Whistler In Winter: Travel, Snowboarding, and Scandanave Spa

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We decided our 10th Anniversary was the perfect opportunity to take a getaway with just Mama and Daddy.  We honeymooned in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and loved it so we considered going back to there to reminisce.  However, after thinking about it more we decided that we would like to see and experience a new destination.  After researching using Trip Advisor we decided on Whistler, Canada. We knew experiencing Whistler in winter would be a perfect choice.

Travel/Sea-To-Sky Highway

Picture of mountains on sea to sky highway

Our first day was spent traveling.  Since we were coming from Florida it was a long day.  We flew into Vancouver airport where we picked up our rental car.  When planning our trip I researched the various ways to travel to Vancouver.  There are several options including charter buses, limos, and rental vehicles.   

My sister in law used to live in Seattle and she told us how beautiful the drive on the Sea-to-Sky Highway was. We were a little hesitant to drive in Whistler in winter but she said we were likely to have no problems getting there dependent upon the weather.  Once she shared this information we made up our minds that we would rent a car.  We liked the idea that we would have the freedom to stop if we wanted to (as well as the fact that we felt like the car would be a little more romantic than the charter bus).  

We were so happy we made this choice.  It was one of the most amazing drives I’ve ever been on.  Just as the name suggests the road runs alongside water and the mountains.  Truly remarkable!

Where To Stay-Nita Lake Lodge

Picture of Nita Lake Lodge

We arrived at our destination after a long day of travel.  The Nita Lake Lodge was where we would stay for our romantic getaway.  We stayed in the One Bedroom suite (pictured below).  We really enjoyed the style and set up of the suite.  

When you walk in the room to your right are wardrobe/closets.  The first is an actual closet and the second had a mini-fridge, coffee maker, and sink inside.  To the left is the bathroom. It is a large bathroom with a shower, a private toilet area, and a large soaking bath.  As you proceed into the room there was a family/sitting room that included a couch, chair, and tv.  Then there was a King-sized bed.  

Pictures of a one bedroom suite at nita lake lodge

Our room had a sliding door with a balcony off the back.  The sliding door was unique in that you could lift it up and make a crack to cool down the room.  Of course, since we were visiting Whistler in winter we did not utilize the balcony that often. However, it was nice to be able to look out over Lake Nita with the mountains in the back when we had the shades open. To take a walk through tour of our room be sure to check out our youtube video below.

While we really enjoyed Nita Lake Lodge it was somewhat removed from Whistler Village.  The lodge had a van that ran every 30 minutes that would take you to down to the Village.  We utilized this whenever we wanted to go to the village.  We really only used our rental car one time to go to the Scandanave Spa.  The package we bought included breakfast at the lodge restaurant-Aura. Each morning we could choose a meal off of their breakfast menu. Pictured below is the Nita Lake Breakfast.  I would highly suggest this.  While there might be more affordable options in the village, it was nice to be able to go right down stairs and eat.  

Picture of eggs, bacon, sausage, bread

The lodge also had a spa that I enjoyed, more on that later.  In the same area of the spa they also had a pool and hot tub on the roof.  We never went in these as it was snowing almost the whole time we were there.

One thing that was difficult to understand when planning our trip to Whistler in winter was understanding the layout of the resort. There are basically three general areas in Whistler in relation to being close to the mountains. Creekside is the original Whistler area. There are hotels and a few restaurants in this area. Our hotel was within walking distance of Creekside. The next area is the Village. I would say this is the main hub of Whistler. This where the majority of restaurants, shops, and excursions leave from. The village is pedestrian-only which is nice especially if you are bringing along your children. Village North is a little more secluded and often a good choice for families who are looking for more condo-style lodging at a cheaper price. It is walkable to Whistler village which is also a nice perk!

Rentals & Lift Tickets

How can you go to Whistler in Winter without hitting the slopes? So, of course, our first full day we decided to go snowboarding.  Being Floridians we had no gear of our own so our first stop was rentals.  We were recommended to CanSki Creekside.  The people were very friendly and got us all ready to go with our ski helmets and snowboards.  The next stop was the lift ticket.  There is a separate building where you can purchase your lift ticket.  I believe you can also purchase these ahead of time through whistlerblackcomb.com but we waited until we got there since we weren’t positive about exactly what day we would be skiing.  The lift tickets were $170-which I thought was quite steep for a lift ticket.  However, I have also never skied at a resort-like this before.  

Hitting The Slopes

To say Whistler is hardcore is an understatement.  My goal was to make it down the mountain without dying-ha!  (But seriously :). We decided we would go up to Roundhouse Lodge (evelavation 6,069 ft) and make our way down the mountain.  Now for some reason the fact that I hadn’t snowboarded in 10 years fleeted my mind when I decided we would just hit the mountain without lessons.  If I had to go back and do it again I would probably do a 1/2 a day lesson or even a couple of hours private lesson.  However, I didn’t so it was a rough start on the mountain.  

With a little guidance from the hubs, I was able to get going.  We actually only did the mountain twice-that tells you a) I was out of shape or b) the mountain was really big.  The answer-C-all of the above.  So my advice is before going out to Whistler sign up for lessons the first day (Whistler Blackcomb Snow School) and start doing squats now.  You’ll thank me later!

Picture of couple at Olympic Rings in Whistler in winter

Be Careful!

One mistake we made while skiing was not realizing that there were two separate mountains that you can come down.  So while we did our rentals at Creekside we actually skied down and ended up in Whistler Village. Both are located on Whistler Mountain but are very far apart.  You cannot return by foot-unless you want to walk about 15-20 miles.  So we paid a couple of dollars to ride the city bus back to Creekside to return our equipment.  So be sure to study your map before going or while you are on the mountain to be sure you are coming down the same place you went up.

Hours Of Operation

The only other thing to realize about skiing in Whistler is that the mountain is not open very long.  The slopes open at 9 am and close at 3 pm.  So you want to manage your time well.  Due to the limited time we could snowboard, we spent the whole day on the mountain.  The only eating we really did was we stopped for a snack at the Roundhouse Lodge.  I had a hot chocolate and my husband got a coffee and energy bar.  This is definitely the best option as it does not waste very much time.  There are also other food choices.  

Where To Eat (Creekside)

Needless to say when we finished dropping off the rental gear we were ready to eat.  The fine folks at CanSki recommended Dusty’s bar & grill (especially the sweet potato fries).  Dusty’s did not disappoint.  The food was delicious and the atmosphere was very laid back.  We ordered the sweet potato fries, chili and brisket.  It was all delicious but the sweet potato fries were my favorite thing I ate while in Whistler.  I would go back just for those fries!  After eating at Dusty’s we headed back to our hotel to freshen up for our nighttime activity.

Picture of Chilli & sweet potato fries from Dusty's Bar & Grill

Scandanave Spa

One of the things I found to do in Whistler when researching was the Whistler Scandanva Spa.  I thought it would be the perfect activity to do to rejuvenate our sore muscles.  It was quite the experience. When you arrive you check in and pay or submit your voucher.  I purchased our tickets through Whistler Blackcomb so I believe they were discounted more than if you purchased them at the spa.  When you check-in you will be given a robe and a key to a locker.  You then can go in and change into your bathing suit.  (We actually wore our bathing suits under our clothes so all we had to do was take our clothes off-just remember to bring underclothes for after.).

After changing my husband and I met up in the lobby.  We then exited out the top doors.  This was a mistake.  We had to walk barefooted through snow-covered stairs-funny and painful all at the same time.  So after you change be sure to exit out the back doors of the dressing room.  This will lead you outside to the area with all the stations.

Installations

Once you arrive outside there are various installations you can go to.  There are several options and there is no right/wrong way to do it.  The only suggestion is that you do a hot station and then immediately after a cold station.  Then they suggest you do a relaxation installation.  The hot choices are Eucalyptus Steam Bath, Wood Burning Sauna, Finnish Sauna, and Hot Baths.  The cold choices are Nordic Waterfall, Nordic Showers, and Cold Plunge Baths.  The relaxation choices are Solariums, Hammock Haven (summer only), Outdoor Fireplaces, and Multi-purpose Yoga Studio.  Another suggestion is to do the rotation 2-3 times.  It is a completely silent environment so that is definitely something to be ready for.  You can see a recap of our experience in the video below.  We thought it was very interesting and was a nice way to wrap up our day on the slopes.  

It’s hard to believe we did so much in our first 2 days in Whistler. While we do most of our traveling as a family it is always important and nice to just get away as a couple. If you are looking for a family-friendly destination for first-time skiers be sure to check out our post “Snow skiing with kids the first time“. Sign up for our newsletter so you will be notified when part 2 of Whistler in Winter is published. Let us in the comments below what questions you have about planning a trip out to Whistler in winter. Stay Peachy!

Signature Peachy Keene

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68 thoughts on “Whistler In Winter: Travel, Snowboarding, and Scandanave Spa”

  1. This place looks lovely! Being from the UK i’ve never really thought about a skiing holiday outside of Europe, but i’m going to look into it now! My friend lives in Canada so i’d Love to visit her too. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    • Sian,
      You should definitely go. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. That would be lovely to also be able to visit your friend 🙂 Thanks for stopping by-stay peachy!

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    • We were :/ Thankfully it was not difficult to catch the bus. The worst part was we were rushing because we thought the ski rental place was closing but thankfully they were still open 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  2. My daughter has been begging to go to Whistler for years, we might just have to bite the bullet and plan a trip there. We live pretty close to BC so it’s not like it would even require us to fly.

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  3. Happy Anniversary – looks like a great winter wonderland to share with each other. Glad you paid to get back to the other side of the mtn – 15 miles to walk – yikes! A good warning for others.

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  4. Ha! Teasing us with snow during a hot summer day. LOL
    I have friends who travel often to Whistler winter and summer and I am always jealous. It sounds so lovely!
    Beautiful photos.

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    • Right?! Ha! It’s my reprieve from this FL sun 🙂 I can only imagine how beautiful it is in the summer. It was breathtaking in the winter. Thank you for your thoughtful comments 🙂

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  5. So jealous! We’ve been to Whistler, but not to actually board – hopefully, we can make it this year! And, that spa sounds AMAZING! Thanks for sharing!

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    • Isn’t it stunning? I hope you are able to make it out this year as well. Definitely check out the spa-it was a neat experience 😉 Happy travels!

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  6. What an adorable resort! I’ve never even been to a skiing lodge in the winter; it looks like something I would like. I’m glad you survived going down the hill! I’ve also never done a spa before. I see them at resorts and such, but I’ve never tried it. I think I would certainly love the warm treatments. It looks like you had a wonderful trip. I need to go so I can try the sweet potato fries!

    Reply
    • Stacey,
      Nita Lake Lodge was definitely an excellent choice for our romantic stay in Whistler. I’m happy I survived the mountain as well. I was definitely doubting myself-ha! The spa was so interesting. It was very different from your traditional spa experience. You definitely have to try the sweet potato fries if you go. They were amazing! Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Stay peachy!

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  7. Would love to teach my boys how to ski! Think we have to start a bit smaller but places like this are why I love the winter months!

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    • Tiffany,
      I bet your boys would love it. Whistler has a great kids program. We took our kids for their first time skiing in Wisconsin. Check out our post or Youtube video to learn more about our trip to Wisconsin. Hope you can go this winter 🙂 Stay Peachy!

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  8. It looks really cold! I really liked how you broke down each topic into digestible parts. Made for an easy and compelling read! If ever we’re in the area, you’ve convinced me that we’re staying at Nita Lake Lodge!

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    • Jamilyn,
      I’m happy you enjoyed my post and it was an easy read. I’m also happy I convinced you about Nita Lake Lodge-it really is a beautiful place to stay 🙂 Stay peachy!

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  9. Haha. When I read the title of this article, I did not realize that Whistler was a place. I thought that maybe it was someone’s nickname and this article was about their adventure in the winter. It looks like you had an amazing trip to Whistler!

    Reply
    • Thank you-it was. They really do have everything you could want or need on a ski trip. Thanks for reading and commenting-stay peachy 🙂

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    • Alexandra,
      That’s great that you live so close and that you have been to the Scandinavian Spa. It was such a nice experience after a day on the mountain 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting. Happy travels!

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    • It was the perfect anniversary trip! Aren’t winter trips so fun? Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Stay peachy!

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  10. Looks like you guys had a blast. I’ve been to Canada so many times, but I’ve never been to Whistler. Looks like a place we should add to the list for the next trip up there. Thanks for a great review and great tips!

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    • Yes Whistler is a beautiful place and you should definitely plan to go. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Stay Peachy!

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    • Emily,
      I would love to visit in the summer as well. It was magically in the winter but I’m sure it’s amazing in the summer as well. The spa is definitely a place to spend hours in relaxation 🙂 Thanks for commenting! Stay peachy!

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    • Lynette,
      Thank you for your kind comments. I am sure Whistler is just as beautiful in the summer as it is in the winter. Stay peachy!

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    • Thank you! It is a stunning place to visit. I agree about the snow-it’s been close to 100 almost every day in Florida!

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  11. Looks like it was a fabulous trip. Being in the heat of summer, the pictures look refreshing – lol! Happy belated anniversary and here’s to many more years of traveling and joy!

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    • Monica,
      I totally understand being scared-I was seriously about to cry-ha! With a couple of lessons though I bet you could do it! And yes the spa is amazing-you would definitely enjoy it 🙂

      Reply
  12. It’s lovely there and so glad you had a great time for your anniversary! I live on Vancouver Island so I’m familiar with it, but it’s so nice to read it from your perspective!

    Reply

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