Some hotel stays are simply pit stops, and some are once-in-a-lifetime fairy tale destinations. Count the Fairmont Chateau Whistler as the latter. Is the indulgence of a Fairmont hotel stay worth the expense? Yes. So if you can possibly swing it, start saving up!
We arrived for our Fairmont stay on a snowy December evening. Under the twinkling holiday lights of the bell services station, we ditched our car full of luggage and ski gear and practically glided through the check-in process. Upstairs in our adjoining deluxe rooms, we took in the view of a wintery Whistler, the base of Blackcomb slopes directly below, and slowly got used to the idea that this was going to be a stress-free ski vacation with kids.
Our skis were finding their own vacation home in the Fairmont Chateau ski valet, where they were available to us for check-out every ski day. Because I wasn’t sure how the ski valet process worked, I took a trip down to this lower level section of the hotel to ask whether our family should arrive for our skis while in ski boots or snow boots, where we should change into ski coats, and the like. “Ma’am,” the ski valet told me, “at the Fairmont, we’ll do anything you want.” Questions answered.
Here’s a video sampling of what makes Fairmont Whistler so great:
During our stay, we spent every day enjoying the ski-in, ski-out access to Blackcomb and Whistler mountains and our evenings either in the indoor-outdoor heated pools and hot tubs, in the cozy Mallard Lounge, on the impromptu sledding slopes behind the hotel, or all three. We loved that the hotel’s fitness center rents out complimentary sleds to guests, allowing kids to make their own fun on the pillowy snow all around the resort, and I loved the stations of infused water available outside the hot tubs and sauna.
We never made it to the full service spa, but still felt completely relaxed with poolside drink service, lobby fireplace lounging, and free wifi for President’s Club members (free to join).
Our deluxe rooms featured both tubs and showers in the spacious bathrooms, a small balcony the kids loved stepping out onto to give us they day’s ‘weather report’, and Keurig coffee makers and tea hot water makers. We appreciated the in-room mini-fridges, which made making quick meals and breakfast easy (there’s also a full room service menu).
Dining at the Fairmont is not exactly budget-friendly, but is definitely kid-friendly. We loved spending time in the Mallard Lounge, which is open to kids until 8 pm and provides fireside couches and nightly live entertainment. The cocktails are legendary, and appetizers will feed a whole family. Every Friday until the peak season, select drinks are $5, and appetizers are free. Dinners can be had at the Wildflower Restaurant or adjacent steak house, but for more economical family options, take the free Fairmont shuttle to the Whistler Village, or attached Portobello’s offers deli-fare and some market items.
I won’t lie: a stay at Fairmont Chateau Whistler isn’t economical, no matter how you spin it. That said, the value of your nightly room rate extends far beyond where you lay your head. You will enjoy stellar service, complete piece of mind, and very little ski-vacation stress. Our kids even noticed it! Room rates for rooms like the ones we reviewed start at $375 in winter (non-holiday) and room categories go up from there.
The Fairmont is located in the heart of the Upper Village, Whistler. From Vancouver, take BC99 (the Sea to Sky Highway) 1.5 hours to Whistler.
As I disclose whenever applicable, my family and I experienced the Fairmont Chateau Whistler as guests of the resort. While we appreciated this opportunity to share tips and advice with other traveling families, it not come with the expectation of a positive review.