British Columbia’s Fairmont Chateau Whistler first opened its doors in 1989—about a decade after Blackcomb Mountain debuted its facility, for those keeping track—and since, the castle-like four-star chateau has enchanted visitors with hospitality, keen service, and world-class amenities. Now, on the eve of its 30th birthday, the mountainside grande dame has unveiled a $23-million facelift, the result of a five-year rejuvenation project that modernized 150 of its 539 rooms and saw the addition of 11 new 600-square-foot alpine suites. Debuting in the wake of Whistler Blackcomb’s 2016 takeover by Vail Resorts, a deal which supported a $345-million redevelopment plan of the ski destination, the Fairmont’s new look could be considered one more dollop of icing on a seriously sweet cake. In short, it’s a good time to visit Whistler.
The Fairmont’s alpine suites face the mountain for dreamy views of gondolas and evergreens, and are modernly furnished by Hirsch Bedner Associates with subtle touches of Canadiana charm—artwork depicting B.C. attractions, cozy fireplaces, and rustic textures. Outfitted with a king bed, separate living area, and rain showers in the bathroom, they’re romantic, and ideal for couples in town for a weekend of après-cocktails and hot tubbing.
It’s tempting to order in-room (the suites feature window-side dining tables), however, the Chateau’s Grill Room restaurant—an opulent, fire-lit dining room finished in cherry wood with views of dark conifers outside its picture windows—is cozy elegance incarnate, and ideal for special occasions. Triple-A beef from neighbouring town Pemberton, local produce, and Ocean Wise seafood appear throughout the menu. Order classic, cornichon-spiked beef tartare or an inspired gin-and-tomato soup with bacon and local enoki mushrooms—both are prepared tableside by sedulous staff. Follow with perfectly cooked proteins and sides of truffle mac and cheese and creamed kale to fully refuel after a day on the slopes, and pluck at the giant cotton candy “snowball” that lands to cap off every meal (more traditional nightcaps, and live music, live across the hall in the hotel’s Mallard Lounge).
Those less athletically-inclined will still find much to do around the resort—the new Audian Art Museum is walking distance, and the popular Scandinave Spa hardly a five-minute drive down the road, not to mention the chateau is a stone’s throw from all Whistler Village’s quaint shops and trendy watering holes. For anything further, a Fairmont Whistler concierge is available via text. Now that’s service.
Photos courtesy of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.
Fairmont Chateau Whistler, 4599 Chateau Blvd, Whistler, BC V0N 1B4.
Never miss a story. Sign up for NUVO’s weekly newsletter.