Summer trips to Whistler are all about being active. Biking, hiking, water sports—it’s about getting out there and exploring the bountiful natural options. On my first summer trip to Whistler I picked some posh hotels for my home base--I tested our both the Westin and the Four Seasons. In my first recap, I'm giving you the Westin Whistler Review.
I planned the trip so my daughter could take advantage of a summer ski camp on the snow fields atop the Whistler Gondola. Each day her camp started from the Lower Village right by the Gondola where the camp started each day.
A quick check at a Whistler Village Map showed me that the Westin was a stone’s throw away. It appeared to me that the location couldn't be beat. I’ve had some great stays at Westins – notably the Beaver Creek resort—and decided to give it a whirl.
The drive from Vancouver to Whistler is a scenic 2 hours. If you can, give yourself time to pull into one or two of the scenic overlooks to enjoy the views along the Sea to Sky Highway.
There are self parking and valet options at the Westin. The valets are speedy and friendly and worth the $35/day fee. Be sure to call the valet desk to get your car ready for you.
As an SPG member, I’m always happy to get points and free WIFI wherever I go. The check in was speedy and I was off to my room in a jiffy. The bell staff was eager to lend a hand with packing and unpacking cars. Getting settled in is easy and quick.
Sweet surprise: I had a chilled bottle of rosé and a wonderful fruit platter to greet me. Since it was late, I whipped up a quick pasta meal (we stopped along the way for some groceries). I always love a little welcome gift from management don't you?
How's the Room?
All the rooms have a small kitchenette in them, making them ideal for a family trip. On our active holidays (skiing, hiking, what have you), we like to get an early start. Most hotel buffets don’t open until 7am—often too late for us. Having the ability to make an in-room breakfast is key. Here's what our mornings usually look like...
The kitchen was functional yet spare--without a lot of room for food storage or meal prep. I made sure to leave $5/day to thank the cleaning crew for the extra clean-up in the kitchen. I did my best, but the tight quarters in the kitchen area made even rudimentary cooking a little tough.
Besides the kitchen, I thought the room was nice enough. Our King Deluxe Room had a nice view of the golf course and pool. We had a small balcony, a dining area that seated four, a fire place in the ample living space. The room had a separate bedroom qualifying it as a Deluxe King. It was a decent-sized separate bedroom--nothing too fancy.
What I like about the Room
- The kitchen was well-outfitted with cooking gear. There were even cloth napkins and placemats.
- The bathroom was spacious and we appreciate the little Westin Wellness touches delivered—like a green tea foot soak.
What didn’t work
- The fridge was a miniscule combo freezer/fridge. Our lettuce ended up frozen—even on an upper shelf away from the “freeze” zone.
- The room was dated. The décor is definitely ready for an update. There is minimal art and no feel of the mountains. Bland, bland, bland.
- The furniture was worn. In fact, our bedroom dresser had drawers that wouldn’t stay closed and more than once caused a collision when we bumped into a randomly open drawer.
But a resort experience is more than just the room--it's about the grounds and facilities as well. The resorts I adore, like Sonnenalp, are more than just a fancy room.
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One of the best parts of a Westin stay is the commitment to wellness. For just $5 you can rent New Balance gear for a workout. I always bring my own, but it’s good to know in a pinch they can have my back.
The pool area is lovely—with views of the driving range. My daughter and I dipped in both the indoor and outdoor hot tubs and the heated pool is long enough for laps. The gym has windows looking out onto the pool deck. There was modern equipment and it was clean and well cared for.
Westin does have a spa on property, but I didn't visit it. I opted for the Scandinave Spa nearby.
This resort is geared towards active families--it's all about getting you outdoors into nature. When I planned this trip I was really excited for some runs out in nature and the great hiking options.
The bell men were extremely friendly and knowledgable. Most Westin’s will provide you with a running map—always appreciated. I asked for a running recommendation and was given great directions for the Lake Alta Loop (about 7.5 miles). I was also given bear 101 instructions. Very handy considered bears are everywhere at Whistler in the spring.
Where to Dine
Of course, I didn't dine in every meal. I enjoyed a lot of the local restaurants as well as my own cooking and a bit of Westin's restaurant offerings.
Dining options include the Grill & Vine (which I didn’t try) and the pub fare at The Fire Rock Lounge. My Albacore Poke Salad was excellent and I enjoyed sipping some of the local BC wines. The waiter suggested the crisp Sumac Ridge Pinot Gris –perfect pairing.
For my main dish, I dug into the Soft Shell Crab Burger. The crab was fried to perfection, but there was a bit too much bun. It would’ve been better over greens.
The price pretty much justifies what you get. My rate for the room was an average of $300 Canadian. The location can’t be beat and the Westin staff are awesome. From the cleaning crew to the bellmen to the front desk, the staff was very friendly and attentive.
I'd like to see the rooms redecorated in the near future. There wasn’t enough luxury at this resort to warrant the additional expense. It’s not the fault of the staff, it looks to be more of an investment needed by the owners to spruce up the rooms. But overall, for my money I'd likely stay in a resort condo or splurge for the Four Seasons on my next visit.
This is not a sponsored post. I paid for all the lodging reviewed here.