While Jason and I camped in Harrison plenty of times back in our child-free days, we had yet to stay at the beautiful Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa.
As we’d arrive into town, you couldn’t help but admire the resort from afar — It was back then and there in my early 20’s that I added it to my travel bucket list.
Fast forward to our 30’s, with two children in tow, we found ourselves back in Harrison to spend the night.
This time around we wouldn’t have to blow up any air mattresses or pitch a tent. Instead, we were going to finally spend the night at the famous Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa.
Our Mission: to showcase the family friendly side of this popular romantic getaway — a challenge we were more than happy to roll up our sleeves and take on.
From romantic relaxation and nightlife to great cuisine and a picturesque view of Harrison Lake, Harrison Hot Springs is the perfect ‘hot spot’ for a steamy weekend getaway, or as we’d discover, the ultimate mini family vacation.
There’s plenty to see and do for all ages at and around this landmark British Columbia resort on the picturesque shores of Harrison Lake , which makes it the perfect spot to spend Spring Break.
Here are just 8 reasons why.
1. It’s Close to Home
Let’s face it — when travelling with young children, the idea of driving for hours on end isn’t exactly appealing. For Valleyites, Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Hotel is practically in their own backyard.
We reside in Langley and the drive was only around an hour and a half. For this vacation, we decided to surprise Molly and Zoe — they thought we were going for ice cream. Boy were they in for a treat — one that sure beat a double scoop of cotton candy ice cream any day. The cherry on top was that both girls napped the entire way there. Score!
2. Within Walking Distance to Town
As we rolled into Harrison, the familiar sites brought me back to the last time we visited the area.
“We just have to go to Chuck & Kittie’s Cafe for their baked blueberry oatmeal,” I said to Jason.
Seriously, this little diner is the best. It’s always bustling busy, year round, with locals and tourists alike, so you know they’re cooking up something delicious.
At this point, the girls were a little confused as they woke up from their naps. However, they were more than happy to dig in to some lunch, peruse the eclectic little gift shops and get an eye-full of Harison lake. Jason was excited to purchase a tuxedo shirt — yes, he bought a tuxedo shirt.
“You better not think you can wear that at dinner tonight in the Copper Room,” I said.
“Who’s going to stop me?” he joked.
From the quaint little town that included the Hot Springs recreational swimming pool, restaurants and stores hovered the Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa in the very near distance.
“I never realized just how close the hotel is to town,” I said. “We could easily walk there from here.”
3. The Accommodations
The resort features five mineral hot pools, three outside and two indoors, and it’s the only resort right on Harrison Lake with its own marina. When it’s time for rest and privacy, no other resort offers the variety of accommodations you’ll find in Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa’s 337 guestrooms. From poolside rooms to private cottages to guestrooms with balconies and panoramic views, this is the place where couples, families and groups of all sizes can come to find the good life, year-round.
Our room, which was located in the East Tower on the 7th floor featured two queen-sized beds, a panoramic view of Harrison Lake and some goodies for all of us.
“We’re staying here???” asked Molly and Zoe in unison.
“Yes, pick which bed you want — we’re going to have a sleepover,” said Daddy, smiling from dimple-to-dimple.
4. The View
The full-service destination resort is surrounded by picturesque mountains and the spectacular Harrison Lake. The 340 guest rooms feature lake, pool or garden views. While there was construction happening next to the hotel, we couldn’t hear it — plus, the view of the sparking lake kind of overshadows everything else.
5. The Dining Experience
Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa restaurants offer everything from casual fare, to dining & dancing, to live entertainment in The Copper Room. Now I have to say, the latter was the absolute highlight of our stay. To be totally honest, I never in a million years would have thought of bringing our five and three year old daughters to such a high-end dining establishment, but now I couldn’t imagine ever going back without them.
This elegantly appointed Harrison Hot Springs restaurant serves fresh Fraser Valley cuisine at the table, fun, local music on stage and graceful gliding on the dance floor. What results is couples and families coming together for dinner and dancing. It’s the trademark the Copper Room experience – and it’s a night that will live in our hearts forever.
There are two dance floors at this establishment — one for the adults and another, kiddie-corner to the stage for kiddies only. I was so pleased that we were sat next to the children’s dance floor as both our little Valley girls love to dance.
While Jason and I relaxed and enjoyed a bottle of delicious merlot, our girls entertained us with some serious dance moves. They also managed to work up quite the appetite and so had we.
To start, we ordered the stacked Caprese Salad and the Diver’s Scallops — both were a huge hit. For the entrees, The girls dined on the Fraser Valley Chicken Breast, Jason chose the Beef Tenderloin and I had the Seafood Bouillabaisse. Everything was full of robust flavour and cooked to perfection. But even though we were quite full, we somehow managed to leave room for dessert. I live by the rule– if there’s creme brule on the menu, I must order it. Hey, this was not time to be a rule breaker after all.
We also had a chance to dine at the LakeSide Cafe for a buffet breakfast. The coffee is served fresh and hot, there’s everything from belgian waffles, sausages, a yogurt bar and fruit to a full-service omelette bar.
“That’s so cool,” said Molly as the omelette chef flipped his creation high into the air and back into the sizzling pan.
“Why can’t you make eggs like that mum?” asked Zoe.
“Trust me, you don’t want her to try,” daddy laughed.
6. It’s Family Friendly
As we waited in the resort’s lobby to check in, the first thing I noticed was how many young families were there. There were moms pushing babies in strollers, dads leading their youngsters to the pool and teenagers playing board games by the roaring fire. With so much going on at the resort and just a hop, skip and splash away, it’s no wonder so many families come from all over the world for a visit.
In addition to the three outdoor and two indoor hot springs pools, there’s golf, fishing, tennis, the resort marina with lake tours and boat rentals, kids programs, nature walks and so much more. While I was being pampered at The Healing Springs Spa, Jason took the girls to the nearby park and let them scoot about town on their scooter
7. The Healing Springs Spa
Upon arrival at the Healing Springs Spa, I was welcomed by soothing music, a gently humming waterfall and friendly staff. I didn’t realize I was a half hour early for my facial, but I had no issue finding a way to fill the time. Snug as a bug in my spa robe, I found a cozy lounge chair, poured myself a nice cup of tea and texted my mom.
Me: OMG, this place is amazing!!!
Mom: What are you doing now?
Me: Waiting for my facial. There’s so much to do here, I don’t know how we’re going to squeeze it all into one day.
Mom: If I were you I just wouldn’t go to bed at all!
Just then, an esthetician named Beth came to greet me and lead the way to the spa room. Within minutes, I felt myself melting into the bed as she worked her magic on my aching shoulder blades.
Next, it was time for my Signature Facial — this included a self-heating mud treatment on my back that was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before.
“This will detoxify your body while helping you relax,” she explained of the fizzing sensation that felt strange but incredible at the same time.
Afterwards, my skin was glowing — I didn’t even need to wear foundation at dinner.
8. The Pools
And last, but certainly not least — the famous hot springs pools. Originally used by the Salish Coast Indians for their medicinal properties and rejuvenating effects, the hot springs pools have been attracting visitors for years — including famous guests such as Clark Gable, John Wayne, Michael Bublé, Robin Williams, and Liam Neeson.
We took our first dip in this outdoor mineral-rich pool after sunset. With the waterfalls, large granite rocks, and lush foilage, it felt as though we were in the midst of a tropical paradise.
The family pool is large — approximately 4,000 square feet — and offers a gradual, sloped entrance for toddlers and wheelchair accessibility with ledge-style seating in various areas. Molly and Zoe thought it was like swimming in a giant bubble bath.
Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa features five different hot-spring-fed mineral pools, each kept at a different temperature.
And there you have it, just 8 reasons why the Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa is the perfect place to relax and let loose with your family. If you’re planning to visit soon, make sure you check out their Spring Break Kids’ Night Out Package.
For more info, visit www.harrisonresort.com
*Disclaimer: While our stay and all services at Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa were complimentary, all opinions are my own. If you would like to have ValleyMom.ca review your resort/hotel, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.