A travel journal
to Harrison Hot Springs by Re Carroll
Quote: This year round resort area is less than 2 hours away from Vancouver and welcomes visitors from around the world. If you're looking for a place to relax and refresh - this is it.
Harrison gets hectic during the Festival of the Arts in
July and the Sand Castle competitions in September. Boaters and fishers love the large deep fresh water lake and there are lots of hiking trails in the surrounding mountains but Harrison is best known as a quiet place to chill out.
Although there are lots of small motels, the Harrison Resort is THE place to stay for a pampered relaxing holiday any time of the year and dining at the resort’s Copper Room is another not to be missed experience. Rowena’s Inn in nearby Harrison Mills is a close second.
We enjoy lazing around the hotel but for those who O.D. on too much
peace and quiet, Harrison has enough attractions to keep you occupied.
Hotel | "The Harrison Hot Springs Resort"
The original portion of the hotel has all the retail and recreational facilities as well as some guest rooms although most of them are in one of the two towers that flank the original building. The back rooms overlook the pool or gardens but the best rooms have a lake view. We stayed in the newest tower, built about 12 years ago, where all the rooms have balconies and views of the lake. Our balcony was large enough for four people
to sit with drinks and appetizers while enjoying the scenery. The very spacious room had two queen size beds, a mini bar and remote control TV and the large 4 piece bathroom was filled with the usual amenities as well as a couple of oversize, thick white cotton bathrobes. Except for relaxing on the balcony we didn’t spend much time in our room because there was so much to do at the hotel.
The main floor lounge had large picture windows that faced the lake and was a great place to relax with a drink. The resort had 5 pools - a separate children’s’ pool, 2 indoor pools (one heated by the hot springs) and 2 outdoor pools (one also
heated by the hot springs). Also a spa, beauty salon, gift store, clothing store, full indoor gym with all the standard equipment and weights as well as an outdoor exercise circuit spread throughout the hotel grounds, tennis courts, sauna, children’s playground and a nine hole golf course nearby. Afternoon tea with cakes and cookies was served in the lobby and was included in the price of the room.
There was no shortage of places to eat and drink at the resort - everything from a coffee shop, bar and lounge, pool side snack bar, casual restaurant with great Sunday brunches and a very good formal restaurant called the Copper Room which is only open for dinner.
Within a few blocks walk were a number of other restaurants including Japanese,French, German, fish and chips, a pub and more.
Rooms start at $170. (CDN)
and vary depending on whether you stay in the original section or newer towers and whether you have a pool, garden or lake view. I’d recommend paying extra for a lake view in the newer section. The resort often has special packages that include dinner, golf or a visit to the spa - check with your travel agent.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 25, 2000
Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa
Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia V0M1K1
amid tall evergreens are private log cabins with an open floor plan and a front porch. The cabins have high ceilings and lots of windows to bring in the natural light as well as making you feel that you’re in the middle of a forest. Each cabin has a large stone fireplace with a ready supply of
wood for burning, a king size 4 poster bed, large overstuffed furniture in the living room area as well as a separate eating area with mini fridge and sink. The bathroom floor is heated which is wonderful on a cold day, as is a relaxing soak in the Jacuzzi tub. A full breakfast is delivered to the cabin each morning.
Near the main house is an outside pool and hot tub with a view of the river and the manicured gardens are lit at night. The Sandpiper, an 18 hole golf course adjoins the Inn and you can get packages that include golf. All rooms and cabins are non smoking and no children or pets are allowed - definitely a place for a romantic getaway.
Rowena’s serves lunch and dinner (at an additional cost and available for non guests as well) in the formal dining room and the menu includes rack of lamb, filet ignon, fish and chicken entrees. After dinner liqueurs and desserts are served in the adjoining conversation room and accompanied by piano music. We
didn’t have dinner here but friends did and said the food was delicious. Although portions were a bit on the small side, the quality and service were impeccable.
Rooms at Rowena’s start at $200. (CDN) and cabins start at $275.
There aren’t any restaurants or sights within walking
distance but Harrison Mills is only about a 15 minute drive from the shops and restaurants in the village of Harrison Hot Springs.
Rowenas Inn on the River
14282 Morris Valley Road
Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia
Restaurant | "The Copper Room"
The wine list contains a large selection of both B.C. and imported wines. The menu isn’t extensive but the food is all
freshly prepared using local ingredients and the service is impeccable. Appetizers averaged $7.00 and included Caesar salad, grilled vegetable salad with herb vinaigrette, French onion soup, escargots and more.
I started with roasted banana squash and sweet corn soup ($6.50) and my husband had escargots with herb butter ($8). Entrees ranged from $22 - $32 and included roasted rack of lamb with thyme jus, grilled breast of free run chicken, prime rib, grilled or poached
salmon fillet with lemon caper butter and a vegetarian stew. Jim chose prime rib and it was accompanied by mashed potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and steamed vegetables. I had chicken
breast with rice and steamed vegetables. Both meals were cooked to perfection - the prime rib
was medium rare, the potatoes were flavored with a hint of garlic and the vegetables were still crisp. The chicken was served with a delicious chantrelle cream sauce and the vegetable combination of red pepper, carrots and green beans was as attractive as it was tasty. We shared a dessert of creamy white chocolate mousse garnished with raspberry puree and dark chocolate ($6.50) and it was the perfect choice to end the meal.
This is not a restaurant to rush through dinner - the expectation is that you relax and maybe hit the dance floor between courses. The house band is called "The Jones Boys" and they play music from the 40s to the 80s so there is
something for all tastes. Some people come here specifically to put their dance lessons to use and it’s quite common to see dancers putting their tango and waltz lessons to use.
The restaurant is open from 6 to 10 every evening during the summer but closes on Sunday and Monday nights in the winter.
The Copper Room, Harrison Hotel The
Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia
The food is a step above basic pub grub although you can still find old standbys like burgers, nachos and sandwiches. Appetizers range in price from $6 to $8 and include grilled pita bread with tzatziki (cucumber, garlic and yogurt dip), nachos, spring rolls, chicken strips, breaded zucchini strips, riblets, healthy raw veggies with dip and chicken wings. The wings are on special Tuesday and Thursday nights for .30 apiece and the choice of sauces is impressive - teriyaki, barbecue, thai peanut, honey garlic, Montreal spice, Tabasco (hot) or Tabasco smoky chipotle (very hot).
As well as the classic burger, there are chicken burgers, veggie burgers and a Pacific salmon burger which is a freshly breaded fillet topped with mozzarella cheese and served on a bun. All burgers come with a choice of soup, salad or fries. Schnitzels are on the menu as well as wraps, steaks
(including New York Caribbean steak served with onions, peppers and very hot sauce) and large dinner salads like taco, shrimp and chicken - all served in a big tortilla shell.
I was very pleased with my order of a club house sandwich. It was served on thick wheat bread and contained a grilled chicken breast, thick slices of tomato and crisp bacon and was served with such a large portion of French fries that I couldn’t eat them all. Jim had fish and chips which came with an even larger serving of fries as well as a bowl of tossed green salad. The fish was pollock, a mild and meaty white fish, that had been lightly battered and fried to a golden brown. Our friends each ordered an 8 oz.Porterhouse steak and it was served on a platter rather than a plate because there was so much food. As well as the juicy chargrilled steak, there was a large baked potato, a bowl of tossed green salad and a steamed vegetable medley of zucchini, carrots and peppers. Neither one was able to finish their meal either.
The bill for 4 meals, 4 beers and a couple of
pops came to $89 (CDN), taxes and tip included.
The pub is open daily from 11 a.m.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 1, 2002
The Settler Pub
222 Cedar Avenue
Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia
Killers Marina - (604) 796 2244 Located on the lakeshore, just across the street from the Harrison Hotel, Killers rents a wide variety of watercraft to use on the Lake. Canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, windsurfers and more. Jim and I went canoeing but we had very different ideas about it - I envisioned him paddling the canoe while I laid back and dangled my hand in the water whereas he expected me to paddle - can you imagine?
Shoreline Tours - (604) 819 3418 This company offers boat tours of Harrison Lake from their dock near the hotel. The cost is $25. per adult for a two hour trip. Pop and chips are sold onboard and some people bring along their own picnic. During one Harrison visit, my sister and I booked an afternoon cruise and enjoyed it immensely. We sat on the top deck and soaked up a few rays while the boat circled Echo Island and cruised along Cascade Bay. Some trips stop at Rainbow Falls where passengers can take a short walk to the waterfalls. Our boat couldn’t stop because there were too many boats already there and there was no place to dock. Tours run from April to Nov.
Tug Boat Junction - (604) 796 0896 Located on Hot Springs Road, the main road into Harrison,this business opened in 2002. Only open during the summer it features mini golf and miniature train rides as well as other activities designed to appeal to kids.
Harrison Pool - (604) 796 2244 Located at the corner of Esplanade and Cedar, this large public pool uses water from the hot springs (cooled a bit and processed to remove the sulfur smell). It’s a large pool and has deck chairs set along the edge as well as a separate hot tub. It offers bathing suits and towels for rent for those who forgot theirs.
Charlies on the Lake - (604) 796 2695 This cabaret has been open just over a year. We haven’t been there but heard through the grapevine that it a "happening place" - probably the only place in Harrison for dancing other than the Copper Room restaurant at the Harrison Hotel.
Abbotsford, British Columbia