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Vacation, Ironman Style

Guest review by Brenda Arechiga

Six months ago when my husband told me he wanted to do an Ironman Triathlon, I insisted we pick a top destination for his first full Ironman.  I had always wanted to visit Whistler, B.C. so despite the formidable cycling course, Whistler it was.

My husband is a visually impaired distance runner and endurance athlete. We typically use his races as fun long weekends for both of us. We have flown to Boston and Chicago for World Majors and taken road trips to St. George, Utah and Santa Cruz for smaller events. With 10 years of race travel under our belts, we have a pretty clear idea of what kind of experience we like to create for ourselves. So, as soon as he began his grueling training schedule, I began researching hotels in Whistler.

VRBO and AirBNB was not an option for us. We tried it last summer on a trip to Santa Cruz for a half Ironman and I quickly learned I did not enjoy stripping beds or doing other housework on my vacations. I wanted a cozy but modern hotel within walking distance of the Ironman Expo and Finish Line. Since we were also considering bringing our two dogs, we also needed a pet friendly hotel.

With the help of some favorable reviews on Ironman blogs and chats, we zeroed in on The Summit Lodge.  Based on the website photos, I was sold! It had the cozy, lodge like feeling I was looking for. It was dog friendly and it was literally across Main Street from the Ironman Expo and finish line. The hotel also had a spa which was another bonus.

We arrived on an unusually warm Thursday afternoon. We were already mesmerized by the drive up to Whistler. Turquoise blue lakes on one side of the highway and a few waterfalls on the other. I was immediately charmed by the hotel’s large wrap around porch that offered seating at tables and chairs.  The lobby which had two large seating areas on either side of the front desk was buzzing with great energy.

Our room was the perfect size and had was decorated with beautiful, elegant furnishings. There was even a cozy throw for the couch tucked away in the stylish armoire. The small kitchen was stocked with everything we might need. Keurig coffee maker, teas, electric stove top along with basic cookware, mini refrigerator and a microwave. 

The location was actually better than I expected. In addition to being just a short walk from the Ironman Expo and Finish Line, we were also very close to a large super market where we made frequent shopping trips. We were also just across the way street from the pubs, shops and restaurants. Our favorites were The Creperie Montagne, Elements and we also had loved the lively energy of The Brewhouse at Happy Hour.  My husband’s guide for the Ironman and his girlfriend who also stayed at Summit Lodge, thoroughly enjoyed the hotel’s weekend wine tasting hosted in the lobby.

We had considered renting a car but found we didn’t need one. Everything we needed was within walking distance. When we decided to go for a swim at Alta Lake’s Rainbow Park, the staff at the hotel was always happy to call a Resort Taxi for us.  There were always fluffy beach towels available at the front desk. Alta Lake was also accessible via the Valley Trail but I decided to save the long walk for race morning when I went out to Rainbow Park to watch the swim.

It was thrilling to watch my husband and his guide Loren cross the Ironman finish line just as the sun was setting in 13:48:22. After halfheartedly attempting to eat a slice of pizza in nearby Olympic Plaza, I escorted them back to the Summit Lodge. As they stumbled along, Loren, who is now an Ironman 11 times over said it best when he said, “Aw man, I’m so glad the hotel is right across the street.”

Blackcomb Ascent trail opening Saturday, August 6th 2016

Whistler Blackcomb's New Uphill Hiking Trails: The Ascent

Image from whistlerblackcomb.com

Whistler Blackcomb is excited to announce their new uphill hiking experience, The Blackcomb Ascent Trails.

The Blackcomb Ascent Trails are three new interconnected uphill hiking trails that meander through beautiful old growth coastal rain forest terrain from Whistler’s valley bottom to the Rendezvous Lodge on Blackcomb Mountain. Upon completion, the trails will travel a total of 5.2km with a total elevation gain of 1,200 metres.

Trails that will open on August 6 are Little Burn & Big Burn (to the top of Wizard Express) with the final trail completed summer 2017. For additional information check out this link: https://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/events-and-activities/activities/blackcomb-ascent-trail

“These trails have been designed to showcase the beauty and diversity of Blackcomb Mountain while offering an exhilarating uphill hike with the option to download using our lift system,” says Arthur De Jong, Mountain Planning and Environmental Resource Manager at Whistler Blackcomb. “This allows guests to maximize the health benefits of a continuous uphill climb while avoiding the pounding of downhill hiking.”

Day tickets for The Blackcomb Ascent Trail

The Blackcomb Ascent Trails are designed as an uphill hiking experience. For guests who want to access the Blackcomb chairlifts on the way up or down, the Blackcomb Ascent ticket is $15 (CAD) and free for Whistler Blackcomb Season Pass or Day Ticket holders. Blackcomb Ascent tickets include one download on Whistler or Blackcomb Mountain and must be purchased from Guest Services at the base of Blackcomb Mountain prior to hiking.

The Ascent Trail: RobinONeill_BlackcombMountain_3606 2

Photos by Robin O’Neill / Whistler Blackcomb

Wildflower Season

Once you’ve ticked The Ascent off your list, hop on Solarcoaster Chair at the top of Big Burn and head to the top of the mountain to view the alpine wildflowers. The best place to experience the wildflowers in full bloom are are along High Note Trail on Whistler Mountain and Decker Loop on Blackcomb Mountain.

Related post: 8 Whistler Wildflowers To Watch Out For This Week

There are currently 14 trails open and the wildflowers are in bloom for a limited time, so don’t forget your camera!

Hiking on Blackcomb during wildflower season

Photo: Robin O’Neill / Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Lakes Bicycle Tours

Embark on a leisurely cycle along Whistler’s valley trail network with one of our knowledgeable guides,  take in some of BC’s striking mountain landscape while you ride through lush forests & visit some of the many pristine lakes dotted throughout the valley. Soak in the sights and sounds of this world famous resort, and even learn about our town’s spectacular history along the way. Our guides know all the best lakeside locations to take in the stunning Whistler landscape.

Tours last for 2 hour, run daily at 10am and 2pm, and can be pre-booked any time at a Whistler Blackcomb ticket desk or with one of our frontdesk staff.


Look What’s New at Whistler Blackcomb Summer 2016

Peak2Peak Gondola Paul Morrision

This summer Whistler Blackcomb in unveiling a number of new offerings to make its signature PEAK 2 PEAK Alpine Experience even more unforgettable. A few of the exciting new additions includes:

WB+ Alpine Hiking Checkpoints
Guided Whistler Lakes Bike Tours
Expanded Mountain Education Speaker Series

Plus a whole lot more, below.

“Summer is a whole other world at Whistler Blackcomb. We are always looking for new ways to enhance our summer experiences so every guest who visits Whistler during the summer months is inspired to get up into the alpine,” says Rob McSkimming, Vice President of Business Development at Whistler Blackcomb. “This summer we will be introducing WB+ checkpoints to our hiking trail network and we will be expanding our Mountain Education Speaker Series in the Samsung Alpine Theatre, to name a few of the highlights.”

Whistler Blackcomb’s official opening day for the PEAK 2 PEAK Alpine Experience, which includes summer sightseeing, hiking and alpine dining, was Saturday, May 21. Here are some of the changes guests can expect to see at Whistler Blackcomb this season:

New WB+ Alpine Hiking Checkpoints

This summer, Whistler Blackcomb’s web and mobile platform, WB+, will be available for Season Pass holders to track their alpine hiking adventures. Six new WB+ checkpoints will be introduced on both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, including one at each PEAK 2 PEAK station, one at the Peak on Whistler Mountain and three solar powered scanners on the High Note Trail by Flute Bowl, at the end of Overlord Trail, and on the Alpine Walk on Blackcomb Mountain. The new WB+ summer checkpoints will allow guests to time their hikes, track distances, and collect badges all season long. More information about Whistler Blackcomb’s WB+ summer functionality is coming soon, but for now, Season Pass holders not already registered for WB+ can sign up at: https://plus.whistlerblackcomb.com/welcome.


Samsung Alpine Theatre and Mountain Education Speaker Series

The Samsung Alpine Theatre is being expanded to accommodate even more guests this summer and it is being relocated to the lower level of the Rendezvous Lodge on Blackcomb. The theatre will see the addition of tiered seating and will feature new visually-stunning video content throughout the day showcasing topics such as Whistler Blackcomb’s history and efforts to preserve the pristine alpine environment. The Samsung Alpine Theatre will also screen 50 Years of Going Beyond, the 30 minute short film produced by Switchback Entertainment and TELUS to celebrate Whistler Blackcomb’s 50th anniversary.

Whistler Blackcomb will also be expanding its Mountain Education Series held in the Samsung Alpine Theatre this summer. The Mountain Education Series is a dynamic speaker series that looks at environmental, geological, and biological experiences and events in and around Whistler. The series will feature speakers such as photographer David McColm, bear expert Michael Allen, geologist Graham Sinclair, and biologist Bob Brett, and will be held every Sunday afternoon from June 19 to September 4.


New Activities in the Family Adventure Zone Presented by Nintendo

The Family Adventure Zone presented by Nintendo, located at the base of Blackcomb Mountain in the Upper Village, is getting a boost this summer with the introduction of two new attractions: the Mighty Jump Air Bag and the Water Wars Water Balloon Game. The Mighty Jump Air Bag offers kids the chance to jump off a platform onto a zero-shock air bag, and the Water Wars Water Balloon Game sets players up safely in individual battle stations where they will be able to launch water balloons at their opponents. More information about the Family Adventure Zone presented by Nintendo is available at www.whistlerblackcomb.com/events-and-activities/activities/family-adventure-zone.


Mountain Top Dining at The Rendezvous Lodge and Christine’s on Blackcomb

The newly renovated Rendezvous Lodge on Blackcomb will be open for summer operations this year beginning June 11, offering hungry hikers and sightseers the chance to enjoy delicious menu items such as Japanese ramen bowls, made to order burritos and tacos, and hormone and antibiotic-free chicken and beef burgers.

Those guests looking to enjoy a fine dining experience in the mountains this summer can visit the new Christine’s on Blackcomb, which features a menu of contemporary Canadian cuisine prepared with ingredients sourced from sustainable and ethical suppliers. Christine’s on Blackcomb will open for summer operations on June 25. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 1-604-938-7437.


Mountain Top BBQ at the Roundhouse Lodge

Whistler Blackcomb’s signature Mountain Top BBQ Series will return this summer every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night at the Roundhouse Lodge. Guests ride up the Whistler Village Gondola to enjoy a mouth-watering BBQ buffet at 6,000 feet while listening to live music and taking breathtaking mountain views. The Mountain Top BBQ Series runs from Friday, June 24 through Sunday, September 4 with seating times at 5:30pm and 7pm. New this summer, the Mountain Top BBQ Series will add additional Saturday-only BBQ dates on June 18, September 10, September 17, September 24, October 1, and October 8. More information about the Mountain Top BBQ Buffet Series is available at www.whistlerblackcomb.com/events-and-activities/activities/mountain-top-bbq.


Whistler Lakes Bike Tours

This summer Whistler Blackcomb will be offering guided bike tours along Whistler’s Valley Trail network. Knowledgeable guides will take guests on a tour of Whistler’s beautiful lakes and beaches while providing details on Whistler’s history along the way. The three hour tours will operate daily from May 20 to October 10 and will depart from the Salomon Store in the Pan Pacific Mountainside at 10am and 2pm. Valley Trail bikes and E-Bikes are available to rent.

For more information about all the summer activities available at Whistler Blackcomb and the benefits of purchasing a PEAK 2 PEAK 360 Season Pass, visit www.whistlerblackcomb.com/discover/whistler-in-summer.


Guests looking to plan a trip to the consistently rated No. 1 Mountain Resort in North America can visit whistlerblackcomb.com/purchase/deals-packages or call 1-888-403-4727.

Things To Do In Whistler: Come To Our 1st Instameet, It’s Going To Be Awesome

Last year we attended out first ever Instameet, hosted by The Expeditioners and Westcomb outerwear from Vancouver. It was 5 day affair in and around Whistler that was jam-packed full of daily adventures, new faces, and riveting storytelling. We were so inspired that we swore one day we would host our own Instameets, as a way for guests and residents to get to know new outdoors people in the Sea To Sky Corridor.

So here we are. We’ve put our money where our mouth is and we’re hosting our first ever Instameet. And we couldn’t be more delighted to announce that our co-hosts are the very people who inspired us in the first place, The Expeditioners, and jaw-dropping, local photographer, Dan Carr.

Summit Lodge Instameet with the expeditioners and dan carr. Meet at 12pm in the lobby

About the first Summit Lodge Whistler Instameet

It’s a free event and all you need is a pass to get you up the hill because we’re going to hike the Harmony Lake loop at Whistler Blackcomb as one final hurrah to summer. The Harmony Lake loop is a great beginner/intermediate trail for people of all hiking abilities, so everyone is welcome and we really encourage you to come along.

Meet: Summit Lodge lobby 12pm, Saturday, Oct 3rd 2015

Hike: Harmony Lake loop, on Whistler Blackcomb

What is an Instameet?

Instameets are gatherings designed to get folk who are on Instagram to meet up in real life. You don’t have to be on Instagram to come, this really just an awesome opportunity to meet more outdoor enthusiasts.

The last Instameet was a riot, and it was so much fun! Would love to see you there.

Regular updates on the event will be shared on our Instagram account, here: instagram.com/summitlodge


Whistler Concert Series: Free Pemberton Music Festival Taster, Wednesday July 15th

Pemberton Music Festival starts this Thursday: a full four days of music and good times in one of the most beautiful settings in BC.

But don’t worry if you don’t have a ticket, the awesome folks at Pemby Fest (as it’s affectionately known as to locals) are putting on a whole day of free concerts in Whistler at the Olympic Plaza open-air stage, as part of the summer’s “Whistler Concert Series”.

These bands will be playing at Pemberton Music Festival over the weekend, too. But they’ve also agreed to play for everyone in Whistler, as well. What nice people, they are!


Recap: 5 Days Of Adventure In Whistler For #TheBCProject InstaMeet

Two weeks ago we sponsored Whistler’s first ever Instameet – 5 days of free adventure and exploration activities all arranged purely for the love of getting to know new friends and spend time in the outdoors.

Instameets are gatherings of people coming together to connect, explore, and celebrate their creativity, via Instagram.

The Instameet ran from Feb 6th – 10th 2015 and was arranged by travel and adventure mega-couple The Expeditioners as part of The BC Project – a year long journey promoting British Columbia as the ultimate outdoor adventure destination. Naturally, we just had to be involved!

Our instameet highlights in photos

Instagrammers came from far and wide including Alberta, Washington and Oregon to join up with us on various days of the Instameet. Here’s our photo journal looking back at some of our highlights of the week:


Photo by @brookewillson

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 15.29.59

Photo by @callumsnape

cedars sign (1 of 1)

Photo by @TwoTwoFourExplore

wayet and sean (1 of 1)

Photo by @VictoriaFarrand

man in tree (1 of 1)

Photo by @VictoriaFarrand

dan and jess (1 of 1)

Photo by @VictoriaFarrand

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 15.36.14

Photo by @HannahKeiver


Photo by @theexpeditioners & @Westcomb

wayet and hannah boulder field (1 of 1)

Photo by @VictoriaFarrand

wyett and hanna in trees (1 of 1)

Photo by @TwoTwoFourExplore

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 15.40.44

Photo by @BrookeWillson

tom on boardwalk (1 of 1)

Photo by @twotwofourexplore

bella and brooke (1 of 1)

Photo by @TwoTwoFourExplore

brook and gang (1 of 1)

Photo by @VictoriaFarrand

put up (1 of 1)

Photo by @VictoriaFarrand

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 15.18.15

Photo by @MoonMountainMan

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 15.18.46

Photo by @MoonMountainMan

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 15.38.18

Photo by @wildenesswyatt


Photo by @DanCarrPhoto

Happy exploring, we hope you can join us next time!



Introducing #SummitCulture: Events, Activities, People and Good Vibes

Images supplied by event producer (Upswell) and event host (Garfinkel's)
Images supplied by Art Throw Down event producer (Upswell) and event host (Garfinkel’s)

Whistler is awash with adventurous activities and interesting people to invigorate your body and mind…but would you believe us if we told you there’s more to Whistler than meets the eye? And that, if you really try, you can experience a whole new creative subculture that most don’t even know exist?

Well, we’re proud to say you can and we’re inviting you on a journey – through our new blog series #SummitCulture – that we promise will change your perception of Whistler, forever!

Follow the#SummitCulture hashtag across our social media platforms to discover the unique Whistler events, activities, social scene and awesome local people that typically pass under the radar of 90% of visitors and 60% locals, and it’s our goal to get you involved, and having a great time.

To get in amongst the good stuff, though, you’ll have to venture off the beaten path, most likely learn how to read the bus schedule, and be comfortable getting to know new folks. Sounds fun, right?

Yeah, it does.

Tell Me More I Want to Get To Know #SummitCulture!

Awesome. We’re glad you’re in, welcome to the club.

Now, to stay ahead of the curve we recommend you sign up to our newsletter at the top right of the page. Each newsletter will contain (amongst other great tidbits) the latest Secret Whistler entry as we create them roughly every 2 weeks.

Alrighty, now the introduction is out of the way let’s move on to our first #SummitCulture posting.

In honour or National Coffee Day on September 29th we’re going to answer a question that we always get asked by guests: “Where is the best coffee in town?”. To find out our secret java weapon, check out our post: #SummitCulture #1: Best Coffee In Whistler Is Not What You’d Expect


5 Sustainable Restaurants in Whistler

Here in Whistler, we care about our environment. A lot.

Nature is our playground, our main attraction, and our very spirit. So it only makes sense that, as a community, we want to celebrate it and protect it.

If you feel the same way that we do, then you’ll want to check out these five restaurants the next time you visit Whistler. From coffee shop to high-end restaurant and everything in between, the places below have a few things in common. First, whatever they make, they make it really well. Second, they’re each doing their little bit to help make Whistler even more sustainable. Check it out:

1. Alta Bistro

Foodies might recognize the name of this popular-yet-unpretentious bistro: Alta Bistro is one of Whistler’s top dining hot spots (and in a town with many world renown restaurants, that’s saying a lot).

Amid seasonally inspired dishes featuring foods of the Pacific Northwest, you’ll find a menu based around local, ethically sourced food and drink. They buy from nearby farms and artisans, use Oceanwise fish from local waters, and serve sustainably farmed wine.

When it comes to sustainability, Alta Bistro checks all the boxes: an Urban Cultivator provides them with their own herbs, they return organic waste as compost to a local farm; and they cook with renewable hydro-electric power. The food is divine and the cocktails are out-of-this world. A trip to Whistler is simply not complete without a meal at Alta Bistro.

2. The Green Moustache


Slightly less formal but equally delicious, The Green Moustache is an organic juice, smoothie and live bar serving up luscious local and organic meals, snacks, and treats. If you’re looking for a nutrition infusion, stop by The Green Moustache for a colourful juice bursting with antioxidants or a vibrant salad packed with fresh veggies.

More than just food, The Green Moustache is about building a community focused on physical and environmental health. They host talks and events, like “How to Clean Just About Anything—Chemical Free!” and “Sweet Alternatives Dessert Party”. You’ll feel great supporting this awesome local company.

3. Creekbread

If the idea of cozying up inside a big, log cabin in front of a roaring fire sounds good to you, then head straight to Creekbread. This local favourite is equally suited towards a casual family dinner as it is for a celebration with friends. The menu is simple—pizza and salad—but the flavours are anything but.

Using local, organic ingredients as much as possible, Creekbread crafts unique, mouthwater pizzas featuring toppings like British Columbia grown mushrooms, Pemberton potatoes, cheeses from Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, and homemade sausage. They rely only on fire to cook their pizzas, right before your eyes. It all makes for a meal that you won’t forget.

4. Mount Currie Coffee Company


Whistler residents rejoiced when the beloved Pemberton coffee shop, Mount Currie Coffee Company, opened a second location in Whistler Village. Not only do they serve up a mean latte, but they aim to be as sustainable as possible.

Some of their initiatives include using organic local produce, compostable flatware and to go cups, and natural meats and organic eggs. They also take recycling and composting very seriously: they even won a local competition held by Whistler’s Centre for Sustainability with their big ideas for a composting proposal. So stop by for your daily  caffeine infusion and grab a breakfast, while you’re at it.

5. Aura

We cap our list off with another fine dining restaurant. Aura’s farm-to-table approach yields delicious dishes made up with fresh ingredients from their rooftop garden and local farms, foragers and fisheries.

Chef Paul Moran knows how to work with local foods: he leads foraging classes, showing students the best nearby spots to find savory mushrooms. He serves up the findings in multi course dinners with so many delicious flavours and textures that your head will be spinning. The meal is best enjoyed from Aura’s patio overlooking the beautiful Nita Lake.

It’s Time to Swap Your Skis for Your Mountain Bike!


Whistler Village is looking a little different these days.

While you can still spot a few die-hard skiers and snowboarders meandering the Village Stroll in heavy boots and winter gear, you’re more likely to observe throngs of armor clad mountain bikers speckled with dirt, tough-looking bikes in tow. May 16th marked the official opening day of Whistler’s world-renown bike park, and the many local and visiting mountain biking enthusiasts couldn’t be happier.

Welcome to the Whistler Bike Park

The Whistler Bike Park is famous for its sheer size and for the variety of trails offered throughout the park: first-timers and seasoned pros alike (and everyone in between) will find plenty of options that are perfectly suited for them. The incredible terrain and views set the perfect stage for a day spent navigating through winding trails. You’ll be amazed at how different the mountain looks once the snow has melted: runs that you’ve skied a thousand times suddenly take on a new life when being conquered by bike.

Getting Started

It can be intimidating to tackle the Whistler Bike Park for the first time– that’s why we recommend enrolling in a few lessons with one of Whistler’s many qualified instructors. Check out the Whistler’s official Bike Park 101 program to get started. You’ll probably be surprised at just how tough it can be to navigate a bike downhill, but the thrill of the challenge combined with the spectacular coastal temperate rainforest scenery will undoubtedly leave you wanting more.

Like a Pro

For those who have already been bitten by the downhill mountain biking bug, we probably don’t need to do much work to convince you that Whistler is THE place to ride. Case in point: every August, Whistler hosts Crankworx, the infamous freeride mountain bike festival. If it’s good enough for the pros, chances are pretty good that you’ll have an unforgettable time playing the bike park.

The World of XC Mountain Biking

Mountain biking isn’t just limited to the downhill variety: equally as enthralling is cross country mountain biking, or “XC” biking. From Squamish to Whistler to Pemberton, the Sea to Sky region is chock-full of undulating paths and trails just begging to be explored by bike. Many trails are peppered with man-made features, making it a veritable playground in the woods.

The Wonderful World of WORCA

You can’t discuss cross country mountain biking in Whistler without talking about WORCA, the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association. For the past 25 years, WORCA has been an advocate for all things mountain biking in the Sea to Sky area. They also throw some of the best events in town.

The Toonie Rides are, without a doubt, WORCA’s most popular series: for a mere $2 (half of which goes towards WORCA’s trail maintenance, the other half dedicated to the winners’ prize purse), bikers with their own gear can join other XC enthusiasts on a pre-determined route, culminating in an apres session at a local watering hole. The Toonie Rides take place every Thursday. Fierce competitors and recreational riders alike are welcome to join in on the fun.

Crud 2 Mud

Mountain biking is celebrated throughout many events over the summer months. First up is “Crud 2 Mud”, an event that is all about bridging the ski and biking seasons. This Saturday (May 24th), competitors will descend Whistler Mountain on skis or a snowboard until the snow runs out. Then, they will swap their snow gear for a downhill mountain bike, and will continue to ride down the mountain right into the Village. There is no better way to celebrate the turn of the season!

It’s a Dog’s Life at the Summit Lodge

Dog Friendly Whistler Hotel | Summit Lodge Hotel

At the Summit Lodge, pets are acknowledged as beloved family members. “Can you imagine traveling without your kids?” exclaims Lorraine Yeung of the Summit’s marketing department, echoing the sentiments of general manager Tony Medd.

Indeed, the entire staff welcomes dogs with arms wide open—literally. “Our front desk staff looooove dogs,” says Lorraine. “We love to come around the desk and greet them, give them some treats, and make sure they have a couple of dog amenities.” In fact, there are even dogs on staff—Lorraine’s dog, Talitha, our working Rottweiler, has been on the job since the ripe age of eight weeks.

Introducing the Summit Lodge’s Pet Package

At its very core, the Summit Lodge is about ensuring that guests have a positive experience. “We love to be able to do anything to make our guests have the best day ever,” says Lorraine. That’s why the hotel is so excited to unveil its new and improved pet package: they know that happy pets and happy guests go hand-in-hand.

While human guests can sample Aveda products and indulge in the treatments offered at the on-site Taman Sari Heritage Spa, there are plenty of opportunities to pamper pooches, too. “Gourmet pet baskets” greet pets and their owners as they enter their room for the first time, complete with a dog bed and blankets, healthy local-made dog treats, eco-friendly baggies and green-centric dog toys.

Exploring Dog-Friendly Whistler

Dog Friendly Whistler Hotel | Summit Lodge Hotel

Your puppy will have plenty to do while you relax in your room, but he or she will be equally excited to join you as you explore everything that Whistler has to offer. The Summit Lodge offers free bike rentals, and Lorraine advises guests to borrow a bike and take a leisurely ride through the Lost Lake Trails, dog leashed in tow. “Spend a little bit of time at Canine Cove or Barking Bay,” she insists, referring to a few of Whistler’s dog-friendly beaches. Pick up a few treats at Purebread and make a picnic of the day!

A simple walk along the Village Stroll can be fun, too. “Aside from all the exciting sights and smells, there are so many pet-friendly shops in Whistler. There is also lots of outdoor seating—you can’t bring your dog onto a patio, but you can tie your dog up just outside the patio.” That means enjoying an après-ski beverage while keep a close eye on your four-legged friend.

“In the summer especially, we can have so many dogs in the Village,” says Lorraine, “offering plenty of opportunities for socialization.” Her own pup enjoys mingling with other local and visiting dogs in the large grassy area in the Olympic Plaza.

Planning Your Pet-Friendly Trip

Dog Friendly Whistler Hotel | Summit Lodge Hotel

Of course, having lots of pets in town means that you’ll need to plan ahead to make sure your own dog is taken care of. “Not many properties allow pets to be left alone in a hotel room. Dog sitters and walkers can get booked up very quickly,” says Lorraine. “Do a little bit of Google-ing to find all of the pet-friendly places in Whistler.” The Summit staff can offer their own recommendations, too.

Keen on the idea of your pet joining you on your Whistler adventure? There are a few things you can do to prepare for your pooch. “When I travel with my dog, I bring some treats,” says Lorraine, highlighting that this is an especially good tactic if your pet tends to get anxious or overexcited. Treats will encourage your pet to associate traveling with positive experiences. “I might also bring them a blanket or toy, to make them feel at home and to provide a bit of familiarity,” advises Lorraine. “If your dog is crate-trained, a crate can make them feel really secure.”

Is That a… Tiger?

Dog Friendly Whistler Hotel | Summit Lodge Hotel

Unlike many other Whistler accommodations, the Summit Lodge does not limit the number of dogs or the size of dog permitted in the room. As long as you provide advance notice, the Summit will happily accommodate you and your pets on a dog-friendly floor—your canine will even receive a personalized shout-out on the in-house dog board by the front desk!

Other pets are welcome, too, as long as owners notify the hotel ahead of time in order to understand the policies in place. Hotel employees recalled the time a famous rapper brought a wild cat into the hotel (Small leopard? Mini tiger? The official breed was never confirmed).

Certified Dog-Approved

Dog Friendly Whistler Hotel | Summit Lodge Hotel

And what do the dogs think about the Summit Lodge experience? The proof is in the pudding: just as human guests make a point of returning to the Summit, so do their dogs. Lorraine tells me about one of her favourite regulars, a retriever named Bentley. She enjoys catching up with Bentley’s family and keeping up on their lives. “One of the best parts of our jobs is seeing these guests that keep coming back.”

To find out more about the Summit Lodge’s dog-friendly experience, check out the hotel’s pet policies and treat your dog to the ultimate Whistler experience!