Living in Vancouver, Canada for less than three years, every time I heard about “Harrison Hot Springs” I thought about hot pools in a nice hotel and nothing more.
Until we decided to go there.
Wow… Harrison Hot Springs is much more than pools, springs, spas and soak in hot water! There are many other activities as biking, canoeing, fishing, hiking and… biking! Yes, biking came twice on my list because I love to ride my bicycle! 🙂
If you like to go cycling. I highly recommend you carry your bikes in your car. I am not sure if Harrison has bikes for rent. I didn’t see any shop offering this service, but I am not certain.
How to get there: Harrison is located only 90 minutes away from Vancouver. The road to get there is in excellent condition, there are well-marked signs and it’s a very pleasant trip. In the blink of an eye you will see the lake (Harrison Lake) and there you are!
Where to stay: We booked “Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa“. Don’t give up if you go online to check Booking.com (and others) and find that the hotel is “sold out” for the next weeks / months. Don’t give up if you go to the hotel website and see that there are no rooms available! Insist. I tried the hotel website and Booking.com website during a couple of times and I was almost giving up till I went to check the hotel website in the morning (around 9am) and…. voilà!!! There were rooms available for the next day! Probably they update cancellations in the morning, so if you keep checking their website there’s a great chance you will succeed in find a room! 🙂
We booked for two nights and the unique option was a room located in the Main Building. I read on the Internet that this building can be noisy (no acoustic isolation there) and I must confess that after reading many reviews my expectations were very low regarding decor, general appearance and comfort.
Not at all! The room is very well-appointed, big, super clean, with comfortable mattress and pillows. There are plenty of towels (four in the bathroom + two to be used at the pools and also two robes). The staff is super friendly and we could check in as soon as we get there, before 11am in the morning! (Please notice that we were lucky as check-in time is at 4PM).
As soon as we got to the room we changed into our bathing suits and went to check the pools. They are awesome! There are 3 outside pools and 2 inside pools. The weather was perfect (a little bit cold but sunny), so we stayed in the outside pools.
Harrison Ht Springs Resort and Spa has an amazing location in Harrison. In front of the lake, with parking (valet or park yourself). We chose to park by ourselves and they charge only CAD 6.00 / day. Very reasonable rates, considering it’s a well-lit and big parking lot.
The first night we were there we had a tranquil night and even commented that there was no problem staying in the Main building until…. the next night when the new neighbors arrived: One couple with a small baby. Oh my Gosh… the baby cried many times during the night and it was like the baby was between me and my husband, as the sound was really high and close. We barely couldn’t sleep…
So…if it is your first time going there and you found availability only in the Main Building. go for it. Harrison is great. If you can choose… I recommend you book a room in the West Tower. This is a new building, located close to the pools and you will be able to choose a room with a beautiful view to the lake or to the pools. We will be there during our next trip to Harrison! 🙂
Where to Eat: We opted to have breakfast and dinner not included in the hotel’s price. We prefer to be free to try different options than be “locked” with the hotel restaurant. We are happy we were able to find very good places! All the places are located very close to the hotel, you don’t need your car to go in any of them.
For breakfast: Chuck & Kitty’s (105-196 Esplanade, Harrison Hot Springs). This place serves a delicious breakfast! There’s a familiar atmosphere and we enjoyed the tasty breakfast and the attentive and friendly service as well. Prices are very reasonable and you will spend less than if having breakfast at the hotel.
For lunch: In our first day we had lunch at Chuck & Kitty’s. They have light options and burgers. We were happy with our salads.
For dinner: We searched the web looking for a good place to have dinner and found that Morgan’s Bistro (160 Esplanade Avenue) . They have very good reviews on the web. We went there for dinner and found the food to be creative, fresh and delicious. There is a good wine list as well.
For dinner: We went to a delicious pizzeria called Village Pizzeria (101-160 Lillooet Avenue) and loved it! Crispy pizzas in large portions. Excellent service. They don’t have license for selling alcohol, so… no beers or wines there! 😦 If they carried draft beers or wines they would be beyond perfect 🙂
The Source: While staying at Harrison Hot Springs, don’t miss “The Source“.
You will see a pink building in front of the lake after you pass Harrison Hot Springs Hotel entrance and its tennis courts. There you will see the source of the hot water and it’s really amazing to learn that this spring has been there for more than a century!
While staying there don’t miss a very interesting trail opened to the public. It starts at the Harrison Hot Springs parking lot (you will see a wooden bridge). Cross this bridge and you will have a very nice trail along the forest. We didn’t find any wild life but it’s always thrilling to enter in a trail watching a sign like this one:
Harrison Hot Springs has a public pool as well! Although we didn’t use it we went there to check the place and had a very good impression! It can be a good option if you can’t find availability at Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa and are staying in one of the other hotels in the city. Harrison also has a camping lot and it looked very busy. We saw many vehicles while walking / cycling along the main road.
Cycling: We love to go cycling and we carry our bikes with us whenever possible. We are glad we carried them when we traveled to Harrison! Besides biking along the lake (it’s a short stretch, don’t expect too much), we went to the Tourism Office where we were greeted by a nice lady who gave us the local map and suggestions for a bike ride. We opted for the 22 km loop and it is absolutely GREAT!
I am uploading the map we used in case you want to follow the same route. The map looks “upside down” but it’s on purpose. The point “B” is where our ride started (at the tourism office) and we went straight (Harrison lake was on our back) . After the golf course we took a right (Golf Street) than a left and them just follow the line marked on the map. The cheese factory is located on “number 4” (on this map). Don’t miss it! 🙂
During our bike ride we saw many farms, corn plantations, animals and also visited the cheese factory! I highly recommend you visit the cheese factory (The Farm House Natural Cheeses) and buy their products! The brie we bought there was one of the best brie we had since ever! Amazing!
Resuming: Don’t miss an opportunity to travel to Harrison Hot Springs. Where you are into relaxing in hot pools or prefer an active life style you will find plenty of options there! We enjoyed both of the two worlds and are already planning our next trip!