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The site of the 2010 winter Olympics medal ceremony, Whistler Village is a magical mountain oasis you’ll never want to leave.
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Looking to my left I see a quaint, blue restaurant with yellow awnings and stonearchways. To my right is a strip of local shops inside an elongated wooden building.
Families are walking underneath old-fashioned street lamps; children laughing and running ahead of their parents. Groups of mountain bikers walk their bikes past me; their helmets shaking as they excitedly discuss their excellent rides.
This is the world from my cozy perch: a private balcony off of my loft suite in Crystal Lodge. We’re staying in the heart of Whistler Village. Signs on each hallway of our hotel and the view, itself, reminding me how easy it is to join other happy travelers in town.
I love people watching.
The Crystal Lodge and Suites
Staying at the Crystal Lodge has been the best combination of feeling at home while also being pampered.
Incredible restaurants, an Aveda spa, massage therapy clinic, and gift shops are mere feet away in the same building, yet our one-bedroom loft feels like home.
Walking in to our room we see a large bathroom to the left, a deep closet to the right. Straight ahead are a set of all-glass french doors leading to our private balcony, shaded with translucent drapes.
The large room on the main floor of our loft suite has a pull-out couch, leather ottoman, armchair, desk, and TV armoir. Not only does it resemble a comfortable home living room, it has a dual-function as kitchen and dining space. The room is so large that the kitchen (with all the amenities any home chef would want) is hardly noticeable on one end unless you’re looking for it.
There’s a set of stairs on the right side of the room which lead up to the main bedroom.
There’s something about stairs that makes a place feel so homey, don’t you think?
At the top of our stairs we find our own TV, private bathroom, and queen sized bed along the loft wall, adorned with 6 decadent pillows.
If I weren’t so hungry I would flop on that bed right now and not emerge for hours.
Our 5-year-old happily runs up the stairs after me, wanting to keep his new Crystal Lodge stuffed moose in our nightstands. No, this is Mommy and Daddy’s special place. Please go back downstairs.
Ahhhhh… Go back downstairs. One of the best arrows a parent has in their quiver.
The Crystal Lodge Hotel Restaurants
The Olde Spaghetti Factory
On the bottom floor of the hotel you can find The Olde Spaghetti Factory by walking past the outdoor pool and spa. There’s usually a line at the door, but don’t let that fool you: it’s a big restaurant which will seat you as soon as possible. If you’ve never been (it is a chain, after all) and are in the mood for pasta, I suggest the Browned Butter Pasta with Mizithra Cheese. Ooooooooooooooh it’s so good. And The Olde Spaghetti Factory is the only place you can find it.
Beacon is the perfect place to stop for lunch in Whistler Village. It’s easy to spot while walking down the village’s main road, and will warmly welcome you in.
Beacon has two floors of dining space to accommodate as many people as possible while not feeling oversized.
We found a comfortable corner booth in the upper floor and our son had a great time playing on the floor’s pool table as we waited for our meals to arrive.
It felt like no time at all before we had a child’s macaroni and cheese, a Wagyu beef burger, and plate of famous poutine fries.
While all meals were good, we felt like the standout item was the burger. Not only is the Wagyu beef incredible, but it’s served with crisp vegetables on a pretzel bun. We would have been happy with the burger on it’s own, but the addition of the delicious roll was amazing!
I think our dinner at Basalt may be the single best dining experience of my entire life. I know that sounds dramatic, but hear me out.
Basalt is accessible from inside the hotel, where you walk into a small dining room. The dining room is full but comfortable, but those wanting more space would prefer to sit outside.
Basalt is also accessible from Whistler Village. The entrance to the dining room is beside their outdoor patio, where you can sit and people watch from the comfort of padded benches, overhead heaters, and blankets. Yes, blankets.
We bundled up and ordered mocktails and a cheese plate to start. Our cheese plate was a collection of the chef’s choice of cheeses, house-made remoulades, olives, meats, and bread. When this board arrived we almost forgot about ordering entrees! It was huge and so full of carefully chose treats I felt like a kid opening a Christmas stocking.
This did, in fact, become our son’s dinner- and happily so!
Our entrees were both suggested by the kind staff: barbecued pork belly and lamb leg confit. Ben loves pork belly and I’ll eat just about anything confit.
These dishes did not disappoint! Ben loved the taste of his pork belly and the creativity of pairing it with a watermelon salad. My lamb was so tender I never needed a knife, and devoured it with the homemade gnocchi.
What made the experience so memorable was for us was the combination of being so cozy while people watching on a chilly evening, absolutely incredible meals with gorgeous presentation, and also the kindness of the staff. I exchanged laughs with our server and even gave the general manager a hug when we left. Ambiance, delectibility, and attention. I’ve never had the trifecta quite this well.
Crystal Lodge Hotel Amenities
Pool and Hot Tub
Unfortunately it was raining almost the entire time we stayed at the Crystal Lodge, but we did sneak to the pool for during a break in the clouds!
Their pool and hot tub are outdoors, beside an eating pavilion covered in gorgeous flowers. I imagine it’s a great way to relax after an day at the Whistler Bike Park to visit the pool and hot tub and sit down for a snack!
Since we were here for mountain biking we loved the complimentary bike storage service. We came in with our bikes, added them to the lobby’s bike rack, and got a numbered token for each from the front desk. We could then exchange the token for our bikes any time we wanted.
We noticed the locked bike storage area in the underground parking lot and felt really safe about our expensive equipment being stored at Crystal Lodge! The definitely understand how important these are to us.
The Crystal Lodge gym is so big! It has multiples of every piece of equipment I wanted plus free weights, a bench, and yoga mat. There were also towels, apples, and water, but what really helped me feel motivated was the large mountain mural along the walls!
I’d prefer to run outside than on a treadmill, but when you’re stuck inside due to rain being able to look at mountains allows you to at least pretend you’re in nature!
When we checked in we were given a paper with Crystal Lodge’s recommended activities broken down into levels. The Live Like A #CrystalLodgeLocal campaign shows a variety of things to do that are Green Circle (easy), Blue Square (intermediate) and Black Diamond (hard core).
We brought our guide to lunch to discuss our plans, and also saw them posted as reminders around the hotel. I think this is so clever!
Crystal Lodge wants you to enjoy relaxing in your room but has also made it as easy as possible to enjoy your surrounding!
And speaking of those surroundings….
The Crystal Lodge flows so easily into Whistler Village. It’s easily the best place to be if you want to stay close to the action!
Just outside of the hotel you’ll find fitness and adventure gear stores, equipment rental shops, restaurants, cafes, a movie theater, and grocery stores. Everything you need to relax, shop, eat, and adventure all in one handy place!
It is so nice having everything so accessible! We kept our car in Crystal Lodge’s underground parking lot during our entire visit. There’s just no need to drive when we can walk to EVERYTHING we wanted to do in town. It’s a village unlike anything I’ve ever seen!
If it’s not already visiting Whistler Village really needs to be on your bucket list! And while you’re here, why not stay at Crystal Lodge, a hotel that is dedicated to giving you the best Whistler has to offer!
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