In large alpine resort towns, you can sometimes get lost in the sea of buildings. The beauty of the Coast Blackcomb Suites is you feel like you are one of the only hotels on the mountain. The hotel is siutated on the Painted Cliff Road one of the highest points for accommodation on the Blackcomb side of Whistler. Looking out of the hotel towards the Greenline Ski Run and Wizzard Chairlift it feels like the entire mountain is there just for you. But of course, this is Whistler/Blackcomb. The largest ski resort in North America, you are actually sharing it with the world. After a day of skiing, snowboarding, tubing or snowshoeing getting away from the hustle and bustle of the village is a nice break. With that said, the Coast Blackcomb Suites is better suited to the quiet traveller or family group.
If you are not taking advantage of the suites ski in ski out location or looking to venture out in search of Whistler nightlife, there is a public bus near the main entrance. It very convenient to pick up some groceries from the Whistler village or when you choose not to drive after a too many Après-ski.
The rooms are fitted out like many alpine hotels. The walls are ordained with old skis and the occasional alpine painting. The general ambience is inspired by traditional European alpine culture.
The beds are reasonably comfortable and bathrooms modest without too much flair. All in all, worth the price you pay.
The suites are equipped with kitchenettes or full kitchens in the larger suites. There are options for multiple bedroom suites and bunk beds for children. The suites are great for those on a budget and looking to save some money on dining expenses.
Despite all the family groups staying in the suites, the rooms are quiet and peaceful. Keep in mind, during the ski season, you will likely awaken to the sound of ski boots stomping down the hallway. Perhaps a welcome wake-up call, for those who want to follow suit and hit the slopes.
Whistler Blackcomb hires staff from all over the world. As with most ski resorts, you can expect to encounter a lot of Australians and Kiwis. Because of our Aussie heritage, it’s always nice to hear the Aussie drawl at the reception desk. The Vade’s put on their Canadian accents to see if anyone notices they are not from Canada and in fact Australians in disguise. All the Staff were friendly and accommodating, even happy to respond to a late night call answering a question about nighttime ski run grooming, that google couldn’t answer.
FOOD and DRINK:
The suites do not have a restaurant. So like most who stay there, we used the kitchen for a “mountain sized” cook up. After a long day on the slopes, it was nice to have a “home cooked” meal and there were enough left-overs for lunch the next day. The suite room package comes with a tasty continental breakfast buffet. A good way to start a day of adventure on the mountain. They also have a modest food store where you can pick up treats you may have forgotten like popcorn or chocolate.
In general, the Coast Blackcomb Suites are a good option for those wanting a peaceful location, on a modest budget and with cooking facilities. Great for families and serious skier/snowboarders. If you are looking for a close proximity to hit the Whistler nightlife, we suggest you stick closer to the village.
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is world renown and for good reason. It is located on the majestic Victoria Glacier in Alberta’s Banff National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site. There are few places like it in Canada, let alone the world, that rival the luxury in midst of awe-inspiring natural vistas. The location has served outdoor enthusiasts and mountain thrill seekers for over 100 years. It provides year-round luxury accommodation worthy of the highest brow traveller. Whether you are looking for guided mountain hiking, world class skiing, Summer canoeing and trekking or just a great meal and spa treatment. Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise has something for every traveller
The hotel is beautiful and although not as historically interesting as its nearby Banff cousin, the location simply can’t be beaten. The surroundings are stunning they certainly added wonderful experience. If you come in winter, you can ice skate along Lake Louise or simply walk around and enjoy the ice sculptures. But to really experience a fairy-tale Lake Louise, opt for a horse drawn carriage ride.
As with most Fairmont hotels, there is a resident Labrador (dog) that greets everyone at the front lobby. It was nice to be welcomed by a cute doe-eyed blonde (but not what they boys were hoping for when told that was what was happening). The victorian style furniture adds charm to the reception area, with the main shopping and dining areas to the side – making the reception area feel less crowded. A variety of stores with something for everyone, including souvenir, clothing and a bookstore.
Some of the areas in the hotel are over 100 years old, but much attention has been taken to weave the new with the old. Embracing the older heritage parts help to enhance the magic of this stunning hotel. But be aware, if you want a modern hotel this is not the place for you. This hotel is about conserving the history and the charm and of course the majesty of its location.
The rooms are large and can accommodate all different budgets. Bathrooms are spacious and come with beautiful toiletries. If you can we suggest upgrading to a room with a lake view it is worth the extra. You can even select a gold floor where you can have access to a private lounge, with special privileges including continental breakfast, Tea/Coffee and snacks during the day and bar and canapes every evening between 5pm-7pm.
The staff were very friendly and accommodating. The Fairmont has a good reputation for customer service and it is deserved.
FOOD and DRINK:
The dining at the hotel is very good with a wide choice of cuisine for all budgets. We dined at the at Walliser Stube which pays homage to a Swiss/German Alpine dining experience. The restaurant has a great selection of alpine beers and over 500 bottles of wine in their cellar, suffice to say, we did not leave thirsty.
We dined at the at Walliser Stube which pays homage to the Swiss/German Alpine dining experience. A great selection of alpine beers and over 500 bottle wine cellar ensured we did not leave thirsty. After much discussion around the interesting menu, we chose to go with the Château Experience AKA the fondue banquet. After all, if we are dining in the “Stube” we should make sure our bellies are warm too.
The first course consisted of bread, black truffle, roasted garlic & morel mushroom combined with an unctuous mix of Gruyère, Emmental & Appenzeller cheese. After a day of skating and running around in the snow, it helped to recover some much-needed calories. Following the cheese, the second fondue featured the world famous Alberta beef and a selection of vegetables. Finally rounding out the meal with chocolate fondue and a selection of berries. Very full we all agreed the experience was well worth the menu price and the wine pairing were outstanding. The service was top notch and
Our stay was too short and we wish we had had more time to explore the hotel and surrounding wilderness. We guess there is only one solution for this problem, come back for a visit in the Summer.
Our review is based on our stay April 2011.
STAR RATING (tourism industry score):
FRIENDLY GLOBES REVIEW RATING (our score):
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