At Oxford Ski Company, we pride ourselves on having first-hand experience and knowledge of the chalets, hotels, and resorts we feature. We are a close-knit team who are dedicated and passionate about what we do.
Within this series, we’re highlighting each of our specialists across the team as we dive into their knowledge of some of our most popular resorts across the world.
I have always had a passion for travel, sport and adventure and been truly lucky enough to experience the amazing skiing in Canada and across North America.
One of our most popular resorts in North America and one of the best ski areas in the northwest is none other than Whistler Blackcomb. The Whistler and Blackcomb mountains provide over 8,171 acres of terrain and an impressive average of 10 metres of snow fall each season, making it renowned for powder skiing.
I always advise our clients to take advantage of the free ski guiding on mountain. Open to intermediate level skiers, these groups usually run daily throughout the season. The meeting points are at either the top of Whistler or Blackcomb mountains, and the guides are usually locals (sometimes retired) who know the resort well and can show you around the mountain and point out the highlights and best conditions for the day.
Don’t miss taking the Peak 2 Peak Gondola which spans the valley between Blackcomb and Whistler mountains. It is the world’s longest unsupported lift of this kind at 1.88 miles / 3.024km. Amazing views - if you don’t mind heights!
Key Resort Facts for Whistler
Resort Height: 675m
Skiing Elevation: 650-2285m
Pistes: 8171 acres
Getting to Whistler
2h 30m / 140km
Chalets in Whistler: 8 (with access to many more)
Hotels in Whistler: 8
My Favourite Places to Stay
Fairmont Chateau Whistler – a superbly and impressive landmark of a building, the Fairmont Chateau wouldn’t look out of place in The Alps, however it sits proudly at the base of the Blackcomb mountain.
Residences at The Four Seasons – renowned luxury and service with The Four Seasons Hotel brand, with the added benefit of a family group space.
Chalet Esha – an ultra-luxurious, modern property with amazing state-of-the-art facilities. The Kadenwood Estate inwhich the chalet is situated even has its own private gondola to the slopes!
The Best Après Spots
Merlin's is the perfect casual lunch or après spot in Blackcomb. With live music and a mountain base terrace, there's always something to draw you in. Be sure to order a Caesar cocktail - think Bloody Mary with a Canadian twist - either way, it's delicious.
Looking for something a little more sophisticated? Head down to Bearfoot Bistro in Whistler Village and sit at the bar, where your champagne glass is nestled in a frozen stand, or for the full experience, why not book into the Ketel One Ice Room for a sub-zero après experience.
If you're lucky enough to be in Whistler Village on a Saturday evening, be sure to get a prime spot for the Fire & Ice Show. It's a free spectacle put on each week of the season, and is a chance to see just how expert the ski school instructors really are!
My Top Tips for a Ski Trip in Whistler
I would advise always buying your ski passes early! Whistler has dynamic pricing and so the earlier you buy your ticket, the better price you will get (unlike most European resorts). Also, if staying more than a week then it’s worth looking at the Epic passes as well, which can work out better value for money across your stay.
Despite its lower altitude (the town is at 675m), Whistler is renowned for its powder skiing due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean and is usually a very reliable choice of resort both early and late season - on average the season runs from last weekend in November, coinciding with American Thanksgiving, through to late April.
One thing to note is Whistler is extremely popular with Australians, who have their main school holiday in mid-January, which therefore makes January an extremely busy time. Usually January is “low season” in the European resorts, but it is the opposite in Whistler.
Chalets in Whistler operate differently to the traditional “catered chalets” in Europe. They are generally booked on a self-catered basis (like renting a private home) and then housekeeping, chef etc can be added on to suit individual requirements.
If you are a fan of sushi then there are some incredible restaurants in Whistler - definitely some of the best sushi I have ever had.