by Ron Bernthal
One month before the 2010 Winter Olympics I visited Whistler/Blackcomb Ski Resort, where the skiing competition was to be held. Although the weather and snow depth were perfect, the resort was quiet, and top hotels and restaurants were offering wonderful pre-Olympic price breaks before the crowds arrived for the events.
My two-night stay at Pan Pacific’s Whistler Village Centre property was a great choice. The hotel is located in Whistler Village, a cobblestone, pedestrian-only village filled with upscale shops and restaurants, and just a five-minute walk from the Whistler Village Gondola and Blackcomb Excalibur Gondola base stations.
At first, I had trouble locating the hotel, as it is shoe-horned at an odd angle into the edge of the village, next to a Holiday Inn (they actually share the lower level indoor garage), but once I got my bearings the hotel’s site was convenient to everything. The property is a luxury all-suites boutique hotel, and all 83 suites are two-room, fully-equipped residential apartments which include a gas fireplace and TV in each room, a complete kitchen, large soaking tub, slate bathroom flooring, comfortable modern furnishings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and balconies that overlook the village and mountains. It is a six-story condominium, but the only sign that my unit was privately owned was one locked closet door.
Opened in 2005, the property is maintained well, with friendly front desk and concierge staff. A full breakfast buffet, served in the lobby level Pacific Lounge, is included in the rate, as is the fitness center and sauna, the heated, outdoor, salt-water lap pool and hot tubs, and Wi-Fi throughout the property. As a Pan Pacific hotel guest I was also able to store my skis and boots at the Sports Valet Room at the chain’s sister-property, Pan Pacific Mountainside. This hotel is a larger, more traditional family-oriented property located just 50-yards from the gondolas. It is a great perk for skiers staying more than one night.
Following the Olympic and Paralympic events at Whsitler/Blackcomb, the hotel will be offering several post-Olympic packages, including accommodations, village dining credits, lift tickets, and mountain adventure activities.
The Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre is listed on Conde Nast Traveler’s 2010 Gold List, with exceptionally high scores for room comfort, design, and location. Its intimate and quiet ambience, combined with all the creature comforts of having your own fully-equipped apartment, make the hotel an ideal refuge when returning from the nearby trails.
PAN PACIFIC WHISTLER VILLAGE CENTRE
4299 Blackcomb Way
Whistler, British Columbia
Canada V0N 1B4
Phone: 604-966-5500; 888-966-5575
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