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The Kelowna Hotel Eldorado's history reads like a fairytale,
complete with royalty and adventure.
The Hotel Eldorado's origins trace back to the Countess Bubna Litite of Austria. The Countess erected the Eldorado Arms Inn in 1926 on a property located three miles south of our current location. The Countess wanted to create a place where her weary European visitors could relax and indulge in some of the luxuries they had grown accustomed to in the homeland.
The original hotel had twelve rooms, communal lavatories and a luxurious main floor consisting of kitchen, dining lobby and office. At first the Eldorado catered mainly to the local ranch hands and cowboys from the nearby Eldorado Ranch. Over the years, the Countess improved the property, adding many outbuildings featuring screened verandas that overlooked a meandering brook. The large and elegant grounds became home to lavish garden parties that helped put Kelowna on the map internationally. Over time, the Eldorado became far less of a farmhouse and more of a hotel, attracting guests from all over Europe and North America. Even then, the Eldorado was recognized as a quality establishment offering fabulous food, beverage and accommodation.
The mystique and legacy of the Eldorado was furthered throughout the latter half of the 20th century by the owner and former Kelowna Mayor, John Hindle. During this period, the Eldorado's reputation as a premier lakefront property was enhanced and the hotel became firmly entrenched as an Okanagan institution. A series of different owners, each with different ideas for the Eldorado Arms and the land upon which the hotel sat, occupied the Eldorado throughout the mid to late nineteen eighties. In nineteen eighty-nine, current owner, Jim Nixon, saved the Eldorado Arms from demolition and moved the hotel up the lake by barge to its present location. Shortly after coming ashore, arson struck and completely burned the original building to the ground. After a short period of mourning, Jim set out to rebuild Kelowna's oldest hotel. With help from the original foundation, the new building became a near replica of the old Arms. Carpenters meticulously built the "EL" the way they would have built the project originally, paying attention to detail and using plenty of wood. The new building opened one year later on St. Patrick's Day, 1990.
The Hotel Eldorado continues to be a family owned business with 2nd generation Nixon family members and their spouses joining Jim in operating the Hotel.