This time last week my pal Tessa & I packed our overnight bags and headed North to Whistler for a little midweek relaxation. It’s only a short, (but extremely scenic) two hour drive up the Sea-to-Sky Hwy before arriving in Whistler Village, which is the central neighbourhood of the town of Whistler – for those who have never been! It’s divided into several areas; the Village, Village North and Upper Village. I love the village and make sure we stay there whenever we come to visit. It’s basically the hub of Whistler, where all the shops, restaurants and patios are located. It’s really charming, all the stone walkways and how all the buildings are made to look like west coast inspired ski lodges or chalets.
The drive up this time around was especially comfortable, since we were given the opportunity to test the new Lexus RX SUV. The interior cockpit is so spacious and comfortable it made the drive so much more relaxed and enjoyable – a powerful yet extremely smooth ride. If you’ve never driven up the Sea-to-Sky, it’s a windy, twisting road that runs along the mountainside where you can see the waters of Howe Sound, snow capped peaks, waterfalls and canyons. It’s absolutely beautiful and such a reminder of the beauty surrounding us everywhere here. There are several viewpoints and lookouts along the way so be sure to stop to admire the view.
We stayed at the gorgeous Westin Resort & Spa in Whistler Village, just steps from the Whistler and Backcomb Mountain gondolas, and spent the night in a two-bedroom suit. The suit had a huge balcony with views overlooking the driving range greens below and a beautiful backdrop of the mountains. When we arrived we enjoyed a welcome fruit platter and a glass of rosé before heading to lunch with the team at Go Whistler.
Bar Oso is a small spanish-style tapas bar in the heart of the village. It’s the sister restaurant to Araxi (same owners as Blue Water Cafe & Cincin in Vancouver) and located right next door to it. It’s amazing! We shared a few delicious tapas, a charcuterie plate, and handcrafted cocktails from the gin + tonic menu. After spending the summer in Spain last year (my husband is Spanish) I’ve missed our tapa nights and this took me right back. I would highly recommend checking this place out when you visit for a light lunch or dinner date. I will definelty be bring my hubby back here next time.
After lunch we hopped on the hotels’ transfer (shuttle) car and headed to Nita Lake Lodge for a spa treatment. The spa at Nita Lake Lodge is so cozy, tucked in the forest and surrounded by streams. They have a gorgeous lounge where you can hang (aka wake up) post-treatment and a big rooftop patio with loungers and hot tubs to soak in the view. The afternoon we were there a storm was passing so it was raining, but it made for the most relaxing afternoon – ever. I can’t tell you how peaceful it was sitting in the hot tub as it rained, surrounded by the forest and streams. Truly magical, and right on the lake! I plan on coming back here with Roberto (and possibly even, Xavi – dog friendly!).
After getting changed for dinner we enjoyed cocktails on our patio then went to Table Nineteen at Nicklaus North Golf Course. It was too bad that it was raining because the patios were closed so we didn’t really get the full experience. If you have a chance to get to Whistler in the summer time, you have to go and check it out. Table Nineteen is a lakeside eatery that is located alongside glacier fed Green Lake and set against the Coast Mountain range, also known as having Whistler’s best patio (HELLO… you see why I was so upset). All in all we had a fun night and in grandma-fashion were in bed by 10pm.
The next morning we got coffee and room service sent up to the room. Even though all we did was relax, somehow we still felt tired! So breakfast in bed it was. We got belgium waffles with fresh fruit, whipping cream and maple syrup which was all so yummy.
On our way out we had to stop at Portobello for one last quick sugar fix (they have the best donuts) and a coffee for the road.
Even though it was a really quick trip up, we had the very best time and were so well taken care of during our stay. I can’t say enough about Whistler hospitality, you just have to go and experience it for yourself. If anything, this trip reminded me just how lucky we are to live only two hours away from the most beautiful place on the planet, a home away from home. In case you were curious (I’ve already had a few questions) I’ve listed a few recommendations; things to do, places to eat, spas of choice, below as well as 5 tips to the smoothest road trip:
Other recommendations of places to visit if you’re visiting Whistler:
SPA + WELLNESS:
THINGS TO DO (SUMMER EDITION):
- Zip lining
- Walking / biking trails
- Explore the lakes, beaches & parks
- Lounge by the hotel pools
- Outdoor entertaining in the village
- Peak 2 Peak Gondola
- Portobello: has a really nice breakfast/brunch selection and they have some seriously amazing donuts.
- Pure Bread: we have a couple in Vancouver & this place is so good.
- Bar Oso: for Spanish style tapas and hand crafted cocktails.
- Mexican: both La Cantina (Urban Taco Bar) & The Mexican Corner.
- Pizza: if you’re grabbing a slice après the bars then be prepared to wait in line for a bit but Misty Mountain Pizza is worth the wait.
- Ice Cream: Cows is really good for old fashioned ice cream cones.
- Frozen Yogurt: so happy Menchie’s is now up in Whistler Village.
5 tips I can share to make for a smooth road trip are listed below:
- Organize. That means, don’t leave a thing to the last minute. Print out any directions, set your GPS in your car the night before, get all bags packed & by the front door so in the morning you can simply load the car and take off. These are all little tricks that help ensure you hit the road as hassle free as possible. There’s nothing worse than trying to leave on time and getting delayed by little details that could have easily been handled the day before.
- Get comfy. Aka, don’t wear jeans. Unless jeans are comfy to you then by all means go for it. If you’re in for a couple hour drive to your destination then be prepare to wear something comfortable to avoid getting antsy in your seat.
- Plan your coffee fix. If you’re leaving in the morning it’s probably safe you say you need a quick coffee stop so plan your location and allow for time.
- Research the look-outs. There are a number of different lookout points as you travel up to Whistler. You can easily google search where they are and make a point of getting out to stretch your legs and take in the spectacular views from the top.
- Plan your playlist. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a moving vehicle with someone and not have anything half decent to listen to. Thankfully for me, I rely heavily on Sirius Radio to do the work for me, but if you don’t have Sirius Radio creating a playlist from your smartphone is the way to go (the Lexus RX can also be connected to your apple music on your phone).
This post is in partnership with Tourism Whistler. As always, all opinions are my own.
Thank you to our partners: Tourism Whistler, Regency Lexus, Westin Resort + Spa, Nita Lake Lodge, Table Nineteen, Bar Oso for your hospitality.