Winter R and R in Rossland

The charming, unpretentious town of Rossland offers the perfect family winter getaway

The charming, unpretentious town of Rossland offers the perfect family winter getaway, pleasing everyone from parents to tweens

A winter road trip in B.C. can be daunting for some, but Rossland in the Kootenay Rockies is pretty as a picture and worth the seven-hour drive from Vancouver.

Veer off toward Red Mountain Resortwhich is actually the start of the Kootenay Rockies’ powder highway—and the snowy fun begins.

Where to stay

The Josie, North America’s newest boutique hotel is situated right at the base of Red Mountain Resort. Not nearby. Right on the hill. The ski-in ski-out operation opened in December and its Ski Concierge will safely store gear out of your suite, craft ski itineraries, arrange lift tickets, provide run maps… the works!

With haute hotel inspiration, the 106 super style-y rooms were designed by architect Song Chia of Fab Studio and Design DMU. The lobby boasts refurbished chair lift seats, a glass fireplace, Hogwarts-esque twig chandeliers, and a modern chalet vibe. Summer visitors can look forward to the spa and slope-side pool which opens later this year.

What to do

Ski Red Mountain
They had us at 2,877 acres of powder, 300 inches of annual snowfall, seven lifts and 110 runs spread across three peaks. 1,000 acres of intermediate to advanced terrain on Grey Mountain has recently been added. Great for families, but remember Red Mountain is cat- and heli-ski central too, so dive into what suits you best.

Enjoy a guided fondue snowshoe experience
Natasha Lockey, owner of Kootenay Gateway, tromped my family through the forest, giving us expert tips about snowshoeing and rewarding us with melty cheese and melty chocolate. I don’t remember what we dipped into those fondues… because cheese and chocolate. Mmm.

Hang out in Rossland
One of Canada’s best towns for year-round outdoorsy play, charming Rossland offers an easy stroll along the main street, complete with cute gift shops, boutiques, cafes and more.

Where to eat and drink

The Velvet Restaurant and Lounge is The Josie’s much-anticipated eatery, with acclaimed executive chef Marc-André Choquette (formerly of Vancouver’s Lumiere and Tableau) in charge. With an all star culinary team including food and beverage manager Donald Haddad and sous chef Simon Watkins, The Velvet does not disappoint. Start with the charred octopus, beef tartare and fresh oysters. Move on to mains like the baked sablefish, the rabbit pappardelle, or the best burger in town. Warm up with Choquette’s signature French onion soup, which brings bone broth to a whole new level. Haddad’s wine list is off the charts fabulous too. We let him suggest pairings with each course, and the kids loved their fancy low sugar mocktails. The bar is perfect for apres ski action, with its heated outdoor space, ideal for watching folks whip down the hills.

The Flying Steamshovel in the town of Rossland, is a fun, casual, kid-friendly gastropub. Named after a contraption that once flew and crashed right next to the restaurant site, expect the usual classics with a home cookin’ vibe… and lots of beers on tap. We tried the chicken curry, a nice bowl of ramen, quesadillas and more, plus their live music adds to that ski town atmosphere.

Gabriella’salso right in townis one of those unexpected finds that makes exploring this sweet little area so much fun. Italian classics, perfect pastas, and very likely the best chicken scaloppini I’ve ever had.