Here’s How to Properly Staycation in Whistler BC
We’re now two years into a global pandemic. Did you ever think it would come to this? To travel out of the countries these days, you need to find a hotel, have your vaccine documentation in order, and get a COVID-19 test which likely costs more than a night in a hotel.
Since you live in British Columbia, why not skip the extra costs and hassle by taking a staycation in the one and only Whistler.
What’s Open in Whistler (and COVID Protocols)
In the beginning of the pandemic, Whistler definitely went through quite a few struggles. With borders closed, barely any workers came in from abroad, and most establishments faced labour shortages. As a result, restaurants had to update their hours and even shut down for several days of the week. The ski hill itself was forced to close due to provincial health orders in 2020 and spring 2021, but it has been open throughout the 2021-2022 season without issue.
With the way 2022 has been going so far, we’re sure that restrictions are going to keep opening up. Whistler will soon make a return to normalcy for good.
Much like restaurants in Whistler, which require a vaccination passport, valid ID, and parties up to six guests, the Whistler Blackcomb ski hill has implemented several safety measures. Restaurants on the mountain are hosting timed reservations for up to six vaccinated guests. However, you do not need proof of vaccination to enjoy the ski hill or enter a gondola.
Face coverings are required at all times while in lift lines and on the gondola, but you can enjoy the mountain with whomever you’d like. Singles can still join chairlifts with strangers and enjoy quicker load times.
Most Whistler attractions have reopened, which we’ve gone into more detail below.
A Staycation in Whistler with Kids
If you’re coming to Whistler with kids — maybe for March Break — you’re probably looking to keep them entertained with activities that you, the parents, enjoy too. Luckily for you, most activities in this city cover both.
A fun day for the family includes going to Forged Axe Throwing, where you’re able to get competitive and channel your inner lumberjacks, all while staying warm indoors.
If you want to try outdoor activities, but the ski hill is a little daunting, try cross country Nordic skiing, ziplining, or tobogganing. The Bubly tube park is accessible by gondola in Whistler village and is a safe activity that the entire family will get a thrill from. Or, spend a whole day in the Callaghan Valley learning to cross country ski, snowshoe, and more.
Great family-friendly restaurants include Pizzeria Antico, Earls, Splitz Grill, La Cantina, and Ohyama Ramen.
After-dinner activities include hot tubbing in your hotel or taking a trip to Vallea Lumina, an interactive night walk filled with adventure, lights, and out-of-this-world illuminations.
Great family hotels which won’t break the bank include The Sundial Resort, The Summit Lodge, Aava Whistler Hotel, and Whistler Village Inn and Suites.
AirBnbs and private rentals are also a great choice, as they give you an authentic local experience.
A Staycation in Whistler for March Break
If you don’t have kids and are looking for a March Break destination, live it up and enjoy some of the adults-only experiences that Whistler has to offer.
The Ketel One Vodka Ice Room is an experience unlike any other in the city. Taste four vodkas of your choice and discover how the extreme environment of -32C enhances the vodka flavour while minimizing the alcohol burn. There is currently a limit of six people per party in the tasting room.
Whether you’re trying to impress a date or want an adventure with your buddies, snowmobiling is the way to go. There are several snowmobile adventures to pick from in Whistler, which take you thorough pristine snow as well as an introduction to what the backcountry has to offer. Each ride is the perfect mix of riding and spectacular scenery. Driver’s licences are required for those wanting to drive the snowmobile — no driver’s licence is required for passengers.
As a treat, wind down at the Scandinave Spa. Spend your day rotating through eucalyptus steam baths, wood-burning saunas, Nordic waterfalls, cold plunge baths, hammocks, solariums, and more. The spa is a silent spa for those aged 19+. Electronic devices are not permitted outside of the lobby and your locker to ensure true solitude.
Of course, even with COVID-19 regulations in place, Whistler hasn’t stopped partying. Sure, you’re limited to six at a table with no mingling and masks in place, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sing your heart out at Garfinkel’s or play bingo at Tapley’s.
Brewery tours are our final March Break recommendation. Between Coast Mountain Brewing, Whistler Brewing Company, and High Mountain Brewing Company Brewhouse, you’re sure to find your new favourite brew. We’d never want you to drink and drive. Instead, you can hire Whistler Valley Tours, who’ll be your transportation between breweries.
We highly recommend staying at a bougie hotel or an Airbnb with a hot tub during March Break. Locals regard the Fairmont Chateau Whistler as the best of the best. However, the World Ski Awards has recently awarded the Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside as Canada’s Best Ski Hotel in 2021.
Are You Sure Whistler Is Safe Right Now?
Although Whistler is still a party town, as long as you’re not hosting parties inside your Airbnb or meeting up with strangers nightly, you should be safe. Every establishment in Whistler is following provincial health orders and has modified its business to put safety first.
Staying away from COVID-19 really depends on your activities and lifestyle, so as long as you stick with your group and follow provincial health orders, we’re confident that staying within the province while enjoying a staycation in Whistler is truly safer than hopping on a plane and jet setting abroad.