Canada’s massive Whistler Blackcomb is not the best because it is the biggest, but it helps—in skiing, size does matter. So does snow, and on average the merged ski areas get a whopping 458 inches, around 100 more than the top mountains in Utah and Colorado.
At a full mile high, it’s also got more vertical than any U.S. resort, it’s the biggest ski resort in North America, it’s the most popular ski resort in North America and is perennially ranked the best. It is home to a world-class Nordic center built for the Vancouver Olympic Games and boasts a wide range of places to stay—the best of which is the Four Seasons Whistler.
While that hotel is only 15 years old, it has had a top-to-bottom renovation that includes complete makeovers of all 273 rooms and suites (there are also luxury residences for rent). The slope-side ski concierge, previously in a makeshift home, now has a dedicated full-service lounge in a building at the base of Blackcomb Mountain. The exquisite spa was redone last year, and in anticipation of the 2019-2020 ski season, the rooms and lobby have followed suit.
Every guestroom (starting at C$440, or about $333, in ski season) has a private balcony, working granite fireplace and stunning views framed by oversized windows with comfy window seats. The Four Season’s signature luxury bathrooms (endless marble, tub and oversized walk-in showers) have all-new furnishings and fixtures that combine contemporary urban design elements with a classic lodge feel.
Rooms now have sleek, iron-framed leather chairs, raw-edged wooden coffee tables, brass lamps, sculptural ceiling light fixtures and woven textile wall coverings. What has not changed is their spacious size, the largest of any hotel here.
The most basic rooms span well over 500 square feet, with couches and sitting area. One creative in-room addition is the “Interior & Tonic” experience designed in partnership with the Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery. The custom-made botanical gin magically changes colors when the tonic and bitters are added.
Other experiential touches are everywhere, from the vintage camping trailer that serves poolside s’mores and adult beverages to the “Ski With an Olympian” option. Its main restaurant, SideCut Modern Steak + Bar, emphasizes the vast culinary bounty of British Columbia, both land and sea. There’s a signature 40-day dry-aged, 48-ounce long-bone “cowboy” ribeye from grass-fed, drug-free steers, fresh local oysters and mussels, farmstead cheeses and produce from local farms.
At Whistler, where to ski in winter or what course to golf in summer season are always tough choices, but where to stay is easy.