I've said it here before, but 2018 will officially go down as the year that changed my opinion about winter. I've gone from someone who begins dreading the season in September to a girl who has embraced the beauty of winter and has actually began to enjoy it. I enjoy the colder months so much that this summer-loving, non-skier packed her bags, hopped on a plane with Lauren of This Renegade Love and flew across the country to check out Whistler: the mothership for everyone who embraces winter. As soon as I stepped foot in Whistler, heard the crunch of the snow under my feet and breathed in the crisp mountain air, I knew that I had made the right decision. I've been charmed by the beauty and hospitality that Whistler has to offer, and I'm excited to finally be sharing my experience with you.
The Logistics: Getting To Whistler
I'm always interested in to logistics to any trip, namely how one gets to and from a destination door-to-door. I actually found the journey to Whistler to not only be hassle-free, but also incredibly beautiful as well. Here's how our journey took place:
- We flew direct from Toronto Pearson International Airport to Vancouver International Airport. The flight is about 5 hours long, and flew by with the variety of Netflix I had pre-downloaded on my phone.
- Once we landed in Vancouver we followed the signs for Pacific Coach Lines, our coach transfer that would take us directly to our hotel in Whistler. The process was extremely well laid-out, and we even had time to grab a quick coffee before our journey.
- The bus ride took about 2 hours, and it was gorgeous. You guys. I can't even find the words to describe how beautiful the ride from Vancouver to Whistler is. Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of the bus in general and even I found the transfer to Whistler to be one of the highlights. Truly, the route from Vancouver to Whistler is something to see, and made me appreciate the beauty of Canada even more.
The purpose of our trip was to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Nita Lake Lodge, a gorgeous property that sits right on the lake with sweeping views of snow-peaked mountains all around. Nita Lake Lodge has a reputation that precedes itself, with everyone I know who had previously visited singing its praises. My expectations were high and I was not disappointed. Nita Lake Lodge has enjoyed a successful 10 years because of their beautiful property, amazing location and the value that they place on customer service and experience. The whole stay was incredible; here's a few of my favourite take aways from the weekend:
Where We Stayed: Nita Lake Lodge
- Nita Lake Lodge prides itself on the size of their accommodations; Lauren and I experienced this first-hand. Our suite was HUGE! Two bedrooms, two bathrooms and two stories - all with a generous living area, kitchenette and balcony that overlooked the lake and mountains. I felt like I had my MTV Cribs moment when we first checked in and were exploring the space.
- I loved the location of Nita Lake Lodge. It's located at the base of Whistler Mountain and the Creekside Gondola, and is a short [free] shuttle ride into the heart of Whistler Village. As a non-skier, I felt totally content just relaxing at the lodge with just a quick trip into the Village to check it out. I know the skiers and snowboarders in our group also took advantage of the nearby Gondola.
- The coffee is amazing. I know that this sounds like a small thing, but to me it can make all the difference in how I enjoy a property. Nita Lake Lodge boasts a number of different restaurants, and I'll touch on them all, but one standout to me was the quality of the coffee. So, so good.
- Nita Lake Lodge prides itself on an intimate guest experience, and I feel as though we truly experienced this first-hand. Every single person that we came in contact with was so genuine, so warm and kind and had such pride in the property that they worked at.
With the exception of french fries and wine in Whistler Village (an après ski, without the ski,) Lauren and I ate all of our meals at Nita Lake Lodge. The fact that there were three separate restaurants on the property just added to the intimate feel, and made shuffling down to get coffee at 6am in our slippers (jet lag) so much easier. Each restaurant has its own vibe, but great food is a constant with all three options.
- Our first meal of the trip was the 10-year anniversary dinner for Nita Lake Lodge, which took place at the newly renovated Aura Restaurant. We enjoyed 5 courses, all with local wine pairings. We enjoyed the meal so much, that we returned to Aura not even 10 hours later to have breakfast! Huevos Rancheros and a delicious vegan breakfast bowl, all while overlooking the lake and mountains.
- Every morning started with a visit to Fix Café, where we enjoyed delicious espresso-based drinks, fresh juices and pastries made in-house. The fact that this incredible café is available without even having to go outside is a huge perk.
- For happy hour drinks, and night-caps of baileys on ice, Lauren and I loved visiting The Cure Lounge & Patio. We also enjoyed a low-key group meal at this Whistler hot-spot one evening and it was delish. Although it was a little chilly while we were there, we were told that the patio is absolutely packed during the warmer months. Now I have an excuse to go back and see what it's all about!
My Happy Place: The Spa
You guys all probably already know what my favourite part of the whole trip was: the spa. I am the spa lady and I enjoy nothing more than spending an entire day just lounging and enjoying a treatment or two. The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge was an amazing experience, and one that I would recommend to anyone visiting Whistler.
For this particular trip, Lauren and I were lucky enough to enjoy a Kundalini massage, and it was unlike anything I've ever experienced before. Meant to align your chakras and promote intense relaxation, the Kundalini massage was 75 minutes of pure bliss. I almost felt like I had an intense reiki session when we were done, and actually had to be escorted to the waiting area because I was so relaxed and out-of-it. I was greeted by an equally zen Lauren, so the pair of us must have been a sight to see. Once we returned to planet earth after about 45 minutes in the relaxation room, we jumped into our bathing suits and enjoyed the rooftop hot tubs that overlooked the mountains.
I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Whistler, and know that it won't be my last. It's experiences like this that make me truly appreciate the beauty that Canada has to offer, both in scenery and in the hospitality and warmth of the people. Should you visit Whistler in the winter as a non skier? Absolutely. I already can't wait to return to Whistler, and you know that I'll be staying at Nita Lake Lodge.
Have you guys been to Whistler? Do you ski or snowboard, or are you more about the après? Let me know!
Thank you Nita Lake Lodge for hosting Lauren and I on our stay. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.