Hotels & Resorts

Historic Charm: Exploring Kelowna's Heritage Hotels

A sculpture of a bird on display in front of a building with a glass window and a sign on the side of the building.
The Royal Anne Hotel

Kelowna's architectural hotels tell stories of the past, offering a window into the bygone eras while providing modern-day comforts. Let’s embark on a historical exploration of Kelowna’s most iconic and character-rich heritage hotels.

Hotel Eldorado

History and Development

The Hotel Eldorado is a nod to Kelowna's past. Established in 1926 by Countess Bubna, this hotel quickly became the city's most sophisticated social hub, hosting events from weddings to Olympic athletes' gatherings. Despite its distance from downtown, it thrived under various owners, including Kelowna Mayor John Hindle. The hotel's journey witnessed bankruptcy and a near-demolition in the 1980s, saved only by Jim Nixon's purchase for about $25,000.

Architectural and Cultural Significance

This storied hotel's original location was further south at 4519 Eldorado Road. Its relocation to Cook Road is a tale of innovation and community effort. Using steel plates from Vancouver and Fletcher Challenge’s tugboats, the hotel was hauled about three kilometres up the lake. Tragically, in 1989, a devastating fire engulfed the hotel. The new Hotel Eldorado, a replica with additional rooms, was built on the same foundation, retaining its original charm but with a modern touch.

Royal Anne Hotel

Origins and Early Years

The Royal Anne Hotel's story began in 1905 as the Palace Hotel, the sole hotel in Kelowna for many years. Built with practicality in mind, it featured sawdust insulation against flooding and a bridge connecting it to Bernard Avenue. It was a hub for travellers who hitched their horses outside its doors.

Transformation and Heritage

In 1929, a local business syndicate renamed it the Royal Anne Hotel, adding a regal touch. This period saw the hotel become a community centrepiece, famous for fine dining and elegant European furnishings. However, in 1971, a furnace fire led to its destruction. The current building, reconstructed on the same site in 1975, continues to celebrate its rich past with tale-telling photographs and memorabilia.


Kelowna's heritage hotels are more than mere structures; they are the keepers of stories, culture, and history. These hotels offer a unique experience, blending the charm of the past with contemporary luxury. A visit to any of these establishments is a journey through Kelowna's rich historical tapestry.