The name "Whistler" always felt so glamorous to me. One of my best friends from high school would ski Whistler every year and I'd see her pictures of gorgeous mountains, happy group shots, and great meals and I knew I had to go. I had previously visited in the glorious summer season, but was so excited to try the winter activities on our blogger trip.
After we drove the stunning Sea-to-Sky Highway and arrived at The Four Seasons Resort Whistler, there was a giddy feel throughout the group. There was so much to choose from as we were designing our dream time in Whistler. Skiing, snowmobiling, snowboarding, gondolas, restaurants, the pool and jacuzzi, spa, oh my!!
But first, there was the entrance and the lobby. When I think of a perfect ski hotel, I think of that image of imposing stone, dark wood, comfy couches, and dim lights that I picked up from movies and magazine shoots. I immediately felt the atmosphere I wanted to feel in the lobby, that of a truly luxe ski lodge within Whistler's Upper Village.
Four Seasons Resort Whistler Lobby
We took a tour of the stunning residences, each with a theme of Earth, Fire, or Water and a choice of 2,3, or 4 bedrooms. It was hard for me to get past the huge drool-worthy kitchens in each residence. I don't have a dishwasher or counter space in my New York apartment for a Kitchenaid Mixer. Having a kitchen is the ultimate luxury while traveling. Sometimes you just can't eat out one more night, and want to make roast chicken or spaghetti and meatballs. I kind of wanted to ask Carrie Vitt and Rachelle Lucas, the food goddesses on our trip, to whip something up!
Kitchen in a Four Seasons Resort Whistler Residence
My room, a Deluxe Executive Suite with two bathrooms, had the greatest view. I started each morning just breathing in the mountain air from the balcony and soaking up the view.
View from my room
All rooms at the resort have gas fireplaces, another great addition to the lodge feel. And the seating area of the suite was perfect for late-night group discussions over a bottle of wine.
Seating area in suite
Bedroom in suite
For our first night, we got to play into our adventurous side with a snowmobiling trip to the top of Blackcomb Mountain. The reward at the end? A fondue dinner and glass of wine at the Crystal Hut. The team at Four Seasons outfitted us in warm, stylish Spyder ski gear for the ride up. And what a ride it was! Each small group had a great guide that stopped at various points to view the village lights. The ride was longer than expected, and we were all starving and ready to dig into the cheesy, bubbling fondue pots.
Though sleeping in a Four Seasons bed makes waking up terribly difficult, I was excited the next morning for my ski lesson. I had skied one time ten years ago, and had a bad experience. It took a lot for me to sign up for the lesson, as I assumed I was still terrible and just couldn't ski. If I had listened to that voice, I would have missed out on a great ski lesson, teacher and experience.
The Four Seasons ski concierge has the friendliest, greatest group of people. After getting fitted the night before, my shiny ski boots, skis, and helmet was waiting for me at the concierge, just a short walk from the resort. And when I was finished with my lesson at Blackcomb, I just dropped everything off at the base of the mountain. Ease is luxury. And the lesson was so much fun. I couldn't believe it when I could actually stop on my skis, and wanted to ski down runs almost immediately. I wish I had had time for 1-2 more lessons and doing the runs with the instructor, but getting over my decade-old fear of skiing was worth it.
Riding the Peak-to-Peak gondola is an experience you can't miss while in Whistler, skier or not. The Peak-to-Peak is relatively new to Whistler-Blackcomb and connects the two mountains. With 8200 acres of skiable terrain (versus 5,200 in Vail, for example), you simply can't cover all the ground. The Peak-to-Peak makes it easier. The 11-minute ride, covering 2.73 miles between Whistler and Blackcomb stations was worth it for the 360 degree view of what makes Whistler so special. My friend and I chose to wait longer for the glass-bottomed gondola, which honestly wasn't worth it. You'll get all the same views in a normal red gondola.
View from the Peak-to-Peak Gondola
After a day of skiing and a massage at the spa, the group was ready for dinner back at Four Seasons. I don't think anyone realized what we were about to experience. The meal at Sidecut, created by rock-star Chef Tory Martindale, felt like we were part of a theatrical production. And the stars were dishes dialed to perfection. Each dish might have sounded like something I had eaten before...onion rings, steak, salmon, carbonara, salad, roasted vegetables. But Chef Martindale took these classic dishes to an entirely new level. Delicious bites of Wild Mushroom Agnolotti Carbonara, belgian endive and watercress with spicy pecans and baked apple, longbone and cowboy steak preparations, Pacific Northwest salmon, and cake pops at the end left me feeling like a stuffed whale waddling back to my room. Every bite in the cozy, fire-lit setting was worth it.
The outdoor lover belongs in Whistler. I loved getting back in touch with what can so easily be lost, the feeling of being a kid again and trying new experiences just to see what happens. You might just realize you can do new things and do them well. I definitely did. And to experience these two unbelievably luxurious properties with a group that felt like real friends after just a few days together made it even better.
The amazing group included:
Carrie Vitt & her great husband, Pete Vitt (Fighter Pilot!)
*Thank you to Four Seasons Vancouver and Four Seasons Whistler for hosting this wonderful trip*