Photo by asoggetti on Unsplash
As the leaves start to glint with a frosty shimmer, you know it’s that time of year when Americans start looking toward their northern neighbors for winter adventures. British Columbia is renowned for pristine snow conditions and excellent trails ripe for exploring from your base in a chic wooden chalet or amenity-packed hotel.
Whether you’re planning a family vacation, a getaway with friends or a more intimate winter experience, we’ve rounded up the 10 top BC ski resorts that serve up plenty of leisure-focused amenities—from ski-in/ski-out facilities to heated pools and hot tubs to stretch out your muscles after an energetic day on the slopes.
10 BC Ski Resorts
Stargaze From Private Hot Tubs
Nestled right within the fairytale Whistler village, and on the doorstep of lifts to both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, the ski-in/ski-out Sundial Boutique Hotel is ideal for skiers and snowboarders looking to stay in the heart of the action. If it’s a special occasion, book one of the eight suites with a private hot tub and watch the stars come out over the Whistler-Blackcomb peaks from the comfort of your balcony.
After an invigorating day whizzing down the mountain, chat with friends about the trails while soaking in the rooftop hot tub. As the evening draws in, step onto the heated slate floor of your bathroom to freshen up with Aveda toiletries ahead of a deep night’s sleep on your luxury Stearns & Foster mattress.
At dinner time, you can take a three-minute stroll in the fresh air to the locally-owned Whistler Grocery Store and grab some wild-caught salmon for a delicious supper made in your fully equipped ensuite kitchen. If you prefer eating out, Whistler’s known for its superb sushi. Head down to Sundial’s second floor for sushi and a sake margarita at Sushi Village.
Vancouver-based company Halfmoon Yoga has mats for you to stretch out on before hitting one of Whistler’s 200 or so marked runs again, or you can join a yoga class offered three times a week at the hotel by Rich Life Whistler. There’s also a ski valet service for keeping your skis in prime condition.
Discover Playful Charm
You can’t help but feel cheerful when you open your suite door at the Summit Lodge Boutique Hotel and are greeted by a quirky sock monkey over your bed. A room decorated in pops of primary color puts you in the right mood to prepare for your day on the slopes, starting with an invigorating shower with NYC-based Malin+Goetz apothecary collection toiletries.
In addition to easy access to the mountain trails spread across Whistler’s 8,171 acres of terrain, the hotel gives free snowshoe rentals to all guests on a first come, first serve basis for an unlimited amount of time. They have pairs in all sizes, so everyone in the family can experience the awe-inspiring beauty of Whistler-Blackcomb on foot.
Complement the crisp Whistler air with a treatment at the hotel’s Taman Sari Royal Heritage Spa. Based on traditional Javanese methods, the Royal Algae Facial will leave you feeling fresh and ready for more winter fun. Plot your next day’s adventures around the hotel’s fire pit or in the outdoor hot tub before you head to dinner to savor a tasty dish like tataki served with fresh horseradish in the lobby level Elements Urban Tapas Parlour.
Be the First to Hit the Powder
Love the idea of being the very first to ski down a pristine mountain slope in the morning? At the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, located at the base of Blackcomb Peak, ask about booking a Fresh Tracks experience and carve that dream into reality. Start by taking the 7:15 a.m. gondola for a hearty breakfast buffet at the Roundhouse Lodge, then fly down that fresh corduroy snow pattern. Anybody in your party who isn’t an early riser can stay back at the hotel tucked under down-filled duvets or simply watch the snow gently fall through the large windows while making their first cup of Keurig coffee.
Return rosy-cheeked after your morning’s adventure and treat your muscles to an Ayurvedic dosha-driven massage in the hotel’s Vida Spa. Next, you can refuel for more winter activities by taking the complimentary shuttle to The Chalet restaurant on the hotel grounds and share a fondue next to the crackling log fire. Be sure to leave room for a delicious dessert, like chocolate-coated fresh fruit and meringue (you earned it with your early start). If you find yourself needing a moment of peace and relief, free yoga classes are offered in the third-floor yoga suite.
Swim Outdoors with a Heated Year-Round Pool
Who says swimming is just for summer? Even if it’s snowy outside, take a soothing dip in the Whistler Village Inn & Suites‘ heated year-round outdoor pool—no matter how crisp the air is. Located a convenient two-minute walk from both the Whistler and Excalibur Gondolas, which bring you up Whistler and Blackcomb mountains and their varied skiing terrain, the hotel has rooms, suites, and lofts to suit couples, families, and groups of up to six people. Ask about the pet-friendly options if your favorite four-legged companion is also a fan of winter ski trips.
Relax those hard-working muscles in the hotel’s indoor hot tub or dry sauna before snuggling up with a warm cocoa beside the cozy gas fireplace in your suite. If you’re looking to restore your protein levels, order a steak cooked to your standard at the on-site Keg restaurant—show your hotel key card and envelope to receive a 10 percent discount. Back at your hotel room, slide beneath the fine linens of your triple-sheeted bed for a blissful night’s sleep.
Experience Sustainable Luxury
If you seek out eco-friendly options when travelling, head to the boutique Pinnacle Hotel Whistler. The hotel is involved in initiatives focused on environmental sustainability, like donating their leftover Borghese soap and shampoo products to Clean the World, a non-profit that recycles and distributes them to impoverished people worldwide.
This hotel is just as luxurious as it is green. Each suite has a full kitchen, so you can whip up a meal before taking a long soak in your private Jacuzzi tub. Sip on a glass of wine in front of your gas log fireplace while watching the village come to life at night through the large, bright windows. Hungry for more but have no desire to pull your winter coat back on? Try one of the two on-site Italian restaurants, Quattro and Alta Bistro. At Quattro, order dishes like L’Abbuffata, the roman feast—a five-course chef’s menu served family style on large platters.
There’s easy access from the hotel to all three sections of North America’s largest snowsports resort via the paved, pedestrian-only Village Stroll walkway, which is also great for exploring some of the region’s scenic landscapes.
Indulge in Spa Treatments
Admire freshly-fallen snow on the majestic evergreens as you relax in the free-form, year-round outdoor heated pool at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences in Whistler-Blackcomb’s Upper Village. Once you’re ready to start exploring, pamper yourself with L’Occitane bath products in your room before taking advantage of the hotel’s complimentary shuttles to access the resort.
For the ultimate indulgent treat, book a family day at The Spa, located within the hotel. Glacier Kids treatments offer a fruit-scented Superhero Scrub and Massage for guests aged 12 and over, while those six and under can get a mani or pedi. Grown-up options include a massage with hot stones, warm towels and a peppermint foot mask—ideal for getting ready to swap your Salomons for Fluevogs as you prep for an evening in the village.
For dining options at the hotel, see how many eagles you can spot from the heated terrace of the hotel’s Sidecut Bar as you sip a handcrafted Okanagan Boulevard cocktail and share Korean beef nachos. You’ll be soaring up Blackcomb yourself the next day on the first year-round, fully-sheltered gondola from Upper Village to the Peak 2 Peak connection, which launched in 2018.
Stay at the Foot of the Mountain
Situated on Main Street in Whistler Village, the Delta Hotels by Marriott Whistler Village Suites welcomes you with a wide selection of one- and two-bedroom suites decorated with clean-lined contemporary furniture in light wood tones and pillow-top mattresses. It also houses a convenient kitchenette for those times you’d prefer to eat in.
When taking a break from zooming around Whistler-Blackcomb’s 16 alpine bowls, practice your front crawl in the hotel pool, swimming from the inside through to the connected, heated outdoor pool. For muscles that are in need of a little more TLC, hang out in the hot tub with your family or friends, debating whether snowboarding trumps skiing.
For easy evening entertainment, sample some creative dishes, like the Ahi tuna at Hy’s Steakhouse, just outside of the hotel, or listen to live music on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at in-house The Brickworks Pub. If you’d prefer a quiet night in, simply curl up in front of your in-suite fireplace with a warming nightcap.
Access the Slopes Easily from This Sun Peaks BC Ski Resort
From the Coast Sundance Lodge, getting on top of Sun Peaks is a breeze. You can ski from the hotel right up to one of the resort’s two main lifts, out of 13 in total, located just outside. If you’re craving a home-cooked lunch after building up an appetite gliding across Canada’s second-largest ski area, take a seven-minute stroll to Bluebird Market in the Residences at Sun Peak Grand to stock up on provisions and return to your in-room kitchen to prepare a nourishing meal.
Housed within the lodge is a charming local favourite, Bolacco Café. This cozy coffee shop’s walls are decorated with photos of the owners’ three children, which adds a family-oriented feel to the space. Be sure to try one of Elzbieta’s famous berry scones.
On nights you’re craving a restaurant ambiance but don’t want to wander too far, the popular Bottoms Bar & Grill is attached to the lodge and features hearty dishes, like the Canadian classic burger topped with maple bacon and Okanagan smoked applewood cheddar.
Revel in Family-Friendly Fun
Delta Residences at Sun Peaks — Sun Peaks Resort
After a day skiing some of the resort’s 4,270 acres of terrain, watch the snow twinkle as the sun goes down from the outdoor mountain-view pool or hot tub at Delta Residences at Sun Peaks. Those who want to stay inside can sit back on a sofa in the living area of their spacious condo, complete with a functional kitchen.
After waking up from a night of peaceful sleep, refuel for another day on the slopes with eggs cooked to your liking at the hotel’s breakfast buffet. Later in the day, order a comforting meal like the pulled pork sandwich at Morrisey’s Public House, located within the complex.
You don’t even need to leave the luxury of your room for some extra pampering; in-room massages are offered by therapists from Body Language. Breathe in customized aromatherapy blends while the Ultimate Après Massage treatment prepares your body for more winter fun. For a change of pace, Sun Peaks offers tons of additional activities that the whole family can take part in, from horse-drawn sleigh rides and snowmobile tours to tubing and Nordic skiing.
Experience a Variety of Winter Activities
Stonebridge Lodge houses 88 condos at the mountain-side Big White resort, just under an hour’s drive from Kelowna (a shuttle is available from Kelowna airport). Vintage snowshoes and skis serve as true Canadian décor in the spacious quarters, most of which have a private hot tub overlooking the runs, along with a fireplace to relax around after a day of skiing some of Big White’s 118 trails. Take a leisurely swim in the heated indoor-outdoor pool.
Team a glass of wine from the Okanagan Valley with your locally-sourced dinner at 6 Degrees Bistro. Prefer to cook your own meals? Pre-order your groceries through Vacation Foods and have them delivered to your condo, ready for your arrival. If you’re travelling with young ones, the Big White Kids Centre, a winter fun facility catered to children, helps make sure they have a great time on the slopes while you take in runs at your own pace.