Unbeknownst to many, Whistler laid down roots originally as a summer fishing resort, not a ski hill. Until the early 1970s, that is, when locals and government planners reimagined it as a bustling, year-round international destination. This bold vision hinged on an innovative, resort-wide lodging plan that would become the cornerstone of Whistler’s success. First, most accommodations would be near the action: Now more than two thirds of Whistler’s 30,000 guest beds are within a seven-minute walk of lifts, the main Village, quiet Upper Village (also known as Blackcomb base), or Creekside. Also, the majority of Whistler’s lodging (including top choices like the Four Seasons Resort, both Pan Pacifics, and the slopeside Westin and First Tracks Lodge) would be owned as condominiums but operate as hotels. Condos mean kitchens—a near-requirement for families. Hotels mean services like front desks, concierges, daily housekeeping, ski valets, and room service.
Despite the fact that there are few new hotels or renovations in the works this season, Whistler offers a lodging scene that’s one of the best in the high country. From the boutique, stylish Aava to the bustling Pan Pacific to the budget-friendly but surprisingly pleasant Backpacker Hostel, there’s enough variety in this town to please all comers. Best of all, Whistler’s original amenities—its majestic peaks, lush forests, and snowy slopes—are always in easy reach. Click for three distinctly Whistler options.
Photo: Courtesy of Pan Pacific