As a child, reading books or watching films about a white Christmas would make me yearn to experience one. And while I’ve chucked a few snowballs, created snow angels and tried out snowboarding since then, I had still never experienced a proper white Christmas.
For 2018, we decided to stay put in Vancouver over the holiday season, and hit upon a quick remedy for our snow-starved souls: A two-hour drive up to Whistler, BC, home to a famed ski resort, full of winter sport enthusiasts, and (obviously) a ton of snow.
We were only planning to do a day trip at first, but the husband decided to do some sleuthing and uncovered an amazingly affordable deal for a one-night hotel stay at a four-star resort in Whistler.
The only catch? We had to pay for it without knowing where we were going to stay. I was rather hesitant and tried looking for cheaper options (which failed miserably), and so we went through with it… and discovered we were staying at The Westin Resort & Spa. Sweeeeet.
[Spoiler alert: It only got better from here - keep reading and you’ll find out why!]
We left Vancouver at 9:30am (an amazing feat for two late sleepers like ourselves) because we wanted to make a few stops along the way before arriving at Whistler. Our first stop was at Shannon Falls, which only required a short walk from the carpark (no photos because it was a little, well, meh).
The second stop we made was at Brandywine Falls, which took us about an hour and a half to get there. This was a little iffy because the carpark was completely snowed under and cars had to park at a small strip of road along the highway. We made a split-second decision to go exploring here, and I am SO glad we did. If not, we wouldn’t have been treated to a beautiful rainbow appearing before our eyes at the waterfall’s viewpoint area, or the snow-covered railway tracks stretching as far as the eye could see.
P/S: Winter-appropriate footwear is absolutely recommended here. The snow was so thick and there were lots of icy, slippery bits on the way to the falls too.
From Brandywine Falls, it was a short 15-minute drive to Whistler Village. We decided to go to the Westin Whistler first to drop off our luggage and potentially check in early (our check-in time was at 4pm but we were in town around 1pm).
Here’s where our Christmas miracle happened: While we were asking if we could check in early, the lady at the front desk sprung a room upgrade on us for free. So we went from a deluxe room to a loft suite (which already sounded amazing!).
And yes, it was complete HEAVEN.
The well-stocked kitchenette had everything we needed to cook a meal; the bathroom was suitably spacious; there was a gas fireplace to cozy up in front of; the floor-to-ceiling windows and the view was amazing; and the bed was so comfy I honestly had the best sleep of my life there. We felt so incredibly blessed.
It was our first time to Whistler, so we wandered about the village for the next few hours to get a feel of the place. The twinkly lights strung across trees really helped to make it all feel so magical.
We watched skiers and snowboarders on the slopes; grabbed a flat white at Lift Coffee Company, which came highly recommended via Yelp and didn’t disappoint one bit; felt totally Canadian while having two scoops of ice cream from Cows Creamery; snagged ultra-comfy lounge socks from the Eddie Bauer year-end sale; and then retreated back into the comfy comfines of the loft suite to whip up a home-cooked dinner, drink a ton of red wine and binge-watch Netflix.
We kicked off the next morning with a latte from Mount Currie Coffee Company (also highly recommended and pretty good), as well as burgers from El Furniture Warehouse for lunch, which was really value-for-money.
After checking out from the Westin (sobs), I was feeling reluctant (read: lazy) to go for a winter activity like snow-shoeing, toboganning or tubing. In the end, we made our way to the Coca-Cola Tube Park for an hour of snow tubing, and it was absolutely thrilling! I’m not a fan of rollercoasters, but this really felt like one… and I would actually do it again in a heartbeat. I guess it helps that the slopes are kinda short :p
The great thing about the Tube Park is that it stays open till 6pm and it’s well-lit, so even though the sun set around 4:30pm, we still managed to have some fun in the evening. Also, we paid close to $50 for two persons for this, but there are definitely other more affordable options around!
I can’t wait to return to Whistler someday and visit Scandinave Spa (which seriously looks so tranquil and relaxing) and try other winter-time activities there. I love that Whistler doesn’t just cater to hardcore skiers and snowboarders, but also offers a wide range of things to do for couples, families and groups of friends.
What are some of your favourite memories of Whistler? Or if you haven’t been, would you be keen to visit?