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Hotel Review: Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa Whistler, Canada

Updated: Feb 6, 2023

PointsPals Ratings

OVERALL RATING: 7.9

 

Hotel : 7.8 points

Location: 10

fitness centers: 6

pools: 5

spas: 9

Restaurant: 9

Lounge : 8


Room: 7.9

Bed comfort: 9

Room Cleanliness : 10

Natural Light: 9

WiFi : 8

Room Size: 7

Bathroom (amenities/size): 5

USB/Charging outlets: 7

 

For the Business Traveller: 1.8

Work space: 5

Business Centre: 0

Big screen connectivity: 0

USB connectivity: 2

 

Introduction

I stayed a few nights at the Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa over New Years. My original plan was to spend New Years in Martinique, however, with the Omicron variant causing havoc with international travel, I didn't want to risk being stranded on a Caribbean island. While the prospect of being stranded in a tropical paradise doesn't sound like the worst fate, with obligations back at home it wasn't something I could risk. As a result the decision was made to make a last minute travel adjustment and remain in Canada for New Years.


We chose to spend New Years in Whistler, British Columbia. Given Whistler's popularity during ski season, particularly over the holidays, I thought it would be difficult to find accommodation at the last minute, however, I was lucky to find availability at the Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa.


This is my review of my recent stay at the Whistler Hilton Resort & Spa. I will also be listing activities, other than skiing, that I participated in during my visit to Whistler.


Whistler is located an approximately two hour drive north of Vancouver on the scenic Sea to Sky highway. You can also take a dedicated bus from Vancouver to Whistler for $35 per person or from the Vancouver International Airport for $55 per person. Many limo services will also transport you to Whistler.


Booking

I booked the hotel on points. The Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa is the only Hilton property in Whistler. Typically the Hilton Whistler ranges from 46,000 - 80,000 points per night, depending on the season. My stay over New Years was, not surprisingly, 80,000 points per night for a queen room. The cash price was $750 per night.


Location

The Hilton Whistler has a prime location in the heart of the village. That location is certainly reflective in the rates they are able to charge. They are steps away from the Whistler and Blackcomb gondolas, as well as Starbucks, numerous restaurants (some of which I will be posting reviews on later), a grocery store, and last but not least, a liquor store.



Being so close to the gondolas means that you can make first tracks on the mountain in the morning, and when you are done skiing, you have a short walk (or hobble with ski boots) back to the hotel.


Check-In

The check-in time was 4 pm, so we took our time getting to Whistler from Vancouver. It was a frosty day with temperatures hovering in the -15 Degrees Celsius range (5 degrees Fahrenheit). The roads were very well maintained, so there was no problem getting to Whistler. Indeed, I would say that the side streets in the lower mainland were the biggest obstacle.



The Hilton offers a self-parking option for $34/night or a valet option of $38/ night. As we stayed for four nights, I opted to self-park. The height clearance for the parking is 6'10" and comes with unlimited in-out privileges, which is excellent. There are two EV Charging stations, however, there is no dedicated Tesla charging station. There is, however, a Tesla supercharger in Whistler with 10 superchargers.


If you do self-park, ensure you get a luggage trolley from the main lobby as there are none located in the parking area.

Inside the hotel, the lobby was dressed up in festive Christmas decorations. You could often find me sitting by the fireplace waiting for the rest of my part to meet up.

When we arrived around 4:30 pm in the afternoon, the lobby was not very busy, and our check-in process was quick. As a Diamond member I was hoping to receive an upgraded room, but I wasn't sure I would have much luck given the high season occupancy. I was pleased to receive an upgrade to a "Premiere Studio with Kitchen". A decent upgrade in my book! Normally, I like to do the pre-check-in with app and digital key, which would allow me to miss the front desk check-in completely, however, I thought my chances for an upgrade might be better checking in personally at the front desk.


As a Diamond member, the front desk also confirmed that I would receive two complimentary breakfasts. In addition, I also received a welcome bottle of water.


Accommodation

As noted, I stayed in a Premiere Studio with Kitchen, which was reasonably spacious for our party of four. When entering the room, it smelled fresh and clean. Unfortunately, the room had no storage areas for skis, so the front entrance became rather cluttered. The hotel will facilitate storage of your ski equipment. Since we would only be skiing on one day during this trip, we opted not to use the ski storage.




The room included a fireplace which we used every night. I found it provided the perfect ambiance after a day outside enjoying the snow. It wasn't a gas fireplace, however, and burned an eco-fire log. The first log was included but it cost $6 per log after that.



The kitchenette offered a full-size refrigerator, microwave, stovetop (no oven), sink and dishwasher, and a coffee maker. I located all the dishes and cutlery in the dishwasher, which I am hoping was indicative of them having been freshly washed. While we didn't cook any meals in the kitchenette, it did permit us to make hot chocolate to drink while we warmed up by the fire at the end of a busy day outside.



The workspace was simple with a small desk; however, there was only one plug and one USB port for charging. It was definitely not set up for the business traveller. Luckily, for me, this was a vacation trip.



The bathroom was somewhat dated and not very spacious. I must give kudos to the hotel for having a bath tub that drains well. Far too often when I am showering I am so ankle-deep in water that the drain struggles to keep up with the shower. Yes, that is a bidet in the corner of the bathroom - not something you see in too many hotel bathrooms in North America.




We did have a nice view of the mountains from our room which was located on the 6th floor.



Hotel Amenities

The property had all the amenities you would expect from a typical Hilton hotel, including a fitness room, pool, hot tub and spa.


The fitness room had a decent selection of equipment but not a lot of it. For example, there were only two treadmills If there were a lot of users its limited number of machines could be problematic, but it didn't seem busy at all during my stay.


The pool is an outdoor pool, heated of course. It was actually used quite frequently and I found it to be a great way to unwind after a day on the slopes.


Unlike the pool, the hot tub was indoors and was located next to the fitness room. Unfortunately, it was undergoing maintenance during my stay, something I don't recall being mentioned when I booked the hotel.



The hotel also has a lounge called the Cinnamon Bear Bar and lounge. It is located down the hall from the front desk. While I didn't get a chance to actually visit the lounge for a drink, it did look like a warm and inviting place for pre-dinner or post-dinner drinks, or to simply relax with a game of pool.


The hotel also offers spa services at the award winning Taman Sari Royal Heritage Spa. Apparently it is the only only authentic Royal Javanese Indonesian Spa in North America. The services provided sounded very inviting and relaxing, but, truth is, I'm not much of a spa person, so I didn't partake.


Breakfast

The free breakfast came with the option of your typical buffet breakfast or a la carte from the menu. As you can see from the menu below, there was a lot to choose from. I did not see a breakfast to go, which other Hilton hotels I have been to offer.


The Eggs Benedict was a no-brainer for me as it's my favourite breakfast. The Eggs Benedict were delicious and done just right. I also enjoyed the accompanying diced hash browns.


While eggs benedict could also be found at the buffet, they didn't quite have the same look as freshly made eggs benedict. Perhaps if I was a big breakfast eater I would have gone for pure volume over quality and hit the buffet, but I think I made the right choice.


In terms of what was offered at the buffet, there was a variety of Kellogg's cereals available.


Fruit and Yogurt were also available at the buffet


The buffet offered your traditional hot breakfast, including scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, breakfast sausage, and fried tomatoes.



The buffet offered a great assortment of pastries, not to mention some scrumptious Smores cookies! I've always been of the view that dessert with breakfast is entirely acceptable when on vacation.


There was also a bread station, which included a toaster.


There is something I have to mention. The kitchen was very accommodating with a dietary restriction. A member of our party is celiac and upon informing the staff, the kitchen brought out scrambled eggs and bacon that were cooked on a dedicated grill. They also brought out a gluten-free toast which was prepared in a dedicated gluten-free toaster. It's service like that which really makes an impression.


Things to do in the Village

Whistler has lots of dining options at many different price points. During our trip, we ate out at four different restaurants. Some were great, while one was particularly disappointing. I'll be posting reviews later on some of the dining spots.


Skiing, of course, is the most well known winter activity in Whistler. I should note that the Hilton has a partnership with Summit Sport for ski rentals (about $110 for Skies, boots, and pols) with a 10% discount.


There are, however, lots of other outdoor activities to keep you busy. We went ice-skating by the Olympic rings in the village. While they encouraged you to bring your own skates, they did offer rentals for $8.


We also did a 10 km hike around Alta lake, which was incredibly scenic. Due to the weather, we did take a short cut across the lake so, in fairness, it ended up being about a 7.5 km hike. We also came across an outdoor hockey rink on the lake - quintessentially Canadian!



We also went tubing at the tube park. I found it somewhat disappointing as three of the seven runs were closed, which resulted in very long waits. We could only buy a 60 minute ticket and during that time we only had time for three tube runs because of the line-ups. The ticket price was $30 meaning it cost us $10 for each 30-second ride. So, at that rate, the tube runs weren't the only thing that were steep! I understood that some of the lanes were closed because they did not have sufficient staff to oversee the other tracks.


We also went to the Vallea Lumina, which is a multimedia night walk that the Adventure Group runs at their base camp north of Whistler. Unfortunately, I had technical issues with my photos, but I did manage to get some video. I would highly recommend going to this event. Ticket prices were $29.99 per adult (or $39.99 with transport).



Conclusion

While Whistler, being a premiere luxury ski destination, is not a cheap place and the room rates at the Hilton Whister Resort and Spa reflected that, particularly over the holiday season, thanks to using points, we managed to stay in high season over New Years without breaking the bank.


I would have to say that the location of the Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa was probably the key to this being a successful stay. You can't beat being in the heart of the village where everything you need is within walking distance. I do wish the rooms had more an alpine ski chalet feel rather than just the standard Hilton decor - but that's corporate branding for you! I would also like to see more Hilton properties in Whistler. That being said, the Whistler Hilton is an excellent option for a weekend ski getaway. I won't hesitate to return.




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