The Non-skier’s Guide to Whistler

From spectacular spas to fine dining, there are lots of ways to enjoy Whistler besides hitting the slopes

Credit: Erin Sousa

Head up to Whistler to enjoy delicious food, luxury accommodation, relaxing spas and so much more

Whistler is world-renowned for its skiing—but the foodie, shopping, art and spa circuit makes for a fun weekend, even if hitting the slopes isn’t on your agenda. With some of the best restaurants in the country, you’ll find no shortage of non-athletic leisure activities to enjoy in Whistler.

Click through to plan your next getaway to this treasured mountain oasis…

Credit: Erin Sousa

Stay in luxury

Nothing is more quintessentially Whistler than the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. The hotel can’t be beat in terms of location, cozy feel, and some of the best service around. Book in for a weekend stay and enjoy everything this majestic, expansive hotel has to offer. Make sure you leave plenty of time to spend in the outdoor/indoor pools and hot tubs for a post-dinner soak. Try to get up in time for the delicious buffet breakfast, where you can linger over coffee and the most beautiful mountain view, or enjoy a leisurely meal in bed with room service.

Credit: Erin Sousa

Relax and play

Stationed at Fairmont Chateau Whistler is the VIDA Spa, the perfect place to indulge in a full body scrub, massage or mani/pedi. Booking in for any service means you have access to the hotel pools, hot tubs and fitness centre to really make a day of it.

Escape to an oasis

When you really want to unplug and relax, or even if you’re in hangover recovery mode, the Scandinave Spa is an oasis in the mountains. The hot and cold pools, steam rooms, saunas and resting areas are a treat on their ownor add in a relaxation massage for the epitome of rejuvenation. Spending a day here is the perfect winter or summer retreat.

Credit: Erin Sousa

Nibble and sip

The perfect spot to après ski or kick off a night of restaurant hopping, Bar Oso’s Spanish-inspired small plates (and the most bountiful charcuterie boards you might ever lay eyes on!) are perfect to share. Chef Santos’ menu will have you wanting to try one of each, which isn’t the worst idea ever. The room is gorgeous and lively, and the cocktail list has something for everyone, even wine lovers.

Credit: Erin Sousa

Take in some culture

A work of art in itself, this beautiful building is set in the heart of Whistler amongst lush trees, epically revealed by the walls of windows in the common areas. British Columbia’s traditional works of the province’s First Peoples through to its contemporary masters is part of the permanent collection at Audain, along with rotating exhibits, such as ‘From Geisha to Diva’ through to January 2017 and ‘Intersections: Contemporary Artist Films’ until February 2017.

Credit: Erin Sousa

Celebrate the local culinary scene

Spend a weekend or two in Whistler in November (usually before the snow falls) at Cornucopia, Whistler’s celebration of food and wine. The 10-day festival is full of seminars, events and meals that are dedicated to the love of dining, wine and cocktails. My personal favourites are the Chef’s Table Luncheons, where a well-known chef hosts a multi-course lunch and wine pairing in a private home. Booking early for 2017 will make sure you don’t miss out, as many of the events sell out well in advance.

Credit: Steve Li 

Make a reservation here

If you know Whistler, you know that Araxi restaurant is a Whistler institution. The reputation of the restaurant does not disappoint and Chef Walt continues to innovate, yet still holds true to his farm-to-table mantra. The restaurant recently opened a private dining space, The Cellar by Araxi, a chic room where diners eat, drink and celebrate, surrounded by bottles of wine. Make sure to choose a glass or bottle of wine from in-house Sommelier Samantha Rahn’s extensive wine list.