Whistler ~ Blackcomb
Slope side Accommodations
by Lynn McKamey (ScubaMom)
Village Plaza with view of Blackcomb on left and Whistler Mountain on right
Whistler Village has many types of accommodations for every budget and whim - B&Bs, condominiums, condo-hotels, hotels, and private homes.  Some are located near the slopes for ski-in/ski-out, or within walking distance of the lifts.  Creekside, about 3 miles away, has its own gondola to Whistler Mountain.  Visitors staying in Blueberry Hill or around the golf courses usually have access to the area bus system to transport them to lifts. 

Whistler Village (including Whistler Village North) is where the majority of shops, restaurants, and accommodations are located plus easy access to the entire ski area via both Blackcomb and Whistler mountain gondolas. 

View of Excalibur Gondola to Blackcomb Mountin with Westin, Carlton, and Pan Pacific facing it.
Excalibur Gondola to Blackcomb mountain with the Westin above it,
the Carleton Lodge in the center with the Sundial and Pan Pacific on the right.
The most well known hotels are the Westin Resort next to the Whistler Gondola and the Pan Pacific Condo-hotel within steps of the Blackcomb Gondola.  The Carleton Condominium Lodge is located between the two.  Various hotels, inns, and condo units are scattered along the walkways connecting Whistler Village with Village North as shown by the yellow walkways on the map below. 
Click Map for Larger Image

Whistler Upper Village at the base of Blackcomb is a 10 minute walk away from the main area and holds the Chateau Whistler Hotel, Le Chamois Condo-Hotel, Four Seasons Resort, and a few restaurants and ski shops.  A few other hotels and some private homes are scattered up the mountain side. The Wizard Express and Magic Chair provide access to the massive Blackcomb ski area. 

Whistler Creek (creekside) is actually where skiing first developed in this region during 1965 and has been undergoing renovation to become another popular place to stay and ski in Whistler.  It has hotels, condos, and private homes for rent, plus the Creekside Gondola for access to Whistler Mountain.  Creekside might be a great choice for those looking for a quiet, inexpensive place to stay.  Continuous bus service provides 10 minute rides to and from Whistler Village. 

I spent several days visiting some hotels and condos located at the base of the two mountains - all within steps of the lifts and all with slopeside views.  These are some of the most upscale accommodations in Whistler Village, but differ in atmosphere, decor, rates, and amenities.  Full service hotels provide a complete range of amenities, and rates run about 1/3 to 1/2 more than smaller lodges or condominiums.  All rates listed in this review are in Canadian Dollars (CAD$). 

Join me on a ride down Whistlers Gondola where I snapped pictures of the town and slopeside hotels as we slowly descended from mid-station (Olympic Station on the ski map).  The only ones I missed was Le Chamois which is just to the left side of the Chateau Whistler Hotel and the Four Seasons which is slightly to the right of the Chateau.  The photo below was taken as the Gondola was descending from Mid-Station and shows Whistler Village in its entirety. 

Picture taken from the Whistler Gondola as it started decending from mid station.
Whistler Village is in the bottom center of the photo above and has access to both mountains - Whistler Gondola to the top of Whistler Mountain and Excalibur Gondola to Blackcomb.  The Blackcomb Base is to the right and it only has access to Blackcomb Mountain - the Wizard Express and Magic Chair. 
Upper Village at base of Blackcomb Mountain
Hotels at the Base of Blackcomb
Hotels at the base of Blackcomb Mountain
Four Seasons Hotel Whistler
Blackcomb Base
First opened in summer 2004, the Four Seasons is nestled in a lovely tranquil area near the base of Blackcomb Mountain.  As I strolled down a cobbled walkway to reach the hotel during August, I felt like I had magically left Upper Village and suddenly discovered a elegant country resort surrounded with gorgeous mountain views. 
Lovely walkway through gardens to reach the Four Seasons
It is set in a pretty wooded area near the Chateau and Club Intrawest. To reach Upper Village, one walks through the resort gardens and up a series of steps meandering through trees and flowers (in the summer).  Whistler Village is about a 15 minute walk away.   Guests formally arrive at a circular dive off Blackcomb way and enter a grand lobby where reception is located. 
Four Seasons Lobby
I immediately fell in love with the handsome furnishings and understated elegance of this resort.  I also liked its small, intimate size since it has only 240 guest accommodations and easily avoids the hustle and bustle atmosphere of a big, busy conference hotel. 
Upper village walk to the Four Seasons
Rooms and Suites are located either within the main hotel complex (on the right above) or an annex (to the left) connected by a glass lined sky walk.  These wrap around a beautiful garden area and large freeform pool area. 
Freeform pool in the summer

The Four Seasons also has a full service spa, restaurant, library, and huge fitness center with the latest in equipment.  An elegant bar and lounge area is downstairs near the restaurant and has views of the garden. 

Bar and lounge
The rooms and suites are a delight too.  The "standard" room was quite spacious at over 600 sq.ft and was in an asymmetric shape with a king bed facing an angled wall containing a television, built in desk (perfect for my laptop), fireplace, and two comfortable chairs.  It was larger than most one bedroom suites in other hotels.  It also featured the "signature bathroom" which is in every room and suite at the Four Seasons - all contain a long two lavatory countertop, deep Jacuzzi, separate shower, and secluded water closet. 
Bedroom area
Living area
Large spacious bathroom - one in every suite and bedroom
The room that I saw had the option of connecting to a one bedroom suite which had a large bedroom and also extremely spacious living area with sofa, chairs, table, and fireplace.  The combination of the two types would be perfect for a family or two couples.  Or, of course, they can be booked separately. 
I also saw the Two Bedroom Suite with Den that had a perfect layout - the first floor contained a large living room plus a den which could be closed off as a third bedroom.  The living room and den both opened onto a balcony with a plunge pool.  A bathroom was nearby.  Two bedrooms with two baths were upstairs and had a shared balcony. 
Dining Living area
Dining and Kitchen
All the rooms I saw had a private balcony featuring a teakwood table and chairs with lovely views of the mountains, forest, or valley. 
Balcony with teak table and chairs
Few, if any of the rooms might have a direct view of Blackcomb Mountain since the hotel was tucked behind a little forest at the edge of the ski area, however, that added to the impression that one was in a serene country setting. 

The restaurant overlooks gardens and a reflection pool which meanders along an outdoor dining area - quite popular in the summer. 

Outdoor dining area
All in all, Kenny and I would thoroughly enjoy staying at the Four Seasons.  It is elegantly relaxing and offers pure comfort without any pretentiousness.  The staff gets five stars too! 
Note:  Those coming during ski season will enjoy the Four Seasons mountain side concierge - your equipment will be kept at the base of Blackcomb mountain and you will simply walk there, put on all your gear and then drop it off when you are done for the day. 
Rates start at $495 a night during ski season and range all the way up to the wonderful Two Bedroom and Den Townhouse for $2900 a night. 
Le Chamois Condo-Hotel

Le Chamois is an upscale condo-hotel with 62 rooms - small compared to the Chateau and Westin Hotel Resorts, but with the same outstanding mountain views from some rooms.  Located at the base of Blackcomb and next to the Chateau, it has studios plus 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom units.  The decor is "modern" contemporary.  One bedroom units have a sofa bed plus Murphy bed (hidden in the wall), kitchenette, and bathroom - winter rate is $586.00 a night.  The 2 to 4 bedroom units have full kitchens.  These are nice basic units at reasonable rates. 

Le Chamois Executive Studio (should be called Romantic Studio!)
When I walked into a Le Chamois Executive Studio, I was impressed!  It would be a perfect hedonistic hideaway for a couple.  The wrap-around floor plan had a bed tucked into one side, a sitting area in the middle, and a huge Jacuzzi tub large enough for two at the other end of the spacious room with a perfect view of the slopes!  Picture yourself with a glass of champagne relaxing in the hot tub gazing at the moon glowing on the snow covered mountain!   The modern decor worked well with this room arrangement and rates start at $380 a night - a bargain for the space, layout, and hot-tub with a view. 
Fairmont Chateau Whistler
Chateau Whistler Hotel from the Whistler Gondola
The Fairmont Chateau Whistler is the "grand dame" of resort hotels in Whistler.   It majestically sits at the base of Blackcomb Mountain with gorgeous views of the slopes and is just a few steps from the lifts.  Old World charm and luxury surround guests from the dark polished wood walls of the spacious bar & lounge to the fluffy comforters adorning each bed. 
Chateau Mallard Lounge and Bar
It has 556 guest rooms and suites, two restaurants, several lounges, a gorgeous bar with mountain view, health club, and full service spa.  Several shops are along a lower floor arcade. 

The Chateau has a large variety of accommodations from cozy "Standard Rooms" with 300' square feet of space (perfect for a single) for $549 a night to grand Penthouse Suites with a 1200 square foot floor plan, boasting perfect mountain views, an "expansive" living area, loft, and fireplace for $1600 a night during winter. 

Fairmont Room - 400' with King Bed and small sitting area

Most of the accommodations are "Fairmont Rooms" - 400 sq. ft.  with 1 King or 2 double beds, a small sitting nook with a sofa and chair, and a full bathroom for $599 a night.   Mountain views carry an extra $40 to $50 a day charge.  This unit would be fine for a couple who don't plan to spend a lot of time in their room.  Those wanting more space might choose one of the Entree Gold Suites which feature Jacuzzi tubs and fireplaces for $899 a night. 

Rates are high at the Chateau, however, besides having splendid rooms, guests can enjoy all the amenities of this full service hotel resort. 

Whistler Village at base of Whistler Mountain
Hotels at the base of Whistler Mountain
Hotels at the base of Whistler Mountain
Westin Resort & Spa
If the Chateau represents "Old World" atmosphere, then the Westin Resort & Spa represents "New World" elegance and luxury, located at the base of Whistler Mountain and a few steps from the lifts.  It is built up the hillside next to the gondola. 
Westin Hotel Resort as seen from Whistler Gondola
An entry level gallery of shops and boutiques greet guests and illustrates the modern architecture and design. 
Westin Resort gallery of shops and boutiques
The Westin has a large selection of room types - 419 accommodations including studios, 1 and 2 bedroom units. Studios start at $419.00  Light wood embellishes the interiors and gives a bright, airy atmosphere. 
One Bedroom Suite looking toward bedroom
One bedroom Suite looking toward the kitchen and sofa
I found the one-bedroom accommodation quite comfortable with a spacious bathroom, down-filled comforter on the bed, a fireplace in the spacious living room, plus small kitchen - rates start at $499 a night.   Many of the rooms feature mountain views and balconies, however, they mostly overlook the Gondola and pine trees lining the slopes. 

The Westin has the Aubergine Grille restaurant, FireRock Lounge, and 24 hour ensuite dining.  It also has a full service Spa and Health Club plus pool and hot tubs. 

Pan Pacific Hotel
at the base of Whistler Mountain
Pan Pacific Condo Hotel as seen from Whistler Gondola
The Pan Pacific "Lodge" sits near the base of Blackcomb Gondola (with the Whistler mountain gondola only a few more steps away) and is far more than a "Lodge"... this hotel's 121 units include studios, 1 and 2 bedroom suites all with small but fully equipped kitchens, fireplaces, soaker tubs, and balconies, PLUS mountain views.   Little wonder it is a very popular destination in Whistler. 
Pan Pacific in summer

The public areas are well appointed with a Northwest Canadian atmosphere and the reception area has a wonderful fireplace with comfortable seating. 

Pan Pacific Lobby

The 527 sq.ft. one bedroom units are nicely sized and each has a kitchen, fireplace in the living room, bathroom, and separate bedroom - all with large windows or balconies.  A balcony can be accessed from the living room. 

Pan Pacific one bedroom condo
The Studio unit at 410 sq.ft. has a sitting area, table and chairs, kitchen and murphy bed that drops out of a wall cabinet.  A small balcony has enough room to stand and view the surroundings. 
The two bedroom suite has 807 sq.ft. and includes a fireplace, kitchen and two baths.  The master bedroom has a full bathroom with tub.  The second bedroom has a queen bed and the second bathroom with a shower is located next to the kitchen.  The living room opens onto a balcony large enough for two chairs but no table (a nice addition if they would include that). 
living, dining room, and small kitchen
All the units have central air-conditioning for those warm summers.  The small kitchens are fully equipped and have a little dishwater.  Pan Pacific makes good use of space even though the units are not super sized. 

I was most impressed with the heated outdoor pool and two hot tubs (the small one is shown below) with a view of both mountains that can't be beat by any other hotel in Whistler. 

Pan Pacific heated pool and hot tub with wonderful mountain views

The Pan Pacific also has a small fitness center, guest laundry facilities, a restaurant - our favorite lunch  pub, the Dubh Linn - and room service.  Winter rates start at $409 for a studio; $559 for a one bedroom unit, and $759 for a two bedroom unit. 
Note: Pan Pacific is building another hotel in the middle of Whistler Village which should open by January 2005.  It will have studio suites, one and two bedroom suites, plus three bedroom penthouse suites with four balconies. 

Sundial Boutique Hotel
a few steps from the gondolas
Sundial Boutique Hotel
Located just steps from the lifts and next to the Carleton and Pan Pacific is the "new" Sundial Boutique Hotel which was formerly the Westbrook.  Completely renovated into one and two bedroom suites, each features a full size kitchen, heated slate flooring in the bathrooms, and gas fireplaces.  Some have private balconies or large terraces with outdoor hot tubs. 
Sundial Lobby
The handsome lobby welcomes guests to personalized service, beautiful decor, and exceptional accommodations.  Two seating areas are in the lobby, one with a view of the mountain and the other features a fireplace. 
Lobby area with fireplace
Suites are very spacious ranging from 625 to 925 sq.ft. with large windows, bright airy rooms, and lovely mountain or valley views.  One bedroom suites are quite large and have lovely views of the village and/or mountains.  Most of the two bedroom suites have one bathroom, however, 409 and 509 have two bathrooms. Interestingly, many of the master bedrooms have a deep soaking Jacuzzi located on the way to the rest of the bathroom. 
Sundial living room
Sundial Bedroom
Guests have access to a roof-top hot tub with panoramic views of Whistler Mountain - a great way to end a day of skiing. 
The Sundial has three restaurants - Amami, Blacks Pub, and Sushi Village - conveniently located on the lowest level.  A small spa provides in house services. 
As the only owner operated hotel in Whistler, guests can be assured of having a perfect getaway in a prime village location.  Romantics will love the suites with the outdoor hot tubs, families will enjoy the spaciousness, and wedding parties or family reunions will appreciate the personal attention of the friendly staff. 
Rates start at $599 for a one bedroom suite ranging up to $849 for a two bedroom with the hot tub. 
Carleton Lodge Condominium
at the base of both gondolas
Carlton Lodge directly at the base of the Whistler Gondola
Carleton Lodge, managed by the Sundial Boutique Hotel (see above) remains the best location in Whistler since it is centered between the Pan Pacific and the Westin - absolutely steps from both gondolas, and half the condos have full, unobstructed views of both Blackcomb and Whistler mountains. 
Carleton Lodge in summer
It holds the distinction of being the very first condominium built near the lifts when Whistler Village was in the first stages of development.  Each unit is individually owned and has its own decor.  Winter rates range from $290 for a one bedroom unit to $450 for a 2 bedroom condo. 

Generally, all units are comfortable, beautifully decorated, and a great "home away from home".  We've stayed here five times and no doubt will stay here again on our next trip to Whistler.  Here's a photo of one of the two bedroom top floor units. 

One of the top floor units at the Carlton
Why choose it over the others included in this review?  For one, we are a growing family... going from 5 of us to 8 when our three kids were married, to 10 when twin grandchildren were born.  The Carlton has the ability to grow with us without emptying our bank account!  Rates are excellent, comparatively speaking, and they have enough selections of 1 and 2 bedroom condos to match our space expanding needs.  The units managed by the Sundial Boutique Hotel also have daily housekeeping service, a real plus, and the Sundial staff will be happy to arrange restaurant reservations, taxis, suggest winter or summer activities and provide full services to guests of their Carlton units. 

The famous Longhorn Saloon is located on the first floor along with a ski shop which makes it handy if you want your skis tuned.  The Second Cup, a wonderful little gourmet coffee and pastries shop is just across the walkway. 

We DO miss a heated pool or hot tub at the Carlton, but the location is perfect, condos are spacious with "personality" (rather than the same old "ho hum" hotel decor), and the mountain and village views can't be beat. 
For more detailed information including photos, floorplans, and a location map, take the link to my Carlton Review. 

Crystal Lodge
sits directly behind the Carleton
Crystal Lodge
The Crystal Lodge is located "100 steps" to both gondolas and is a full service hotel with 96 rooms and 41 fully equipped suites.  The 3 bedroom units have a 180 degree view of the mountain and winter rates start at $735.  Basic hotel rooms are $260 a night with the studios, loft suites, and 2 bedroom units accordingly more. 
2 Bedroom living room at the Crystal Lodge

It has a heated outdoor pool, jacuzzi, and whirlpool, sauna, and guest laundry.  Two restaurants are conveniently  located on the first floor. 
The Crystal Lodge is a good choice for mid-price accommodations in the center of the village and steps from the lifts. 
Note: During summer 2004, the hotel was being renovated and expanded.  More about that after our January 2005 trip. 
The photo below is a view taken from one of the Crystal Lodge 2 bedroom suites and shows the Carleton Lodge centered between Blackcomb Mountain on the left and Whistler Mountain on the right.  The Sundial Boutique Hotel (formerly the Westbrook) is the building on the left and the Hilton Hotel (formerly the Delta Whistler) is the low building on the right.  The tall white building to the far left is the Pan Pacific and the distant roof-tops on the right is the Weston. 

View of Carlton Lodge and both Mountains as seen from Crystal Lodge
And so... our "picks and pans" are as follows: 
~ Best value and location goes to the 
Carleton Lodge Condos. 
~ Best views go to the slopeside units at
Chateau Whistler, Pan Pacific, and Carleton Lodge. 
~ Most romantic goes to Le Chamois Executive Studio
featuring the big hot tub with a mountain view
and the Sundial Boutique suites with the hot tubs.
~ Best full service luxury hotel/resort 
goes to Four Seasons, Chateau, and Westin.
~ Most tranquil surroundings with exquisite atmosphere
goes to the Four Seasons Resort.
Whistler has many other accommodations (I'd need a month to see them all) and certainly offers lodging to suit most everyone's tastes, personal preferences, and budgets - a great place to visit in Canada. 
Carlton Lodge, Sundial Boutique Hotel and Pan Pacific on Skiers Plaza
Carlton Lodge, Sundial Boutique Hotel, and the Pan Pacific
Photo taken from the base of the gondola during summer.
Go to my Vancouver & Whistler Links page to find direct links to the hotel websites mentioned in this review. 

Carlton Lodge Review
 Whistler Ski Trip Report
Whistler Restaurant Reviews
Information about Getting There
Whistler, Vancouver, & Victoria Information & Links
A summer trip report to Victoria, Vancouver, and Whistler
Main Whistler Page and Mountains Map
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Link to Travels and other trip reports.
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