This time of year, we’re pretty much counting down the days until our next solid bank of time off and away from the office. In order to keep the desire to check out in check, it’s time to settle on a quick weekend getaway fix instead. Luckily for us on the best coast (yup!) there’s Whistler at our fingertips – a mere hour and twenty minute drive away from Vancouver.
The conditions might not be the absolute best this season, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still plenty of reasons to dig out your gear and escape to one of Canada’s most spectacular mountain towns (of course, we always vote for strapping in for some mountain runs!). We’ve rounded up a few reasons to pack your bags and go to Whistler with vibes suited to any taste and budget…
Westin Resort and Spa Whistler is always on our list when in search of a convenient, luxurious place to land while in this ski town. Steps (literally) from the gondolas, you are pretty much central to all the powder fun that awaits. They’ve recently revamped and re-launched their hotel restaurant and lounge, rebranding it as The Grill & Vine featuring a local twist on traditional favorites and an entirely new menu concept that is surprisingly edgy (for a hotel). We dig it.
Aava is another option for those that are a tiny bit more budget conscious but still want to be in the centre of all the action. Since opening about two years ago its been highly trafficked and garnered quite the following from ski aficionados. A mere two minute walk from the Village, opt for fully kitted-out suites or cozy up in one of their executive rooms.
Scandinave Spa is exactly where you’ll want to be when your Whistler getaway winds up. Plan on spending a few hours (at least) in this majestic mountainside hideaway. Unplug yourself completely as you make your way from the parking lot towards the serenity of the spa – where you’ll feel the Zen-like calm pour over you. After you’ve checked in, grabbed a robe and gotten the low-down, head out to experience an oasis of cool. Enjoy their eucalyptus steam room, saunas, plunge pools, atriums, hot tubs and more – all sans cellphone. It does not get any better than this.
Sushi Village is the perfect option when in doubt of where to go while in Whistler. Though there are many dining choices (believe us, we’ve pretty much tried them all), Sushi Village always hits the spot with a massive menu of options, Saki Margs by the jug, and seating for 10 friends or more in their booths.
GLC. Point-blank, this spot (Garibaldi Lift Company) is definitely the place to head to for après ski eats. It gets packed on the early-side, so you may want to send out a few friends to scout and claim a table beforehand. Great apps and plenty of local as well as imported beers on-tap, a great DJ line up and atmosphere make this a must-try.
Mallard Lounge at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler is always on our list. Not only is this the perfect spot to head to for some quintessential slope-side chill-time, but they’ve always got a line up of killer cocktails available. Catch live music Thursday through the weekend and tuck in for a night of casual mingling and people watching.
Bearfoot Bistro is where we suggest you head if on the hunt for something a bit upscale. We love the lively atmosphere (thanks to staff and owners who are incredibly welcoming), and the food is to die for as is the champagne ice bar and Grey Goose Vodka Lounge (you’ll need to don a parka and pay a few bucks to enter). Trust us: It’s worth it. We suggest you head there on the later side of the eve… that’s when the fun really gets started.
ZipTrek Whistler. Always a must-do when in town, no mater what the season. Bundle up and head out for a few hours of air-spun entertainment guaranteed to up the heart rate. We vote you plunge in with the Eagle Trek that will have your zipping through five different lines at 1,000 feet above ground (with a 30-storey descent). Um, yeah… you might want to skip breakfast if you’re feeling nervous at the thought. Don’t worry though, it is so worth it.
Sleigh Ride/Fondue. Choose from either a simple sleigh ride through snow-covered pathways that meander deep into old-growth forest – cozied up in plush blankets – or opt to add another layer to the mix. We’re talking about a 3-course dinner featuring a Chinese and cheese fondue with dessert. Whatever you’re choice while in Whistler, it’s a night to remember.
Tubing. Another option you might want to partake in while in Whistler is a trek to the Coca-Cola Tube Park. Located at the Base 2 Zone on Blackcomb Mountain, the Coca-Cola Tube Park is an awesomely fun way to spend a few hours on the slopes pretending to be a big kid again. With varying degrees of difficulty to choose from, it won’t matter how many brews you’ve had throughout the day as you are guaranteed fun times.