Whistler: The Perfect Romantic Getaway

09/29/2017 10:45 am ET Updated Oct 02, 2017
The Scandinave Spa - photo by Justa Jeskova

It’s so important to set time aside to spend quality time with our partner. As working parents, my husband and I lead very busy lives, if we’re not careful we can quickly become ships passing in the night. Keeping the love alive and staying connected doesn’t happen by accident. A weekend away, just the two of us, a few times a year is essential.

Whistler is the perfect romantic getaway!

THE DRIVE:

Whistler, a year round resort town and venue of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, is just a two-hour drive from Vancouver. The route from Vancouver to Whistler is the Sea to Sky Highway, a beautiful scenic drive. Leave early to make the most of your time away, the early morning light makes the drive even more beautiful and traffic is very light.

Sea to Sky Gondola

Halfway to Whistler you will see Shannon Falls just off the highway, right after you will find the Stawamus Chief, a formidable mass of rock very popular with rock climbers and hikers. The Sea to Sky Gondola will take you to the top or you can hike up. It’s about a one-hour hike to the rock-face or four hours to the top of the gondola (you can take the gondola down). You can also hike at the top of the gondola. It’s a worthy stop, the views are astoundingly beautiful.

Tip: If you’re leaving early and plan on taking the gondola up, check the gondola opening time, it’s a one-hour drive from Vancouver.

SEA TO SKY GONDOLA - PHOTO BY TARA O'GRADY

Brandywine Falls

Shortly before arriving in Whistler make a quick stop at Brandywine Falls to stretch your legs. Just a five-minute walk from the parking lot, the falls are beautiful and have interesting volcanic rock formations. Walk on a couple more minutes for a stunning view of the valley and turquoise Cheakamus Lake. It’s a nice transition into your weekend.

WHERE TO STAY:

4-star map

The Nita Lake Lodge - photo courtesy of Nita Lake Lodge

An artful boutique hotel nestled at the edge of Nita Lake five minutes before Whistler Village, Nita Lake Lodge is the perfect romantic hideaway. Our room was beautiful and spacious: a living room area with a fireplace, a huge soaker tub for two and a rainfall shower. For a romantic getaway there’s no better place.

Tip: It’s worth paying a little extra for a lake-view.

The Nita Lake Lodge - photos courtesy of Nita Lake Lodge

The hotel has small pool and hot tub, a lovely Spa, Cure Lounge, Aura Restaurant and Fix Cafe.

"Smiley" our server at The Aura Restaurant at The Nita Lake Lodge - photo by alejandra aguirre

WHERE TO EAT:

Some romantic spots for a special meal with your love:

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Umberto's Trattoria - photo by Alejandra Aguirre

A hidden gem in the centre of Whistler Village, Trattoria has a warm and jovial atmosphere. Being a warm summer night, the french doors were open onto the pool deck and for a moment I felt I was in the Mediterranean. The food was exquisite and the service first rate.

Tip: Pay special attention to the fresh and unique daily specials.

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Table Nineteen - photo by Alejandra Aguirre

Accurately touted as the best patio in Whistler, Table Nineteen sits at the edge of stunning emerald Green Lake, just a five-minute drive from the Village or a perfect stop if you’re biking the Valley Trail. We found the food to be delicious and inventive.

Tip: When making a reservation, ask for a table at the edge of the patio for the best view.

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The Rim Rock Cafe - photo courtesy of The Rim Rock Cafe

Unpretentious and warm with a cozy atmosphere. The service was impeccable and friendly and the food was plentiful and five-star. I wanted to order everything on the menu.

Tip: Check for off-peak season three course dinner specials.

THINGS TO DO:

Boating

Staying at the Nita Lake Lodge we left plenty of time to hang-out at the hotel. We took advantage of the free use of the kayaks, paddle-boards and canoes. This is the freshest cleanest lake I’ve ever swam in, a stream straight from the mountain feeds the lake with cool crisp water and there are no motorboats.

Biking

Whistler has an incredible network of trails. The easiest and most accessible is the mostly paved Valley Trail, which runs right by the Nita Lake Lodge (free bikes to use) and all around Whistler. If you’re a more experienced biker, you can venture into the trails in the woods.

Tip: My favorite trails in the woods (intermediate) are “Tin Pants” onto “Gypsy Drum” and then a rolling winding descent back down “Tin Pants”. It’s an incredible ride!

Hiking

There are many varied and beautiful hikes in Whistler. My favorite is Cheakamus Lake, an easy hike in a beautiful old growth forest, feels like you’re in a fairy tale.

Spa

Enjoy a rejuvenating treatment, the roof top hot tubs, the eucalyptus steam room and relaxation lounge.

The relaxation lounge at The Spa at The Nita Lake Lodge

A relaxation playground for adults: hot tubs, cold plunge pools, saunas, steam baths, fireplaces and relaxation rooms. No talking and no cell phones, so it’s the ultimate detox. The perfect thing to do on your last day after you’ve checked out of your hotel.

The Scandinave Spa - photo by Justa Jekova

Tip: The Spa recommends a circuit of hot, cold plunge and then relax. I created my own routine:

- Of the towels provided, take only one with you (save robe for later)

- Hot (hot tub, steam or sauna)

- Cold plunge (it’s hard to plunge into the cold water but if you don’t you’re really missing out, after the cold plunge you feel your whole body buzzing and it feels incredible - try to plunge all the way under)

- Repeat until you’ve gone through all the pools, saunas and steam rooms (hot, cold, hot, cold), taking a break by the fire if you feel so inclined

- Put on your dry robe and go in for a bite to eat

- Take a nap in a relaxation room

- Repeat the whole circuit (minus the nap)

This takes about 5 hours, you will come out completely rejuvenated and relaxed.

Tip: Ask your hotel for a 10% off card. Ask the Spa about other savings offers (ie.BCAA)

The Scandinave Spa - Photos by Justa Jeskova

The Village Stroll

Your visit to Whistler is not complete without a stroll through the pedestrian Village. Park in Day Lot 4 or have the Nita Lake Lodge free shuttle drop you off. Start your walk at the Olympic Plaza (check for free concerts) and stroll to the base of Whistler Mountain. Shop, eat and enjoy the atmosphere. The best time to go is late afternoon/evening when the village is bustling with energy.

After your weekend away with your love you will feel more connected and relaxed. The memories will keep you connected for some time.

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