October 19, 2017
Small towns might not get all the attention of big towns, or the cachet of big cities, but they’re often fiercely independent, impressively creative, and…
By Carla Mont December 6, 2016 #php comments_number('0 Comment', '1 Comment', '% Comments'); ?> #php echo wpb_get_post_views(get_the_ID()); ?>
Overnights at BC ski resorts don’t have to be run-of-the-mill—not when accommodation ranges from luxury ski-in/ski-out chalets to cosy cabins in the woods, and everything in between.
In Whistler, skiers and boarders get right to it at the First Tracks Lodge. Standing tall at the base of Whistler Mountain, it features designer suites, a heated pool, hot tub, steam room, and, of course, first tracks, courtesy of the Creekside Gondola. Or go beyond the slopes and stay at the Riverside Resort, set on 16 hectares (40 acres) of prime Whistler real estate further north. Here, options abound: comfy log cabins, RV hookups, and overnights in winterized yurts—think camping, minus the work.
In Sun Peaks, live like royalty on the Summit Club Floor at the Grand. Open seasonally, the exclusive floor has rooms with all the amenities, plus access to a private lounge. Translation: you’ll say “Salute!” to your fellow skiers and boarders with complimentary appetizers and refreshments. To embrace your natural surroundings, Peaks Bed and Breakfast is just 10 minutes down the road in the village of Whitecroft. Here, bedrooms are bright and airy, and breakfasts feature local treats. There’s even a forested waterfall, partially frozen in winter, 20 minutes from the B&B.
Who says you have to rough it on a ski vacation? Crescendo at Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna is all about ski-in/ski-out luxury. An architectural stunner, this single-family “smart home” can sleep up to 22; it showcases a theatre, an indoor/outdoor pool and Jacuzzi, and nine-metre (30-foot) floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the Monashee Mountains. Ski a different path, and opt for the Explorer Cabins at Sundance Resort. These charming slopeside retreats offer gourmet kitchens, private hot tubs, and floor-to-ceiling stone fireplaces. Cue the hot chocolate.
Out of the box is second nature at SilverStar Mountain Resort near Vernon. At Queen Victoria, your Victorian home away from home promises private suites furnished with antiques, plus a hot tub, sauna, and easy access to Nordic trails. True to its name, the Purple Palace is an on-slope, purple-hued home, a quick glide from the Alpine Meadows chairlift. Here, five bedrooms can be booked separately or house a whole group. Either way, everyone will scramble for the rooftop hot tub.
For groups of all sizes, Apex Mountain Resort delivers. Keep it cosy at the Apex Lodge, where the newly renovated boutique hotel includes family-style rooms. Bonus: you’re less than 100 metres (328 feet) from the nearest ski lift, café, or restaurant. Go big or go home (well, sort of) at the Kowal Ski Cabin, a rustic retreat that sleeps 15, has two kitchens, three decks, a private hot tub, and panoramic views of the slopes.
The new Bison Lodge in Revelstoke takes the guesswork out of any ski holiday. Steps from the base of Revelstoke Mountain Resort, the timber-frame structure sleeps 12-14 guests and boasts a welcome-night wine-and-cheese gathering. Here, there’s a full range of staff, including a chef, concierge, massage therapist, and property manager. Add an indoor nine-metre (28-foot) natural climbing wall to the mix, and après-ski activity at this lodge is anything but ordinary.
Want a bird’s-eye view? Perch at Eagle’s Eye Suites at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Set 2,347 metres (7,700 feet) above sea level, overlooking the town of Golden, these two Rocky Mountain retreats include 24-hour room service, a cocktail lounge, dinner at the famed Eagle’s Eye Restaurant, and first tracks—all the way down to the village base.
Access to the slopes is sweet, and at the Panorama Springs Lodge you can combine powder days with evening soaks. At the ski-in/ski-out lodge, you have direct access to the Panorama Springs Hot Pools; Canada’s largest slopeside hot pools are sure to ease the muscles and prep you for another day. Bonus: hot tubs and a sauna are all part of the package.
Fernie Alpine Resort’s Lizard Creek Lodge and Condominiums is the ultimate ski-in/ski-out locale (one run makes its way right past the hotel). Full kitchens and fireplaces tempt, but it’s the lodge’s Ice Bar and sub-zero tasting room—featuring vodkas from across the globe—that adds a rare finish.
Little ones are front and centre at Kimberley’s Trickle Creek Lodge. On offer? Free food on Tuesday nights at Montana’s Cookhouse, plus duffle bags, stuffed animals, and goodie bags. And with Kimberley Alpine Resort just a schuss away, all ages are sure to feel the familial love.
Think of snowy slopes, and cosy cabins spring to mind. Compact and cute, the rustic A-Frame Cabin in the Village at Red Mountain is just the ticket to shake off the winter chill. A kitchenette, three bedrooms, and friendly close quarters make this overnight unforgettable, beneath a blanket of snow.
A deep powder day at Whitewater Ski Resort has a variety of après-ski offerings. Option one: head to the historic Hume Hotel in the bustling city of Nelson, 25 minutes away. This 1898 landmark was recently renovated, but kept its historic appeal. Option two: escape the crowds, and book one of four luxury mountain cabins at Logden Lodge, tucked in BC’s backwoods, just down the road from the ski resort.
For a different point of view, head to Vancouver Island. On the mountain, opt for private accommodation at the WinterGreen Lodge A&C Chalet, where the chalet offers easy access to the ski runs and the tube park. Leave the slopes behind at day’s end, and store you gear at the Riding Fool Hostel, a favourite Island haunt in nearby Cumberland. This charming hub offers a common kitchen, games room, plus plenty of welcoming spaces to share stories from a day’s powder play. Bonus: Riding Fool guests receive 20% off Mount Washington Alpine Resort lift tickets.
Featured image: Downhill skiing at Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort. Photo: Leo Zuckerman
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