We sat down with Penticton Lakeside Resort’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Barb Haynes, to get the scoop on all things Penticton. As a Penticton resident for the past 23 years, Barb knows a thing or two about this famous Okanagan town- and some of its best kept secrets too!
Read on to discover them all and how to make the most of your trip to the Okanagan:
How is the Penticton Lakeside Resort unique from other hotels in the Okanagan?
Barb: We’re located on the south shore of the Okanagan Lake and we’re the only accommodation in Penticton with a private beach for its guests! We’re full service and offer great dining options with weekly entertainment on our patio.
I think one of the most significant characteristics of the hotel is that it anchors the downtown core on its north end. You can walk to just about anything and the incredibly popular farmer’s market is right outside our front door.
What are some of the best features of the resort?
Our private beach for sure…it offers full service with drinks and food, towels, beach chairs and lots of sun! All our restaurants have patios that look out onto the lake.
I think one of the most unique features of our restaurant, the Hooded Merganser, is that it’s supplied with fresh produce, in season, from our very own Valley View Farm. Our general manager and his family live at the farm and our farm manager delivers food daily to the Hood. We also use all of our own herbs grown fresh here in the gardens at the hotel.
Speaking of food…what is your favourite dish at the Hooded Merganser restaurant?
The grilled lamb chops! The Hooded Merganser does an amazing job of them and sometimes when you order lamb at a restaurant it doesn’t live up to your expectations…at the Hooded Merganser it always does for me.
What’s something cool about Penticton that visitors may not know about?
Our community was established as an agricultural area providing fruits and produce to our province in the early years. Much was shipped via rail on the Kettle Valley train system. With the changes in access to food internationally and the train system disappearing, Penticton has seen a reduction in its orchards. Vineyards have been developed creating a burgeoning wine industry that is unique to our area. We feature the small to mid-sized wineries where you can enjoy a glass, meet the winemaker and tour a vineyard all in easy access. We have also developed an amazing farm-to-table industry, again highlighting the incredible growing season we experience here in the South Okanagan.
The Kettle Valley Rail system is being redeveloped into a major tourism attraction where folks can ride their bikes from Hope to Christina Lake, and from Rock Creek to Vernon. Penticton is a stop along the way and we’re looking forward to hosting our travellers…think west coast trail on bikes!
What is the best part of your position as Director of Sales & Marketing?
I would say working with the amazing team here at the resort and our external contractors. I love the team approach and the great pool of both skills and ideas that come to the table when you work together. I also really like to help create vision and then develop the path to get there.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Sometimes it can be crazy! We have such a diverse line of products, we are always working to stay ahead of the seasons. So, sometimes in the heat of summer we’re planning for the upcoming winter season and vice versa. My day is often filled with staying current on local news, keeping up to date on the daily hotel activities…who are we hosting, what’s happening…and dreaming of new ideas to sell our resort and its amenities!
What is your favourite part of the hotel?
I would say the patios because of the views, the weather, the buzz of activity…it feels like you’re away on vacation every day.
When do you recommend coming to visit Penticton Lakeside Resort, and why?
Just about anytime! In the summer, we see lots of families and folks participating in a variety of events. Spring, summer and fall bring groups of friends looking to explore our wine region and the winter season attracts snowbirds from the prairie provinces looking to escape the cold…our temperatures are much milder! We also have a robust convention season in our shoulder periods and we are already booking into 2017 for destination weddings.
What’s something exciting guests have to look forward to in the coming year at Penticton Lakeside Resort?
The new accommodation wing that we are currently constructing. It will add 70 rooms to our inventory where the majority of rooms will have a lakeview. All will be king bedrooms and suites with a very contemporary design and wood construction. It is a beautiful building. One of our local businesses, Structurlam, is a key partner in supplying their product to us. Their products have won several architectural design awards and are stunning! We are really looking forward to adding this new wing into our hotel.
What are the must sees of Penticton?
The lakes for sure. Penticton is one of the very few communities bordered by two lakes in the world! Our beaches are amazing! Our wine region…you can wander from winery to winery with views that will blow your mind and a quaintness that makes you feel instantly at home.
Our cycling routes…both road and off-road. We have put considerable resources into our routes to map and maintain them for cyclists. Our trail riding is excellent with wineries along the way for stops and our mountain biking is world-renowned.
In the summer, you gotta buy fruit…everyone does! And don’t forget to check our Skaha Bluffs, our climbing park. It, too, is really popular.
What do you consider the best beach in Penticton and the surrounding area?
Sudbury Beach on Skaha Lake was just recognized as one of the Top 10 Beaches in Canada. It’s a great swimming beach, warm water, lots of amenities and easy access to several of the campsites and motels. Okanagan Lake is famous for its restaurants and walkway…as well as its beach! Both shores are spectacular.
What made you decide to call Penticton home?
My husband and I wanted a complete lifestyle change! Our kids were young and we wanted a less crazy life for them. Both my husband and I grew up by the coast and the kids were born there. We made the change 23 years ago and have never looked back. Best decision ever!
Describe Penticton in 3 words:
Picturesque, laid-back, sumptuous – in its food, wine, beaches, land, views and water systems.