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Whistler Ski And Stay Packages

Are They Cost Savers?

Are Whistler ski and stay packages a smart way to save money on lift tickets and accommodations when you visit Whistler for your next vacation? Or do these packages merely combine the overall cost and market it as a "per person" price to make it sound more attractive?

After doing a bit of research, my conclusion is that some Whistler ski and stay packages do save you money (sometimes quite a bit), while other packages, well... not so much.

Now, that information in itself, I'll admit, is not that useful. But what I did discover that will be of interest to you is that "in general" most of the good deals came from the same type of source. So once you know these sources and understand how to break down the pricing on the stay and ski deals you are considering, you're on your way to saving yourself some money.

SKI
&...
STAY

Whistler ski instructor pointing out over Seventh Heaven, Blackcomb Mountain Looking out over Seventh Heaven, Blackcomb Mountain

Out in front of the Four Seasons Whistler Mom with the boys out front of the Four Seasons Resort in Whistler, BC

Breaking Down The Pricing On Whistler Ski And Stay Packages

Most ski and stay packages for Whistler Blackcomb are advertised as either a "per person" price or as a "per night" price. Some Whistler accommodation providers even promote "free skiing" if you book a minimum number of nights with them.

The bottom line for you however, is this. How much will you save by booking a ski and stay package as opposed to booking the Whistler lodging and Whistler lift tickets separately?

This isn't that difficult to figure out, but in order to do so you will first need to determine what it would cost your family/group if you were to purchase your ski lift tickets separately from your accommodations. The best way to do this is to try our Whistler ski lift ticket wizard (link opens a new window) which will walk you through the process of finding the best priced Whistler tickets depending on your groups unique criteria. Or, you can simply check out the complete rundown on Whistler Blackcomb lift ticket pricing and/or Whistler Edge Card pricing (if you live in Canada or Washington State) to figure out what your skiing or snowboarding will cost you.

Once you have a price for your lift tickets, you are in a position to dissect the Whistler ski and stay packages that you come across and determine if in fact they are in fact good deals.

An Example Of How To Dissect Whistler Ski and Stay Packages

Note: The figures used in the analysis below are approximate and are used for illustrative purposes. Please follow the links provided throughout the explanation in order to view up to date pricing on tickets, accommodations, etc.

Alright, here is a quick look at a ski and stay package that I picked at random, offered through the Whistler/Blackcomb resort website. Let's see if it's a good deal.

The Details:

Hotel: Listel Hotel Whistler
Guests: 2 adults, 2 children (ages 7 and 13)
Season: Mid-season booking (mid February to mid April)
Length Of Stay: 4 nights accommodation
Number Of Ski Days: 3-day lift pass for each person
Total Cost: $1,398.40 (all prices are before any taxes)

The Listel Hotel Whistler is a 3-star hotel located in Whistler Village.

Listel Whistler Hotel with Blackcomb Mountain in behind The Listel Whistler Hotel with Blackcomb Mountain in behind

The rooms are your typical "hotel style" with no kitchen facilities in the room.

Deluxe queen/queen room, Listel Whistler Hotel Our four year old son Thomas flaked out in our Deluxe Queen/Queen room in the
Listel Whistler Hotel after a hard day on the slopes

So... is this Whistler ski and stay package at the Listel Hotel a "good" deal? Let's break it down.

First we'll determine what it would cost two adults, one youth, and one child to ski/snowboard for 3 days in mid-season. If all four were to pre-purchase 3-day lift tickets the cost would be $905 ($270 + $270 + $230 + $135) plus tax. (Find current Whistler lift ticket pricing here). If all four qualified for 3-day Whistler Edge Cards the cost would be $768 ($229 + $229 + $185 +$125) plus tax of course. (Find current Whistler Edge Card pricing here.) And to ensure that you get the best discount on ski lift passes make sure that you use our Whistler Ticket Wizard.

Second, if we were to book the hotel room (on the same resort website) in the Listel Whistler Hotel separately from the lift tickets, the price would be $146.30 per night, or $585.20 total before taxes.

Alright, we have our figures, now let's do a little math.

The cost of the Whistler ski and stay package is $1,398.40

The cost of buying the 3-day lift tickets and hotel room separately is $1,490.20

The cost of buying the 3-day Whistler Edge Cards and hotel room separately is $1,353.20

Conclusion: No great savings to be had here. In fact, if you qualified to purchase Whistler Edge Cards you would have been better off purchasing your lift passes and accommodation separately.





Where I Did Find Attractive Whistler Ski And Stay Packages

Unimpressed by the "deals" I was finding at the travel websites and even the Whistler resort sites, I turned my attention to some of our family's favourite Whistler hotels and resorts. I went right to their websites and took a look at what kind of stay and ski packages they were offering (if any) and whether or not they offered significant discounts.

The first Whistler hotel/resort I looked at is one of our family's top picks for places to stay in Whistler BC... the 4 ½ star Fairmont Chateau Whistler. We have stayed here many times over the years, in both the winter and the summer, and it continues to be one of our boys top picks for places to stay in Whistler BC.

Fairmont Chateau Whistler taken from the Blackcomb Gondola The Fairmont Chateau Whistler as seen from the Blackcomb Gondola.
The Wizard Chairlift is just steps from the hotel.

When I visited the Fairmont Whistler website one of the deals advertised on the home page was their "Whistler Powder Ski Package". (The Fairmont Whistler offers a number of different packages that you can choose from.) This particular package included the room type of your choice, 2 adult ski lift tickets per night, and breakfast daily. The price "per night" that I found for a 6 night stay in mid-season (mid-February through mid-April) for a Deluxe Slopeside View room with a king size bed was $595 per night before taxes. The same room without the ski tickets, but still with the daily breakfast, was priced at $550 per night before taxes.

That means that the cost of the skiing for 2 adults for 6 days works out to only $270 ($45 X 6 days). Now, if you were to pre-purchase 2, 6-day adult lift tickets at this time of the season the cost would be $994 plus tax. Therefore your savings by purchasing the ski and stay package is over $800 when you include the taxes.

Two More Whistler Village Stay And Ski Options

Moving on to two of our other favourite hotels, the Westin and the Hilton, I checked their websites for similar Whistler ski and stay packages. Both of these hotels are 4 ½ star hotels, like the Fairmont, but these two are located right in the heart of Whistler Village like the Listel Whistler Hotel.

Whistler Hilton, Westin Whistler Resort and Listel Whistler as seen from Blackcomb Mountain The Whistler Hilton, Westin Whistler Resort and Spa and Listel Whistler, located in the
heart of Whistler Village, steps from the Whistler and Blackcomb Gondolas

Both the Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa and the Westin Resort & Spa Whistler did indeed offer "Whistler Ski & Stay Packages" ranging from 3 to 12 nights. For both resorts I checked the prices for 2 adults, for seven nights during mid-season. Here's what I found.

Mom and boys in Hilton Room with 2 double beds Mom and the boys in our
Whistler Hilton Room

The Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa:

For 7 nights of accommodation and 6 days of skiing or snowboarding for two adults, the price was $339 per night for a Hilton Room with 2 double beds. The best available rate for the same suite without the skiing was $249 per night.

Therefore the skiing portion of the package works out to $630 ($90 X 7 nights). Compared to the cost of 2, 6-day lift tickets pre-purchased from Whistler Blackcomb Resort, the savings would be $364 ($994 - $630) before taxes.

The Westin Resort & Spa Whistler:

In Thomas in the lobby of the
Westin Whistler Resort & Spa

The Westin also offered a ski and stay package, although they promoted theirs as a "stay with us and get free ski tickets" package. Here's what I found when I looked into a 7 night stay in mid-season for 2 adults.

For a Junior Suite with one Queen bed, the price per night, including 6 free days of skiing or snowboarding, was $409 before taxes.

So how did this price compare to the cost of a Junior Suite without the "free" lift tickets? Well, for the dates that I entered I had the choice of three different rates.

1. The "Best Available Rate": $479 per night
2. The "Advance Purchase Rate": $375 per night
3. The "Save 30 Percent - Prepaid Rate": $323 per night

Clearly the "best available rate" is not the "best" as no one in their right mind is going to pay an extra $70 per night for the privilege of not getting free ski lift passes.

The other two rates offered are "pre-paid" rates, the better rate being the $323 per night. Unlike the ski and stay package, which you can cancel up to 3 weeks before arriving with no penalty, if you book at the pre-paid rate you are on the hook for the full amount from the time of booking, no matter what. Keeping this in mind, the difference in the two rates comes to $86 per night. Over the full 7 nights the total difference is $602 which represents a ski and stay package savings of $392 ($994 - $602).

The Bottom Line On Whistler Ski And Stay Packages?



I understand that the conclusions drawn here are anecdotal at best given the small number of Whistler ski and stay packages that we looked at. However it does seem to make sense that the hotels and resorts themselves are in the best position to offer the biggest discounts on their room rates as opposed to third party travel sites. This makes sense as the hotels/resorts themselves have the most At the very least they are good places to start your search.

However, I encourage you to take a few moments and "do the math" to really get to the bottom of the price that is being offered. In the end the price is the price no matter how it is sliced, diced and marketed.



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