There are only a few hotels and
motels in Harrison Hot Springs, as well as some rv parks and
However, for most visitors,
even the limited number of choices that do exist are unnecessary
because there is only one choice to consider, and that is the Harrison
Hot Springs Resort.
Food choices are not overly
abundant either. But there are enough choices so that you
can go somewhere different for every meal if you should so wish,
and probably one or two restaurants you'd feel good about
returning to a second time.
Where to Stay in Harrison Hot
Harrison Hot Springs has one four star hotel, a lesser
perhaps 3.5 star hotel, an again lesser hotel, and then a string
of less notable hotels and motels.
Please understand that even though some of the places you can
stay at in Harrison Hot Springs have names that imply to the
contrary, the truth is that there are only two places in town
where you can enjoy the mineral spring water - Harrison Hot
Springs Resort, which limits access to guests only, and the
public pool, which is a rather unappealing place to visit.
None of the other accommodation choices have natural hot spring
mineral water in their spas or pools.
Being as how the opportunity to enjoy a soak in the hot spring
water, is one of the reasons for many people visiting this area, that
rather directs such people into choosing to stay at the HHS
Resort, no matter what other issues may be associated with the
various different accommodation choices.
Harrison Hot Springs Resort - the only choice for most visitors
The 'best' place to stay, for most people, is the Harrison Hot
Springs Resort. Not only does this offer the best standard
of accommodation, it is also the only place (other than the very
unappealing Public Pool) where you can bathe in the hot spring
mineral water fed pools.
Due to the importance of the resort, and the wide range of
facilities and features it offers, we
discuss and review it
separately in the next part of this series.
Other Accommodation Choices
If you don't feel the need to experience the mineral pools at
the HHS Resort (and, as you'll see in the review of the resort,
there are some reasons why they might disappoint you), then a number of other places and styles of
accommodation become available to you.
Harrison Beach Hotel
If you want a traditional and good quality hotel style
experience, without paying the premium that is usually (but not
always - do check out whatever specials might be on offer at the
HHS Resort, particularly off-season) associated with staying at
the HHS Resort, this is probably your best choice.
The Harrison Beach Hotel is just a couple of hundred yards down
The Esplanade from the resort, and offers 42 spacious rooms
complete with cooking facilities, giving you a chance to prepare
some of your own food if you want a change from eating in
are clean and reasonably well furnished, with plain color
schemes. Some rooms have unusually spacious balconies
overlooking the lake.
Rooms include nice extras such as a
DVD player and flat screen television, and an artificial fireplace
(ie not wood burning).
A pool, spa, and range of exercise equipment are also provided,
but note the pool and spa water is regular water, not mineral
water from the hot springs. A spa with various
treatments and services is also on-site.
The hotel may have special 'snow bird' bargain offers for people
choosing to stay a month or longer over the winter season; if
you might wish to consider this, ask for availability and rates.
With the in-room cooking facilities, this becomes an interesting
way for enjoying a very bargain priced extended winter stay.
More information on
This is the third of the three hotels in town. Inevitably,
one of the three hotels is going to be best, and one is going to
be, ummm, 'least best', and the Executive Hotel is probably the
least best choice for most people.
Formerly known as the Quality Hotel, it is perhaps more a
business style of hotel, and is located a block back from the
lake, meaning you don't get the same opportunity for nice views
from the rooms.
It has 88 rooms, no pool, but some exercise equipment and an
on-site spa service. Some people report the rooms can be
noisy with sounds coming from adjacent rooms, the hallways, and
any function rooms below if you're on the second floor.
There's little reason to choose the Executive Hotel
over the Harrison Beach Hotel unless there's a huge differential
More information on
None of the motels looked very inviting from the outside, and we
didn't carry out site inspections of any of them. They all
looked rather tired and dilapidated and in need of a fresh coat
of paint and general sprucing up.
Several of the motels are on The Esplanade (the street that
fronts onto the lake), and so their units may or may not offer
lake views. If a lake view unit is important to you, you should be
sure to enquire about and request a view unit when booking.
Perhaps the best motel choice might be the Spa Motel.
With 23 units, it is the largest of the local motels, has
internet access, air conditioning, and cooking facilities in the
units. Note that, although referred to as the spa
motel, it has no pool or hot tub or other spa facilities.
More information on
Bed and Breakfast choices
There are a number of B&Bs in the area. One that stands
out is the Harrison Heritage House & Kitchen, located a
block from the water, with a friendly host (Sonya), and both
regular rooms (with private bath) and three self contained
cottages on site (which they bizarrely and semi-randomly refer
to as 'kottages' - yuck). See
for more details.
Another B&B is The Echoes-Harrison River Retreat.
This is an interesting and distinctive choice, not least because
access is by boat or float plane. You can't drive there.
It is a 10 minute boat ride from the marina on the east side of
Harrison lake to the property, which is just a little bit down
the Harrison river from the lake. This image shows their
river frontage and jetty.
The owners will collect you from the marina and return you back
there, in their covered and heated jetboat. Alternatively,
for a very different type of experience, you could fly in to the
property by float plane.
This place offers three free-standing log cabins, hand built by
the owners, and developed in an eco-sensitive manner, including
self-composting toilets. For someone seeking the ultimate
in getaway-from-it-all retreats, nestled in a beautiful natural
setting, this would be an interesting choice.
More details on
Where to Eat in Harrison Hot Springs
The good news is that unless you're planning a long stay in the
town, you'll not exhaust the limited number of places to eat at.
But a fine dining mecca, it is not. However, you'll find
some reasonably good food and a range of different food styles
You should be warned that most places close early; you'll
probably want to be at your restaurant of choice not much after
8pm, and during the busy summer months, it might be advisable to
phone ahead for reservations.
The most up-market restaurant in the town is the
Copper Room at the
Harrison Hot Springs Resort. We review that and the
other dining choices at the resort on the next page of this
discusses the resort in detail.
Ravens at Harrison Beach Hotel
This is a small restaurant attached to the Harrison Beach Hotel
and offers a surprisingly sophisticated menu including duck
sausage, venison, and fondue.
Ravens is perhaps the second best of the restaurants in town.
It is open for dinners between Wednesday and Sunday, and main
courses are priced between about C$17 - 19.
Crazy Fish Bistro
The Crazy Fish Bistro is a couple of blocks from The Esplanade
on the main road into town (Hot Springs Rd). It is perhaps
the third best restaurant in town, although some might prefer it
It has a greater seating capacity than Ravens, and offers a
range of fish and steak meals, including buffalo steak and
blackened snapper, as well as an interesting brie and roasted
garlic combination. Main courses are priced around C$18 -
Black Forest Restaurant
Located on The Esplanade right next to the Harrison Beach Hotel,
and pictured at the top of this page, the Black Forest Restaurant offers mainly German style food,
including, inevitably, some sausage and sauerkraut selections,
as well as more international foods and local offerings such as
salmon (alas, terribly overcooked when I was there). The
bratwurst was also a disappointment - they had too much breading in them to be 'genuine'.
Ambience is provided mainly by a few cuckoo clocks on the wall
to signify its Black Forest theme. The music playing in
the background was not noticeably German at all, and the CD got
stuck and kept repeating the same slice of music over and over
for almost five minutes until some diners complained.
Service was attentive, and the place was popular, with probably
more people dining there on a Sunday evening than anywhere else
in town. Food was only average in quality, and was expensive
compared to other places in town,
with main courses priced between C$18 - 25, and a few items
going as high as C$34.
Swiss Gourmet Restaurant
Recommended by some locals, the Swiss Gourmet Restaurant (this
is the name of the restaurant, not our opinion of it!) is part
of the Hot Spring Villa Hotel on The Esplanade.
It appears to serve dinner only, and closes for the winter
months, so we weren't able to visit or form any further opinion
Looking at its menu shows it to serve mainly
schnitzel in various forms - I'd been hoping for some fondue and rosti style potatoes. However, if the thought of vaguely
Swiss food appeals, and you're there when it is open, it might
be worth giving a try.
The Old Settler Pub
Opposite the Crazy Fish Bistro on the way in to town is The Old
Settler Pub. This attractive building, made from logs, has
a fairly typical average bar which serves food - breakfast,
lunch and dinner - seven days a week.
Typical bar/restaurant type American (and Canadian, of course!)
food and snacks are served, with prices ranging between $15 - 25
for main courses. The food is nothing special at all, but
the relaxed casualness of the Old Settler Pub makes a great antidote
from the pretension of the Copper Room.
Read more in Parts 1, 3 and 4
Be sure to read the
information in the other parts of this series. Part
one is an Introduction to
Harrison Hot Springs, part three
reviews the Harrison Hot
Springs Resort, and part four offers suggestions on
what to see and do.
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5 Dec 2008, last update
28 May 2011
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