Visiting Whistler with a Group? Here is What You Need to Know
Whistler is meant to be enjoyed with friends. Every Whistler activity – from adrenaline-pumping adventures, to jugs of beer on sun-soaked patios, to long apres-ski hot tub sessions – is better when shared. So it’s no wonder that heaps of visitors come to Whistler in a group, whether a bachelor party, a family vacation, a business trip, or simply a long-overdue reunion with friends.
Groups head to Whistler not just for the world-class skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking, but because they know it has something to please everyone. There’s exclusive fine-dining, inspiring galleries and museums, off-the-beaten-track adventure, and mind-blowing beautiful views at every turn. Whistler is a win-win for groups, no matter who’s involved.
But that’s not to say planning a group trip to Whistler isn’t a little daunting. With so many different activities, accommodations, and restaurants, it can be hard to know where to start to keep every happy! Don’t worry though, ‘cos this is what we do. We know how to show groups a good time in Whistler, and we’re more than happy to share a few of our top tips with you.
Best Accommodation for Big Groups
If you’re planning a group trip to Whistler, your group accommodation is probably the first thing you’ll want to arrange. Don’t be put off by those who say Whistler is too expensive! In fact, lots of hotels love hosting big groups and offer discounts and deals for groups of 4+ rooms. So make sure to ask around when you’re booking, and take advantage of all the perks they offer. Here are a few of the best options for group accommodation in Whistler.
Hotels for Groups in Whistler
There are heaps of excellent hotels in Whistler, ranging from the luxury of the Four Seasons Resort to more wallet-friendly options. And most of them are easily able to accommodate big groups like conferences, retreats and wedding parties. The Fairmont Chateau Whistler and the Westin Resort and Spa both offer large comfortable rooms, a whole host of amenities, spas, pools, and delicious restaurants on site. Perfect for when you’re trying to coordinate everyone from grandma to the pet dog!
If you’re looking for a more affordable option, the Sundial Boutique Hotel and Evolution Whistler offer affordable rooms and special group accommodation deals, with extra perks like discounts on dining, activities and special service to ensure your trip goes smoothly.
Chalets and House for Groups
Another great option for family and bachelor/bachelorette groups is to rent an entire property. The Whistler valley is packed with beautiful ski chalets and mountainside properties, and plenty of them are available to rent for a night or even a month! Whistler Premier and Whistler Platinum both offer luxury chalet rentals for large groups. You’ll have the bonus of a stunning shared living space, and a kitchen so you can have dinner parties and apres sessions without leaving the house.
Budget Whistler Group Accommodation
If your group is desperate to visit Whistler but is on a bit of a budget, don’t panic! You can find budget accommodation in Whistler for groups, especially if you book far enough in advance. The HI Hostel offers discounts for groups of 10 or more people on their already very affordable rooms. They have 188 beds spread across private rooms and dorms.
The Pangea Pod Hotel in the centre of Whistler village is also a great (and brand new) choice. The pod-style hotel offers private pods and communal living space at a fraction of the cost of a hotel room in Whistler. Book a handful of pods with your group, and you’ll have the luxury of privacy, while also saving some dollars and staying close to your pals.
Teambuilding and Group Activities in Whistler
Of course, you’ll probably want to fit in some skiing, mountain biking, or hiking while you’re in Whistler. But don’t miss out on the chance to have some unforgettable adventures with your whole group too! There are so many outdoor activities that make for perfect team-building, group-bonding opportunities, and they’ll normally give groups a discount too (woo!).
Off-road RZR tours
An off-road RZR driving experience in the Whistler backcountry offers the perfect mix of adrenaline, natural beauty, and lots of laughs. Even the kids can come along as passengers and enjoy the ride too. You can book two- or four-seater machines, and with a group of 10 or more, you’ll have a private guide all to yourselves. They’ll tailor the tour to suit you, and act as your (free) professional photographer to capture the memories.
Plunging through roaring whitewater, paddling maniacally, laughing your heads off: it’s hard not to feel close to your teammates at the end of a whitewater rafting adventure! You’ll tackle the river together with a trusty, experienced guide who’ll help you paddle in time and (hopefully) stay in the boat. For first-timers, head down the Green River for two hours of unadulterated fun. Or for the ultimate adventure, take a whole day trip down the Class 4 Elaho River that you’ll never forget.
Read: Everything you need to know about Whitewater Rafting in Whistler
Face your fears together, and take a leap into the unknown. A ziplining tour is an amazing way to experience the grandeur of the landscapes around Whistler while getting a serious adrenaline hit along the way. Superfly Ziplines offers four unique, beautiful, and fast ziplines that soar between peaks, over rivers and through forests. And it’s suitable for nearly everybody – kids as young as 7 can take part, and there’s no upper age limit and it’s not physically demanding.
Read: Everything you need to know about Ziplining in Whistler
Axe throwing is a relatively new activity in Whistler, and it’s proved a huge hit with groups of visitors. It’s easy to see why: anyone can give it a go, there’s a good dose of healthy competition, and it’s the perfect team-building experience. Oh, and you get to throw axes at stuff! Don’t worry it’s safe and professionally run, with expert axe throwing hosts who will teach you how to throw and organize endlessly entertaining games to stoke the competition!
Planning Tips for Visiting Whistler with a Big Group
- Always ask for a group discount!
Most activity providers, restaurants, rental shops, and hotels are likely to offer discounts to big groups to get your custom. So always mention there’s lots of you visiting – it never hurts to ask!
- Book restaurants and activities in advance
Whistler is increasingly a very popular destination – especially in peak ski season and the middle of summer. So if you’re a group of six or more, make some reservations with restaurants and tour companies beforehand so you don’t end up missing out.
- Pick a range of activities
There’s so much to do in Whistler, you can sometimes end up missing things entirely. We’d recommend including at least one outdoor adventure, one slower-paced activity, some delicious meals, and at least one team-building activity like axe throwing!
- Plan an itinerary to please everyone
The great thing about Whistler is that there literally is something on offer to suit everyone. So give people options and don’t get hung up on keeping the group together the whole time. While some of you hit the slopes, others can chill out in the spa – everyone’s happy!
- Take some downtime
Travelling to Whistler with a group can be a bit crazy! So remember to plan in some downtime – like taking a stroll around the valley trail, buying souvenirs on the village stroll, or simply sitting by a lake and taking in the views.
Transportation Options for a Big Group in Whistler
Getting to Whistler from Vancouver is pretty simple – it’s less than a two-hour drive from Vancouver. But with a big group, the best way to go is to hire a shuttle or private transfer to get you all their in style. There’s plenty of options, from budget to luxury.
Perhaps the easiest way to get to Whistler with a big group is to book a private shuttle or car (depending on your group size). Ridebooker has a really comprehensive choice of vehicles to suit your group, from taxis to 56-seater coaches, and everything in between. They’ll also tailor their picks up to fit with your flight arrival time, and generally drop you straight to your hotel or accommodation. Another option is to hire through the local taxi firm Whistler Taxi – although if you’re doing this, we’d definitely suggest you book in advance, as they can get very busy, especially on weekends.
Coaches and shuttle buses
There are plenty of public shuttle buses that travel from Vancouver to Whistler every day, and they can be a great option for smaller groups. Epic Rides offer the cheapest transfers, from $35 return from the centre of Vancouver. In the winter, Snowbus is another great budget option for group transport to Whistler too.
Alternatively, the Whistler Shuttle and Vancouver Skylynx go directly from Vancouver Airport. While their transfers are more pricey, it means you don’t have to travel into the centre of Vancouver with all your luggage. Plus they’ll wait until your flight arrives, so there’s no missed shuttles, and they can drop you at your hotel for a small extra fee.
If you’re planning to do Whistler in style, you’d better start with a luxury transfer! Why not treat your group to the stunning drive up the Sea to Sky highway in a limo with Aerocar? Or take in the scenery from it’s best angle – up in the skies. You can charter seaplanes that depart from Vancouver harbour and fly all the way to Whistler, taking in the mountains, ocean, and lakes, before landing on the turquoise waters of Green Lake just a few minutes from Whistler village. That’s one way to ensure an unforgettable start to your Whistler trip!
Visiting Whistler with a group should be easy!
Like we said – adventures in Whistler were made to be shared! Hopefully, our insider tips and tricks will help you plan a silky smooth group trip that has something to offer for everyone. You’ll be sure to snag some great deals, have some truly memorable experiences, and you almost certainly won’t want to leave. Who knows, a group trip to Whistler might become an annual vacation for years to come!