Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

August 19, 2017
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Hot and steamy

This Okanagan Valley resort turns up the heat on eco-friendly amenities

Like many resort hotels, Harrison Hot Springs — perched on a sandy lakefront about two hours east of Vancouver, BC — has made a commitment to sustainability. You’ll find recycling bins in the rooms and swirly lightbulbs in the halls, all the usual stuff.

But this property offers something else, a feature that distinguishes it from most similar relaxation destinations, but one that remains largely invisible to guests: geothermal heat. To be clear, we’re talking about the natural mineral hot-spring pools. There are five of them, designated for swimming laps, splashing with the kids, hanging out with a trashy novel or magazine, you name it.

At most hotels, all this fun consumes a great deal of energy. Somewhere out of view, a near-constant fire of natural gas — representing energy, money and carbon emissions — keeps the pool waters nice and toasty.

But the pools at Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa (tel: 866-638-5075; harrisonresort.com) are heated by the Earth's own power plant, a pair of nearby thermal springs — the 40ºC (104ºF) "Potash" and the 65ºC (149ºF) "Sulfur.” It’s guilt-free relaxation.

And the good news is that the property is also investigating how it might harvest the ancient free heat for applications like warming the fresh water supplying guest rooms, restaurant kitchen and housekeeping operations. If that plan works out, let’s just say it would spell more good than a whole mountain of blue recycling bins.

And if you bring your bikes along when you visit, you can also take in the nearby Farm House Natural Cheeses, Limbert Mountain Farm and Canadian Hazelnut, all part of the scenic area’s popular Circle Farm Tour (tel: 604-796-5581: circlefarmtour.com).

To get more information on the region, consult Tourism BC (hellobc.com).

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.

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