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King of the Mountains: Whistler, BC


The Chateau Whistler beckons. Copyrighted image - used with permission.The old Clock Tower across the cobblestone square from Chateau Whistler chimes six times, the sound impossibly clear in the cold, mountain air. An entourage of dark Mercedes hug a white stretch limo that slowly makes its way up a snow crunched drive. Behind the limousine's tinted windows sits Prince Charles and the two young princes, Harry and William, visibly excited by the layer of powder on the looming mountains above. But the limousine could just as easily have belonged to a screen idol like the sexy and sophisticated Pierce Brosnan of James Bond fame, L.A. Law’s Corben Berensen, Jean-Luc Brassard, Alex Van Halen, playwright Neil Simon, or the bachelor Prince Edward. They have all checked in at one time or another to the famous Chateau Whistler Resort in Whistler, British Columbia. And all have swung their boot clad feet, and wrapped their mittened hands around the cold metal of the Wizard's high-speed chair lift that runs snowphites to the top of the mountain.

 

Driving to Whistler along the Sea-to-Sky Highway Copyright 1998 Victoria H. Brooks.The Chateau Calls

Even through the limousine's windows, the warmth of the Chateau Whistler beckons. The Chateau attracts like a moth to a flame. The Chateau itself revolves around what is aptly called the Great Hall. This public room is dominated by a soaring ceiling, massive wood beams, tall pillars, pecan wood paneling, and green slate from the nearby town of Squamish. A blazing hearth warms the room. The Chateau’s style is its own: a mix of Canadian antiques, playful whimsy, old fashioned baronial greatness and modern Canadian chalet. Some call it 'grand rustic Canadian,' and it is Canadian indeed.

Scenery as vivid and Canadian as a Robert Bateman painting. Copyright 1998 Victoria H. Brooks.The Chateau Whistler is the first mountain chateau built in nearly a century by the historic Canadian Pacific Hotels and Resorts -- and it is listed in The International Guide to the World’s Best Resorts & Great Hotels. World class skiing, a Robert Trent Jones Junior $11-million golf course, a world-class spa, and scenery as vivid and Canadian as a Robert Bateman painting see to that. The Chateau is one of North Americas most famous resort and ski destinations. Built in 1989, the Canadian Pacific built Chateau Whistler Resort has quickly become the get-a-way destination for anyone of circumstance. This 12-storey edifice stands 2,000 feet above sea level, a monument to natural beauty and man in sync with nature. Dizzying mountains, dressed stark white in winter, or in autumn, white-capped towers crowning a palette of orange and gold, are Whistler's artistic backdrop.

The hot tub in the Chateau Whistler. Copyrighted image - used with permission.Comic Relief

Tom Arnold learned to snowboard here way back in 1995 while he stayed at Chateau Whistler. His anguished cries of "oh my poor butt," trailed each evening through the Chateau’s Great Hall. And late at night, under the stars that hang suspended between the two mountains, he must have found solace for his own two white mountains in the steaming bubbling cauldron that the friendly staff of the Chateau simply call 'the hot tub'.

Oh…those Slopes

The Chateau sits majestically -- right between those jutting, world-class peaks, Blackcomb and Whistler. Snowboarders and starlets in spray-stretch ski outfits with soft fur against bronzed throats and bikini tops underneath, ski-in and ski-out of the Chateau Whistler’s door, a step from the Wizard Express lift. They ski down more than 200 tree lined trails, and shush down North America’s longest vertical slope of 5,280 feet. Skiers ride to the top on 28 lifts and two gondolas, many enclosed to keep the skier snug against the mountain elements. When the sun shines warm, skiers strip off their layers ... and sunbathe in the snow.

Ski-in, ski-out. Copyrighted image - used with permission.Oh...those Famous Slopes

Yes, the Chateau has become the get-a-way destination for anyone of circumstance, talent and taste. Recording artists of note too, have been signing the Chateau’s guest register. The impressive list includes Linda Ronstadt, Natalie Cole, Motley Crue, Smokey Robinson, Chicago, Kenny Rogers, Vanessa Williams, Mary Wilson (one of the Supremes), and all of the Temptations. Seal, one of the most inspired and lyrical musicians of the last few years, purchased his very own Whistler piece of heaven. Some lucky Whistlerphiles have seen Seal on his snowboard, a sleek jungle panther, shooting fast as fireworks down the diamond slopes -- an elegant, earthy figure black as a mountain night sky against the pristine snow.

Flying High

In spring time at Whistler, the mountains are still white sugar topped peaks. Then skiers and boarders, along with the first of the spring golfers, hikers and tennis addicts fill their lungs with rarefied mountain air perfumed with spruce buds. Powder hounds too can fulfill their dreams. Hounds are flown by helicopter to Whistler’s high reach slopes. There they can ski on ungroomed mountains, with the white powder drifting and touching their thighs -- powder previously untouched by other human beings.

 

The Chateau Whistler sign,  king of the mountain. Copyright 1998 Victoria H. Brooks.The Chateau Whistler has been reaping accolades from prestigious magazines such as Conde Naste, Snow Country and Ski Magazine. Aspen and Vail Colorado have lost their place at the top of the mountain. Whistler Resort, British Columbia, has been named the number one ski resort in North America. No more do we Canadians need to toot our own whistle about Canada as a travel destination, the whole world is doing it for us. Whistler is now king of the mountain and the Chateau Whistler Resort is its queen.

Inside Chateau Whistler

The spacious 342 guest quarters look on either Rainbow Mountain or Whistler slopeside. Both are panoramas that constantly draw attention to themselves. Whistler slopeside view is a skier’s living Christmas card. Guest quarters are decorated in bold colours by Vancouver designer Peter John Martin. Two suites have a two-storey floor plan and separate elevator access for the epitome of privacy -- or if you just like having your own elevator. Oh yes, these rooms also have a gas fire place.

The Suites:

The 27 junior suites are as big as a downtown bachelor pad, but of course with separate living room area. King size beds, massive feather pillows, and feather duvets or hand sewn Mennonite quilts rate high on the comfort level. Junior suites have a pull out couch for a second couple or children. Rooms are comfortable and roomy enough for a very long term stay.

Wildflower Restaurant:

The hotel’s gourmet restaurant, the Wildflower, has been recently revamped and is very stylish. The high ceiling is framed with art deco style sconces. The walls have been painted a raspberry rose color that seems to reflect and give a sexual aura to the room. The dining room is suitable for leisurely dinners, punctuated with long looks of desire, scintillating conversations or raucous laughter. Tables are far enough a way from each other that you won’t feel uncomfortable about your fellow diners. Guy Goes Gourmet talks about the food not just at the Chateau -- but all over Whistler. Although locals refer to Whistler as 'The Village', it is very sophisticated.
For a review of the Wildflower, see this month's Guy Goes Gourmet.

Telephone 604 938-8000 for information about Chateau Whistler.

ATV Tours - adventure calls. Copyright 1998 Victoria H. Brooks.Whistler in Summer and Fall

Whistler is an adventurer's paradise. The mountains attract hikers, bikers, climbers and air-sailors. Class IV kayaking chutes created by glacier run-off lure adventure seekers during the warmer seasons. Activities like jet-boating, kayaking, ATV riding, rafting, and great fly-fishing in the Birkenhead and Lillooet Rivers are easily booked through a myriad of tour companies. And yes, there is golfing galore.


In North America telephone British Columbia Tourism at 800-663-6000. If calling from overseas please dial Canada's country code then 250-387-1642.

 

For more BC information go to travel.bc.ca
Flying High

In spring time at Whistler, the mountains are still white sugar topped peaks. Then skiers and boarders, along with the first of the spring golfers, hikers and tennis addicts fill their lungs with rarefied mountain air perfumed with spruce buds. Powder hounds too can fulfill their dreams. Hounds are flown by helicopter to Whistlerís high reach slopes. There they can ski on ungroomed mountains, with the white powder drifting and touching their thighs -- powder previously untouched by other human beings.

The Chateau Whistler sign,  king of the mountain. Copyright 1998 Victoria H. Brooks.The Chateau Whistler has been reaping accolades from prestigious magazines such as Conde Naste, Snow Country and Ski Magazine. Aspen and Vail Colorado have lost their place at the top of the mountain. Whistler Resort, British Columbia, has been named the number one ski resort in North America. No more do we Canadians need to toot our own whistle about Canada as a travel destination, the whole world is doing it for us. Whistler is now king of the mountain and the Chateau Whistler Resort is its queen.

Inside Chateau Whistler

The spacious 342 guest quarters look on either Rainbow Mountain or Whistler slopeside. Both are panoramas that constantly draw attention to themselves. Whistler slopeside view is a skierís living Christmas card. Guest quarters are decorated in bold colours by Vancouver designer Peter John Martin. Two suites have a two-storey floor plan and separate elevator access for the epitome of privacy -- or if you just like having your own elevator. Oh yes, these rooms also have a gas fire place.

The Suites:

The 27 junior suites are as big as a downtown bachelor pad, but of course with separate living room area. King size beds, massive feather pillows, and feather duvets or hand sewn Mennonite quilts rate high on the comfort level. Junior suites have a pull out couch for a second couple or children. Rooms are comfortable and roomy enough for a very long term stay.

Wildflower Restaurant:

The hotelís gourmet restaurant, the Wildflower, has been recently revamped and is very stylish. The high ceiling is framed with art deco style sconces. The walls have been painted a raspberry rose color that seems to reflect and give a sexual aura to the room. The dining room is suitable for leisurely dinners, punctuated with long looks of desire, scintillating conversations or raucous laughter. Tables are far enough a way from each other that you wonít feel uncomfortable about your fellow diners. Guy Goes Gourmet talks about the food not just at the Chateau -- but all over Whistler. Although locals refer to Whistler as 'The Village', it is very sophisticated.
For a review of the Wildflower, see this month's Guy Goes Gourmet.

Telephone 604 938-8000 for information about Chateau Whistler.

ATV Tours - adventure calls. Copyright 1998 Victoria H. Brooks.Whistler in Summer and Fall

Whistler is an adventurer's paradise. The mountains attract hikers, bikers, climbers and air-sailors. Class IV kayaking chutes created by glacier run-off lure adventure seekers during the warmer seasons. Activities like jet-boating, kayaking, ATV riding, rafting, and great fly-fishing in the Birkenhead and Lillooet Rivers are easily booked through a myriad of tour companies. And yes, there is golfing galore.


In North America telephone British Columbia Tourism at 800-663-6000. If calling from overseas please dial Canada's country code then 250-387-1642.



For more BC information go to travel.bc.ca