Planning the Ultimate Weekend Away

Having recently signed up for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express, I’ve been racking up the points to help me escape for a winter weekend away. I’ve done it, booked my trip to Whistler on points! I cashed in my Starpoints for a flight and my stay at the Westin Whistler. It’s supposed to be one of the top hotels in Whistler, one that is “ski in/ski out,” which in my amateur but fanatic ski opinion is crucial to maximizing the ski experience. I’m not much of a hot chocolate in the chalet sort of guy, in case you didn’t know. 

Now the question is what to do while I’m there. Obviously skiing comes to mind first, but Whistler offers tons of other activities and things to do off the slope as well. In addition to hitting the hills hard, there are some top-notch food and outdoor sports options that I hear are worth taking part in, like snowshoeing and hiking through the snow. That said, I need your help, ladies and gents: what itinerary do you think sounds the most notable? 

Itinerary 1: Ski/Snowboard/Sushi/Lifestyle 

This is an ideal itinerary. I’m staying at the lively slope-side Westin Whistler, so once checked in I’m planning to check in with my concierge who can recommend where I should grab gear for a few days of cruising.

Next I’m planning to hook up with one of the best pros for a ski lesson. Despite pulling off my first double black diamond in Tremblant after only one year of skiing last year, from what I hear Whistler is an entirely different beast… so I think a lesson will be wise. Once the lesson comes to an end, I’m hitting the slopes and riding the day away. 

After the hills, the evening sets in and the fun begins. The top-notch dining in Whistler is pretty much never-ending. After all, it’s a mecca for world-class offerings. That said, I’m thinking of heading over to Bearfoot Bistro for a bit of upscale après action at their famous Champagne ice bar. Before I leave, I’ll be checking out their stunning cellar below deck. I hear that I might get a chance to savour a bottle of bubbles if I’m lucky. (I’m feeling lucky…)

Post slopes and bubbles, I’m planning to head to Sushi Village. Their lively atmosphere coupled with arguably the Village’s best selection of, well, sushi, never disappoints I’m told. Notable tip: Order their Sake Margaritas (served as singles or by the pitcher); they might make for an interesting start to the night and guarantee fun in the mountains.  

I plan to make this night pretty notable, so I’ll be squeezing in one more unique experience and that is the après ski institution that is GLG (Garibalidi Lift Co.), which brings out some of the best party goers, DJs, bands, and young professionals.

Hang on, though, we’re not done yet. The night will be closed off at Buffalo Bills Bar and Grill – it’s young, lively and our Montreal Editor’s (a former Vancouver local) personal favourite for dancing the night away.

Itinerary 2: Snowshoeing/Hiking/Spa’ing/Comfort Dining

This is a much more relaxing and low-key itinerary compared to the itinerary above. After settling into the luxurious Westin Whistler, it’s time for snowshoeing and hiking.

The plan is to grab a set of snowshoes at Affinity Rentals before making my way to the Lost Lake Trails in Whistler’s Upper Village. A small entry fee to the park offers access to a plethora of manageable trails.  

Trekking also sounds like it could be an interesting experience, so once I’m done at Lose Lake Trails I’ll hook up with one of the top tour companies, Ziptrek. They offer anything from “Peak to Peak” to “Bear Tour,” “Eagle Tour,” and “Mammoth Tour,” – this definitely doesn’t sound boring. Yes, I said “Bear Tour.” Wow. Now you’re listening, no? 

If I still have some life in me, my plan is to keep the adrenaline going and book one of Ziptrek’s Whistler winter tours. Here, you soar above spectacular, snow-capped old-growth forests, valleys and glacially fed rivers for up to 2000 meters. Sounds like an unforgettable experience. 

After the snowshoeing it’s time for… the spa. Although this snowshoe and hiking itinerary isn’t quite as intense as the first, I’ll need some serious R n’ R, and what better place to go than the Avello Spa located directly inside my hotel? Hot stone massage, please and thank you. 

Post spa, evening will be setting in. No question that on this night I’ll be craving a bit of comfort food in the form of a mouthwatering cut of steak at Whistler’s Hy’s Steakhouse. Regional meats, including Canadian prime beef from Alberta and BC fallow venison loin, along with a deep red wine, await. To close off this fantastic day I’m planning to swing by Longhorn – Whistler’s ultimate and best dive bar. 

I’ll be using my SPG Card from Amex for all my purchases in Whistler so I can start to replenish my Starpoints and start planning for my next weekend getaway as soon as possible! Now I need your Notable opinion. We want to know which trip you’d like me to go on. The itinerary with the highest vote will be the weekend I experience. Check out our Facebook page to vote now.


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