Hotel at a Glance: Listel Hotel Whistler
Though the Whistler Mountain area is probably known best for its world-class ski runs, there’s stuff to do here no matter the season. The Listel Hotel Whistler is not far from Whistler Mountain, and it’s conveniently located if you want to go hiking, biking, or skiing (starting in November) through the mountain scenery.
- Ice bar: Sample vodkas from all over the world In the Bearfoot Bistro’s Ice Room, which is kept at a frigid -32 degrees Celsius all year round (don’t worry: you’ll be given a goose-down parka while you’re here). One of this Groupon’s options includes a vodka tasting.
- Warm up in the bistro, where you can listen to live piano music.
- Wine cellar with more than 20,000 bottles
- Start your day with a complimentary breakfast.
- Modern guest rooms feature flat-screen TVs and complimentary wireless Internet.
Whistler, British Columbia: Olympic History at North America’s Largest Ski Resort
Connected to Vancouver—about 80 miles (130 km) south—by the scenic Sea to Sky Highway, the Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort spans two mountains, each more than 7,000 feet in elevation. Since the resort contains more than 200 ski trails and more skiable terrain than any of other resort on the continent, it makes sense that Condé Nast Traveler readers ranked it the No. 2 North American Ski Resort in a 2011 poll.
The mountains gained worldwide recognition in 2010, when they served as the setting for the alpine skiing, bobsled, and luge events of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. The Whistler Museum tells the stories of those games with exhibits of athlete memorabilia, including the uniforms of local gold medalists and an Olympic torch you can hold yourself.
Although skiing and snowboarding are the main draws (visitors usually number more than two million annually), the area is also well-suited for snowmobiling, ice climbing up frozen waterfalls, and dogsledding across the Soo Valley Wildlife Reserve. For a break from the outdoors, peek inside the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, which celebrates the cultures of two peoples indigenous to the region via displays of their goat-wool weavings, dugout canoes, and rock paintings.