Review: Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
There is a silver of warmth in British Columbia in the southern center of the province called the Okanagan. The center of this warmth is the city of Kelowna, which sees vacationers inundate the area during the summer months. The winter seasons see cool weather and occasional snows. While there are a variety of family motels and lower end hotels, the Delta Hotels by Marriott is the only major resort franchise in town.
Review: Delta Hotels by Marriott, Grand Okanagan Resort, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
“The Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort is the largest hotel resort property in Kelowna. It is centrally located and a great spot on the water to base yourself when visiting the Okanagan Region”
This review will be a little bit different than my past reviews. I have been staying here on a fairly regular basis over the past six months. Consequently, I’ve had the opportunity to experience a number of room configurations and the property at it’s best, and less than best. It’s typically been my number one property to stay at while in Kelowna, and it’s usually a really enjoyable experience.
The Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort started off its life as an independent hotel called “The Grand”. It was among the first in the tower development of this area off the Central Business District in Kelowna. It was eventually acquired by the Canadian Chain, Delta Hotels and Resorts, which was then eventually acquired by Marriott Resorts International.
Planning and Getting There:
I have stayed here several times and always book direct via the Marriott Website. This is one of those properties that services a seasonal summer market. In the summer, the rates can exceed $400 a night. In the winter, rates under $129 can be found. On this visit, I was staying in off season so the rates were much cheaper.
The property is currently a Marriott Bonvoy Category 6 property, meaning that rooms are available for 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points per night. Given that Marriott Points are worth approximately 0.005 cents per night (40,000 points are valued at $200), and the time and effort it takes to earn 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, I felt that paying cash was the better route. Despite this, you’d actually be slightly ahead redeeming points at this property if the rate was greater than $200, assuming you can find rooms available at that reward price point.
I arrived to the property by private car. Having been a repeat visitor, I parked myself in the self parking immediately off the main entrance. Dusk was falling on the property when I arrived.
After walking over from the parking garage, I checked in at the main lobby. Despite it being quiet, the desk was manned and there was no wait to be checked in. I was warmly welcomed and thanked for being a Marriott Titanium member and was awarded an additional 1,000 Marriott Bonvoy points as a welcome amenity. For Marriott Platinum or Titanium members seeking breakfast, a $10 USD per person voucher is offered for those seeking the breakfast option. The breakfast option is takeaway hot / cold items at the Canteen as the property restaurant was closed for breakfast during my latest visits during the pandemic. I was also offered a bottle of water from reception, in lieu of water being placed in the room.
The Room: A Deluxe Room,1 King, Sofa Bed, Lake View
Thanks to Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Status, on this stay, I was given an upgrade to a larger room. I have typically found that the property is not all too generous with the Marriott Bonvoy Platinum / Titanium upgrades in terms of upgrading a whole room category. I suspect that this is due to a lack of inventory. However, I can say that the property is really good at upgrading to a high floor lake view. I’ve never stayed here and had a city view, having always been upgraded to a water view.
Heading up to the room. The floors are irritatingly controlled by key card elevators, even in the off seasons. This isn’t so bad if you’re not carrying anything, but it’s always a challenge to fumble for a key card when activating the elevators.
The Deluxe Room was larger than some suites that I had stayed in. It featured a separate seating and sleeping area, although being an open concept, it was not separated by a wall like a traditional suite.
The bedroom featured the usual amenities. It offered a flat screen television so you could watch television in bed. There were two night tables, although there weren’t any USB chargers by the bed. As a result, I used a regular plug in, along with a USB cable, to charge my phone for my alarm clock.
The bedroom also featured a luggage rack under the television that was large enough for a medium sized suitcase.
While I have occasionally gotten a dedicated Marriott Titanium note and welcome amenity on past stays, it seems as though they have cut back this feature down to a simple good night chocolate. This was welcomed, although I didn’t actually consume it during my stay (watching my calories). At times, I’ve received a local beer and snacks, down to nothing offered at all.
The Living Room & Sofa Bed:
The living area featured a couch and a desk area. The lighter colour of the couch was showing a little wear and tear. It was really comfortable for relaxing, even though it was a sofa bed.
The coffee maker in room was available. I did end up using the coffee maker and the coffee itself was a “once and done” type. It unbranded and pretty freeze dried and not all too enticing; at least not enough to order any more on this stay.
The living area was comfortable enough to spend time in, if working or relaxing. It added just enough space in order to make a spending time in your room just that much more pleasant.
The desk offered a large counter space for working or dropping off your charging devices. It featured a full power bar, with USB ports, data ports and the old school internet Ethernet cable as well. For some reason, the welcome screen on the hotel television showed my room assigned to another persons name. Despite this, I didn’t get disturbed the entire time I was there due to any double room assignment issues.
The living area of the room also offered a small fridge. I have found many hotel fridges to be ineffective or not very cold at all but this one was supercharged. It almost froze my bottled water.
The bathroom was quite large for a regular hotel room. It featured a stand up shower and separate jetted tub. There was also a separate vanity counter with matching mirror. There was lots of room to run around in the bathroom.
The toiletries were unbranded. They featured Argan Oil in them, but that was about the only thing exciting about them.
A Room with a View:
The room had a view of the hotel pool and of Lake Okanagan. The view is somewhat angled as there are condominiums that front the direct waterfront. As a result, you need to be on a high floor, otherwise your room will be looking towards the water but into another low rise building. It’s worth noting that I’ve had an upgrade to a similar view over every stay at this property and would describe it as the typical (and welcomed) Marriott Platinum / Titanium Upgrade at this property.
The Room: The Grand Okanagan, 1 Bedroom Condominium, 1 King, Sofa bed
Breaking from my usual reviews which are usually based on a single stay, I’ve been frequenting this property quite regularly this year and have stayed several times in the past six months. On a recent stay, while booking a Deluxe Room, I received a complimentary upgrade at check in to a One Bedroom Condominium as a Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Member.
It’s worth noting that this room category is currently available in the Marriott Bonvoy Suite Night Award inventory pool. It would be worthwhile using a Suite Night Award certificate if you happened to be staying here during high season and were staying here more than one night as you’d likely appreciate the increased space.
The Grand Okanagan portion is located in a short three level low rise closest to the water. It was located immediately off the elevator bank of the south tower.
Based on the signage, I am assuming the Grand Okanagan portion was once a time share or vacation unit rental property. Even though it was a time share zoned property, there were no offers or pop up displays seeking tours or other promotional advertisements for this particular hotel.
For this stay, our room was situated on the top floor of the Grand Okanagan. We were assigned room #323. It was a top floor One Bedroom Condominium room facing towards the lagoon.
The Living Room & Sofa Bed:
The living space was spacious with a couch and easy chair. There was a reasonably sized coffee table. The space was rounded out by a high top seating table for four persons.
The Kitchen Area:
The room also offered a full kitchen. The kitchen contained a range, a microwave and a a fridge and freezer combination. Being on the top floor, the kitchen was underneath a vaulted ceiling which made the space feel large and spacious.
The kitchen was properly stocked. It included enough glassware and plates in order to serve several meals over without having to wash them after every meal.
In addition to the glassware, the kitchen featured a full coffee maker with enough coffee included to make a 10-12 cup pot per day. There were none of the usual 4-6 cup small coffee pods. I really appreciated having a constant pot of coffee available during this stay for slower than usual wake ups.
The Grand Okanagan 1 Bedroom Condominium featured a private bedroom. It was a little on the smaller size, as can be expected for a hotel condominium room. Other than sleeping, we didn’t spend much time in here; favouring the living space which was more than comfortable and larger in size.
Unusually, the room despite being an residence styled condominium, did not have an ensuite styled bathroom. Access to the bathroom was via the main part of the condominium. If you’re sharing this room with children on the sofa bed, you’ll have to creep past them in order to get to the bathroom.
The bathroom for the Condominium was reasonably styled. Despite being a room designed to fit four persons, the bathroom offered an older styled single vanity sink. While it was perfectly suitable, it would probably take a little time to run an entire family through the shower with only one sink.
A Room with a View:
Being that we had received a one category upgrade to the next level, I wasn’t expecting the nicest view. Indeed, we had the privilege of being on the top floor, but with a less exciting view. Our view today was of the artificial lagoon that bordered the property’s restaurant.
There was also a small deck off the living room, which was shared by the people in the unit next to us. Although it’s a little odd sharing deck space, we didn’t see them at all the whole time we were here.
The Grand Okanagan One Bedroom Condominium was a comfortable place to stay for a view days. On our trip, we were involved in a ski trip and really appreciated the extra room that the room had to offer. The ability to have lots of extra space and coffee really made the stay easier.
If you’re interested in one of the condominiums, I haven’t had a whole lot of luck getting an upgrade into this category of room courtesy of Marriott Bonvoy status. I also find that they seem to sell out awfully quickly in high season periods, so I’d recommend booking well in advance if this type of room meets your needs. .
The Room: Guest Room, 1 King
Rounding out the collage of room stays, I have also booked a standard room and been upgraded to a high floor lake view. The high floor rooms seem to offer a little extra room and offer an elongated shape.
One room had two lounger couches, offering a little more space for living and two people to co-exist.
Whereas other rooms that I’ve stayed at, have had two sets of corner oriented windows, and a smaller single chair. The smaller rooms occasionally have deck doors that open, allowing for open air in the hotel room.
In a summary of the rooms, there are many similar rooms in the hotel tower portion of the property. After several stays, I can confidently say that you’ll end up with a consistent product. The property also offers the more deluxe condominium rooms for those that need a little extra space.
Around the Hotel:
Being a full featured hotel, there are quite a few features to the property.
The Executive Lounge:
There is an execituve lonuge on this property that’s located in the South Tower. It’s situated on the ninth floor and commands water views. The lounge itself is quite small, in that it likely seats around twenty people in a combination of counter and lounger seating. The lounge offers a small selection and snacks at meal periods.
The lounge is accessible by reserving a room with Executive Lounge Level access or by holding Marriott Bonvoy Platinum or higher level in their loyalty program.
The lounge was closed on my most recent visit as a result of the health pandemic. As a guaranteed lounge benefit available through the Marriott Bonvoy program, the hotel offered no additional compensation for this, consistent with their temporary suspension of elite benefits. Instead of the lounge, I was able to get some items printed by using Guest Services on the hotel phone.
The Local Market (Sundries and Convenience Items) :
Between the south tower elevators and the reception at the main lobby, there is a local market. The hours of the market vary. I had seen it open as late a 9 PM in the summer months but during my stay, it was closing at 3 PM. The market sells fresher coffee. It’s worth noting that the market also sells alcoholic beverages in the form of tinned wine and cider, which is very convenient for quick stays for time compressed travellers.
The hotel gym:
The hotel offers a gym that is reasonably sized for a full size property. The gym is located near the pool and spa. The gym offered one large rectangular room consisting of current edition Life Cycle Treadmills, Life Cycle Bicycles, and a large stretching area with a universal gym.
There was certainly enough room in here to exist with other guests. The space had enough space to exist for a work out. The only negative to the space was that it was completely enclosed without any natural daylight. There were a lot of flat screen televisions to make up for this, and with no one around, there wasn’t much in the way of issues picking your own channels.
Food and Beverage:
OAK + CRU Social Kitchen & Wine Bar
During my stay, I ran into some bad luck. Many of the local off property restaurants in nearby downtown Kelowna were closed for breakfast. Instead of opting for a Tim Horton’s or a Starbucks, I ended up coming back to the hotel restaurant and lobby bar for breakfast.
The Oak and Cru Social Kitchen and Wine Bar is the primary hotel restaurant. It’s situated in a commanding spot in the lobby. The space has recently been refreshed, as everything looks clean and new.
I arrived to Oak + Cru without a reservation and was seated promptly. It’s worth noting for points hounds that the restaurant is also on Open Table Reservations system, although it wasn’t at breakfast when I visited. The breakfast menu offers a few breakfast items, consistent with its stature as a hotel all day dining restaurant.
While the breakfast menu was limited to a few traditional items, I ended up enjoying an Eggs Benedict with Country Ham, served on freshly baked brioche from Kelowna’s Specialty Bakery. The server proudly reported that it was frequently reported to be among Kelowna’s best Eggs Benedict dishes. I would have to agree; the Eggs Benedict was filling, tasty with a pleasant lemon fresh hollandaise sauce.
Nearby the Hotel:
The hotel is well situated for walking to alternate food and beverage outlets. It is one of the primary reasons I chose to stay here when there are many alternate family hotrels and motels. Almost everything is walkable.
My favourites in this area start with the family run Bouchons Bistro, where they have an excellent Table’ D’Hote menu that is displayed traditionally on blackboard and rotates every night. It’s less than a 5 minute walk from the hotel. Reservations are recommended and I’ve had some success of getting day of reservations in the off season. It’s a favorite of mine and one of the few French restaurants you can visit in Western Canada and almost be assured of getting a French waiter or waitress.
There is also a more generic Catcus Club Kelowna Yacht Club Restaurant, which has franchised modelesque waitresses amid a contemporary waterfront environment. Its less than a 3 minute walk from the hotel. If anything, the food here is consistent and mostly innovative, if not upscale mainstream.
I have also previously enjoyed two breakfast locations, both located within a 7 – 10 minute walk from the hotel. The Bohemian offers among the largest breakfast menus out there with a fantastic ability to customize your breakfas using any combination of ingredients. The Sunny’s Modern Diner also offers a great breakfast, although it has a very small footprint, meaning that at times, you’ll have to wait for a table. If you’re visiting in the off season, make sure you check the hours before arriving, as some of these do not serve breakfast all seven days a week as I found out on my last visit.
There is also a Playtimes Casino located within the hotel grounds, if that is your type of entertainment. It is not affiliated with the hotel directly, and I found it to be sort of dingy and tired place when I walked through on a past trip.
The Delta Hotels by Marriott Okanagan Resort:
Kelowna is a highly seasonal hotel market and the Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort occupies the pinnacle of that market. It offers a reasonable product that has its value determined by the rate paid for the property. I believe it represents a great deal at under the $200 price point, wheras if the rate is higher than that, I’d probably post phone a trip until the rate gets a little softer.
The hotel features everything you’d expect from a resort hotel. While it’s not the most modern hotel out there, it makes for a comfortable stay and all my needs were met.