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1st time to Whistler wanting luxury ski-in-ski-out..?

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Perth, Australia
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1st time to Whistler wanting luxury ski-in-ski-out..?

Hi, we are from Australia and want to experience 'true' ski-in-ski out and luxury at the same time. I must admit, we've seen the maps read the posts, but are a little overwhelmed.

We were considering First Tracks Lodge in Creekside as we are travelling with a 5yo & 15yo and we like the reviews we've seen however are aware Creekside is out of the way.

We are staying 10nights from 3rd Jan 2012 and will ski most days however we need to put the 5yo in ski school/babysitting as she is not a strong skier (any hints on this?)

As we dont get the snow in Perth, Australia, we want to experience everything Whistler. Will we be disappointed with Creekside? Not overly fussed about getting in a cab to Whistler village, but will the gondola ride to the base become a pain daily?

The reviews about whistler village hotels deter me from wanting to stay in accommodation there.

Are there any suggestions of luxury ski-in-ski out accommodation in Upper Village?, that would impress, and is this a better location than creekside for 1st timers?

Maybe Four Seasons or Taluswood?

North Vancouver...
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1. Re: 1st time to Whistler wanting luxury ski-in-ski-out..?

I can't answer your main question about accommodation, but as for the skiing for your 5-year old, the Whistler-Blackcomb ski school program for kids is Excellent and she'll have a great time. You can reserve for her through their website (see link below). Your 15-year old might also want a few days in the Ride Tribe or Freeride program. It's all here at:

whistlerblackcomb.com/snowschool/…index.htm

Just to clarify, there are no gondolas TO the base; one can bus, drive, walk or cab to either the Village Base or Creekside. But wherever you stay, in a ski-in ski-in location vs elsewhere in the Whistler village or valley, you'll still be taking a gondola or chair UP the mountain. Most of the year you'll be able to ski right down to the bottom at the end of the day.

Just note that in January, darkness falls early so that after about 2:00 or 2:30pm the light starts to go and temperatures drop, so the lifts start closing as early at 2:30 on the higher peaks and 3:00 down lower. You'll want to plan on early starts (8:00-8:30am) to get the full benefit of the day, especially weekends. Mid-week will be quiet with few lift lines.

JNW

Whistler, Canada
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47 posts
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2. Re: 1st time to Whistler wanting luxury ski-in-ski-out..?

Lots to consider on your posting!

Lets start with Creekside vs main village. Creekside offers advantage of being quieter and you can ski right to door of First Tracks, but the disadvantage is you really miss out on experience of the shops, restaurants cafes and amenities in the main Village which is a major part of visiting Whistler. A lot of Vancouver based families stay here as they aren't as interested in amenities in the village. Most guests who are on holiday would really miss the experience of staying in the main resort so I would highly recommend you don't stay in Creekside unless you envision skiing down the. Staying in your unit with the family all night. It's true that it is an easy cab ride to main village and that there are shops and restaurants in creekside, but nothing compared with the main village and it's really nice to have it all outside your door which is what Whistler is all about.

First Tracks is spacious and units have full kitchens and are quite nice but it does not compare to Four Seasons that's for sure. The units are nice but there is almost zero staff and service so not the same thing. More like staying in a condo.

Taluswood would be a bad idea as while they are nice units they are very far up the mountain above Creekside and tge skiin out trail is not suitable for beginners.

The Four Seasons is by far the best property in Whistler so if you truly are looking for luxury this is the answer. The downside is there are no kitchens and it is not right at the base of the lifts. However they have a very convenient full service ski vaket at base of mtn which is where you start and fi ish your ski day from. We have had many many clients stay at Four Seasons and without exception they find the quality of the hotel far outweigh the short walk to the ski valet. (ski boots kept on heaters at ski valet so no walking in ski boots). The downside is no kitchens in rooms which is nice for families.

The Fairmont is right at the base of Blackcomb and is the 2nd most luxurious property in Whistler. No kitchens here either though and you would have connecting classic hotel rooms for your family.

I'm not sure what is turning you off the main Whistler Village as this is the most convenient location. Maybe the noise? It is quieter in Blackcomb and Creekside but main vilmage is convenient and the hotels have quieter rooms so noise of main village does not have to be a deal breaker!!

Westin and Pan Pacific are the top hotels in the main village. Sundial also good.

Then there are condos to consider. These are mostly at the base of Blackcomb right on the slopes: Aspens, Woodrun Lodge, Cedar Creek, Chamois, glacier lodge, greystone and Painted Cliff. These vary a lot based on individual owner and are self catering but you can ski right to door. The ones right on slopes are great for skiing but are often up the hill so village access is again an issue but there us a free shuttle bus.

In summary if you are truly looking for luxury Four Seasons is the answer but if you don't need absokute luxury there are plenty of other options depending on your priorities. If Four Seasons is in your budget you should stay there, but there are also some really nice condos but they are all privately owned so vary within one building so you have to be careful.

Lastly make sure you sign your 5 year old up for Mon-fri adventure camp as you get the same group of kids and same instructor for the week which makes a big difference...

Whistler, Canada
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47 posts
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3. Re: 1st time to Whistler wanting luxury ski-in-ski-out..?

Lots to consider on your posting!

Lets start with Creekside vs main village. Creekside offers advantage of being quieter and you can ski right to door of First Tracks, but the disadvantage is you really miss out on experience of the shops, restaurants cafes and amenities in the main Village which is a major part of visiting Whistler. A lot of Vancouver based families stay here as they aren't as interested in amenities in the village. Most guests who are on holiday would really miss the experience of staying in the main resort so I would highly recommend you don't stay in Creekside unless you envision skiing down the. Staying in your unit with the family all night. It's true that it is an easy cab ride to main village and that there are shops and restaurants in creekside, but nothing compared with the main village and it's really nice to have it all outside your door which is what Whistler is all about.

First Tracks is spacious and units have full kitchens and are quite nice but it does not compare to Four Seasons that's for sure. The units are nice but there is almost zero staff and service so not the same thing. More like staying in a condo.

Taluswood would be a bad idea as while they are nice units they are very far up the mountain above Creekside and tge skiin out trail is not suitable for beginners.

The Four Seasons is by far the best property in Whistler so if you truly are looking for luxury this is the answer. The downside is there are no kitchens and it is not right at the base of the lifts. However they have a very convenient full service ski vaket at base of mtn which is where you start and fi ish your ski day from. We have had many many clients stay at Four Seasons and without exception they find the quality of the hotel far outweigh the short walk to the ski valet. (ski boots kept on heaters at ski valet so no walking in ski boots). The downside is no kitchens in rooms which is nice for families.

The Fairmont is right at the base of Blackcomb and is the 2nd most luxurious property in Whistler. No kitchens here either though and you would have connecting classic hotel rooms for your family.

I'm not sure what is turning you off the main Whistler Village as this is the most convenient location. Maybe the noise? It is quieter in Blackcomb and Creekside but main vilmage is convenient and the hotels have quieter rooms so noise of main village does not have to be a deal breaker!!

Westin and Pan Pacific are the top hotels in the main village. Sundial also good.

Then there are condos to consider. These are mostly at the base of Blackcomb right on the slopes: Aspens, Woodrun Lodge, Cedar Creek, Chamois, glacier lodge, greystone and Painted Cliff. These vary a lot based on individual owner and are self catering but you can ski right to door. The ones right on slopes are great for skiing but are often up the hill so village access is again an issue but there us a free shuttle bus.

In summary if you are truly looking for luxury Four Seasons is the answer but if you don't need absokute luxury there are plenty of other options depending on your priorities. If Four Seasons is in your budget you should stay there, but there are also some really nice condos but they are all privately owned so vary within one building so you have to be careful.

Lastly make sure you sign your 5 year old up for Mon-fri adventure camp as you get the same group of kids and same instructor for the week which makes a big difference...

Hope this helps!

Ben

Whistler, Canada
Destination Expert
for Whistler
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1,414 posts
31 reviews
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4. Re: 1st time to Whistler wanting luxury ski-in-ski-out..?

My first thought is that with 10 nights in Whistler, a condo with a kitchen would be very convenient, especially when travelling with kids. You can pick up some groceries and make breakfast and light snacks etc. Many of the condo's although are very nice, are not necessarily luxurious as you would find in a high end hotel such as Four Seaons or Fairmont. As condos are individually owned the quality of each unit may differ, so sometimes it may be a hit or miss depending on the unit you book. Also condos are not equipped with the same amenities as you would find in a full service hotel, ie. concierge, spa, room service etc., however there are some nice hotels that feature full kitchens in 1 and 2 bedroom suties, that are perfect for families. The Pan Pacific Mountainside or Westin, both located in the main village, are good ski in/out options that provide both a full service hotel as well as the conveience of having full kitchens. The above poster also provided some other great options of condos as well in the upper village.

ON, Canada
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12,612 posts
40 reviews
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5. Re: 1st time to Whistler wanting luxury ski-in-ski-out..?

Sundial Boutique Hotel would be my first choice for a condo (we stayed there a few years ago and I see that it continues to get great reviews.) You can't beat the location ...in the village & steps from both Blackcomb and Whistler Gondolas. The downside is that I don't recall it having a pool, although we had a private hot tub on our deck (not all units have them though.)

This past winter we stayed in Creekside (I have a review on it here on TA) ... we were thrilled with both the accommodations and proximity to the Creekside gondola. We're not big on eating out, and having spent many vacations staying in the Village, didn't feel that we were missing out on anything by staying in Creekside. We actually enjoyed the quietness of it vs. the Village. But we did have a car, so the couple of trips that we made to the Village were easy (and buying groceries in the village is preferable.) There is a shuttle bus that goes between the Village and Creekside.

Whistler Blackcomb has a meeting place for children's ski programs in Creekside, and we saw groups of children going up the lifts each morning with them.

Edited: 10 August 2011, 17:06
6. Re: 1st time to Whistler wanting luxury ski-in-ski-out..?

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White Rock, Canada
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197 posts
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7. Re: 1st time to Whistler wanting luxury ski-in-ski-out..?

The very best ski-in/out location for you is on Blackcomb Mountain. This is true ski-in/out. Many places advertise that they have ski-in/out but usually you have to walk with your skis a fair distance. If you stay at Creekside you are really away from all the action except for what you will find in that little area. If you stay on Blackcomb you can ski either mountain using the Peak to Peak chair. There are a couple of very luxury condos that I know of in The Woodrun Lodge on Blackcomb. This is a big favorite place for Australians. The Woodrun is right across the ski hill from Kids Kamp also, so it would be very convenient. If I were you, I would go to the Allura site. Google "Allura"and check the Woodrun condos on that site. (I know the webbsite has a very stupid name, "Allura", but you can find some fabulous places and great deals on this site. I would recommend unit 601 at the Woodrun, but unfortunately I believe it is rented out for the time you wish to book. Other ski-in/out buildings on Blackcomb and pon the Allura site are: The Glacier Lodge, The Aspens, check out this site: www.alluradirect.com

White Rock, Canada
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8. Re: 1st time to Whistler wanting luxury ski-in-ski-out..?

I forgot to mention that on the Allura site you can deal directly with the owners of the condos, etc. so you do not have to pay extra for dealing with a vacation rental company and you can always email the owner when you have any questions. Also if you go to Trip Advisor Vacation Rentals and pu in tWhistler, then Click on Reviews, I believe that Woodrun 601 comes up fairly quickly on that site as it has so many positive reviews from guests.So you can see the photos, etc. This is a great thing on Trip Advisor now, you can check out places at Whistler by the amount of positive reviews/or negative reviews they get.

ON, Canada
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12,612 posts
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9. Re: 1st time to Whistler wanting luxury ski-in-ski-out..?

We looked at Blackcomb for accommodations last winter because we wanted ski in ski out. Two concerns I had was that it wasn't close enough to walk to Whistler Village, so if we were going to drive or take a shuttle to the village, it didn't seem to matter too much if we were there or in Creekside. Also, I couldn't come up with a price as good as First Tracks for the quality of accommodations (First Tracks offers some good early booking discounts). Agree that you can access the Peak to Peak gondola from there ... but you can do that from Creekside as well.

Creekside is small, but there is a grocery story there along with some shops, restaurants, liquor store and they've done a beautiful job of it ... similar to Whistler Village, just on a much smaller scale. Skiwhistler, does Blackcomb have a grocery store?

Edited: 11 August 2011, 23:58
White Rock, Canada
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197 posts
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10. Re: 1st time to Whistler wanting luxury ski-in-ski-out..?

Creekside is much farther away from the main Whistler village than Blackcomb is. From the base of Blackcomb the walk is at most 10 minutes and very well populated and pretty, no traffic. There is definitely no need for taxis at all, or busses for that matter. We have skied Whistler/Blackcomb since the late 60's, really old timers you might say. If you were to walk (which you probably would not do, especially in winter with all the cars on the highway, etc.) to the main village from creekside it would take you at least 30 minutes for sure. We used to have a place at Creekside, so I know about that walk. I think Creekside is okay but you really miss a lot if you stay in Creekside. When you are on Blackcomb you are away from the noise of the village but only a 7-10 minute walk to the main village and village north. Our last place was on Blackcomb but getting older and the knees are going now, (husband has one knee replaced and getting the second one replaced in September) so after the last 16 years at Blackcomb we have sold our place just this past spring. As far as First Tracks is concerned, I cannot comment on it but I am sure it is very nice. I guess it all depends on what you want.