Pointswise Picks: The Best Luxury Hotel You Need to Stay at in Whistler, BC (Part 4 of 4)

Pointswise Picks: The Best Luxury Hotel You Need to Stay at in Whistler, BC (Part 4 of 4)

By | 2018-09-14T16:33:41+00:00 February 14th, 2018|Fairmont, Four Seasons, Hotels, Trip Reports|
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This post is a part of a 4 part series where we dig into the best luxury hotels in Whistler, BC. Check out the other posts in this series here:

  1. PointsWise Picks: We Rank The Best Luxury Hotels in Whistler, BC (Part 1 of 4)
  2. PointsWise Picks: Spotlight on the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Alpine Suite (Part 2 of 4)
  3. PointsWise Picks: Spotlight on the Four Seasons Resort Whistler Premier Room (Part 3 of 4)
  4. Pointswise Picks: The Best Luxury Hotel You Need to Stay at in Whistler, BC (Part 4 of 4)

The Four Seasons Resort – The Best Hotel In Whistler

Although a very close competition, we consider The Four Seasons Resort and Residences to be the best hotel in Whistler, edging out The Fairmont Chateau Whistler by just a few points! To come to this conclusion, we chose 5 categories to rank each property on, including:

  • The Room
  • Service
  • Amenities and Dining
  • Loyalty Recognition/FHR Benefits
  • Location

Below you will find a breakdown of each property in each category, including notes on where each hotel lost points or showed a competitive edge over the other. While we consider the Four Seasons Resort the best hotel in Whistler, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend either property for a truly luxurious mountain vacation!

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Best Hotel In Whistler – The Room

For this category, each property could earn a maximum of 25 points, and is where The Four Seasons Resort took a commanding lead over the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.

Four Seasons Resort – 24 Points

Four Seasons Resort Living Room

Four Seasons Resort Living Room

Four Seasons Resort Whistler Premier Suite Bathroom

Four Seasons Resort Whistler Premier Suite Bathroom

Four Seasons Resort Whistler Premier Room King Bed

Four Seasons Resort Whistler Premier Room King Bed

What we loved

  • Fireplace and patio in almost every room
  • Incredibly comfortable bed with highest quality linens/pillows
  • Large sitting area for a non-suite category
  • Full bathroom including a deep-soaking tub
  • Attention to detail in finishes and quality furniture

What we didn’t love

  • Found a dollar in the couch cushion, which should have been noticed by housekeeping

 

Overall, an almost perfect score for this beautifully finished Premier Room, with just one point deducted for the minor lapse in housekeeping (although finding a dollar is always great).

Fairmont Chateau Whistler – 20 Points

Fairmont Chateau Whistler Alpine Suite Living Room

Fairmont Chateau Whistler Alpine Suite Living Room

Fairmont Chateau Whistler Alpine Suite Bathroom

Fairmont Chateau Whistler Alpine Suite Bathroom

Fairmont Chateau Whistler Alpine Suite Bedroom

Fairmont Chateau Whistler Alpine Suite Bedroom

What We Loved

  • Recently renovated with nice hardwood floors and rich stonework around the fireplace
  • The Fairmont bed is always great
  • Unique layout perfect for a couple
  • Le Labo bath amenities are some of our favourites

What We Didn’t Love

  • The finishes and furniture didn’t feel as luxurious/high quality as they should have
  • Attention to detail was missing – sticky closet door and exposed panels in ceiling
  • No patio
  • The bathroom was disappointing

 

The recently renovated Alpine Suite should be a flagship room for the property, but unfortunately didn’t quite ‘wow’ us. While perfectly nice, the finishes felt a bit ‘cookie cutter’ and could have been any hotel in the world. Minus 2 points for fit/finish issues.

The bathroom is where this room lost serious ground against the Four Seasons Resort. While nicely finished with a beautiful spa shower, I can’t understand why a deep-soaking tub wasn’t added during renovations. Also, an exposed toilet as the centrepiece of the bathroom is just bad design. Minus 3 points for the bathroom.

Best Hotel In Whistler – Service

Ahh service culture in Whistler. If you value anything that resembles ‘good service’, you probably need to skip over most 4-star options and limit yourself to the best properties only. Whistler has a very transient labour force, with seemingly everyone on their first day. People come to Whistler to play, not work, so it’s no surprise that even the best hotels can be plagued with inexperienced and apathetic employees.

We value good service, so for this category each property could be awarded a maximum of 25 points. Both failed on different levels, with The Fairmont doing just slightly better than The Four Seasons.

Four Seasons Resort – 18 Points

Four Seasons Resort Whistler Welcome Amenity

Four Seasons Resort Whistler Welcome Amenity

What We Loved

  • Probably the nicest front of house (desk agent, valet bellman) in the village
  • Incredible staff at dining outlets
  • Impeccable Four Seasons standards
  • Incredible follow-up from management after the stay

What We Didn’t Love

  • Email to the hotel prior to arrival went unanswered
  • Check-in was delayed, and expectations weren’t managed as well as they could gave been

 

Four Seasons is a brand is known for their service, which is why I can see them being able to charge such a premium over other properties in almost any market. While the service was basically faultless once checked-in, the pre-arrival email going unanswered (from a manager) is completely unacceptable and unexpected. Minus 5 points for that. The front desk agent, while polite and professional, could have been more transparent about the room delay, rather than telling us every 5 minutes that it would be another 5 minutes. Minus 2 points for not managing expectations well.

Fairmont Chateau Whistler – 20 Points

Welcome Amenity From Front Office Manager

Welcome Amenity From Front Office Manager

What We Loved

  • Front Office Manager went above and beyond in service recovery efforts
  • Very friendly and engaged staff, from front of house to housekeeping
  • Emails were answered promptly, both before and after the stay

What We Didn’t Love

  • Check-in took too long
  • Front desk agent was unfamiliar with Fairmont Platinum benefits, which resulted in some major delays

 

While Fairmont service is consistently good, I’m actually quite surprised they managed to do marginally better than Four Seasons. Apart from the check-in process taking far too long on account of a new employee being unfamiliar with policies, the service was seamless and professional. Minus 5 points for an argumentative front desk agent and delay in checking in.

Best Hotel In Whistler – Amenities and Dining

While not necessarily a category I put a lot of weight into, I think a lot of people do when choosing a luxury resort. People want it all – a beautiful pool, dining options, a spa, and family friendly activities. A maximum of 20 points could be earned for this category, with both hotels performing well.

The Four Seasons Resort – 18 Points

Four Seasons Resort Whistler (Picture From Previous Stay)

Four Seasons Resort Whistler Pool

Four Seasons Resort Whistler Sidecut Patio (Picture From Previous Stay)

Four Seasons Resort Whistler Sidecut Patio

Four Seasons Resort Whistler Lobby

Four Seasons Resort Whistler Lobby Library

What We Loved

  • The pool! Towel ovens for warm, crisp towels when you get out. Need we say more?
  • Sidecut is one of our favourite hotel restaurants – with great food and outstanding cocktails
  • Very family/pet friendly, with no pet fees for dogs, family activities throughout the day, complimentary daily wine tasting, and evening fire with s’mores.
  • Beautiful/quiet places to relax in the lobby

What We Didn’t Love

  • Spa was closed for maintenance during out stay

 

The Four Seasons Resort offers everything you need in a luxury resort without being overbearing. I know some people will argue that only one dining option is not enough for a resort, but I actually believe quality over quantity is better. The pool is the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploring, and like all Four Seasons properties, families with children and pets are always welcomed and well-entertained. Minus 2 points for the spa being closed without advanced warning from staff.

Fairmont Chateau Whistler – 14 Points

Fairmont Chateau Whistler Lobby

Fairmont Chateau Whistler Lobby

Fairmont Chateau Whistler Pool

Fairmont Chateau Whistler Pool

 

Fairmont Chateau Whistler Breakfast In Bed

Fairmont Chateau Whistler Breakfast In Bed

What We Loved

  • The full-service pool was large and relaxing with great views
  • The lobby was beautiful, with plenty of natural stone and rich woods
  • Breakfast In Bed

What We Didn’t Love

  • Mallard Lounge was overrated and service was terrible
  • The pool area had some unruly guests with not enough follow-up from staff
  • The lobby felt very busy at times, and made it tough to enjoy the space
  • Pet fees

 

Similar to The Four Seasons, this property has everything you would expect of a 5-star resort. Multiple dining options, beautiful pool, and full-service spa all available on property. The hotel didn’t feel as exclusive as The Four Seasons, which made relaxing in the common spaces difficult. Minus 2 points for the overall ‘convention’ feel of the common area. Mallard Lounge was almost offensive, with the server knowing nothing about the menu, and later admitting she was only working there for the benefits. Minus 3 points for service in the dining outlets and minus 1 point for charging pet fees.

Best Hotel In Whistler – Loyalty Recognition/FHR Benefits

PointsWise is a website for Canadians wanting to leverage programs for better travel, so it only makes sense to consider loyalty recognition or other benefits when ranking hotels. Both hotels participate in American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts, which is our favourite program for getting added value at luxury properties. A maximum of 20 points could be awarded for this category.

Four Seasons Resort – 15 Points

Four Seasons Resort Whistler American Express FHR Rates

Four Seasons Resort Whistler American Express FHR Rates

What We Loved

  • Very, very generous multiple category room upgrades from most basic room
  • Buffet breakfast at Sidecut was phenomenal

What We Didn’t Love

  • Room not available for early check-in
  • Spa service credit isn’t as great as a property or food/beverage credit
  • No loyalty program for added benefits

 

The Four Seasons Resort Whistler does a great job with room upgrades on FHR bookings, though the lack of early check-in (minus 2 points) and spa service credit (minus 2 points) make it a little less valuable in our opinion. Also, while I believe Four Seasons does a good job at recognizing loyal customers, the lack of a loyalty program means no published benefits are guaranteed (minus 1 point).

Fairmont Chateau Whistler – 16 points

Fairmont Chateau Whistler Fine Hotels And Resorts

Fairmont Chateau Whistler Fine Hotels And Resorts

What We Loved

  • Fairmont President’s Club adds a lot of value for Platinum members
  • $100USD food and beverage credit represents better value than a spa service credit
  • Ability to have breakfast in bed or buffet breakfast is a big plus

What We Didn’t Love

  • Upgrade was due to a service recovery, not because of Platinum status or FHR booking
  • Early check-in wasn’t available

 

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler is very comparable to The Four Seasons for FHR benefits, though the lack of upgrade and no early check-in meant a loss of 4 points overall. We do love combining Fairmont Platinum status with FHR benefits, though Fairmont has decided to replace the program with Le Club AccorHotels, which will be far less rewarding after July, 2018.

Best Hotel In Whistler – Location

It’s tough to choose a bad location, though we think the Upper Village where both properties are located is ideal to be considered the best hotel in Whistler. The village can be loud and overrun with tourists, so being a few minutes from the action is preferred. 10 points are on the line for location, with The Fairmont having only the slightest advantage over The Four Seasons Resort.

The Four Seasons Resort – 9 points

Four Seasons Resort Whistler Driveway

Four Seasons Resort Whistler Driveway

What We Loved

  • Just a little further away from the mountain created a very private atmosphere
  • Upper Village location
  • Mercedes-Benz car service for rides within the village

What We Didn’t Love

  • Not ski-in, ski-out (though they do provide a ski concierge service)

 

The two hotels are located in the same area, though the Four Seasons is slightly further from the mountain, meaning a 3 minute shuttle is necessary to get to the ski lift (minus 1 point). The Mercedes-Benz Car Service is great for rides within town, and location next to hiking trails is ideal for people travelling with pets!

Fairmont Chateau Whistler – 10 Points

Fairmont Chateau Whistler Exterior

Fairmont Chateau Whistler

What We Loved

  • Location, Location, Location! Nestled at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, this is the ideal spot for ski-in, ski-out mountain lodging
  • Upper Village setting
  • BMW car service for trips within the village

What We Didn’t Love

  • Doesn’t feel quite as exclusive as The Four Seasons, being located right next to lots of shops

 

For skiers, this location simply doesn’t get better. For everyone else, the location next door to the Upper Village shopping area means lots of tourists and more crowds, which makes for a slightly less luxurious/exclusive atmosphere.

Best Hotel In Whistler Totals

The Four Seasons Resort Whistler – 84 Points 

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler – 80 Points

Best Hotel In Whistler Bottom Line

While most categories were very comparable, The Four Seasons edged out the Fairmont due to the luxurious guest rooms. Having a patio and fireplace in all rooms, in addition to a luxurious spa bathroom make this a clear choice for the best hotel in Whistler, with all of the other categories competing very similarly.

As mentioned earlier, I don’t think you can go wrong with either property for a memorable mountain vacation, though depending on what you value, you may decide one property is slightly more appealing than the other.

For anyone considering a stay, I would strongly recommend getting an American Express Platinum Card or American Express Business Platinum Card to book through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts. Even on short stays, the benefits are well worth it, with longer stays easily justifying the annual fees for the cards in added value.

Have you stayed at either property before? What would you consider the best hotel in Whistler? Let us know in the comment section below!

This post is a part of a 4 part series where we dig into the best luxury hotels in Whistler, BC. Check out the other posts in this series here:

  1. PointsWise Picks: We Rank The Best Luxury Hotels in Whistler, BC (Part 1 of 4)
  2. PointsWise Picks: Spotlight on the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Alpine Suite (Part 2 of 4)
  3. PointsWise Picks: Spotlight on the Four Seasons Resort Whistler Premier Room (Part 3 of 4)
  4. Pointswise Picks: The Best Luxury Hotel You Need to Stay at in Whistler, BC (Part 4 of 4)
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About the Author:

Champagne taste on a beer budget has always been reminiscent of Tyler’s travel style. Raised in British Columbia, Tyler has an unquenchable thirst for more adventure, which is fueled by leveraging airline and hotel loyalty programs to travel the world in luxury and style. Want to learn how you can travel the world on points, like Tyler? Sign up for an American Express Platinum card and get 60,000 bonus points and a $200 travel credit towards your next dream vacation. (Offer subject to approval and when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months).

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