Fresh Powder and Thermal Waterfalls: Whistler BC Has Everything You Need for a Dreamy Ski Trip
Canada has a lot going for it right now: Justin Trudeau, universal health care, and an exchange rate that will get Americans close to 30 extra cents on the dollar. It was also just named the number one place to visit in 2017 by the New York Times. Embrace the winter season in the Great White North by heading to Whistler, the picturesque ski town that offers a little something for everybody. Here, a look at what to do, where to eat, and where to sleep in the famed Canadian mountain village that’s located just a few hours north of Vancouver, BC.
Where to eat:
You won’t want for good food while in Whistler. You will, however, want to make reservations. Start with a midday ski-break one at Christine’s on Blackcomb, a sleekly designed and exceptionally executed fine-dining option situated atop Blackcomb mountain. (Why not kick things off with a bottle of Champagne while you’re at it?) Check Araxi, known for its seasonally focused menu made with locally sourced ingredients, off your list with an 8:00-p.m.-or-after booking to give yourself enough time for a pre-dinner drink at its sibling restaurant Bar Oso. (The cocktails there hold their own against any in New York and you wouldn’t be wrong for losing track of time, eating there, and re-booking Araxi for another night.)
Soak up your hangover the next day with a slice of fresh bread or still-warm pastry from purebread bakery in the village, or do penance with a grain bowl and Dr. G’s Ultimate Green juice from The Green Moustache.
And for a real under-the-PR-radar hit, head to Sachi Sushi for some of the freshest no-frills sushi in the province, including in-season-only British Columbia uni, from everybody-knows-how-good-he-is-but-no-one-wants-to-spoil-the-secret Chef Toshiyuki Kobayashi. (Sorry!)
This article originally appeared in Vogue Magazine online on January 17th, 2017.
“The Haute Grandeur Global Hotel AwardsTM was established as an independent and unbiased initiative to honour the very highest achievements from across the global hotel industry in 2014, recognizing exceptional contributions by outstanding hotels with Marinique De Wet as CEO at the helm. This prestigious Awards system is exclusive to the Haute Grandeur brand, and considered without equal because of its method. Unbiased results are guaranteed by placing emphasis on quality feedback from guests, rather than quantity of votes by a panel of judges or general public.” – hautegrandeur.com
Someone once said “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get”. Well we’re going to open up the box and show you the menu of awesome things guests can expect to eat, see, and do when you stay with us this winter.
1. Foodie Happy Hours
Beer, nachos, wine, cheese, Baileys, and hot chocolate. Sadly not all at the same time. That would be a seriously weird mix of the food groups, but you can get them in delicious pairs three days a week (and totally free) at our guest-only Happy Hours.
Happy Hour 1. Beer and Nachos, gringos!
Happy Hour 2. Win and Cheese, mon amie
Happy Hour 3. Baileys and Hot Chocolate, eh
2. Free Snowshoe Rentals
There’s more to Whistler than skiing and snowboarding, and we want everyone to see it. We have a range of snowshoes for guests to take out (free of charge) to explore Whistler. We have small (kids), medium, and large available on a first-come-first-served basis. Afternoons seem to be the most popular times, but we really love a pre-breakfast snowshoe in the morning sun.
3. Super Fast, No Charge Fibre Optic WiFi
Forgot a last minute piece of work that you really need to finish or are you getting withdrawal symptoms from Game of Thrones? Whether your vice is work or Netflix Originals we’ve got you covered and we’ll never buffer your favourite show.
4. 100% Free International Phone Calls
Say what now?! Keeping in touch with family is important – even if it’s just gloating about all the face-shots you got on Peak Chair or the fresh lines after the First Tracks breakfast. All you have to do is dial 9-0-1-1 to get an outside line and then enter the phone number plus the international country code.
5. In Room iPads
This is the one screen you won’t want to escape on your vacation. Next to the bed, in all our rooms, you will find your very own iPad Mini loaded with things to make your time in Whistler more awesome.
On the home screen you’ll find a link to our blog (Whistler’s most popular travel and adventure blog) the Art of Living, you can access our app to help you find activities and events, and it even doubles up as a good ol’ alarm clock. We thought of everything.
6. Free Deluxe Hot Chocolate Station
Because no ski day is complete without at least one hot chocolate, piled high with whipped cream, topped with fluffy marshmallows.
7. Candy Bar Happy Hours
Not that we’re encouraging a bunch of grown adults to get hopped-up on sugar and free coffee but well, you know, some times you’ve just got to let out the inner 9 year old and eat your body weight in liquorice laces.
8. The Best Pay Per View Movies
Want to snuggle in a soft bathrobe and watch Will Ferrell movies back-to-back while gorging on deluxe hot chocolate? Don’t worry we’re not judging. In fact we might just join you!
9. Sharp & Stylish Design Upgrades
We’re a little excited about this one, and if you follow us on Facebook you’ll know why. We’re working with the fantastic interior design firm Beyond Beige in Vancouver to upgrade and redesign our rooms and lobby. We’re hoping to have it all done and ready to for you to enjoy by winter 2016.17.
10. Free Morning Joe In The Lobby
Need we say any more. And, yes, you can come down in your PJ’s.
11. Lift Line Shuttle On The House
You came this far now relax. Don’t waste your energy walking to the lift let our kind (and really funny) shuttle drivers get you where you need to go. Shuttles leave each morning from outside the hotel.
12. No Charge Ski-Valet & Secure Storage
Check it and forget it. Jump off the shuttle at the end of the day, hand your gear to our ski-valet and don’t worry about it again until the morning.
13. In-House Ski & Snowboard Tuning
The Summit Lodge is home to Whistler’s best hand-tuning wizards. Yohann and his team at Underground Tuning have an undeniable reputation for quality and look after the gear of some of Whistler’s most notorious pro athletes. If you’re the kind of person that digs your skis out of the closet two weeks before your vacation, take them for a full tune-up. We promise you’ll notice the difference.
Falling Canadian Dollar is music to the ears of US, UK and Australian travellers
As the Canadian Dollar continues to fall against most other major currencies, it’s not all bad news. In fact it’s good news for travellers coming to Canada from the US, the UK, and Australia. This week the Loonie opened at 69 cents for each US dollar, an exchange rate that hasn’t been seen since since April 2000.
That’s the equivalent of a huge 31% discount on your accommodation, lift passes, rentals, dining, and travel costs.
And there’s more good news for people looking to travel to Canada in the summer, according to an article in Blooomberg Business , as the year progresses the Canadian Dollar is projected reach an all-time low of 59 cents US.
So why wait? The stars are aligned, the snow is falling, and the savings are high!
We’re very excited to announce that we’re partnering with West Coast Wonders to offer our guests exclusive snowshoe tours to Shadow Lake and the Parkhurst Ghost Town for just $49 + tax per person.
The snowshoe adventures will run almost every Sunday (starting January 17th 2016, see events page for all tour dates) exclusively for Summit Lodge guests and include a guided tour with Sean (owner and lead guide at West Coast Wonders), transportation, and snowshoe rental.
The tours are small and intimate to give you the best experience. Places are limited to 6 people per tour so be sure to book early.
Out of courtesy to your guide we have a 48 hour cancelation policy, please see below.
[su_tabs][su_tab title=”Tour time:”]9am – 1pm.
Meet in the hotel lobby at 8.50am or 8.45am if you’re playing by credit card before the tour. [/su_tab] [su_tab title=”Cost:”]$49 (usually $105 + tax)[/su_tab] [su_tab title=”How to book:”]Book once you’re in Whistler: Stop by the front desk and let one of our agents know which tour date you’d like to attend and the number of places you’d like to reserve on the tour.
Book before you arrive: To book your place before you arrive in Whistler please email our front desk directly at email@example.com with the number of places you wish to reserve and which tour date you’d like to attend.
A minimum of two guests must be booked on the tour for it to run.
All reserved places will be added as a note to your room booking and a 48 hour cancellation policy applies.
[/su_tab][su_tab title=”How to pay:”]Your guide, Sean, will be able to process payments of cash or credit. Please pay Sean on the day.
No-shows: We really appreciate West Coast Wonders offering these tours at this very special rate and we’d like to keep this wonderful experience for you and the rest of our guests. If you book a place and do not show up without giving 48 hours notice you will be charged full price for the tour on checkout.[/su_tab][su_tab title=”Level:”]All abilities are welcome (expect 2.5 hours of easy – moderate walking in deep snow).[/su_tab][su_tab title=”What to bring & wear:”]You’re going to be out in the snow for a few hours so ski gear is a good idea. Ski pants, ski jacket, layers (decide what layers to wear on the day, it’s best to look at valley temperatures on the morning of the tour), hiking/waterproof boots, and warm socks.Bring a backpack with water and snacks, as well as gloves, a hat, sunglasses, and a camera.
No denim. Snow sticks to denim and makes you cold, wet, and uncomfortable. [/su_tab][/su_tabs]
Why West Coast Wonders?
Founded by Sean Boyle in 2013, West Coast Wonders is local adventure guiding company forged from a love of the natural world and run with a passion to help people of all abilities experience the wild wonders of British Columbia.
Launched in 2013, World Ski Awards was developed in reaction to overwhelming demand from the ski industry for a programme that was fair and transparent; a programme with a mission to serve as the definitive benchmark of excellence, and to help to foster a new era of growth in ski tourism.
In the award’s inaugural of 2013, hundreds of thousands of travel professionals, travellers, and snowsports enthusiasts from across the globe voted for their favourite resorts, chalets and hotels.
We’d really be delighted if you’d like to share our good news with you readers. Please take what you need from this blog post, or contact vicky [@] summitlodge.com for more details and high-res photographs.
Chat starts on Twitter: Monday November 9th, 2015 at 5pm PST.
Come chat, share, listen, learn and by following the hashtag #GearMeOut. If you’re new to Twitter chats read our blog post 5 Best Twitter Chats In 2015 For Outdoor Adventure, it will introduce you to how Twitter Chats work and how to participate, as well as giving you a list of all the best chats for hiking, camping, and adventuring outdoors.
Jim John once said “you’re an average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”, so we really do consider ourselves extremely lucky to be surrounded by such incredible guests all year-round. If there was a Trip Advisor for guests you’d all get 5 stars, too.
On Oct 1st Meghan became the first winner of our #MakeTimeForAdventure sweepstake contest. The prize: an adventure-filled 24 hours in Whistler, jam-packed with some of the best experiences the Sea to Sky region has to offer.
We’ll let Meghan tell you how much fun she had…to be honest, we were jealous we didn’t get to go along!
The next #MakeTimeForAdventure sweepstake will be happening soon. Sign up for the alerts now, so you don’t miss out:
Let’s start out by saying, I don’t usually enter contests.
The prizes are never enticing enough, I’m not patient enough to register and the fact that I have never won anything before does not give me a lot of motivation. When I saw the #MakeTimeForAdventure contest, where the winner would spend 24 hours of adventure in Whistler, I couldn’t resist but to enter. I input my contact details, submitted the form and awaited the sweepstakes alert email that would grace my inbox sometime in the next few weeks.
The anticipation was building
As I went about my days in the back of my mind I knew the alert email would be sent soon so I checked my inbox and junkmail daily to ensure it didn’t slip through the cracks. Finally, while at work on a Wednesday, the alert email appeared notifying me that the sweepstakes email would be sent in another 30 minutes.
By the computer already, I waited keenly for the sweepstakes email to arrive and when it did, I successfully answered two skill testing questions and within minutes I had won the prize! The catch? I had 48 hours to organise my life, pack my bags, and get to Whistler to Make Time for Adventure.
Dropping everything for adventure
To drop everything and put your life on hold is not easy for many people. For moms, everything gets a little trickier. Not only am I a mom of a 2.5 year old boy Mateo, my entire support network (husband, grandparents) were conveniently out of town for the weekend of the sweepstakes. Not about to forfeit the only prize I had ever won (and an amazing prize at that), the wheels started turning determined to find a way to make it work.
Fast forward 48 hours and I had a baby-sitter organised, a wing-woman recruited and was on my way up the stunning Sea to Sky highway to redeem our winnings.
Afternoon Oct 3rd: Checking in, let the good times begin
Our first stop was the Summit Lodge Boutique Hotel which would be our base for the next 24 hours. We met with Vicky, our gracious host and contest organiser, and received our vouchers for the adventures ahead. We had a quick sushi dinner, introduced Mateo to the new baby-sitter and got in the car headed to the Scandinave Spa for an evening of total relaxation.
Evening Oct 3rd: Relaxation at the Scandinave Spa
The Scandinave Spa is a Nordic-inspired spa situated amongst a spruce and cedar forest just minutes from Whistler Village. The outdoor spa features hot baths, a wood burning Finish sauna, a Eucalyptus steam room, refreshing plunge pools and waterfalls, and tranquil relaxation areas. The concept of the spa is to go from hot to cold to relaxation. This sequence is meant to cleanse the body, stimulate the blood and release endorphins. We arrived just after sunset, a radiant time to visit as the luminosity and steam from the baths created a sense of tranquility and rejuvenation. We spent 2 delicious hours at the spa before packing it in and getting some much needed rest for the adventures still to come…
Morning Oct 4th: Breakfast at Elements, and Superfly Ziplines
Our amazing experience continued the next day with a breakfast at Elements Urban Tapas Bar followed by a short drive to The Adventure Group base camp just outside of Whistler. We would start the day at SuperFly, soaring above Cougar Mountain on a zipline! My friend and I were filled with nervous excitement for the ziplining ahead (my friend more so than me). Our group headed up the mountain in a fleet of rugged 4X4’s until we reached the first zipline of the day. Hoping to ease into the experience we were surprised to see that we were starting on the biggest and the baddest zipline (the highest zipline in Canada to be exact).
After watching the entire group go first (and surviving) we got strapped into the harness, got our game faces on and in seconds were soaring above the mountain canopy, over-top of creeks and rivers in one of the most thrilling experiences I have ever encountered! There were four ziplines in total, each one completely unique. My favorite was the Godzilla, the original zipline, which has an initial steep decent which then shoots you into an open clearing leaving everything behind as one big blur. We had so much fun at Superfly, I would highly recommend it to everyone we know and were walking tall after bravely accomplishing one item from our bucket lists.
After ziplining we raced to the hotel, grabbed Mateo and headed toward the Whistler Blackcomb Peak To Peak. As those of your with a toddler would know, things never move as quickly or smoothly when you have a little one in tow. Because of this, we missed our Peak To Peak experience but will be sure to tick this adventure off the list in the days to come…
Afternoon Oct 3rd: Soaring over the coast mountains with Sea To Sky Air
The next adventure was a scenic flight with Sea To Sky Air and happened to be the item on the itinerary I was fearing the most. I have travelled confidently on several of planes before but when the seat count gets under 20, my nerves shoot through the roof. I hate small planes. After arriving at Sea To Sky Air, and meeting our captain Dave it became apparent our plane was not only small (it was tiny!).
Dave, myself, my friend and Mateo squeezed into our miniature plane, had a quick safety briefing and were ready to hit the tarmac. We couldn’t have picked a better day for an aerial tour of the Sea To Sky Corridor. The sun was out and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky; it was one of those picturesque autumn days where the landscapes are a mirage of orange, yellow and red.
We began our taxi on the runway and it wasn’t long after the wheels started rolling that we gracefully ascended into the sky. In the 15 minute flight we saw river networks, forests, mountains, islands, glaciers and my hometown of Squamish; looking like a completely different place from a birds-eye. We flew so close to The Chief I could almost see the expression on people’s faces as we zoomed past. Best of all the entire flight felt effortless and safe and even the landing, my most feared part of all flights, was barely even felt. I could hardly wipe the grin off my face and the only person more excited than me was Mateo, who is still recounting his experience in broken toddler babble. Another item off my bucket list I can confidently cross off!
What an amazing 24 hours! I feel so blessed to have won the contest and even more lucky that I call this amazing region home. Whistler and the Sea to Sky have so much to offer when it comes to adventure and scenic beauty.
My best friend Lindsay and I had a delightful stay at the Summit Lodge Boutique Hotel during one of the most beautiful last weekends of summer. We were staying in Whistler so that we could attend the Araxi Longtable Dinner in Pemberton, just a quick 30 minute drive from the village. We had never stayed at the Summit Lodge before, and we were certainly impressed with various factors: the hospitality of the staff, the beautifully decorated hallways and rooms, and the quiet and calm ambience that was provided.
Lindsay and I loved the modern decor throughout the hotel, as well as the quality of the products provided in each room (Malin + Goetz Shampoo, the soft linens, stylish dining table, etc). Each room felt very cozy and chic; we felt like we were right at home!
We came home after our dinner in Pemberton, excited to go out and about in the village, but we ended up watching a movie and staying cozy in our bathrobes all night instead! It was the perfect stay-cation we needed! The morning after our stay, we walked around the area and visited the neighbouring local shops and cafes.
We loved the location of Summit Lodge in regards to the layout of the village, and we had a very pleasant experience during our stay! We look forward to visiting Summit Lodge again in the near future.
“We want to make it easier for you to discover beautiful and local places when you’re travelling. Our travel blog and city guides connect you with spots that are part of a community, so you can make new friends and try new things. We visit every single place ourselves and we only recommend things we enjoy doing. Localism, not tourism – it’s kind of our thing.”