Overnight in style and feel good about your choice
The Thompson Okanagan is rapidly becoming an ecotourism hotspot, with the creation of an electric highway, sustainability support from the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and businesses that are committed to sustainably improving their performance.
In this post, I’m highlighting a handful of leaders in the industry who are using environmental, social and cultural factors to drive their business decisions.
Feel good about booking a holiday with these unique and sustainable accommodations.
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, Oliver
Burrowing Owl donates 100% of their tasting fees to their namesake Owl Conservation Society to benefit this endangered species. The commitment to the burrowing owl is only one of the many environmental practices that are inherent in the day-to-day operation at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery. They have also implemented solar and geothermal heating, heat exchangers, and gravity flow winemaking processes to reduce external impacts. The Guest House at Burrowing Owl features 10 exclusive, spacious rooms right above the vineyard.
Spirit Ridge at Nk’Mip Resort, Osoyoos
Celebrate the land and rich culture of the Syilx people by staying at Spirit Ridge at Nk’Mip Resort in Osoyoos. This award winning accommodation celebrates authenticity and a long-standing commitment to the land and remarkable history of the local people. While staying at the Resort you’ll be within walking distance of Nk’Mip Cellars and the Desert Cultural Centre where you can learn about the Osoyoos Indian Band through interactive exhibits.
Myra Canyon Ranch, Kelowna
Myra Canyon Ranch sits right at the entrance of Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park, 500 meters above Kelowna. The ranch has its own story, winning multiple prizes for Wood Design, including 1 Gold and 3 Silver Tommie Builder Awards. Owners Rolf and Kathrin von Andrian strive to ensure their guests don’t have to purchase plastic water bottles by supplying fresh on-site well water and eco-friendly totes. This unique lodging is the perfect jumping-off point for the Kettle Valley Rail Trail, one of the most historic and scenic paths throughout the Thompson Okanagan.
Quaaout Lodge serves as a wonderful homebase for an adventure in the Shuswap, but the resort also features a rich Secwepemc Indigenous history. This waterfront resort is owned by the Little Shuswap First Nation and celebrates their people through local art, cultural tours and events. The kekuli winter house, for example, is used for storytelling and lessons on cooking bannock over an open flame. There are guided hikes that will take guests into the surrounding landscape to learn about the traditional flora and fauna that grow in this area.
Echo Valley Ranch & Spa, Jesmond
Echo Valley Ranch and Spa has earned a Gold Certification from Green Tourism Canada for their ongoing commitment to sustainability. They have achieved this through many ways including being active stewards of the land, making environmental and socially aware choices in their day-to-day operations, working towards carbon neutrality, and practicing a zero-waste philosophy in their food acquisition and production. The ranch sits amid hundreds of thousands of acres of pristine mountains, lush valleys, pine forests, and desert canyons - the perfect getaway for those looking to escape.
Orofino Winery, Cawston
Orofino Winery is located in the Similkameen Valley wine region. It’s unique strawbale construction means that it is naturally cool in the hot desert summer and retains heat well in the winter. Since construction, Orofino has also invested in a significant solar power system and a set of luxurious suites to stay in - all of which are green certified.
I hope that these leading businesses serve as some inspiration for your next trip to the Thompson Okanagan. If you have any questions about visiting, reach out to the team on social media and use #ThompsonOkanagan to share your journey.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Meghan Reading is a Canadian travel photographer. She grew up in the rocky mountains of Alberta but now calls British Columbia home. While she looks forward to continuing to explore the world with her camera, her favourite destination will always be her own backyard.