If you’re looking for a place to stay that is out of the ordinary and takes you back to your childhood, look no further than Hotel Zed! This fun and funky hotel is located in downtown Kelowna near the waterfront…and you can’t miss its vibrant colours. The hotel is within walking distance to shopping, many restaurants, and across the road from the lake. I know where I’d spend all my time in the summer!
As a modern motel, Hotel Zed offers parking in the centre as well as extra parking behind the hotel which I discovered when I ventured out to take photos of the beautiful mural across the entire back of the hotel.
Entering the lobby to check-in, I discovered a few great seating areas where guests can play retro board games (my family would love this) and a coffee bar! There’s also a ping pong lounge and two rooftop patios—perfect for the hot Kelowna summers! The main patio has a barbecue area for guests, as well.
Entering my suite, I was hit with a blast of vibrant retro colours. Love it! I immediately dropped my bags and explored the retro decor such as a rotary dial phone (take me back to my teen years), comic book, retro alarm clock, and yo-yo! Even the key card for my room was a photo of an old camera.
My suite was quite large and had a kitchenette. This would be perfect for a longer stay where I would do my own cooking. On this visit, I was able to spend some time at wineries and featured restaurants which I’ll highlight below, and didn’t need to cook much. One thing I noticed after searching the cupboards for some time, there are no coffee makers in the rooms at Hotel Zed. They offer free unlimited coffee in the lobby, but if you’re like me, I wake up early and like to enjoy a cup of coffee or two in bed before preparing for my day. I wasn’t about to walk outside in my pajamas to the lobby to get a coffee then have it cold by the time I reached my room. Instead, I bought instant coffee at Starbucks later that day so on my second morning I could enjoy coffee in my room. It would be great if they included a small coffee maker in the future, especially in the suites with kitchenettes.
Salt & Brick
Hotel Zed is located in downtown Kelowna, so there are endless options for meals of diverse ethnic choices. One of my favourite restaurants near the hotel is Salt & Brick. You’ll want to make sure to have the Brussels sprouts with beer cheese, pickled grapes, and gouda popcorn!
Waterfront Café & Catering
The Waterfront Café & Catering is a perfect spot for brunch before spending the afternoon at the lakeside park across the street. When you visit, you must try the Housemade Coppa Eggs Benny… I love that they served it with a side salad instead of potatoes or fries. So perfect! Waterfront Café uses all local ingredients and the chef introduces new dishes often.
Quails’ Gate Winery and Old Vines Restaurant
I’ve been on quite a few wine tours in the past two years and Quails’ Gate is one of my favourites. The Old Vines Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and if you can, get a table on the patio overlooking the vineyard and lake. What I found the most interesting, is the chef created the dishes around the wines (obvious for a winery once I thought about it). Of all the wines we tasted, I have to say the Rosé is my favourite with notes of raspberry, strawberry and grapefruit with hints of rhubarb. Additionally, you can choose to stay at Quails’ Gate in one of their two vacation homes on the lake. I’ve just added this to my bucket list!
Summerhill Pyramid Winery
Another winery at the top of my list is Summerhill. Our wine tasting was accompanied by delicious dishes paired to perfection. My favourite Summerhill wine from this tasting was the 2016 Small Lot Viognier, with a beautiful floral and sweet citrus character, and a touch of stone fruit and spice. When you visit Summerhill, take time to enjoy the view, take selfies with the large wine bottle, and gaze up at the large pyramid on the property!
There’s so much more to see and do in Kelowna. Keep in mind Hotel Zed for a central location to stay and take advantage of the free bikes and roller skates they offer guests, to explore the city. Venture out on some wine tours, and enjoy everything the city has to offer!