Canada is ideally situated for a luxury ski holiday if you are looking for a destination further afield from your traditional European resorts. With such vast terrain, along with much of the country having prolonged periods of cold weather, Canada is brimming with opportunities to experience the slopes. In this blog, we will take a look at three of the most luxurious resorts in Canada, along with specific examples of the hotels and chalets available for you to vacate in.
In no particular order, the three most luxurious ski resorts in Canada are:
Due to the high levels of snowfall every season (around 10m!), Whistler, and the province of British Columbia as a whole are fantastic areas of Canada for powder skiing. Powder skiing is generally for the more technically advanced skier, so there will be plenty of off-piste terrain to play with if you are experienced on the slopes. Due to the high levels of snowfall, Whistler has experienced the privilege of hosting a winter Olympics; Vancouver in 2010.
Along with the high-level runs available, Whistler is also a brilliant location for luxury ski resorts for families with small children. This is due to the centre of the village being pedestrianised and completely free of cars; this makes for a stress-free environment to explore the local shops and restaurants in, with your family.
The city of Vancouver is just a couple of hours away from Whistler, making it entirely possible to enjoy a long weekend skiing if you were looking to spend the majority of your vacation in Vancouver. Another positive for those looking for the best luxury ski holiday Canada has to offer is the entertainment offered all year round from the Adventure Zoo.
Whistler Village is located at the foot of the Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, which offer over a formidable 8,000 acres of terrain to ski on in combination. In terms of apres ski, there are plenty of traditional pubs and restaurants, along with a selection of venues that provide entertainment well into the night.
Moving onto the ski chalets in Canada and luxury ski hotels themselves, Whistler has a large selection of venues to stay in. We just had to start with one of the most remarkable luxury ski chalets on offer, and one that has an incredibly special unique aspect: a private helipad.
As one of the only luxury ski chalets in the world with this feature, exclusivity is the only way to describe the Heli Chalet. Based in one of the most affluent neighbourhoods in Whistler, Stonebridge is home to some of the most incredible homes and chalets available today.
Aside from the helipad, the Heli Chalet has a range of luxury features inside as well. Sleeping up to 16 guests, the chalet contains a sauna room, massage room and media room just to name a few of the entertainment options available. Moving back outside, the chalet has a heated swimming pool, a large hot tub ready to accommodate 12 people, and several fire pits.
Several members of staff are also ready to help meet your every expectation, including a dedicated concierge, housekeeping staff, and the additional options of drivers, chefs and ski guides if you choose so.
If you are looking to stay in a ski hotel in Canada rather than a private ski chalet in Canada, then Whistler also has several excellent options available. As a brand known the world over for its amazing quality of both the hotels themselves and the guest service, Four Seasons Whistler is one of the top hotels that money can buy.
The spa and wellness centre is a standout for the hotel, with a range of options ready to relax you mentally and physically. When you come back from a hard day of skiing, be prepared to try out the sauna room, outdoor pool and treatment rooms to aid recovery for the next day’s activity.
The main two restaurants we would recommend near the hotel are the Fifty Two 80 Eatery & Bar, and the Sidecut restaurant. Interestingly, the Fifty Two 80 is named after the number of feet that can be skied on Blackcomb mountain’s vertical mile. The outdoor terrace combined with a firepit is perfect for relaxing and socialising after a day on the slopes. The Sidecut provides some of the most amazing steak cuts you will ever taste - say no more?
Moving onto the next location, Banff is a quaint Canadian town set in the serene surroundings of Western Alberta, less than an hours drive from the stunning Lake Louise. Due to the elevation of over 1600m, it is possible to see the Canadian Rockies in full panoramic style. Most of the skiing is built for intermediate to advanced level, with black runs all the way up to double black diamonds ready to get the adrenaline pumping.
As with any ski resort, there are a few easier ski runs as well, but we would suggest that if you were looking to learn or take it easier on the slopes, then you should check out another resort (such as Whistler); the runs of Banff and Lake Louise are built for the more practised and adventurous skier.
We recommend two luxury ski hotels primarily for staying in Banff and Lake Louise: The Fairmont Banff Springs and The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
The Fairmont Banff Springs offers a set of incredible views of the Alberta Rockies, and has been welcoming guests for over 125 years. Due to the hotel being in the centre of the Banff National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site, there are many regulations in place to enforce that the natural scenery remains beautiful (which only adds to the experience!)
The ski hotel itself is based architecturally on the Scottish Baronial castles of the 19th century and fits perfectly into the surroundings of the Albertan mountains. Equipped with twelve restaurants and lounges, you will never be short of having a delicious meal or relaxing drink after your day exploring the slopes. If you are looking for some luxury retail therapy, Fairmont Banff Springs has a shopping centre offering a selection of Canadian owned businesses providing clothing, jewellery and ski gear.
If you are travelling with children (or other ‘big kids’, for that matter), then there is a bowling alley ready to serve up an evening's entertainment. More specifically to children (of the standard kind), there is a kids club that offers entertainment throughout the day if you are looking to explore the slopes by yourself for some time.
This beautiful, luxury ski hotel is in close proximity to the surrounding ski resorts of Sunshine Village, Lake Louise and Norquay.
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is the second hotel we would recommend for skiing in Banff and Lake Louise. Whereas the Fairmont Banff Springs is set further inland, the Chateau Lake Louise ski hotel is set right on the edge of the lake. As well as being able to see the serene turquoise waters, it is also possible to see the Victoria Glacier stretch out for miles beyond the lake.
The Chateau has a selection of world-class restaurants and lounges with varying cuisines to choose from, including The Lago (breakfast buffet selection in the morning to fuel your day), Lakeview Lounge for those looking to enjoy a selection of cocktails and fine wines, and the Glacier Saloon (a Western-styled restaurant offering traditional pub meals and a selection of drinks).
In terms of travelling to the slopes, the hotel is based just ten minutes away from the main ski area of Lake Louise, which makes for a wonderfully short commute every morning and evening. When you do head back to the hotel, then you can expect a spa equipped with an indoor heated pool, a steam room as well as a whirlpool to aid muscle recovery (and to enjoy, of course!)
Moving onto our final resort in Canada, Revelstoke has an infamous reputation for being home to some of the most advanced runs in the world; so again, if you are looking to either learn or have a more relaxed experience, we would recommend choosing Whistler for skiing in Canada. Revelstoke has the highest vertical run in all of North America, at a staggering 1,713 metres above sea level.
Heliskiing is also a favourite pastime for many of the advanced skiers at Revelstoke, as it allows for adrenaline seekers to reach the dizzying heights of mountain tops that you just can’t get from ski lifts. Along with the heliskiing options available, plenty of off-piste terrain and wild skiing ‘routes’ (if you can call them that) are ready to be explored.
More activities to get a serious buzz from include dog sledding, snowmobiling and Nordic skiing (where the toe of the boot is attached to the ski, but the heel is not).
Our chosen luxury chalet to tell you about is the Chalet Bighorn, an opulent venue capable of sleeping up to sixteen. The Bighorn is equipped with its own private helipad, allowing for said heliskiing to take place in the (easiest?) possible manner directly from your chalet. The vast range of luxury features includes the standouts of the private indoor pool, the outdoor hot tub and cinema room.
Choosing your next luxury ski resort in Canada
Canada is an incredible alternative to your conventional European destinations for skiing. The country offers some of the most advanced runs, along with options for those looking to explore the wild aspects of skiing and heliskiing; this makes Canada an excellent destination for experienced skiers. If you would like to talk to a member of our expert team about skiing in Canada, or any of our other destinations across the globe if you haven’t made your decision on which country you would like to vacation in, then we are here to help answer any questions you may have.