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Advise on staying in Whistler Village.

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'm looking at staying in Whistler Village for 10 days in end January, beginning of Feb 2011. I'll be there with my wife and 3 yr old son. However, I'm concerned that I might not get too much sleep from revellers / people out in the village late at night and / or music from music venues. Is this a problem in anybody's experience? Any recommendations staying in Whistler Village? My preference is not to have to travel (far) to the Lifts / ski school for my 3yo son. Looking at staying at the Holiday Inn or similar. Any help / tips / advise will be appreciated.
post #2 of 26
Stay in Whistler Creekside or in Upper Village above Blackcomb Base. Places a little farther from the action can be cheaper and nicer.
post #3 of 26
Nord has the ticket.  Stay away from Whistler Village proper, but other places just off the Village or at Creekside, or the Upper Village are just fine.
post #4 of 26
I'm a light sleeper, so usually tend to stay away from venues with noisy crowds at night too. As others have mentioned, Creekside is a great option, but at the same time you may feel "removed" from all the activity.

As long as you don't stay at places in the Village where there's happening establishments downstairs (such as Crystal Lodge, Pan Pacific, Delta, which are right along the pedestrian-only boulevard), even in the Village you should be fine. In the Village proper, the Westin is the most secluded at Whistler Base (right next to the mountain). Most rooms at Westin offer full kitchens. The next choice would be Hilton, which is closer to Sundial, but still quiet (especially if you get an interior facing room), and most rooms also offer kitchens too. Both are literally next to the gondolas for both mountains.

Also check out Upper Village (Blackcomb Base) accommodations - the atmosphere there is much quieter, yet a short 10 minute walk to Sundial-Village Center if you need to go to restaurants and shops in the Village. Hotels and lodges there usually offer shuttle service around the Village too. Fairmont and Four Seasons are both located here -- if you can get into it, Club Intrawest, as well as a Marriott Residence Inn. The latter two would probably serve you best as they offer long-term style accommodations with full kitchens. These are all a 5-10 minute walk to ski school/day lodge/Magic Chair where the kids ski school meet. I grew up on Blackcomb Base, and have great memories and fondness of the place - you kid will most definitely have lasting memories of this place.
post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkc22 View Post


Also check out Upper Village (Blackcomb Base) accommodations - the atmosphere there is much quieter, yet a short 10 minute walk to Sundial-Village Center if you need to go to restaurants and shops in the Village. Hotels and lodges there usually offer shuttle service around the Village too. Fairmont and Four Seasons are both located here -- if you can get into it, Club Intrawest, as well as a Marriott Residence Inn. The latter two would probably serve you best as they offer long-term style accommodations with full kitchens. These are all a 5-10 minute walk to ski school/day lodge/Magic Chair where the kids ski school meet. I grew up on Blackcomb Base, and have great memories and fondness of the place - you kid will most definitely have lasting memories of this place.
Best suggestion yet is to be at Upper Village is you really have to be out of the acual village (also note the Residence Inn is something different now).

You can ski-in/out, and also have the benfit of being close to the village.

First, the Village isn't terribly noisey or rowdy, and second, it's part of being at Whistler. I wouldn;t go and not be either in, or VERY close to the Village.
post #6 of 26
I cannot deal with night noise either. We always stay in Village North and have no problems. It's nice because it's a short walk to the main village. There are places you can stay in the main Village that should be fine, too--just don't stay facing one of the plazas (like Skiers Plaza, Mountain Square or Village Square) or along the Village Stroll. Just look at the map--stay at someplace facing the trees (on the map below). We walk to the lifts from Village North, though depending on just how far north we're staying, it can be a pain in ski boots.

http://www.whistler.com/resources/pdf/Village_Map.pdf
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 

Awesome input and information everybody. So very much appreciated. We'll definitely look at accommodation in Upper Village and Village North now (Whistler Creek will make us feel a bit isolated). Thanks especially to Christy319 for the link to the excellent maps of Whistler. I last skied Whistler / Blackcomb winter 92 / 93 and it certainly has grown bigger!
We were also considering staying at the Pan Pacific Village Centre (not Mountain side). JKC22 you mention Pan Pacific has a 'happening establishment downstairs'. Is this Village Centre or Mountainside?

I also need to consider getting my 3 year old son to day care / ski school and need to make this as easy as possible. The less walking or catching buses, the better. Does anyone have experience with the day care / ski school at either Blackcomb or Whistler? Any other alternatives to these? - Thanks in advance...

post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by MenaiSkier View Post

 

I also need to consider getting my 3 year old son to day care / ski school and need to make this as easy as possible.  Any other alternatives to these?


Leave him in the room with cookies and a some drinks. Ski day isn't really that long
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
 lol!  
snofun3, you sound like a dedicated skier like myself. I'd consider this, however my wife may not approve...
post #10 of 26
I meant the Mountainside - the Irish Pub there is apres (and apres apres) central....Never really heard anything good/bad about the Village PP, although I frequently pass by it (while driving and on the FS/Fairmont Shuttle).

In regards to ski school, your logistics may be more manageable by staying in Upper Village (especially the Fairmont / FS). From the Fairmont you walk from the ski storage valet area directly onto the Wizard Chair (to take you uphill), and you can do that after checking your kid in at Kids Kamp (or something else if they renamed it) at Magic Chair. Your bookings can be made at the day lodge, also steps away. You are no more than 50 steps to all of them from the Fairmont -- you would have already dressed and in your gear. This is where Fairmont has the edge -- locaton, location, location (and not because of its supposedly "luxury" -- it was 20 years ago, but a little lacking now -- still, it's got the best pools, with waiter service).

FS, the ski valets actually set up a tent beside the Fairmont, so you don'y have to haul your skis to Wizard/Magic, but you still have to walk in ski boots from the FS -- a 5-10 minte walk. Still close, but not nearly as convenient as the Fairmont. FS is newer and smaller than the Fairmont. FS shuttles to the Village run less frequently than those of the Fairmont.

I forgot to mention Le Chamois - long-stay style lodge, adjacent Fairmont. Decent accommodations, but don't expect a lot of service -- some units have kitchens. Even closer to day lodge than FS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MenaiSkier View Post

We were also considering staying at the Pan Pacific Village Centre (not Mountain side). JKC22 you mention Pan Pacific has a 'happening establishment downstairs'. Is this Village Centre or Mountainside?
 

I also need to consider getting my 3 year old son to day care / ski school and need to make this as easy as possible. The less walking or catching buses, the better. Does anyone have experience with the day care / ski school at either Blackcomb or Whistler? Any other alternatives to these? - Thanks in advance...

post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
jkc22. Thanks for the good input. FS = Four Seasons, right? I'll look at Fairmont, FS and Le Chamois - they're all in my ski brochure. Any tips on how to get a good deal? (ie book direct or through other web site?)
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
Have another question. We're planning on skiing Whistler from 23 Jan 2011 for 10 days. Any pros and cons skiing this time of year? We know that the snow conditions are good and crowds low, is the day  too short at this time to get in a good ski day? Will we be able to ski to the village and not hit rocks (also rest of the mountain)? Should we ski further into Feb or March or even April. We're coming from Oz so don't know when the vacation / holiday times are for Canada or US, so therefore, when should we AVOID coming?
Here is my likes and dislikes which may help.
Dry consistent snow top to bottom - not slush or variable spring conditions
Little chance of hitting rocks
Mainly groomers, however no dramas skiing steep and deep (and would like to ski the Sudan Couloir again)
Prefer to avoid very crowded conditions where I can (lift lines and village)
Weather type doesn't bother me, we've got good gear and the worse the weather the better the skiing - right!
 
I understand that everybody has a different opinion but just want to get a general idea from those that have skied there. Also can't predict the weather, but can avoid crowds / holiday times etc. Also this will be our major vacation for the year, it'll be for approx 3 weeks and will cost at least $12k - $15k ($5 - 6k just for airfares) so we have a lot invested on this so we'd like to get it 80-90% right. Any advise, again will be greatly appreciated. (Advise given previously in this thread on where to stay was great and we're looking into all area's suggested now, and not just the village) 
post #13 of 26
January is a little early, but is usually just fine. Top to bottom without rocks might be a problem, but they take good care of the slopes and you can always download. Perfect consistancy top to bottom is rare. It's best to pick a level and work it. The place is so big that it won't cramp you to do that. The days in January are short, but they close the lifts at 3:00 PM which gives plenty of time to clear the mountain before dark sets in.
post #14 of 26
Yes FS = Four Seasons. Caveat: Fairmont and FS have smallish standard rooms -- you may need higher category rooms/suites to accommodate the family comfortably for a period of 10-days. Even the standard "suites" are not very spacious -- one sleeping bedroom and a sleeper sofa in the sitting room.

WhistlerBlackcomb.com has some pretty good packages (if you book lodging and lift tickets together). However, some of these packages would require that you pre-pay for them. Not only do you lose interest on the payment booking a year in advance, the Loonie is not in your favor so you have currency fluction risks, as it's going on a 24-month high.....so pre-paying any purchases may not be the best idea (if you think the Loonie will fall back down again).

On the other hand, if you pre-pay now, you may very well have hedged the vacation price, depending whether you are bullish on the Loonie. A 3 to 6-month fluctuation can be as much as 20%+!   As one who lives in both countries, I'm faced with this all the time!! 

You might be better visiting in Feb/Mar. BTW.... the Sudan Couloir is no longer -- it's been renamed Couloir Extreme (don't really know why, but it's still a popular run).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MenaiSkier View Post

jkc22. Thanks for the good input. FS = Four Seasons, right? I'll look at Fairmont, FS and Le Chamois - they're all in my ski brochure. Any tips on how to get a good deal? (ie book direct or through other web site?)
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
 jkc22. Great advice (not 'Advise' - I noticed the typo this morning for this thread...
Anyway thanks for the heads up on the loonie - never gave it a second thought. Although the $aus is also high against the greenback so may not affect us as much when going $aus to $can. I'll look into it.
Can't believe they've renamed it Couloir Extreme - its a bit of an oxymoron as it sounds girly and is really not extreme.... 
There's certainly more extreme runs than that at either mountain. I guess its popular as most folk like me ski at as their first double black and I believe it was the first official double black ever. (Thats probably more legend than fact..)

Any idea what the Le Chamois is like? You mentioned it previously. Are the rooms a good size? Any probs with noise at night? Looks to be a great location.
Yeah I'm now considering changing plan to ski end Feb early March. Days are longer, lifts are open 'til 4, the sun will be higher in the sky, and my research on the internet has the Canadian Spring break 18 - 28 March for 2011. Any idea on the US Spring break and whether this really affects Whistler? We'll also keep in mind President's Day on 21 Feb and avoid that weekend too.
Thanks again for the input. 
post #16 of 26
We stayed at the Westin and I know its not cheap although we were lucky enough to use our Starwood points.  The hotel was quiet and it was nice dropping off our skis/poles with the ski valet each day.  Location was stellar and right by the ski school dropoff.

If we had to pay we looked at the Aspens.  This is a condo complex with outdoor pool/hotubs in the upper village.  You can rent directly from an owner.  I think alluradirect.com was one website with Aspens rentals directly from an owner which would have saved us some $.
post #17 of 26
Another thing - I usually stay at the Hilton Whistler, which is great for being able to walk right to the lifts, but in January they were full, so I ended up at the Delta Suites. OK, it's not a short walk to the lifts like the Hilton, but it's not too bad, they include an uncooked breakfast in the room rate (you cook it in the room), and you can get a suite, where probably your son can sleep on the pull out in the living room.

It was close enough to the Village proper (5 minute walk if you walk slow) that you could get the vibe without the noise

The rates were quite good, and the staff was really exceptionally good.

Another on to put on your radar.
post #18 of 26
I’ve stayed at Le Chamois back in my student days (15 years ago), and remembered packing 6 people into a two bedroom suite. It was clean, very spacious, albeit a little spartan in furnishing, and close to everything at the base of Blackcomb. It was (and still is) a self-catering facility – no valet, no concierge, no bellmen/butlers,  no room service, and not much to speak of in terms amenities (pool, spa, gym, etc.) That said, it is a perfectly fine long-term style accommodation if you don’t require a lot of extras. It’s in a quiet location, although there is a resto/bar across the road.
Nowadays, I tend to prefer full-service facilities with personal concierge and valets/butlers (I live in hotels over 120 nights a year, so I tend to be a lot pickier ). The Fairmont (Gold level only) is probably the best if you need a lot of personal attention. The Fairmont Gold-level suites and above categories are attended by dedicated concierges who can arrange everything from childcare, lessons, heli-ski/side trips, reservations, and unpacking/packing of your bags.  There’s also a private resident lounge where you can relax and have breakfast in the morning and canapés in the afternoon. Other amenities include work-out clothes/shoes, iPod, etc. This is the best choice if you NEED personal attention. They keep a profile with your preferences (room location/type, pillow type, bath amenities, work out gear size, etc.) for future stays, so arrangements are all made in advance.
Other full-service hotels mentioned here – FS, Westin, and Hilton – are all just fine, with ski valets/storage, bellmen/valets, but the concierge services vary, and are nowhere near that provided by Fairmont private concierges. All of them would be very good choices for family vacation, but you would have to pay a premium for space. FS and Westin (just renovated!) are newer than Hilton (somewhat recently renovated). 


Quote:
Originally Posted by MenaiSkier View Post

Any idea what the Le Chamois is like? You mentioned it previously. Are the rooms a good size? Any probs with noise at night? Looks to be a great location.
Yeah I'm now considering changing plan to ski end Feb early March. Days are longer, lifts are open 'til 4, the sun will be higher in the sky, and my research on the internet has the Canadian Spring break 18 - 28 March for 2011. Any idea on the US Spring break and whether this really affects Whistler? We'll also keep in mind President's Day on 21 Feb and avoid that weekend too.
Thanks again for the input. 
 
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks everybody for your inputs.

Just thought I'd update and finish this post. Finally made a decision and also made some bookings. Staying at Le Chamois for 10 nights on the 4th week in January 2011 . Reasons were varied:- Location appears to be ideal for us with a 3 year old as a ski school is right there at the base of Blackcomb, reviews from many of you advise that the Upper Village is quiet and still close to the Village, also the rooms at Le Chamois appear spacious and we also booked a room with mountain views. Typically we're self sufficient so don't need a hotel with full service and although we have Champagne tastes, our beer budget won't allow us to stay at the Fairmont, FS, Hilton or the Westin - maybe next time. Booking early we also managed to get 10 nights for the price of 7. Probably a regular deal, but we feel that the CAD$188 per night +tax with it's location, mountain views from the room and suitability for us as a whole, we feel we've got a great deal. The same accommodation in Oz would have been AUD$500+ per night. (which is also why we're skiing NZ in August).

My wife's 40th birthday is also a few days prior to our arrival at Whistler so we're spending that week in Hawaii - nice  .. which is also why we've settled on skiing end of Jan and not the end of Feb. (It works out that when she says:  "it doesn't matter when we go away" actually does.... but that's another story..)

(BTW, off to UK in June with a side trip to Kitzbuhel Austria for a week. It's going to do my head in - being there without snow....ahhh  )

Once again thanks for all those that have contributed to this post. Hopefully others will get some good advice out of it as well.

Menai skier.
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by MenaiSkier View Post

My wife's 40th birthday is also a few days prior to our arrival at Whistler so we're spending that week in Hawaii - nice  .. which is also why we've settled on skiing end of Jan and not the end of Feb. (It works out that when she says:  "it doesn't matter when we go away" actually does.... but that's another story.
 


Although you're not staying at the Fairmont time - try the Wine Room for a special night  .... in my opinion it's worth a visit. The two other restaurants -- Wildflower and Chalet at the Fairmont are nothing to write home about...

The prices are very reasonable for what you get (3-course dinner usually $49, $89 with wine pairings)-- it's formal dining in a semi-private room with a fireplace, 8 tables max, very intimate and elegant. It's attended by a sommelier (Jay, a good guy to chat about wine) -- skip the champagne cart, get a special cuvee BC wine (Nota Bene or Osoyoos-Larose) or the wine pairing. I am pretty sure you'll get brownie points from the wife.....
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
 jkc22

Awesome advice. I'll definitely take my wife to the Wine Room, sounds like it'll be our kind of place. Thanks so much for your input to this post also. You've given me great feedback and advice - much appreciated.

Menai Skier
post #22 of 26

There are nice condos in the Village near the Marketplace. Some even have their own shuttle that'll take you to the lifts. Staying near the Marketplace saves you $$ since you can cook instead of eating out.  It's much quieter down there but for extra measure get a room that does not face the street.

 

I've never stayed in Creekside but it looks very nice. Keep your eyes peeled for my report in mid-December!

post #23 of 26

MenaiSkier:

 

So I found myself up in Whistler over the July 4th long weekend, stayed at the Fairmont as usual. I took some shots at Le Chamois from the street and from my suite at the Fairmont. The hotel seems to be in total scaffolding (depicted), which means it would be very nicely updated by the time of your stay. It appears the new exterior colour would be a pale yellow rather than the current gray stucco.

Trip Photos 001.jpg

 

 

Trip Photos 002.jpg

 

On another note: the Village was so busy over this weekend, and other than the Bike race on Saturday that's packed the Upper Village, the Upper Village was quiet and tranquil as usual. You could not have chosen a better location for your family.

 

We had dinner at the Wine Room, and it was excellent as usual. The Sommelier I know has left, but the Assistant Sommelier took his place. When it’s your time to visit, PM me and I’d share his contact information with you so you and your wife will be looked after.

How's skiing down south?

 

post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 

Hi jkc22,

 

Thanks for the pictures - awesome. Looks like they're doing a MAJOR job. Probably will refurb the common guest / reception areas too so should look all sparkly and new for next winter. Not too sure about the pale yellow exterior but hey I don't get paid big bucks for being a decorator. (My wife will attest to that as well!) Probably why I'm an engineer instead. 

 

Thanks for the Heads up re the Wine Room. I'll PM you just before I go.

 

Skiing has sucked until last Thursday (15/07) only man made stuff prior to that and then it rained - washed a hell of a lot of it away. Fortunately we had a big dump Thurs and had 40 - 50cm in 36 hours - nice. Haven't had a chance for any turns yet - next month.

 

I'm currently waxing my wife's and my ski's ready for skiing next month in NZ. Can't wait. I've got new planks - K2 Xplorers but better yet, when in England last month we picked up a pair of 67cm skis and boots for my 2 1/2 year old son! We've had him running around the house with the boots on - really likes them and getting him used to having his ankles locked. Had him a couple of times on the skis too and pushed him around on the carpet. He's not sure about the skis and they freak him out a bit. He's refusing to put them on at the moment but he is in the 'terrible two's' and he knows how to say 'no'!

 

Showing him lots of Warren Miller movies just so he knows what it's all about. Yeah ok I'm a ski tragic and he doesn't have any choice in the matter - well not at this age anyway. (He'll probably get one back on me when he's older and become a snow boarder - mind you it's a looong walk to the ski fields!)

 

Thanks again for the updates.

post #25 of 26

MenaiSkier:

 

Great to hear you're putting your 2yo on skis, less so about the ski conditions down under. A colleague just got back from a biz trip in AKL and said it had been wet, so hopefully that means snow in the higher elevations.

 

Anyway, I got a chance to getaway in Whistler last week, and took some more photos of Le Chamois. The exterior is almost done, and it looks like they are doing some major refurb to the interiors (notice the paper posted on each window). If renovation proceeds on this schedule, it's right on track for opening in the fall if not sooner.....

 

Some pictures of the refurb'ed exterior:

 

 

Fairmont Whistler 8-11 002.jpg

 

 

 

Fairmont Whistler 8-11 004.jpg

 

 

I didn't get to ski the glacier this time (the glacier had already been closed for two weeks). We hit the greens instead and went for bike rides. It was a relaxing weekend as usual. We stayed again at the Fairmont. The mroe I look at the newer hotel (for example the FS), the more I think the Fairmont interiors are a little dated. I am hoping Fairmont starts its own refurb with the room interiors soon. Here's a shot of the interior of my suite - as you can see, the decor is elegant, but a little dated. Service is impeccable though - staff remembers your name, your preferences of pillow, water (note that sparkling water was already left in the room as part of the welcome amenity), dining times, and activities.

 

 

 

 

Fairmont Whistler 8-11 013.jpg

 

 

Finally, a view from one of the two suite balconies onto the slopeside, where the blue station is the base of the Wizard Express (and the Magic Chair further in the background).

 

 

Fairmont Whistler 8-11 014.jpg

 

Well, enjoy your ski season.....I haven't beena ble to escape to Chile or Argentina this summer (winter) as I had initially hoped due to work..... so the earliest of my ski trips would be Colorado in Nov. (at ABasin/Keystone and for Vail opening day)......

post #26 of 26

I just returned from Whistler last night.  A good place to stay for tranquility is the Upper Village which is located on Blackcomb.  If you want real ski-in, ski-out then stay at The Coast.  It is the highest hotel on the mountain, beside the hill.  Great rates if you do your research properly and one of the best perks is a breadfast included with your room.  Lower on the mountain just a few hundred yards from the lift is The Aspens.  That is where I stayed this year.  From these two hotels you walk thru a path to the hill, put your skis on and ski down to the lift.  At the end of the day you ski to the path leading into the hotel.  They are the best ski-in ski-out you will get. Both have great outdoor pools and hot tubs.  If you don't already know, you can get around in Whistler easily on the public transit system.  It is free and very dependable.  From The Coast or The Aspens it is only minutes to the central village, the core of everything happening at Whistler.  The buses run every 6 to 10 minutes.  If you need transportation from the airport use the Pacific Busline.  They take you to the door of your hotel and pick you up when you return to the airport.  Hope this will help you. 

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