one of the most magnificent vistas in the Okanagan Valley.  Sherrie has made this lovers’ ivory tower fit into a beautiful setting   Her hideaway promises privacy and amazing memories.  Fitting neatly into the landscape, it is as if nature gave birth to this hidden gem. In her own words, “I put my whole heart into this project”.

For further information, contact:

  • A Vista Villa, 962 Ryder Drive, Kelowna, B.C.  Telephone: 250-762-7837.  Toll Free:1-877-762-7831.  E-mail: AVistaVilla@shaw.ca. Website: www.AVistaVilla.com
  • Tourism Kelowna Visitor Centre:  544 Harvey Avenue, Kelowna, BC V1Y 6C9; Tel. (toll free) 1-800-663-4345; Website: www.tourismkelowna.com

Photos courtesy of the author

Habeeb Salloum is a Canadian author who grew up in Saskatchewan, joined the RCAF during the Second World War, and then worked for the Canadian Department of National Revenue for 36 years. For the last 30 years he has been a full-time freelance writer and author specializing in food, history and travel. Besides 7 books and 20 chapters in books, he has had hundreds of articles about culture, food, travel, history and homesteading in western Canada appear in such publications as the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, the Western Producer, Contemporary Review, Forever Young, Vegetarian Journal and Saveur.

Among his most important published books are: From the Lands of Figs and Olives:  Over 300 Delicious and Unusual Recipes from the Middle East and North Africa (Interlink Publishing, 1996); Journeys Back to Arab Spain (The Middle East Studies Center, 1994); Arabic Contributions to the English Vocabulary (Librairie du Liban, 1996); Classic Vegetarian Cooking From the Middle East and North Africa (Interlink Publishing, 2000); Arab Cooking On A Saskatchewan Homestead: Recipes And Recollections (CPRC, University of Regina. 2005) – winner of the Cuisine Canada and The University of Guelph’s Silver Canadian Culinary Book Awards in 2006, Bison Delights (CPRC, University of Regina, 2010) and The Arabian Nights Cookbook (Tuttle Publishing, 2010).  His most recent books, co-authored with Leila Salloum Elias and Muna Salloum, are Scheherazade’s Feasts: Foods of the Medieval Arab World (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013); and Sweet Delights from A Thousand and One Nights: The Story of Traditional Arab Sweets (I.B. Tauris, London, UK, 2013).

Habeeb was awarded the 2013 Saskatchewan Tourism Travel Media Award by the Saskatchewan Tourism on April 10, 2014 for his literary work on travel, tourism and the culinary arts of that province.

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