While a visit to Whistler generally means a little action on the slopes – whether you’re sporting skis, a board, snowshoes or hiking boots, when the footwear comes off, you’ll want good food and a little pampering
Whistler’s array of restaurants and spas not only offer a welcome indulgence, they’re also known for sustainable practices, organic ingredients and impeccable execution.
Here are some of the best options for filling up and chilling out.
Whistler Foodie Favourites: Where to Refuel
The Nita Lake Lodge offers an unforgettable dining experience, in addition to a great view / IMAGE: Curt Woodhall
Aura Restaurant, Nita Lake Lodge
Aura restaurant in Nita Lake Lodge is truly an unforgettable culinary experience. Ingredients for the restaurant’s creative, thoughtful cuisine are sourced seasonally from local farmers and artisan producers, and picked from the hotel’s rooftop garden.
While the menu changes regularly, the exceptional quality and commitment to the food’s true flavour are unwavering. Pemberton sugar pumpkin soup with crème fraîche, cocoa nib and mushroom braised beef short ribs with fall veggies, and banana, bitter chocolate and dark rum cake are recent features on the three-course prix fix menu. From a breathtaking lakefront setting to the flawless food, Aura is pure perfection.
The Wildflower, Fairmont Chateaux Whistler
Cooling temperatures call for hearty comfort food, and The Wildflower at The Fairmont Châteaux Whistler will not disappoint. After a day shredding powder, make up for lost calories with the chef’s special slow-roasted prime rib served with Yorkshire pudding, pan-dripping roast potatoes, glazed vegetables and natural jus, or the gooey and delicious grown up mac and cheese filled with pancetta, lobster and peas in a gruyere cream sauce and topped with a panko crust.
After dinner, snuggle up fireside at the Châteaux’s Mallard Lounge for single malt Scotch, port or hand-crafted hot buttered rum.
Alta Bistro, one of Whistler’s newest restaurants, has quickly become a favourite among locals. Handcrafted cocktails, a robust wine list and micro-brewed beer complement the seasonal, locally inspired cuisine.
In true bistro fashion the three-course dinner menu changes frequently depending on season and availability, ensuring a unique culinary experience every visit. Recent highlights include the goat cheese terrine with orange and thyme, poached figs and caramelized endive, and rabbit two ways featuring a mouth-watering confit rabbit leg with potato and lamb bacon chowder and roasted saddle of stuffed rabbit with puff pastry. Given the bistro’s intimate size and growing popularity, reservations are recommended.
A romantic dinning room complete with pianist tickling the ivories awaits you at Bearfoot Bistro. Start your meal by savouring a bottle of champagne from the restaurant’s formidable cellar stocked floor to ceiling with more than 20,000 bottles of wine. Dine-in favourites include the balsamic roasted Pemberton beets and carrots, slow braised heritage Angus beef cheek and handmade nitro ice cream sundaes prepared tableside.
Complete the decadent evening by bundling up in Canada Goose down parkas for a private vodka tasting in the -18 degree Celsius Belvedere Ice Room.
Sensational Whistler Spas: Relieve Your Aching Muscles
A variety of baths and saunas stimulate well-being at Scandinave Spa / IMAGE: Flickr
Four Seasons Whistler
After an exhilarating day on the hill, treat yourself to a massage at the Four Seasons Whistler Spa. Try the signature athlete-endorsed 110-minute On the Podium Après Alpine Treatment complete with hot-stone therapy, stretching and deep tissue massage, or the Sea-to-Sky massage using West-Coast products, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi strokes and warm oils.
For lovebirds looking to spend some quality time, side-by-side massages are available in the spa’s couples treatment rooms. After your treatment, relax in the outdoor Jacuzzi, eucalyptus steam room or cozy lounge with a cup of herbal tea.
Invigorate your body while calming your mind at Scandinave, a unique al fresco spa surrounded by snow-dusted spruce and cedars in a forested enclave north of Whistler Village. Popular throughout Europe, Scandinavian spas and hydrotherapy treatments stimulate circulation, relax muscles and create a sense of well-being.
The experience starts with heat treatments to increase blood flow, cleanse the skin and release toxins. Guests can choose from Finish saunas, hot baths and Eucalyptus steam baths. The next step, a rinse in the cold Nordic waterfalls, showers or baths, works to close the pores. After the body has cooled, it’s time to rest and stabilize the heart rate and blood flow in the spa’s solariums, hammocks, or by the outdoor fireplace. In addition to a day pass to the baths, Scandinave offers various massage packages with registered therapists.
Ayurveda, the world’s oldest medical practice, is integrated into Ashram Spa’s treatments. Soothe aching muscles and relieve joint pain with the Vasth herbal oil massage, nourish and detoxify your skin with an Ayurvedic Herbal wrap, or treat your toes to a Padakama Pedicure with Ayurvedic exfoliation, foot mask and massage.
In addition to 30 different treatment options, Ashram Spa offers personal training and yoga classes. The spa also offers a variety of packages including a five-hour Girlfriends Escape or three-hour Couples Retreat, both of which can be upgraded to include accommodation at the Nita Lake Lodge.
Whistler Accommodations: Rest up for Round Two
Nita Lake Lodge
Tucked away in quiet Whistler Creekside, the Nita Lake Lodge provides a quiet, relaxed atmosphere with spectacular lake views. In addition to a fine dining restaurant, this luxury boutique hotel boasts a fabulous lounge where cocktails are an art form.
Nita Lake Lodge is offering a selection of value packages and special Fall rates, which start at just $139.30 for a one-night stay through December 15.
For a first-class all-suite resort in Whistler Creekside try the contemporary Evolution. Although a little removed from Whistler Village centre, Evolution provides a quiet, relaxed atmosphere and is only steps from the meandering trails that loop Lost Lake. The hotel is currently offering two nights of accommodation and two-day lift tickets from just $139 per person, per night through December 15.
A lower priced, more central, alternative is the Adara Whistler Hotel, with rates starting at only $100 per night. This funky boutique hotel is located in the heart of Whistler Village and features complimentary Internet access in all guestrooms.
Mhairri Woodhall is a travel writer at Arrivals Travel.