Cathay Pacific flies to Vancouver only once a day at 10pm, but take one look at what they call Premium Economy and you’ll see why it’s a good deal. It does cost a bit more than their straight-on Economy, but it feels like first class, complete with all the amenities.
When you land after midnight, you can either power thru and drive the 90 minutes up to Whistler or you can treat yourself to a good night’s sleep at the Rosewood Georgia Hotel (rosewoodhotels.com/en/hotelgeorgia) [that’s the pool, left], located in the heart of the city. Its featherbed mattresses guarantee a great night’s sleep and its restaurant, Hawksworth (hawksworthrestaurant.com), is THE eatery of the moment.
The drive from Vancouver to Whistler is its own sight-seeing adventure. It hugs the spectacular Horseshoe Bay, and if you’re lucky enough to leave the driving to your companion, the lush firs, cascading waterfalls and striking mountains are very New Zealand.
When 30 inches of new powder falls overnight, it’s time to pull out the fatboys. We demo-ed Salomon’s new BBR 10.0 skis (salomon.com), which have curved tips on both ends, which are also generously wide. Simply put, I’ve never turned with so much control and so little effort. I so wish I could have fit these in my carry-on.
With the ski runs as a backdrop, this outdoor nirvana offers everything from several hot tubs, cold Nordic showers and baths as well as stone, Swedish or deep tissue massages. Afterward, bundle up in one of their plush robes and veg out in their quiet solarium or cozy outdoor fire. (scandinave.com/en/whistler/)
Whistler’s Village Stroll is dotted with fine dining, including the farm-to-table cuisine at Araxi (Araxi.com), the cozy Tuscan gem Il Caminetto Umberto (hotelvilladelia.com/restaurant_ilcaminetto.cfm) and Sachi Sushi (sachisushirestaurant.com) which was so good—full disclosure—we dined there both nights of our short stay.
Gotta love a ski resort with way too many high-end accommodation options, from the Fairmont Chateau (Fairmont.com/whistler) to the Pan Pacific Village Center (panpacific.com/en/whistlervillagecentre), but I’d invest in the newest, the Four Seasons Whistler (fourseasons.com/whistler) [above], and indulge in a facial, like the Vitamin Sea (get it??) Balancing Facial, which implements the hydrating and purifying benefits of sea algae.
If you’ve got a few hours to kill before leaving Vancouver—and you’re a carnivore—a must-have indulgence is the porchetta sandwich at Meat and Bread (meatandbread.ca).