Set against the towering backdrop of Whistler’s Blackcomb mountain, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler looks for all the world like a modern fairy-tale castle—albeit one with a classic ski lodge interior, huge, high-ceilinged lobby spaces, and fireplaces big enough to stand in. Opened in 1989, this is one of Whistler’s heritage properties. As the resort’s only ski-in/ski-out Blackcomb mountain hotel, it’s a magnet for winter sports fans; the parade of dedicated powder hounds has included Hollywood—and actual—royalty, such as Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Prince Edward. The Fairmont Chateau Whistler is also a popular LGBTQ wedding venue, sports Whistler's only hotel golf course, and includes the largest conference space for a hotel in the area. It also has numerous restaurants and bars. The property is decorated in typically understated Fairmont style—think neutral shades and plenty of comfortable soft touches—but it stays fresh with a rolling refurbishment program for guest rooms. All the mountain suites and penthouses were fully renovated in 2013.
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An easy 10-minute stroll from the action of Whistler Village, surrounded by soaring mountains and lakeside trail parks, Fairmont Chateau Whistler makes a totally car-free vacation simple. The year-round resort’s lively bar and restaurant scene is close enough to enjoy, but not close enough to be an annoyance. It may be a ski resort, but there’s still culture to be found: Learn more about the Squamish and Lil’wat First Nations people at the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre across from the hotel. Nearby dining highlights include the world-class cuisine of Araxi and the chilly fun of the Belvedere Vodka Ice Room at The Bearfoot Bistro, which is -32 degrees!
Need to Know
Rooms: 493 rooms, 57 suites; from $190. Check-in: 4 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: The Wildflower restaurant delivers a family-friendly take on West Coast cuisine, with an impressive regional beer and wine list. Guests who opt for wine pairings will taste their way around a few of the local Okanagan whites and reds. The Grill Room is the Chateau’s fine dining restaurant, with a focus on Canadian AAA steaks and sustainable seafood. Portobello Market and Fresh Bakery has an open kitchen serving deli-style breakfast and lunch, an ideal way to pack the carbs in before a day on the slopes. The Mallard Lounge is at the heart of the hotel, with a gorgeous stone fireplace and an excellent cocktail menu. It’s where the locals gather for après-ski, with live music every night. In summer, the golf course Clubhouse serves salads, sandwiches, and cocktails. In winter it transforms into the Chalet, complete with sleigh rides, a full fondue menu, and a cozy fireplace. Spa and gym details: The Vida Spa’s therapy menu includes ayurvedic treatments. The Health Club is open from 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., with steam rooms, hot tubs, a sauna, and a sports setup that includes full fitness equipment, tennis courts, and an indoor pool. In the shade of the mountain are two outdoor pools, one with underwater music.
Who's it for: Luxury business travelers; families who appreciate the kid-friendly programs like the annual Easter egg hunt and the Zucchini 500 race, which can get incredibly creative and competitive! Our favorite rooms: Guests seeking serenity should opt for the forest side, with a view of Blackcomb Mountain. Rooms facing the village get panoramic views of that and Rainbow mountain, with better people-watching opportunities. Cheers: The Sinapis Alba is a must-try, a cocktail made with honey from Fairmont bees, mustard seeds grown on the hotel rooftop, and a house-made vermouth.