Whistler Ski Lodging
An Area By Area Tour
When my family and I head out for an extended trip to Whistler
Blackcomb, our choice of Whistler ski lodging is always at the top of
the list in terms of importance.
Lucky for us we have stayed in the
majority of the available hotels, resorts, lodges and condominiums over
the past 20 years, so we have a pretty good idea of where we like to
You, on the other hand, might not be so lucky. Especially if you are
planning your first trip to the resort and don't know the difference
between the Chateau Whistler and the Whistler Village Inn and Suites
for example. But just as important as knowing about the individual
places to stay, is knowing about the different "Whistler accommodation
areas" that house the bulk of your Whistler lodging options. So
to help you out, let's
go on a
little tour and I'll show you around those areas (and point out some of
our favourite places to stay in Whistler along the way).
Whistler Ski Lodging Map
I thought the best way to start our Whistler accommodation area tour
would be to take a look at the big picture so to speak. Above is the
view you would have from the top of one of the neighbouring mountains
that sits across the valley from Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains.
is what it looks like from the peak of Whistler Mountain.) On
this "map" of Whistler I have included some of the key ski lifts so
that you can see where they originate relative to the different
accommodation areas. The six coloured
polygons on the map represent the
six distinct lodging areas in Whistler. Of those six, you will find
that the majority of Whistler ski lodging is located within just four
of those areas (the red, yellow, blue and aqua areas).
The Four Main Whistler Accommodation Areas
Unless you are renting a private chalet or home, your Whistler
lodging of choice will almost surely be located in one of the following
Mom and our two boys in Whistler Village. The Crystal
is on the right and Blackcomb Mountain in behind
This is the "main" village of Whistler. If you want to stay right in
the heart of the action
(restaurants, shops, nightlife etc.), and have access to both Blackcomb
and Whistler Mountains practically at your doorstep each morning, then
Whistler Village would be your area of choice when booking your
Whistler ski lodging.
The village was designed and built around 1980 as a pedestrian only
area which helps give it that European ski village feel.
Accommodation options within the main village range from high end
hotels and resorts such as the Whistler Hilton and the two Pan Pacific
to more basic lodgings such as the Best Western and Holiday Inn.
Whistler Village Lodging Recommendation
If it were up to our son Callum, we'd likely stay at the Pan Pacific
Whistler Village Centre every time we visit Whistler. (Let's just say
he's not opposed to luxury.) I think he particularly enjoys the great
breakfast buffet spread each morning, the modern, luxurious suites,
the friendly staff and of course the nice outdoor pool and hot tub with
views of both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Here are some pictures
from one of our stays...
|Callum in front of the Pan Pacific Whistler
|The view out over the pool with Whistler
Mountain in the background
|Checking out the incredible buffet breakfast
|Our boys with their favourite waitress,
|Relaxing in our one bedroom suite
|Luxurious bathrooms and modern kitchen areas
Whistler Village North, Whistler Mountain
background Delta Whistler Village Suites on the right
Directly adjacent to the main village is Whistler Village North. As
the name suggests this extension of Whistler Village lies just to its
I say "extension" because this village was designed to extend the main
village and mimic the feel and layout in terms of accommodations,
shops, restaurants, bars etc. Like the main village, Village North is
also a pedestrian only area.
Although some of the Whistler ski lodging options in this area are
still technically within walking distance to the lifts, the distance
starts to become significant when you are wearing ski boots and lugging
your equipment (and your children's equipment as well!). A couple of
the hotels in this area offer free shuttles
to and from the mountains (the Delta and the Summit Lodge) on a regular
schedule. But even if you stay elsewhere in this area, a bus stop where
you can catch a free bus to the mountains is never far away.
Your Whistler ski lodging options in Whistler Village North range from
the higher end Delta Whistler Village Suites, to basic condominiums, to
four star chalet/homes located outside of the actual village area.
Whistler Village North Lodging
When choosing Whistler ski lodging in this area, our top choice tends
to be the Delta Whistler Village Suites. Located just over the
pedestrian bridge from the main village, the Delta is a modern hotel
with nice amenities. We stayed there recently while our 8 year old son
Callum was hired for a photo shoot on Whistler Mt. for Boden clothing
Boden" catalogue. Here are some photos from our stay...
|Our three year old Thomas "hanging out" at
the entrance, and a cozy fireplace inside
|Front entrance to the Delta Whistler
|Interior of our one bedroom suite
|The master bedroom
|The swimming pool
|Our little supermodel Callum in the Mini
Boden catalogue, posing
at Whistler ski resort in Canada
(photo credit: Boden)
Upper Village (Base of Blackcomb Mountain)
Whistler Upper Village pedestrian walkway
Le Chamois Hotel
The Whistler Upper Village is located at the base of Blackcomb Mountain
and is about a 5 to 10 minute walk from the main village.
Although you will find a handful of restaurants and shops in this area,
what you will find the most of is hotels and lots of condominiums
. In fact, if
you are looking for true ski-in-ski-out Whistler ski lodging, this is
the best area to look.
The village area itself has a short pedestrian only walking area that
basically runs from the front entrance of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler
over to the base of the Wizard chair lift.
The upper village actually encompasses quite a large area, and a large
number of lodging options. As such, it is highly likely that if you are
considering booking a condominium in Whistler/Blackcomb, this is an
area that you may end up in. And while there are a good number of
Whistler ski lodging options here that are located within walking
distance to the lifts (or ski-in-ski-out), many of the places require
you to hop on the free village shuttle to access the mountains.
Whistler Upper Village Accommodation
Instead of just recommending one place to stay in this area, I thought
that since there were so many options I'd give you our top two picks.
One pick will be in the hotel category, the other in the condominium
Our Top Hotel Pick
Fairmont Chateau Whistler is not only our top hotel choice in the Upper
Village, it also ranks right up near the top of our overall Whistler
ski lodging top picks. Built to emulate a traditional French château,
this Whistler resort sits right at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, and
only steps from the Wizard chair lift. Here are some photos from one of
our trips when we stayed at "The Chateau" as it's known locally...
Our Top Whistler Upper Village Condo
|View of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler from
beside the base of the Wizard chairlift, Blackcomb Mountain
|Entrance/Great Hall (left), outdoor fire
pit with a view of Whistler Mountain (right)
|My son and I enjoying a swim in one of the
|Inside the spa area where you will find hot
tubs, saunas, steam rooms and work out facilities
|Mom and Thomas enjoying "dinner and drinks"
in the spacious Mallard Lounge, Chateau Whistler
|Family breakfast at The Wildflower, located
on the main floor
Living in Vancouver allows our family the luxury of visiting Whistler
Blackcomb for short weekend trips, in addition to the longer stays over
Spring Break or Christmas holidays. As such, the length of our stay
will often play into our choice of Whistler ski lodging.
When we are just up for the weekend we typically will only book
accommodation for a Saturday night giving us very little time to fully
enjoy the place we are staying. However, when we head up for a longer
stay we like to make sure that we end up in a place that is spacious,
well located and with some nice amenities to enjoy on site. Hence our
choice of the Woodrun Lodge last March when we were planning our annual
week long trip during the kid's school break.
The Woodrun Lodge is one of the original "true" ski-in-ski-out Whistler
ski lodging options on Blackcomb Mountain. (I say "true" because you
can truly ski-in and ski-out right from the door of the ski locker
room. No five to ten minute hikes with young kids.) And because it is
one of the original condominium buildings built on Blackcomb, the
suites are very, very spacious, unlike some of the newer properties
where space is at a premium. Here are some photos from our stay...
|Callum ready to put on his skis and head to
the lift (Woodrun in background)
down to the base of Blackcomb from beside the Woodrun Lodge
|The pool (with a ski run in behind)...
|and arguably one of the biggest (and best)
hot tubs in all of Whistler!
|The living room of our two bedroom condo
(lots of room, and vaulted ceilings to boot!)
|The large kitchen and entranceway
Snowboarding into Whistler Creekside Village
First Tracks Lodge (left), Legends Hotel (right)
Whistler Creekside or "The Creek" as it's also known, is located at
the original base of Whistler Mountain circa 1966. It remained so until
the new main village was built around 1980.
Within the last decade, a tremendous amount of redevelopment has
taken place in this area to give it more of a village feel. (The area
where the new village sits used to be a gravel parking lot a few years
ago, so the upgrade was necessary and made for quite an improvement in
the aesthetics of the area.) New high end resort hotels have been added
along with a small "pedestrian only" village with shopping and
Many of the Whistler ski lodging options here are located within a
stones throw of the Creekside Gondola, and there is also a ski school
area for tots located right at the base.
Whistler Creekside Village
As I eluded to above, when our family plans an extended stay in
Whistler BC we like to make sure we choose lodgings that have an
excellent location, great amenities and nice spacious suites. Well, for
a recent 4 night stay in Whistler we opted for a one bedroom suite at
Whistler First Tracks Lodge in the Creekside area and were definitely
disappointed. Our youngest boy Thomas loved the place so much he wanted
to skip the skiing and play in the pool and hot tub all day. Here are
some photos from our stay...
|First Tracks Lodge located just steps from
the Creekside Gondola
|Cal and Thomas enjoying the pool. There are
two separate hot tubs in the background, one for adults only
|The lovely dining and living area...
|and the modern spacious kitchen
|The large master bedroom (left) and en
suite bathroom with heated slate floors, separate shower and bath and
two sinks (right)
|Thomas and Callum celebrating their own
little bedroom (the couch pulls out) with their own television!
The Remaining Two Whistler Ski Lodging Areas
The final two Whistler ski lodging areas, Nicklaus North and Blueberry
Hill, cater more to people who are looking to rent larger private homes
and chalets during their stay in Whistler.
area is located on a hill (hence the name) overlooking the Whistler
Golf Course. Accommodations in this area are comprised of a few
condominium properties, and an assortment of private homes and chalets.
When the Prince of Wales vacationed in Whistler a few
years ago, his party rented four large chalets in the Blueberry Hill
area so that should give you an idea of the quality of the properties
The area known as Nicklaus North is actually a small neighbourhood that
is adjacent to the Nicklaus North Golf Course. The only accommodations
available in this area are larger, private homes and chalets.