Whistler is one of my favourite local destinations, and I try to make it up there at least a few times a year. Located just 90 minutes from Vancouver, this resort town offers something for everyone, from world class skiing in the winter to championship golf in the summer.
While we normally stay in the Creekside area, just south of the main village, we decided on a last minute booking at The Four Seasons Resort and Residences. Part of what made this hotel an attractive option for us this weekend was:
- Very pet friendly – This is one of only a few hotels I’ve stayed at (with the others being the Four Seasons Vancouver and Fairmont Pacific Rim) where there are no additional charges for dogs!
- Participation in the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts program.
- Location in the upper village (a short walk or drive to all the shopping and dining) is ideal for those seeking a peaceful atmosphere.
I checked out American Express travel services using my Platinum Card and found a fairly reasonable last-minute option. Whistler isn’t a cheap hotel market, and mid-range hotels can easily go for more than we paid for this Four Seasons stay. Furthermore, our package included daily breakfast for two, a $100USD spa service credit, and late checkout.
Brittany and I arrived at the hotel shortly after 2pm with the dogs and had about 20 minutes to kill before Brad arrived. We decided to check out the hotel’s exterior while letting the dogs stretch their legs. The exterior aesthetic fits in perfectly with the beautiful mountain backdrop. The hotel is located directly next door to the iconic Fairmont Chateau Whistler, the only other hotel participating in the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts program, and a property we reviewed last year.
The grounds are exquisite and beautifully manicured.
Check-in was seamless and we were informed of an upgrade to a Deluxe Four Seasons Executive Suite, which was a four-category room upgrade from Deluxe Room we originally booked! I wouldn’t count on an upgrade this generous during peak ski season, but I do find hotels are usually quite generous with Fine Hotels and Resorts bookings when there is availability. The lobby of the hotel is charming, with an authentic mountain retreat feel. There is a large fireplace opposite the reception and concierge desk with plenty of comfortable seating available.
Just down a level was the entrance to Sidecut, the hotel’s well-reviewed steakhouse and bar, along with some small shops.
We took the elevator at the far end of the lobby up to the ninth floor (the top floor) where our suite was located. Oddly enough there are only two elevators servicing the entire building, and it wasn’t uncommon to wait. The hallways are feeling a bit tired compared to the rest of the hotel but remain in pristine condition.
Our suite, number 919, was located around the corner at the end of the hallway.
Wow, this was quite the upgrade. At roughly 850 square feet, the room felt huge, with a large entrance area featuring a desk and powder room, followed by a generous living room with separate bedroom and huge master ensuite bathroom beyond. Admittedly, the entry foyer felt a bit too big, with no furniture or artwork to define the area. Although baffled at first, I realized in the winter this was largely used as a mudroom for bulky and wet ski gear, so the lack of furniture made sense.
The office desk felt a little out of place by the door, though I imagine it doesn’t get much use anyway in a resort town. The desk chair was comfortable enough and featured a nice lamp and basic stationary supplies.
Opposite the desk was a large closet and powder room. Both were generous in size with the bathroom having a large walk-in shower.
The powder room contained all of the touches expected in a Four Seasons bathroom, including a luxurious bathrobe and high-end amenities by L’Occitane.
The foyer opened up into a tastefully furnished living room that felt especially large thanks to the soaring ceiling height. The space featured a gas fireplace in the corner next to the entertainment unit. Opposite the TV was a large seating area including a pullout couch, two armchairs, and a comfortable leather chair surrounding a coffee table. There was also a large private bar on the wall closest to the foyer with a nice selection of house wine, a coffee station, and an empty mini-fridge, which is a feature I really appreciate.
The Four Seasons is a very family friendly hotel, and pets are no exception. Most properties will charge an additional fee for dogs (usually $25-$50 per night, which can really add up), but not The Four Seasons Whistler. In additional to welcoming your pets free of charge, the hotel provides dog dishes, beds, treats, walking trail maps, and poop bags! How great is that?
As mentioned, the private bar area featured an empty mini-fridge, which could be stocked upon request. There was also a nice coffee maker and a selection of house wines for purchase. I also loved the unique Four Seasons Whistler S’well water bottle and regret not purchasing one!
The private patio was accessible through the living room and included a small seating area. While the views of the mountains were stunning, and the deck was incredibly quiet, I was shocked to find it only furnished for two people in a room this size.
We were all enjoying some sun outside when we heard a knock at the door. At some point during communication with one of the guest service agents, I mentioned in passing that we were celebrating Brad completing his Education program and being hired by the local school district. To our surprise, they arranged a small cake and congratulatory card for him. What a nice touch! Brad was also fortunate to try to spa for a facial treatment as part of the celebration (a great use of the $100USD spa service credit courtesy of American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts), and although he wasn’t able to get any photographs, he said the entire experience was amazing and easily worth a visit!
Opposite the private bar was the entrance to the separate master bedroom (retreat) with private ensuite bathroom. As is the norm at any Four Seasons, the bed was incredibly comfortable with high quality linens and pillows. The bed was in the centre of the room opposite an entertainment unit. There was a small seating area in the corner next to the window overlooking the ski hills.
On the far side of the bedroom was the ensuite, separated by a large walk-in closet. One side featured some nice built in shelving and housed in the in-room safe, while the other was a large open closet with room for lots of luggage and hanging items.
The master bathroom was huge, and felt very luxurious. While not my favourite style, it felt perfect for a mountain retreat with a lot of natural stone and earthy colours. There was a small water closet with toilet in the corner, a large vanity with double sinks in the centre, and a soaking tub with separate walk-in shower to the right. As with the powder room, there were ample toiletries by L’Occitane available along with luxurious bathrobes and towels.
While the bathtub looks small, it was actually a very comfortable length and great depth for soaking and featured high-end hardware.
The walk-in shower was similar to the powder room, and came stocked with luxurious L’Occitane amenities.
We experienced the Sidecut Bar patio for drinks and canapés and thoroughly enjoyed all that we sampled, along with the enormous breakfast buffet as part of the American Express package. A full review of our dining experience will be posted in the coming days!
I can easily say this is my new favourite hotel in Whistler for a number of reasons:
The location is ideal for our needs, located beside a network of walking trails and only a short distance to the main (and busy) village. It should be noted for those visiting in winter that this isn’t a true ski-in/out property, but the hotel does provide a ski concierge and has a great system in place from what I hear. The hotel also provides a Mercedes Benz car service for trips to the village.
The service was exceptional from prior to our arrival until after our departure, which is the norm for any Four Seasons property. Staff here are well-trained, and it shows in almost every interaction, which can be rare for Whistler (even at luxury hotels) due to a large number of the service staff being transient. Furthermore, housekeeping and maintenance are top-notch, which is evident in the pristine condition of the suite and common areas.
The room was phenomenal. While I wouldn’t count on such a generous upgrade on future visits, even the base rooms feature the same quality finishes, such as comfortable and luxurious bedding, private patio, and spa-like bathrooms with L’Occitane amenities.
So how does this property compare to The Fairmont Chateau Whistler (the only other American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts property in Whistler)? Well, it doesn’t really. While The Fairmont is a stunning property, there is just something special about the personalized Four Seasons experience. While I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend either hotel to the discerning traveller looking for a memorable holiday in Whistler, The Four Seasons has the edge for those looking for a truly bespoke mountain experience.