Elegance, great service, and luxury—it’s all here at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.
Nestled at the base of Blackcomb Mountain and overlooking the quaint ski village of Whistler, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler resort hotel elevates mountain luxury to a new level in the Canadian Rockies of British Columbia.
You can’t miss the Chateau as it stands like a beautiful castle dominating the town’s skyline. This AAA/CAA Four-Diamond resort is best known as a ski-in-ski-out hotel. Step outside and you can ski some of the best runs in the Rocky Mountains. Whether it’s waist-deep powder and black diamond runs you crave, well-groomed cross-country trails, or just an afternoon on the bunny hill, Chateau Fairmont Whistler has it all for powder hounds.
However, the Fairmont Chateau isn’t just for skiers. It’s an all-season resort destination. You can come here anytime for exquisite accommodations and 5-star service in a breathtaking setting. It’s got an onsite golf course, exceptional dining, a Vida spa, and easy access to hiking and the Village shops and cafes.
I experienced the Chateau during Cornucopia, Whistler’s annual fall celebration of food and wine. While the air was chilly, it was before the snow had begun in earnest for the year and it was both pleasant and easy to walk along broad, paved paths from the hotel to the Village.
Attention to Detail
My room was a generously-sized king that featured luxurious linens, a down-filled duvet, a writing desk, and large, flat-screen TV. There was an in-room safe and iron and ironing board, items I consider essential for business travelers. Unlike many luxury hotels, my room had a mini-fridge instead of those outdated and over-priced mini-bars. It also came with an individual cup Keurig coffee maker and a nice selection of coffee pods and teas.
The feeling of opulence extended into the bath with large, fluffy towels, upscale toiletries, and thick robes. Also unlike many luxury properties, in-room WiFi is free with Fairmont Presidential Club membership (which itself costs nothing). And, perhaps best of all, the Chateau Fairmont Whistler features windows that actually open to let in the crisp mountain air.
I didn’t have room in my bag for my running shoes. No worries because the Chateau offers one of the most unusual and practical services for President Club members: free gym clothes, including shoes. I’d brought everything except the shoes and, after placing my order, a staffer promptly brought up a new pair of running shoes in my size and a new pair of shortie socks (mine to keep).
It was pretty chilly for an outdoor workout so I put my borrowed shoes to good use in the hotel’s well-equipped fitness center. They offer all the latest equipment, including plasma TVs with personal headsets, ellipticals, treadmills, stairclimbers, X-trainers, Cybex weight stations, free weights, mats, and yoga balls. It’s all in a pleasant setting with views of the heated outdoor 60’ lap pool (with underwater music!). There are also an indoor/outdoor leisure pool, an indoor whirlpool, tennis courts, three outdoor whirlpools, a dry sauna, and two eucalyptus steam rooms.
Being a foodie, one of the real highlights for me were the restaurants at the Chateau Fairmont Whistler. Too often, hotel restaurants are less-than-outstanding, but not so at the Chateau.
Breakfast in the Wildflower Restaurant is not to be missed. The restaurant is filled with plenty of natural light from big windows overlooking the Blackcomb ski lift. They offer a daily serve-yourself brunch with plenty of choices from eggs to breakfast meats to yogurts and pastries and bagels and briny smoked salmon. On Sundays, the brunch explodes into a food extravaganza that’s so big it spills out into the space just outside the restaurant.
I ordered from the breakfast menu and was delighted with my choice. The menu offers a number of tempting items like croquet madame (fried egg on toasted brioche with ham and melted Gruyere), steak and eggs, and stuffed brioche French toast.
I opted for the Crab Benedict, a perfectly-cooked poached egg on a crispy crab cake topped with a light Hollandaise flavored with fresh herbs. The dish came with roasted tomato, asparagus, and fingerling potatoes. The Crab Benedict was so tasty, I asked the chef for the recipe and he generously shared it.
I didn’t have the opportunity to experience the Chateau’s restaurant menu offerings. However, I did enjoy a wine dinner by Executive Sous Chef Vincent Stufano and his crew in their Grill Room, a small, elegant dining room that resembles a beautiful library, only its floor-to-ceiling shelves are filled with wine bottles!
Our meal began with an appetizer of mirin marinated salmon with pickled asparagus and wild golden char caviar that added just the right hint of brininess. Next came a beet salad with Dungeness crab cake and ginger vinegar. While the beets had a satisfying earthiness and the crab cake was perfectly crispy outside, the cake’s inside was too soft for my taste.
The risotto course made with butternut squash, smoked quail, fried sage, and Amaretto cookie crumbles brought a sweet, chewy richness to the meal. The seared sablefish course was a wow – crispy on the outside, soft and luxurious on the inside. It was served with earthy porcini mushrooms, rich and fatty marrow, and a silky oxtail reduction.
With all that richness, the Campari and orange ice was an appreciated palate cleanser. The lion of venison came next, an inch-thick medallion of flavorful meat with a peppery crust served with a down-to-earth Swiss chard and a silky celeriac mousse.
Our meal concluded with a home run by the pastry staff—a chocolate and hazelnut tart with caramel and crème anglaise. The chocolate mousse layer was rich and velvety and complimented by the buttery short bread and produced just the right end to a superb meal.
Next time: Spa and Puppies
I didn’t have time to experience the Fairmont Chateau’s Vida Spa. It offers a full line of body work, facials, and skin and nail care. I made a note to schedule some treatments next time I’m in Whistler.
As I left the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, I saw a woman walking a collie in the lobby so I asked the staff about their dog policies. Yes, she told me, the Chateau is delighted to host guests’ entire family, including four-legged friends. Their dog-friendly program includes pet bed, bowls, special treats and menus.
Okay, okay, I know I have to schedule the spa, the whirlpools, and steam and sauna time on my next visit to the Chateau Fairmont Whistler. My dogs remind me, I also have to bring my puppies. – Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor
Check out Wildflower Restaurant’s delightful recipe for Crab Benedict.