A December 2003 trip
to Whistler by bebebloom
Quote: Mother Nature, big mountains, twinkling lights and snow castles is the perfect brew for a magical winter wonderland called Whistler. When we arrived the day after Christmas, Whistler Village was what Hallmark postcards are made of--Christmas perfect.
Whistler Ski Resort is approximately 72 miles from Vancouver, British Columbia, and, depending on road conditions, a 2-3 hour drive through beautiful scenery. It is a wonderful ski town, home to almost 10,000 permanent residents. For many avid skiers, residents and visitors alike, one of the many things that make Whistler so special is its twin mountains--Whistler and Blackcomb. The mountains offer memorable downhill skiing, snowboarding, and unlimited winter sports. Combined, they provide an unbelievable 7,000 acres of well-managed, well-groomed skiable surface for people of all abilities. It has the greatest vertical/usable terrain for skiing and other winter sports in North America.
Whistler is not just for skiers and winter sports enthusiasts. Although downhill skiing is synonymous with Whistler, backcountry skiing, both inside and outside the ski area, is also popular. There are thrilling snowmobile adventures through the backcountry and dog-sledding rides that the whole family will enjoy.
In addition to the two magnificent mountains and endless winter activities they offer, the pedestrian-only area Whistler Village has everything to delight everyone. Stroll around and discover an abundance of world-class shopping and dining, nightlife, and other après-ski activities. Footsteps from the hill, gorgeous mountain views and ample patio space are characteristics of Whistler's favourite après spots. They provide live music, dancing, and lots of good fun. There's a smorgasbord of fun and adventure for kids as well. If you decide that one day of inactivity is what you long for, escape for a couple of hours with the family. Walk to the underground movie theater and watch one of the many first-run movies showing. And, to further ensure an unforgettable Whistler vacation, how about being pampered with a spa treatment? After all, long days of play on the mountains, as well as nonstop shopping in the village, can be very exhausting.
Whether it's adventure, shopping, dining, or music, there are endless activities in Whistler for the whole family.
The lobby was furnished with a soft cushioned sofa in front of a big fireplace, providing a cozy retreat for those tired bodies after a full day of snow activities and exploration. Freshly brewed coffee was available 24 hours a day at the lobby next to the wood-burning fireplace. The lodge had a big (15 yards) swimming pool and a grass bank with shrubs and tall fir trees. The first night we tried the pool it was empty. We found out soon enough the reason why--the water temperature was colder than what would be comfortable. We notified the front desk and the issue was resolved, because the next day the pool was much warmer to swim in. There were two very popular hot tubs flanking the pool on each side. One of the tubs was kept at sweltering high temperature, which was ideal for achy bones and painful butts. The other hot tub was kept at a lower temperature, which was excellent for families with younger children. Both hot tubs were too popular for comfort and were always packed. Once in a while, a few of the guests opted for standing room only. Nevertheless, they were the best places to socialize with other guests. And for those who have not punished themselves enough on the slopes, a fully equipped gym room located off the pool was always available and barely used. Towels were plentiful through the concierge/member desk.
Our room, no. 403, had modern, rustic cabin-style comfort accompanied with all the luxuries of home. Our one-bedroom/one-bath suite offered a fully equipped kitchen with quality appliances: a dishwasher, microwave, refrigerator, range/oven, and a big counter space, complete with various herbs and spices, tea and coffee, a closet full of pots and pans, and china and silverware for eight. The dining room had ample space for a round wooden table with four comfort chairs. The living room had a comfortable pull-out queen-size sofa bed, a cozy rimrock gas fireplace, television, and stereo system. An en suite washer/dryer and iron/ironing board were available for laundry days. The good-size bedroom had a TV, a comfortable queen-size bed, a big closet with mirrored doors, and standard extra storage space. The big bathroom was luxurious, with a soaking tub.
The staff was very friendly, helpful, and always available. When I needed more pillows in the middle of the night, one of the Worldmark staff members drove 15 minutes away to a sister resort at Whistler Creek to get me a few, since they were out. Now that was service. This timeshare experience was supposed to feel like home away from home, and unless you brought your own butler, there is no daily garbage pickup, although a clean-up service can be requested for a small fee.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 17, 2004
Whistler Cascade Lodge
4315 Northlands Blvd.
Whistler, British Columbia
Mongolie Grill was a unique experience and a fun place to go with the whole family. It is a restaurant where you choose your ingredients and create your own world-class stir fry.
The concept goes like this: begin by grabbing your bowl, then walk through a long food bar filled with a wonderful selection of seafood, tender meats, garden fresh vegetables, and an array of noodles. Choose and combine your own ingredients: veggies and meats, seafood with noodle, beef with broccoli, or maybe a little of everything. Then flavor your favourite ingredients with a delicious selection of sauces from around the world: teriyaki, coconut curry and Thai peanut, or maybe the chef's sauce combination. Pass your combination to one of several chefs available. After weighing your bowl to get the cost, he goes to the biggest wok (huge grill) I have ever seen and plunks it down to get it positioned for cooking. Watch him theatrically grill your creation before your eyes.
It was very easy to be taken in with the amount of food in the food bar. I suggest a walk around first, decide what you are truly craving for, and then cautiously start loading up. I was surprise by the amount of food those bowls can actually hold; by the time I was done picking my load, my cost came to a total of $32, almost 3 lbs. Here you can eat to your heart's content.
Mongolie Grill was truly an enjoyable dining experience: delicious food, fun ambience, entertaining chefs, and a friendly staff. Located in Whistler Village Center, it is easy to find, just across from Starbucks and next to the Village 8 theater. Cost is $12.50/lb. Children under 12 were given a child-size bowl with a fixed rate of $7.50. Lunch until 4pm is 20% off.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 21, 2004
201-4295 Blackcomb Way
Whistler, British Columbia V0N 1B4
Restaurant | "Buffalo Bill's Bar & Grill"
BUFFALO BILL'S offers great atmosphere and great entertainment in Whistler Village and has been a favourite hot nightspot in Whistler for over 16 years. It has a cozy pool table and offers live acts, with DJ’s spinning great dance tunes nightly. Although Buffalo Bill's has brought in serious names to do the live and sweaty music thing, it has been packing in older demographics over the years to the tune of the classics and Top 40. But do not be misguided, because we folks know how to shake our assets with the very best of them. Over the years during our visits to Whistler with groups of friends, whenever we were in full-tilt party mode, Buffalo Bill’s friendly atmosphere and comfortable, casual seating (if you come in early) has always been perfect for our wild nights. At Buffalo Bill, the dance floor hops and the music rocks. Any Friday night is busy, weekends are jammed, and any night is memorable.
Although Buffalo Bill is one of Whistler’s bigger nightspots, Lineups still start early, especially on weekends, and the wait can be long. To avoid this, consider them for dinner! Come in by 6pm. The menu is diverse and includes salsa and chips, nachos, Bill’s chicken legs, beef and chicken hamburger, and pasta. It is located across from the Whistler Conference Center.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 22, 2004
Buffalo Bill's Bar & Grill
4122 Village Green
Whistler, British Columbia
Teppan Village has an open, spacious seating plan and tables large enough to accommodate groups of up to 18 people. Centrally located right in Whistler Village in the second floor of the Delta Whistler Resort, it was easy to find. Upon arrival, our large party waited for a few minutes, then we were seated around the table/cooking grill. Tea was served, and for others, sake and Japanese beer was a must. The menu had varied selections to choose from, including mouth-watering sushi. Later one of the Teppan-yaki chefs came to our table with the freshest vegetables, steaks, chicken, lobster, scallops, and tiger prawns. Then, with a display of chopping, juggling and seasoning, and much funfare and oohing and aahing from us, especially the kids, he prepared an unforgettable and delicious meal.
Teppan Village was an ideal spot for our family and friends to get together and spend an enjoyable evening of superbly made fresh food. It was a perfect place for a unique dining experience. With the ambience unlike any other in Whistler, lively atmosphere, entertaining chef, and great staff, dining with them was sure one of the hits with our kids. They are open daily 5:30 to 10pm. All dinners include salad, soup, and steamed rice with any choice of entree. Three different sauces each for seafood, meat, or vegetables are served on separate small saucers and placed with each table setting. The chef will explain which sauces taste best with what entree. Happy eating!!!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 23, 2004
4291 Mountain Square
Whistler, British Columbia
Attraction | "New Year’s Eve "
For a truly family-oriented celebration, the Resort Municipality of Whistler has organized a brilliant New Year’s Eve celebration for the last 15 years, named First Night, a carnival-like party central for everyone of all ages to enjoy. Confined in the Whistler Village Center, it is an event-filled and alcohol-free festivity that includes all manners of family-oriented fun.
For First Night, the Village Center was cordoned off, with only several entry points. Security was provided by many local policemen and protected from any raucous wild-night mayhem associated with many a New Year’s Eve celebration. To get in, tickets are available to buy at several ticket booths set up by the Whistler Chamber of Commerce just outside the perimeter. Adults are C$15, and it’s C$5 for children under 12.
Once inside, the village was transformed into a wonderful carnival atmosphere. There were merriments and endless fun for the kids and those children at heart. Activities included interactive cool workshops on kids’ favourites, such as hat making, henna tattoos, and face painting. There’s great music, street performers, arts and crafts, and good food. There was fire dancing to the sound of rap music and interactive dancing to the sound of local musicians, made incredibly romantic by the snowflakes falling from the sky. You'd like to get hitched? Stand in line for a comedic street nuptial by comedian performer Michele Bush, complete with bridal bouquet and wedding march. There were puppeteers and stilt-walkers dressed in costumes. And here, Elvis was alive in the personification of an Elvis wannabe in a regalia complete with a cape and a microphone.
For a more adult celebration, musical venues with performers, such as Hairfarmers and Still Smokin’, and pubs and dance clubs abound to ring in the New Year with champagne at midnight. Cost ranges from $75 to $200 per person. I particularly have always enjoyed a few dances at Tommy Africa, where I can dress up and dance to the tune of Top 40 music. Tickets are $150/per person and include champagne at midnight and sumptuous hors d’oevres. There was also a New Year’s Eve bash at Savage Beagle with the tunes of DJ Seanski. Tickets are $125/person, which includes sushi and champagne at midnight. Parties start at 9pm and last until the wee morning hours.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 18, 2004
New Year’s Eve Celebrations
Throughout Whistler Village
Whistler, British Columbia
Attraction | "So Where to Ski? Blackcomb or Whistler Mountain"
So where to ski? BLACKCOMB terrain has more steep slopes and tends to attract the better skiers. WHISTLER is huge, even bigger than Blackcomb, with seven bowls, 3,657 acres, and more above-tree line terrain. Because Whistler is 14 years older than Blackcomb, its skiing reflects a bit more old-school flavor than its neighbor's brisk, efficient, tourist-friendly offer. A lot of people love one and don't like the other. Ski both, then decide which you like better.
BLACKCOMBTake the Wizard up to the Solar Coaster Express and warm up on a few of the magnificent wide-open blue runs like Gandy Dancer, Springboard, and Cruiser. Then take Wishbone to the Jersey Cream Express and do Jersey Cream. Now take the Glacier Express and the Horstman T-Bar and try the Blue line. Then maybe explore the parallel options of the runs from the top of the Seventh Heaven Express.
WHISTLER MountainYou just have to start the day with a cruise down Jolly Green Giant--it just flatters your skiing. Then perhaps go to the Harmony Express. From here take the Harmony Ridge, which gives you a good feel for the lay of the land. If you are so inclined and in the most extreme adventurous side, try the area called Doom and Gloom/VD chutes, which is very challenging from what I have heard. And people have died in these places, so latch onto a local guide for the safe lines and routes.
In general the runs are well-marked and well-patrolled, and between the two mountains there's a huge variety for all standards. On either mountain watch out for snowboarders, as they are fearless and all over the slopes.
Tickets are posted at the tickets windows. Full day for an adult is $71 and children under 12 are $37. Equipment rentals are available through many rental shops, among them Can-Ski and Affinity. Also, for children, Whistler Kids offer all-day programs where learning is inspired through encouragement, accomplishment, and friendship.
Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort
Whistler, British Columbia