My friends had organized a long weekend in Whistler, and I did the hotel reservation. Given that I spend many a weekends in Whistler, I have had the chance to stay in several properties in Whistler, from the Westin to the Pan Pacific. In this instance, I booked a last-minute hotel deals from Whistler Blackcomb’s official website. The way it works was that the hotel name was hidden until the reservation was confirmed with payment. However with a bit of experience and local knowledge, it is relatively easy to guess the hotel property and in this case I had a rough idea of the type of hotel I was expecting. And that was how I got to stay in Hilton Whistler for C$214++ per night which came down to C$490 after taxes for 2 nights. Not a bad deal for a weekend stay in January considering normal weekend rates are around C$390 per night for one night.
The Hilton Whistler Resort is one of the hotels located closest to the Whistler and Blackcomb Excalibur gondola, and is just beside the Westin. The other hotels around the area are the Pan Pacific Mountainside, the Crystal Lodge and Sundial Hotel. Entrance by car is via the back roads since the hotel is connected to the village pedestrian walkway on the second floor.
Since I drove from Vancouver and arrived early, I was actually kind of surprised that the room was ready on check-in. I slightly before 10am in the morning and there was not much wait or crowds in the lobby either. In fact I was checked in quickly and I managed to leave my car at the front porch while I deposited the luggage in the room since I would drive out to the day lots to snowboard right after check-in.
The hotel lobby is fairly large with a central atrium outside the elevator lobby with seats and I did see some guests waiting for their rooms to be ready then. On check-in I also tried checking to see if I could input in my Hilton member number and perhaps get points for the hotel stay but I think no points are provided since I did not book through Hilton directly. Located in the lobby beside the elevator is the Cinnamon Bear Bar & Grille, which is a decent restaurant for lunch. Though I did not dine there during my stay.
Room No: 325 Category: Whistler Junior Suite
I was assigned a suite which is the category that I booked on the 3rd floor. For the price I paid, the suite was huge since it even comes with a full kitchen complete with dishwasher, oven, microwave and a large fridge. Thus it makes sense for long-term visitors to book this category of suite at least since the lesser rooms just come with a mini-kitchenette. the kitchen also comes with a generous bar counter with 3 bar seats so that allows for guests to have breakfast there.
On the left of the entryway there is the bathroom which I forgot to take a photo of. The bathroom is of a decent size but has a standard hotel bathroom layout with a bathtub and shower combination, toilet and vanity counter. The bathtub was like a mini-jacuzzi with jet-sprays but I did not use it since it seems quite dirty. However the bath amenities provided were very comprehensive and was supplied by the Peter Thomas Roth brand.
Inside the bedroom there is a king bed and a sofa bed that is convertible to a queen sized bed. There is also a flat screen television with a fully-functioning fireplace. Housekeeping will provide the wood for the fireplace once a day and extra wood can be purchased for a fee.
There is also a desk in the room but I have to say it was kind of small especially when guests need the space to place their ski gloves, helmets and etc.
With regards to other amenities, there was no bottled water provided since I was not a premium member with Hilton though I managed to get 2 bottles from the housekeeping in the morning. However there is a coffee maker in the kitchen with coffee provided by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, not a brand often seen in Canada but more common in the west coast of the USA and South East Asia.
Most of the premium hotels in Whistler have a hot tub and heated swimming pool. The Hilton does a bit better since it has an indoor and outdoor hot tub along with a heated outdoor swimming pool. Usually the indoor hot tub has less people and it is also located beside the fitness centre which is a bit small. There is also an Indonesian-themed Javanese spa and an outdoor courtyard located in the resort. Though the courtyard was completely deserted during the winter.
Another little touch I enjoyed was the complimentary hot chocolate on certain winter weekends where the hotel placed a table with mini marshmallows and paper cups for guests to help themselves to fresh hot chocolate. Perfect for those winter nights but I believe it is supplied during the festive season only.
For the price I paid for the room, I would rate the value highly and I honestly think the Hilton is one of the best properties to stay while in Whistler due to the range of facilities and amenities. However if the Westin and Hilton are similarly priced, I recommend the Westin since I think some of the larger suites in the Westin are larger with both a bathtub and a walk-in shower. The quality of the furnishings in the Westin also seems to be a touch better.