If you’re looking for new mountain adventures this winter, head for Whistler. You’ll find deluxe experiences and adventures both on and off the slopes in the resort town, which sits two hours north of Vancouver. Here’s what’s cool this season at North America’s largest ski and snowboard haven.
Ski or Snowboard with an Olympian
Want an unforgettable excursion that will help you navigate the mountain like a pro? Book a day of skiing or riding with an Olympic skier or snowboarder. Many of these top-notch athletes, like freestyle skier Ashleigh McIvor, grew up or trained at Whistler and, in these full-day sessions, they’ll share their favorite runs and give pointers on your technique. Schedule either a one-on-one experience with your chosen Olympian or have up to four other friends or family members join you; the only catch is that everyone in your group needs to be of similar skiing or snowboarding ability.
Travel via Helicopter to Explore Ice Caves
The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler offers more than its traditional posh rooms and suites this winter. The hotel partnered with outfitter Headline Mountain Holidays to deliver one-of-a-kind, luxury adventures. It will pick you up — by helicopter — and shuttle you to explore expansive ice fields and caves (with a gourmet lunch, of course), or transport you to a remote mountain hot spring for a private yoga class and an aqua massage. If you seek an even bigger thrill, pair your stay with a night of glamping in a remote “snow hotel” that comes with a natural thermal spa experience, upscale food offerings and other elegant touches you’d expect from Four Seasons.
Book a Private Wine Tasting
When you’ve had enough frolicking in the snow, warm up with a private wine tasting. Launched this season by sommelier Eric Blouin, Taste Whistler can create a personalized tasting event at your hotel suite, condo or other venue, whether you’d like to sample from Painted Rock Estate Winery and British Columbia’s other local favorites, compare new world and old world wines, or taste-test a range of bubbly.
Sate Your Appetite On or Off the Mountain
Healthy eaters at Whistler have new munching options this year. The Raven’s Nest, which perches at the top of Whistler’s Creekside gondola, is the mountain’s first all-vegetarian restaurant. Down in the village, the tiny vegan café The Green Moustache starts your day right — or fuels you up in the afternoon — with fresh juices and smoothies, salads, light meals and raw desserts.
Another casual newcomer, this one for heartier munchers, brings creative Mexican fare to town. La Cantina Urban Taco Bar plates Mayan-style cochinita (pork), chipotle-sauced chicken and tofu tacos, with Mexican beers and sodas like Sangría Señorial to wash it all down.
For a splash-out meal, two longtime Whistler stars still shine brightly. Araxi continues emphasizing regional ingredients — and selections from its 20,000-plus bottle wine collection — in its contemporary fine-dining room, while highly lauded Bearfoot Bistro offers grand multi-course tasting menus. A new bar roster highlighted by items such as duck confit drumettes and Sawmill Bay clams sounds especially tempting. For before- or after-dinner drinks, Bearfoot staff will suit you up in cozy parkas to sample vodkas from around the globe in the restaurant’s Belvedere Ice Room, the world’s coldest vodka tasting room.