Luxury skiing in Whistler, Canada

Kathy Carter


Whistler, a world-class alpine retreat nestled in the breathtaking Canadian Rockies, is a one-stop-shop for winter sporting excellence. Named after the shrill, whistling calls of the local hoary marmot rodent (an iconic part of the local wildlife), this beloved upscale ski resort is a world-renowned sporting destination, and apres-ski paradise.

World-class skiing

Whistler epitomises luxury skiing for discerning travellers, not least because it was a host city for the 2010 Winter Olympics resulting in its sporting facilities being second to none. You have at your disposal over 8,000 acres of skiable terrain across two mountains – Whistler and Blackcomb. This winter wonderland truly offers a fusion of apres-ski ambience and enjoyable runs and trails, all set in outstanding natural beauty.

With its reliable snowfall, well-maintained trails and top-level tuition, the destination is suitable for skiers and snowboarders of all levels of experience. Blackcomb’s ‘Green Line’ is for example a nice easy run, accessible from both the Whistler Village Gondola and the Blackcomb Gondola, with a very forgiving slope, and plenty of space for those inevitable early falls. Meanwhile, if you are more experienced and want to get your adrenaline pumping, Whistler’s gorgeous High Note Trail is regarded as a challenging run, providing opportunities for advanced skiers and riders to navigate through deep powder, stunning glades and thrilling descents. 

Scenic Beauty

The natural beauty of Whistler really makes the resort an enchanting destination – the region boasts a combination of picturesque snow-covered mountains, crystal-clear lakes, evergreen forests and stunning vistas that are unrivalled. The resort’s history is deeply rooted in indigenous culture, with the Squamish and Lil'wat First Nations having lived in the area for thousands of years, and this heritage is truly celebrated.

Whistler's winter scenery is a photographer's paradise, with opportunities to capture the local beauty while you’re not hitting the slopes. We recommend riding the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, to enjoy breath-taking vistas of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, and 360-degree views of snow-covered landscapes. The Lost Lake Park has a beautiful frozen lake and is a tranquil spot for winter photography or just mindful resting; while the Brandywine Falls Provincial Park is just a short drive from Whistler, featuring a stunning 70-meter waterfall surrounded by winter landscapes.

Après-ski culture

Whistler's après-ski caters to the most discerning winter enthusiast; the many venues at the resort offer a blend of opulence and authentic mountain charm. Check out the vibe in the quaint Whistler Village, where you will find Michelin-starred restaurants and exclusive cocktail bars rubbing shoulders with more intimate, slope-side lounges. Think plush fur throws, roaring fireplaces, and live jazz performances!

Whistler's après-ski culture really focuses on celebrating the day's conquests in an atmosphere that marries luxury and alpine adventure. Our recommendations include the Four Season’s Braidwood Tavern, which offers an inviting ambience with expansive mountain views. The impressive wine and cocktail list, along with a menu of gourmet comfort food, caters to the most refined palates.

The FireRock Lounge at The Westin Resort has an inviting mountain lodge ambience, offering an extensive selection of craft cocktails, fine wines, and a delectable menu. Meanwhile, the Garibaldi Lift Co. (GLC) at the base of Whistler Mountain is the quintessential après-ski hotspot, with a vibrant atmosphere, spacious patio and lively crowd.

Gastronomic Delights

Whistler’s dining scene is an exquisite fusion of global influences and local flavours. While you’re here, a great recommendation is to indulge in the West Coast's iconic seafood – succulent Pacific salmon and freshly shucked oysters. Many dishes will also feature rich, earthy flavours of the region's wild mushrooms, often taking the starring role in delectable dishes. Or if puddings and pastries are more your thing, look out for flaky pastry butter tarts, and calorific beaver tails; delicious deep-fried pastries topped with maple butter.

For specific eateries, we recommend The Westin Resort’s Grill & Vine, a culinary gem offering a superb, upscale dining experience, where locally sourced ingredients take centre stage.

The Four Seasons' Sidecut Steakhouse in Whistler is another dining haven; it's renowned for its top-tier cuts of steak, prepared to perfection. The elegant ambience and extensive wine list create a truly refined setting.

Additionally, Fairmont Chateau’s Wildflower restaurant is a must-see; it is known for its Pacific Northwest-inspired cuisine, offering a diverse menu that also showcases locally sourced ingredients. 

Activities for non-skiers; or to add to your roster of fun

There’s more allure in Whistler, past the powdery slopes! The resort offers a wide range of winter activities for those who are not skiing or snowboarding. Here are some of our favourites...

If you’re brave enough (and trust the person at the handlebars, if you’re riding behind), snowmobiling is a truly exciting escapade. There’s something exhilarating about experiencing the thrill of riding a snowmobile through the backcountry. The Cougar Mountain base, located just a short drive from Whistler Village, is a popular starting point.

Meanwhile, winter ziplining takes you on a thrilling journey through the snowy canopy. The Sasquatch Zipline, the longest zipline in North America, spans 2km between the Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, offering a bird's-eye view of the snow-covered forests, peaks, and valleys. Guided tours ensure safety, and provide insights into the local ecology and geography.

Other activities include spa and wellness retreats, ice skating at Whistler Olympic Plaza, plus a range of art galleries in Whistler Village. The Adele Campbell Gallery for example showcases Canadian contemporary art, while the Fathom Stone Art Gallery features indigenous and Inuit art. They offer a cultural perspective on the region, but also provide opportunities to purchase unique artworks; an ideal memento of an unforgettable trip.

Become a member to join the conversation!

Become part of the world's leading travel & lifestyle community!