SCHMALTZ AND SMARTS: Sparkling Hill Resort’s Multifaceted Desig

by Trevor Boddy / ARCADE 29.1 / Published in September 2010

The key to both its schmaltzy, crystalline embellishments as well as its investment in superior architecture is Sparkling Hill’s patron, Austrian Gernot Langes-Swarovski. Yes, that Swarovski family, of the crystal-peddling boutiques in every shopping mall on every continent. While the Canadian hotel is a personal, not a corporate undertaking, the only retail space facing the lobby is a Swarovski store, filled with the usual range of gorgeous prisms and less-than-gorgeous multi-colored confections in glass (see the “Elvis Out of the Blue” pendant in the Current Collection or the Classic Collection’s “Kris Bear Blowing Kisses”).

Via interior designers Seeton Shinkewski Design Group of Vancouver, the patron’s wishes are executed with crystals set into backlit boxes along banisters, festooning the backs of dining room chairs, and dangling by the beaded thousands in the light-filled lobby. The real strangeness, however, is reserved for the guest rooms, which feature a Swarovski “cold fireplace” in crystal shards lit by flickering mood lights, a trianguloid greeting box of white crystals at the entrance and crystal-prism primed spotlights over the picture-window-centered soaker tub. And just when you are trying to get to sleep after performing your evening bath ritual to an audience of falcons and eagles gliding outside, you notice oblique, nite-lite shapes projecting through crystals onto the ceiling above your bed. Talk about over-crystal!

This said – and this seen, as it can hardly be avoided – the architecture by project designer Chris Rowe of … Read More