Kelowna is the gateway to British Colombia’s pristine natural landscapes, ski resorts, and wineries. It’s proudly nestled among mountain ranges, with sun-kissed beaches fringing the banks of the Okanagan Lake.
The Okanagan Valley region is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Whatever the season – there’s something awesome to do!
The city of Kelowna also has a huge appeal for visitors, but knowing where to stay can be tricky. It’s divided into various districts, each offering its own unique charm and characteristics.
That’s where we come in! In this guide, we’ve broken down the best neighborhood in Kelowna, so you can find somewhere suited to your travel style and budget.
- Where to Stay in Kelowna
- Kelowna Neighborhood Guide
- Kelowna’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
- 1. Cultural District – Where to Stay in Kelowna for you First Visit
- 2. Dilworth – Where to Stay in Kelowna on a Budget
- 3. Downtown – Best Area to Stay in Kelowna for Nightlife
- 4. Pandosy Village – Coolest Place to Stay in Kelowna
- 5. West Kelowna – Best Area in Kelowna for Families
- FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Kelowna
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are the best places to stay in Kelowna.
Best Airbnb in Kelowna: Downtown BnBnB – The Nice Studio
With free beer, breakfast coupons, and mountain views, this Kelowna Airbnb is everything you could ask for. It’s located in the Cultural District, so you’ll have all of Kelowna’s coolest urban attractions right on your doorstep.
Best Affordable Hotel in Kelowna: Dilworth Inn
This comfortable hotel provides comfortable budget accommodation in the Dilworth area. Downtown is a 10 minute drive away, and the hotel is surrounded by walking trails. Rooms are spacious, each featuring kitchenettes so you can prepare your own meals. A daily breakfast is also included in the rate!
Best Mid-Range Hotel in Kelowna: Hotel Zed
This funky, colorful hotel will invite you in with its vibrant decor and quirky touches. It’s situated right by the lake, and you’ll find retro-chic amenities in every room. It’s a unique place to stay, so you’re bound to have a memorable time!
The Cultural District is a neighborhood in the north end of Kelowna’s Downtown. As you might be able to gather, it’s where you’ll find all the cultural delights from this buzzing city!
Dilworth sits to the east of Downtown Kelowna, and is known for its towering landmark, Dilworth Mountain which rises 1,000ft over the city.
Downtown is the best area in Kelowna to stay in for nightlife, you’ll find plenty of pubs, buckets of bars and a couple of classy nightclubs if you want to party until late.
One of Kelowna’sbest neighborhoods is Pandosy Village. This is a vibrant, unique and laid-back hub which spreads south of Downtown. Much of the activity is focused upon Pandosy Street, which runs north to south.
West Kelowna Estates / Rose Valley
West Kelowna Estates / Rose Valley is a neighborhood found within the larger district of West Kelowna. It’s located across the William R. Bennett Bridge from Downtown and Central Kelowna and is sometimes referred to as the Westbank.
Kelowna is the largest city in the Okanagan Valley, and is cocooned by the large, deep Lake Okanagan. During the winter, it becomes one of the most popular bases for skiers in British Colombia.
The central city of Kelowna is broken down into a number of districts. It’s possible to walk between neighborhoods and the entire city is also connected by a bus system.
The Cultural District is the best place to stay in Kelowna for your first visit. Best explored on foot, this fascinating area is where you will find the majority of the cultural activities.
If you’re traveling on a budget, Dilworth is the neighborhood for you. Surrounded by open green spaces, you can soak up the world-famous Canadian nature and find lots of epic hikes in this area.
Kelowna’s Downtown is where you’ll find the best nightlife in the area. This is where you’ll find heaps of bars and some of the best restaurants in the city. There are a couple of nightclubs and live music joints here, too.
Pandosy Village is the coolest place to stay in Kelowna, known for its boutiques, cafes, beach access, and leisurely pace of life.
For families who are looking to be out of the main city and among nature, check out West Kelowna. It’s the ideal place to stay with kids, with plenty of space to run around.
Kelowna’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Kelowna’s districts are all within easy reach of each other, but each offers something a little different. Make sure you pick the base that’s right for you!
1. Cultural District – Where to Stay in Kelowna for you First Visit
The Cultural District sits on the north end of Kelowna’s Downtown. As the name suggests, it’s where you’ll find all the cultural delights in this buzzing city!
The neighborhood is small enough to explore on foot, and you’ll find plenty of museums, theatres, and restaurants to fill your days and recover from your hikes. It’s also perched right on the banks of the Okanagan Lake, so you can digest all that culture and poutine with a lakeside stroll.
Best Airbnb in the Cultural District: Downtown BnBnB – The Nice Studio
Welcome to Winston’s BnBnB – Bed, Breakfast, and Beer! Your superhost offers two complimentary breakfast coupons with every booking so you can eat beside locals, and enjoy free beer. The studio has all amenities, a rooftop terrace, and a balcony with views of Knox Mountain.
Best Hotel in the Cultural District: Kelowna Okanagan Lake Hostel
This centrally located hostel provides dorms and private rooms, each with access to the shared bathrooms. The amenities are simple; it’s clean and comfortable, with free Wi-Fi and the option to add breakfast. Plus, the location is unbeatable!
Best Hotel in the Cultural District: Royal Anne Hotel
This 3-star hotel offers charming accommodation and features a sauna, bar, and rooftop terrace. Breakfast in included in the rate, and guests can enjoy luxury amenities in all rooms. The hotel is within walking distance from the Cultural District and Downtown, so you can easily explore the city!
Things to See and Do in Cultural District :
- Learn about the wine production of this region at the Okanagan Wine and Orchard Museum.
- Explore historic and modern Canadian masterpieces at the Kelowna Art Gallery.
- Find your zen at the traditionally landscapes Japanese style Kasugai Gardens.
- Take a tour of the Tree Brewing Beer Institute. Or simply, relax with a pint and a pizza!
- Pay a visit to the iconic, waterfront Bear. By night, the sculpture really dazzles.
- Wander the trails of the Waterfront Park – home to beautiful waterfalls, sculptures, and picturesque views.
- Sunbathe and swim at Tugboat Bay
- Support community theatre and visual arts at the Rotary Centre for the Arts. They host a number of classes too so you can have a go at dancing, drumming or painting!
2. Dilworth – Where to Stay in Kelowna on a Budget
Dilworth is known for its towering landmark, Dilworth Mountain, which rises 1,000ft over the city. This area is slightly more remote, so prices for food and accommodation are better suited for those traveling in Canada on a budget.
The area retains its greenery and provides ample opportunities to hike, bike, and explore the rugged scenery of the outer central city. A mere 10 minute Uber ride takes you to Downtown, so you’ll never be far from the rest of the action!
Best Airbnb in Dilworth: Downtown Basement w/ comfy King Bed & Hot Tub
This private room comes with its own bathroom and a hot tub! The hosts live in a separate part of the house, so you’ll have plenty of privacy. The room is beautifully decorated and features stunning amenities, including a wet bar and BBQ. Central Downtown is a quick walk away.
Best Affordable Hotel in Dilworth: Dilworth Inn
This comfortable inn comes with a sauna, rooftop terrace, and swimming pool. The rooms here are spacious and some include a kitchenette – ideal if you want to save on eating out! A daily breakfast is included in the rate, saving you even more hassle.
Best Hotel in Dilworth: Sandman Hotel & Suites Kelowna
This modern hotel features an on-site pool, fitness center, and a 24-hour bar and restaurant. Rooms are stylish and comfortable, and family rooms are available. From here, it’s a short drive to Waterfront Park and Okanagan Lake.
Things to See and Do in Dilworth:
- Tackle the short and rewarding hike up to the Dilworth Mountain Lookout for a terrific panorama of the city and surrounding hills.
- Sample the Canadian cafe goods at Tim Hortons – a chain renowned for their pastries and sandwiches.
- Put on your hiking boots and trek the adventurous trails in Mill Creek Linear Park.
- Buy fresh produce, locally-made treats, and artisan handcrafts at the Kelowna Farmer’s and Crafter’s Market. It’s open year-round, Wednesday and Saturday mornings
- Fuel up on burgers, shakes, and fries at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews.
- Wind down with pub grub, cocktails and bar games at locals’ favourites – check out 97 Street Pub or Mickie’s Pub.
3. Downtown – Best Area to Stay in Kelowna for Nightlife
Kelowna’s happening Downtown district is the best place to experience the city’s nightlife. Here, you’ll find plenty of pubs, bars, and clubs. There are also some great restaurants to check out.
During the day, you’ll find some cute cafes and shops to explore. There are plenty of green spaces nearby too, and cultural attractions are a short walk away.
Best Airbnb in Downtown: Downtown 1 block from ski shuttle and beach!
You’ll have this entire condominium to yourself, it’s ideal for families or groups of friends who want to get a bit of everything that Kelowna has on offer.
Recently refurbished and kitted out stylishly, this spacious find is walking distance to all Downtown attractions and eateries. Even pets are welcome!
Best Hostel in Downtown: Samesun Kelowna
Located close to the beach in the core of Downtown, Samesun is the ideal hostel in Kelowna for travelers looking to be in the heart of the nightlife. Amenities include a lounge, pool, patio and kitchen – so you can stay comfortably on a budget.
Best Hotel in Downtown: Prestige Beach House BW Premier Collection
This pet-friendly 4-star hotel provides valet parking, wine tasting, an indoor swimming pool, and a Jacuzzi. The hotel is located within walking distance to the lakeside and the attractions of Downtown.
Things to See and Do in Downtown:
- Explore the expansive Kelowna City Park. There’s a playground for kids, a waterpark, and a skate park. There’s also a beach, and people love to swim in the lake.
- Tuck into fresh vegan and vegetarian fare at the Naked Cafe.
- Have a mellow night at the Cache Lounge with cocktails and oysters.
- Sample locally sourced Pacific Northwest dishes at Raudz Bistro.
- Dance the night away at the super sleek, uber-stylish Sapphire Nightclub.
- Get your poutine fix at Smoke’s Poutinerie. Open until 4 am on Fri and Sat nights!
- Marvel the grand white sculpture of the Kelowna Sails.
- Hang out at casual Fernando’s Pub which dishes up tacos and hosts live music.
- Have a healthy lunch at the top-rated Little Hobo Soup and Sandwich Shop.
4. Pandosy Village – Coolest Place to Stay in Kelowna
One of Kelowna’s best neighborhoods is Pandosy Village. This is a vibrant, unique, and laid-back hub that spreads south of Downtown. Much of the activity is focused upon Pandosy Street, which runs north to south.
Along here you can find quirky little boutiques, great cafes, and international restaurants.
For a breath of fresh air, Pandosy Village is just moments from the beach and is littered with parks. If you’re heading to Kelowna for ski season, this is a great spot to stay and rest after a day on the slopes – and it’s on the way to the Big White Mountain.
From Pandosy Village you can easily access the wine region of East Kelowna as well, if you fancy a day out sampling the local blends and admiring the vineyards.
Best Airbnb in Pandosy Village: Garden Oasis
This light and airy garden suite comes with its own private entrance. It’s quiet, calm, and equipped with your own coffee maker – the perfect urban retreat! A short walk will get you to the lakeside and the boutiques of Pandosy Street.
Best Hostel in Pandosy Village: Kelowna International Hostel
This clean, friendly hostel offers dorms and private rooms. They provide free pancakes and coffee/tea every morning, a free pick-up from Downtown or the Mall when you arrive and sociable group activities.
They even offer free pasta every Tuesday night as well as cultural nights, themed parties and events!
Best Hotel in Pandosy: Siesta Suites
Located in South Pandosy, Siesta Suites offers functional accommodation to groups and families visiting Kelowna. Furnishings are simple but comfortable, and guests can enjoy an onsite pool, fitness centre, and BBQ area. There are shops and restaurants closeby, and public transport connecting you to the city centre.
Things to See and Do in Pandosy Village:
- Find your new favorite coffee shop on Pandosy Street. Hop between Blenz Coffee, Marmalade Cat Cafe and Bean Scene and try the lot.
- Head to South Pandosy where you can sunbathe, swim and play volleyball at the Boyce-Gyro Beach Park.
- Take a leisurely lake cruise with Kelowna Water Taxi and Cruises.
- Browse compelling modern art at the SOPA Fine Arts Gallery.
- Take a yoga class at Modo Yoga.
- Shop for unique fashion, jewellery, homeware and special gifts along Pandosy Street.
- Pack a picnic and take a walk through the pristine Kinsmen Park.
- Revive with a craft beer at the Mission Tap House.
- Take a tour to one of the many vineyards and wineries which sit in the plains just east of Pandosy Village.
- Order the freshest, tastiest blueberries to your hotel from the family-run Gaskin Blueberries Farm.
5. West Kelowna – Best Area in Kelowna for Families
West Kelowna Estates / Rose Valley is located across the William R. Bennett Bridge from Downtown and Central Kelowna. Its neighborhoods are dominated by the craggy, now extinct volcanic rocks of Mount Boucherie.
This is one of the best areas to stay in Kelowna for easy access to expansive green spaces and terrific hikes. These are suited to the whole family, making West Kelowna our favorite to stay in Kelowna with kids.
Best Airbnb in West Kelowna: Spacious Westside Retreat
This stunning retreat in West Kelowna will be a home away from home for your family! Sleeping up to six guests, there’s plenty of room for everyone to stretch out and relax here. You’ll never run out of things to do here, with the lake, plenty of walking/biking trails, beaches, and wineries on your doorstep.
Best Affordable Hotel in West Kelowna: Super 8 by Wyndham West Kelowna BC Hotel
This modern hotel in Kelowna provides complimentary Wi-Fi, a Jacuzzi and an indoor pool. It is a 10-minute drive from Quails’ Gate Winery and offers free parking on site.
All are air conditioned and offer a bathtub and a private bathroom. There are a number of rooms suited to families.
Best Hotel in West Kelowna: Best Western PLUS Wine Country Hotel & Suites
This hotel is just a 30-minute drive from Kelowna International Airport. Kids will love the water slides, and parents can take advantage of the hotel’s babysitting/child services. Breakfast is included in the rate.
Things to See and Do in West Kelowna:
- Climb the volcanic peak of Mount Boucherie by following the 5.57km hiking trail that snakes up the mountain. Varies from moderate to difficult in places, so remember your water!
- Go vineyard hopping. There are plenty of options – we recommend Quail’s Gate, Little Straw or the Mount Boucherie Estate.
- Discover First Nations history and Syilx culture at the Sncewips Heritage Museum.
- Kayak, fish or hike the shoreline of nearby Shannon Lake
- Spend a day hiking the Rose Valley Hiking Trail and explore the reservoir of Rose Valley Lake.
- Plan an overnight camping trip to Bear Creek Provincial Park.
- Eat farm-fresh Canadian cuisine with a view overlooking the golf course at 19 Okanagan Bar and Grill.
- Splurge on a helicopter ride with Valhalla Helicopters.
FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Kelowna
Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Kelowna and where to stay.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Kelowna
Kelowna is a dynamic city, draped in culture and surrounded by stunning natural scenery. Whether you’re looking for adventure and hikes or a calm lakeside retreat, this is a top destination in Canada that’s not to be missed.
If you’re still unsure, you can’t go wrong staying in the Cultural District. From here, you can visit urban attractions, and organize day trips to hike and explore the surrounding natural scenery.
And don’t forget to take out Travel Insurance for your trip! I have been using World Nomads for some time now and made a few claims over the years. They’re easy to use, professional and relatively affordable. They may also let you buy or extend a policy once you’ve started your trip and are already abroad which is super handy.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.
Find out how YOU can support the site.
We work hard to put out the best backpacker resources on the web for free! It’s all about helping out our tribe of awesome backpacker readers (that’s you!). Please visit the link to find out how you can help keep the site going 🙂
For the sake of transparency, some of the links in our content are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation, buy a piece of gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. We only link to stuff that members of the Broke Backpacker team has actually used and never endorse products or services that are not up to scratch. Thanks for your support!