Mara Lake and Sicamous
After Predator Ridge and Wine Touring (see previous blogs Part 1 and Part 2) our road trip left the Okanagan Valley and headed towards the Kootenays. We did not want to make the trip in one day so took our time by taking highway 97A along Mara Lake and into Sicamous, BC. It is a nice drive and Moose Mulligan’s in Sicamous makes a good lunch stop. The typical pub fare is enhanced by the great view from both inside the restaurant and on the patio. The food and the service are both pretty good.
From Five Stars to Two Stars
We have driven by the Three Valley Gap Lake Chateau about 20 times in the past 15 years and have never stopped in. On this trip we decided it would make a good over-night between Vernon and Invermere. We were wrong! The building itself looks pretty good from the outside and the view from the courtyard and from the rooms of the mountians and the lake are breath-taking, but that is where the positives stop. The check in staff was rude. The whole facility is in need of an upgrade from carpets to paint to furnishings. Some of the decor choices are obvious given the attempt at a heritage style hotel but the stained carpet and 1980’s bedspread in the room was not acceptable. After spending four nights with five star accomodation and service at Predator Ridge we were disappointed. We did not expect five stars but the whole experience was a two star at best.
Three Valley Gap Heritage Ghost Town
Since there was no internet (which we were informed of at the time of our booking) we decided to pay the $6 each (which is half price for hotel guests) to visit the Three Valley Gap Heritage Ghost Town. The displays themselves were interesting and it was obvious that alot of effort has gone in to collecting the pieces. We did enjoy the buggy and car display and the roundhouse. But again we were disappointed with the cleanliness of the exhibits. While it is supposed to be a ghost town there dead bugs, dust bunnies, cob webs etc in the public viewing areas and on the displays. It seemed like the rooms were set up in 1970 and not attended to since.
After our Ghost Town visit our expectations for dinner were quite low. But since there was no where else to eat we ventured into the Monashee Dining room. The service was slow and the fettucini was like soup. But again there was a great view.
So I guess the question is…How much is a great view worth??
From our standpoint there are so many great views in BC that this one will not be missed since we will not visit it again.
What do you think? If you have had a better experience at Three Valley Gap please comment and let us know. Or feel free to suggest some other stops for our Kootenay road trip next year.