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Historic Naramata Inn under new ownership, including renowned B.C. chef

The historic Naramata Heritage Inn is under new ownership, composed of four of B.C.’s hospitality experts.
The historic Naramata Heritage Inn is under new ownership, composed of four of B.C.’s hospitality experts. Naramata Heritage Inn

B.C.’s historic Naramata Heritage Inn is under new ownership, including a renowned chef.

Built in 1907, the historic inn is situated between Okanagan Lake and the KVR trails near Penticton, features 12 period-style rooms, and a new local restaurant and bar is on the horizon.

The Naramata Hospitality Limited Partnership announced on Saturday that it has taken ownership of the storied hotel.

Composed of four of B.C.’s hospitality experts, the new ownership group has a deep appreciation for, and commitment to, the Okanagan Valley, the new owners said in a media release.

READ MORE: ‘We’re not firing on all cylinders’: South Okanagan hospitality industry faces labour shortage

“I’ve had the good fortune to work around the globe in my 30-year career as a chef and culinary ambassador,” said chef Ned Bell.

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“I’ve experienced many of the world’s finest food and wine regions. The Okanagan is the equal to any of them.  We are so excited about the opportunity to invest and build our future here.”

The historic Inn was built in 1907 and has functioned as a hotel, private girl’s school and residence over the years.
The historic Inn was built in 1907 and has functioned as a hotel, private girl’s school and residence over the years. Naramata Heritage Inn

Bell, who hails from the Okanagan, is one of the country’s leading chefs. He is also the author of the best-selling cookbook Lure: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the West Coast.

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The other owners include marketing communications specialist Kate Colley, designer Maria Wiesner and retired A & W Canada CEO Paul Hollands.

The new ownership group said the inn is a community hub and a historic structure and the partners want to build on that legacy while launching new culinary experiences.

READ MORE: Agricultural Land Commission rejects fine dining restaurant at luxury Okanagan winery

The Inn will deliver a proudly “Naramatian” experience, the ownership group said.

From produce to proteins, the menus will be built around the best local growers and artisans in Naramata and the Okanagan Valley, while showcasing award-winning B.C. wines.

Ned Bell, Kate Colley, Maria Wiesner and Paul Hollands make up the Naramata Hospitality Limited Partnership.
Ned Bell, Kate Colley, Maria Wiesner and Paul Hollands make up the Naramata Hospitality Limited Partnership. Submitted

“The opportunity to reimagine a legacy property like the Naramata Inn is a real gift,” said Paul Hollands.

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“We are looking forward to creating something that will have such a positive impact on the community, the Okanagan Valley and ultimately guests from all over the world.”

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The Inn was built by John Moore Robinson, who is credited with starting the fruit industry in the region in the early 1900s, according to the business’s website.

Robinson had made his fortune in the newspaper business in central Canada when he decided to head west in search of gold during the Klondike gold rush of the late 1800’s.

Stopping briefly in the Okanagan Valley, he succumbed to the serene beauty and idyllic climate and quickly realized the agricultural and development potential of the area, the website said.

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After surveying and developing the townsites of Peachland and Summerland, as well as many fruit-bearing orchards, he set his sights on what he believed was the ideal location for the “Perfect Community”.

Over the years, the building has functioned as a hotel, a private girls’ school, and as the home of the Robinson family.

The new Naramata Inn will open to guests as of May 2020.