The Benches: Luxury bungalows offer the Okanagan dream

Marilyn Wynn | Postmedia Content Works | Published Oct 1, 2023

“If you fly in from Edmonton, Calgary or Vancouver, you’ll be on your deck with a beautiful glass of wine just 22 minutes after landing.”

An exclusive enclave of luxury bungalows in Kelowna’s quiet McKinley Beach community is the absolute Okanagan dream.

The Benches, a collection of 17 single-family homes by Rockwood Custom Homes, is a prestigious development that represents the best of the Okanagan. Built on a tiered parcel of land, the private homes offer a blissful view of Lake Okanagan and access to the lakefront playground of McKinley Beach, a master-planned community by North American Development Group (NADG). The Benches is nestled beside a prominent sustainable winery, Azhadi Vineyards, which is on track to release its first bottles in 2025. And it’s on the East Kelowna side of the lake — a mere 10 minutes from the airport.

“If you fly in from Edmonton, Calgary or Vancouver, you’ll be on your deck with a beautiful glass of wine just 22 minutes after landing,” says Rockwood president Allison Grafton.

The Benches is a labour of love for Grafton, a former investment banker who founded her Calgary-based company in 2009 on the principles of excellence in service and build, financial stewardship, honesty, integrity and full transparency. When asked by valued clients to build in the Okanagan, where she was born and raised, Grafton discovered a profound need for Rockwood’s rare approach to luxury home building.

The Benches is the first exclusive Okanagan community for Rockwood. Each home has a three-car garage and a 600-square-foot covered deck. The exteriors are uniform and architecturally directed, however, the 3,700-square-foot interior living space can be customized to the client’s preferences. The main floor features a kitchen with a 10-foot island and high-end appliances, a mudroom, a primary bedroom with a spa-inspired ensuite and a flex room that could be anything from an office to another bedroom. The lower level has an additional two bedrooms and bath, with the remainder completely open to interpretation by the client and the design/project team dedicated to their build.

“Someone may want another bedroom, a media room, exercise room or wine storage. If they build a pool, they may want showers and a sauna off the patio,” Grafton explains.

Homes are priced from $2.3 million up to $2.6 million. Grafton notes that just nine of the 17 home sites are available and selling quickly. Homes sold to date have been purchased as primary and vacation residences.

“The livability is incredible. You have privacy, panoramic lake views, the marina and lakeside amenities of McKinley Beach and a vineyard next door,” says Grafton. “The Benches is best in class. The quality of the building matches the quality of the land and matches the expectations of our buyers. The exceptional value is there all day long.”

Learn more about the community and the story behind Rockwood Custom Homes at

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Rockwood Custom Homes.

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