Whistler resort guide - a general overview
Drive two hours north of Vancouver, alongside the breathtakingly scenic Coast Mountains and you'll find the charming village of Whistler. Whistler has been regarded as the number one ski resort in North America for several consecutive years and it's easy to see why. Whistler is a modern 'pedestrianised' resort built in pleasant 'West Coast' style with varied architecture. North America's biggest and best skiing, with miles of runs for all standards, huge vertical drops, snow guaranteed, and a brilliant modern lift system. The accommodation is of a high standard and whether you prefer a hotel or apartment the resort restaurants offer international cuisine and apres ski for all tastes. You will not be surprised to know that Whistler has been voted the top North American ski resort for a number of years now.
Whistler Village is nestled between two huge mountains: Whistler and Blackcomb. Together they offer nearly 8,200 acres of skiable terrain, more than 200 runs in every conceivable shape and size and degree of difficulty, and the longest ski season in Canada. And then top that off with an average annual snowfall of 37 feet (11 metres). However, there's more to Whistler than just downhill skiing. Go beyond the mountains to Whistler's backcountry and try your hand at heli-skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and even dog sledding.
Take time out and explore the village. The pedestrian-only walkways conveniently link all of Whistler's shopping and services. And when it's time to refuel, Whistler's award-winning restaurants serve up excellent food and impeccable wines to satisfy even the most discerning guests. If relaxing is what you're after, Whistler's many spas offer the latest in health and wellness therapies. Whistler accommodation range from luxury hotels to slope-side condos to family-oriented lodgings and everything in between. Need to soak those tired muscles? There's always a steaming hot tub waiting for you at the end of the day.
Photos courtesy of Whistler Tourism.
675m - 2,285m
Level of skiing
- Snow sure
- Ski area
- Charm factor
- Resort layout
- Fine dining
- Short transfer
- Resort value
- Generally has an excellent snow record
- Unrivalled combination of high open bowls and tree skiing. Excellent lift system
- Plenty of ski terrain for the expert skier as well as being an intermediate's paradise
- Excellent ski schools
- Lively apres ski scene with an excellent variety of restaurants and bars
- Being close to the ocean means a lot of cloudy weather and rain at resort level
- The resort and slopes can get crowded on peak weeks
Whistler Resort Restaurants
Whistler offers a good variety of restaurants, there really is something for everyone. At the top end of the market there is Il Caminetto di Umberto, an Italian restaurant with an excellent reputation. If you enjoy good fish then The Rimrock cafe at Whistler Creek has a fantastic fish menu. If you are looking for something a little less expensive then in Whistler village there is Araxi, the Keg (very good value steak and seafood), Mongolie if you enjoy Asian cuisine and also Kypriaki Norte, which serves excellent duck. Another good value restaurant is La Bocca serving excellent homemade pasta. In Village North the Brewhouse offers good value steaks and burgers in a lively atmosphere. If you enjoy a good Indian the Tandoori Grill is worth visiting. In upper village Thai One On is recommended as well as Monk's Grill for a good steak. If looking for something really budget then you can get bar food at most of the bars in the village and the Spaghetti Factory is also recommended.
Whistler Mountain Restaurants
On the mountains you can get good value food but the restaurants themselves are a little charmless, self-service and with long queues on peak weeks. A word of advice - have lunch early to guarantee a seat as usually all restaurants get overcrowded. On Blackcomb Mountain the Rendezvous has a good selection of food and can seat up to 850. Christine's is well worth a visit, it is a table service restaurant and serves excellent food. If you like your waffles then you have to go to the Crystal hut at the top of the crystal ridge chair. On Whistler, Raven's nest is a deli/cafe, which does great snacks. If you like your pizzas then the Chic Pea is worth a visit. The Harmony hut specialises in stews and cider, both are very tasty. If all you want is a quick on the go snack then you can always go to the snack shacks on both mountains.
Whistler Apres Ski
In comparison to other North American resorts, Whistler has a lively apres ski scene. The Longhorn and the Garibaldi lift company are popular spots. The Dubh Linn Gate Irish pub is worth a visit if you enjoy live music and for the Guinness lover. Monk's Grill is also recommended and if you are staying at Creekside then Dusty's is the place to go for good beer and live music. Bars and clubs are for over 19 year olds only, so a word of advice, carry age ID. Smoking is generally not allowed in bars but most have a smoking area outside and if you are lucky it will be heated.
Later on in the evening Buffalo Bill's is lively and loud and the Amsterdam Cafe is worth a visit. The popular clubs are Tommy Africa's, Maxx Fish, The Savage Beagle, Garfinkles and Moe Joe's. If you prefer a quieter scene then the Mallard bar in the Fairmont Chateau Whistler and the Crystal Lodge bar have a nice and relaxing ambiance.