Whistler 2018... with very little ones

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Kiz, Mar 19, 2017.


    Kiz Active Member

    Hi everyone!
    I was hoping to get some advice on accommodation and any other tips on Whistler for 2 weeks next season (from about Jan 25)... we will have a 6 month old and a 2 year old in tow.
    A friend has suggested staying ateither Legends at Creekside or Aspens at Upper Village... but having never been to Whistler I want to make sure we choose somewhere that's easy for me to nip back at lunchtime, as I'll still be feeding the youngest.
    Is one of these venues easier to get back to than the other? Should we consider the main Village too?
    We would prefer a 2 bedroom condo or 1 bed and a loft condo. Nightlife obviously isn't an important factor... but ease of getting on and off the mountain if we need to duck back quickly is.
    As for looking after the kiddies, we were thinking of using the Whistler Babysitting service or asking our accommodation for recommendations on a nanny/babysitter as they are too young for the official childcare centre.
    Any ideas and thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks so much!
    Cheers, Kiz

    bomber Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Suggest Whistler Village. Plenty to do after hours close to Gondola and no need for transport while you are there. Have not stayed at Creekside or Upper Village
    :thumbs: Kiz likes this.

    Izzy Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Hi Kiz, does it have to be Whistler? Would you consider another more compact Canadian resort?
    :thumbs: Kiz likes this.

    absentskier Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    I think the point is that they don't care about after hours as they have 2 small children.

    absentskier Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Both the options suggested by your friend work. They are at completely opposite ends of the resort. Some people prefer Creekside and some prefer Blackcomb base. It's been so long since I've been there so can't really comment, but would probably lean towards Blackcomb.
    :thumbs: Kiz likes this.

    silva Active Member

    I would go for a ski in/out property at Blackcomb or in the main village. Creekside can be hard to ski down to.
    :thumbs: Kiz and zac150 like this.

    luvthabumps Addicted Member Season Pass Gold

    ^ this. Whilst Creekside can be a bit more affordable (not always) but if you're skiing Blackcomb and have to get back to Creekside quickly that's not going to happen. Aspens at Blackcomb (Upper Viallage) is great and I stayed there several times early in this season but to be honest, I'd possibly lean towards the main Village. You'll be able to get everything you need there and you can ski directly into the Village from either mountain. You can't ski right into the Blackcomb / Upper Village places from Whistler - you'll have to ski down to the Village and either bus to the Upper Village (5 mins), catch a short ride up the Excalibur gondola to the parking lots and ski down, or walk (10-15 mins) depending on where you are exactly.

    Even though nightlife is not a consideration, there's a greater range of affordable family restaurants (pizza, pasta, etc) in the main Village and the bigger supermarkets are there as well. Because the kids are so young this may be a consideration unless it doesn't bother you walking with little kids or catching the intra village bus.

    We stay at Blackcomb every weekend but our kids are older teenagers so getting around is a non issue and we're only there for 2 nights so we have been hoteling and eating out mostly this season.

    Plenty of good options in the Village for a 2 br apartment - just make sure you don't take one over/adjacent to a pub, night time venue with little kids to keep asleep.
    :thumbs: Kiz likes this.

    Kiz Active Member

    Thanks everyone!

    We were looking at Whistler only so we could buy the Epic Pass and then use it at Perisher as well in August.

    Ease of getting back to accommodation is a big priority -- so if Creekside can be hard to ski back to that makes Blackcomb more appealing. I've only ever skied Perisher... so have absolutely no experience to draw on!

    If anyone has any other tips or accommodation suggestions, they would be greatly received!!

    Thanks again!!

    absentskier Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Oh my, if you have only ever skied Perisher, prepare to be absolutely friggin gobsmacked by Whistler Blackcomb!
    :thumbs: Kiz and luvthabumps like this.

    Harper11 Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Main village so much easier

    But I commend your enthusiasm for planning a ski trip for an as yet unborn child.
    I haven't been game enough to drag mine overseas yet until they were both old enough for ski club/mountain daycare

    I haven't pulled the trigger on 2018 just yet but it will be whilster if we go
    :thumbs: Kiz likes this.

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire Moderator Season Pass Gold

    With the baby sitting side of things, do a heap of research online, FB ect, contact whistler babysitting ect. We have always found at other resorts that getting 1 or 2 girls full time as a Nannie worked well for us. Often we had retail staff who took time off from their day jobs to work with us as we paid better !!!!. One year I walked into the retail shop at a resort and asked about care for 2 small ones, within 5 mins I had 3 girls who rotated days/afternoons amongst themselves and we paid a flat rate. Was awesome. So don't take the rack rate the babysitting service offers (Oh unless you are happy with it). If you can consistently get the same girls then you can offer a lower flat rate as it is longer term guaranteed work. Mind you if you take an afternoon off and they are on then you will have to pay them if you go this option.

    Personally I would choose somewhere at the base of the Blackcomb gondola, but that is because we like to ski Blackcomb more and it's a great location in the village.
    :thumbs: Kiz likes this.

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire Moderator Season Pass Gold

    If you decide on other hills some have day care that will accommodate your older child and there are a few that will do babies and will love you dropping in and out to feed. Did this at Silverstar and worked beautifully for us.
    :thumbs: Kiz likes this.

    hpsauce Dedicated Member

    With a 2 year old.....I'd also recommend considering "ease of snow play" - just getting outside. And I reckon Blackcomb is better for that in and around the base area. And I reckon also easier to duck in and out of at lunchtime for feeding kids.
    It is surprisingly difficult to just take a toddler for a play outside in the snow in Whister village.
    One of the places just lookers left of the Wizard express lift would be ideal.....Aspens, Greystone, Woodrun etc. But don;'t know about their room/condo formats.
    :thumbs: Kiz likes this.

    Dave6 Dedicated Member

    This is looking down to Blackcomb base. Wizard chair on the left. The ski out from Aspens would be just to the right of this photo. We stayed at Woodrun which is the next lodge uphill from Aspens.

    :thumbs: Kiz likes this.

    zac150 Active Member

    What luvthabumps said!

    I've just come back from Whistler and whilst I much prefer Blackcomb we found it didn't get the sun until the afternoon so generally found ourselves skiing whistler in the morning and Blackcomb in the afternoon.

    Creekside can be hard to get down to as would upper Blackcomb if you are at Whistler. I'd say if your beginner to intermediate expect to ski more of Whistler.

    Personally I'd go for Whistler village, for a number of reasons. If you duck home to feed you can quickly catch up with those still on the mountain, just jump on either Gondola. You don't want to shoot home only to find the group has head over to Whistler and you have to ski back to the main village and then take the Gondola up.

    I also imagine access to child minding services would be easier in the village given it is central.

    We had good snow and kids were playing on every village corner and square, assuming poor snow it's only a short walk to the Olympic Rings which had a great snow play area.

    Probably more importantly the village has acces to a couple of supermarkets and pharmacies. I travelled with my then six month old through Vietnam, we had a great time and he was easy to travel with but keeping walks shorter (we carried him everywhere in a sling) made life much more enjoyable. Also the acces to be able to duck outside and get extra bits and pieces meant we didn't have to plan ahead that far in terms of carrying everything.

    Good luck have a great trip
    :thumbs: Kiz, bomber and luvthabumps like this.

    Kiz Active Member

    Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the feedback! :thumbs:

    We are usually strong Perisher intermediates (a skier and boarder). Hubby is more than happy on blacks (he's boarded in Canada before)... I'm more dependent on snow conditions and am more cautious... and don't push myself enough!! But that said we've missed the last 2 winters with me being pregnant and then last year hubby had ACL graft surgery in June. We'll miss this winter too, with a brand new bub... so our ski/board legs will be a bit rusty!

    Where do most people seem to book their accommodation? I've seen some mentions on here of Alluradirect. Thought I'd also look into Airbnb too and something like hotelscombined...

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire Moderator Season Pass Gold

    We use a mix of ownerdirect, Alluradirect and travel agents. I have a good rep at Travelplan that can get us good wholesale deals that I usually can't get direct if staying at bigger chain hotels.

    bomber Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Yes we got a great deal at the Pan Pacific Village Centre with breakfast included. Also a free drink every afternoon to get you to stay at the bar. Close to everything which would be a help with small children. My last is 21 years old
    :thumbs: Crystal likes this.

    silva Active Member

    I usually see what I can get from sites like VRBO, ownerdirect and Alluradirect then get a quote from a couple of the bigger ski wholesalers like Travelplan, Skimax and Mogul for accommodation and lift pass packages, get the actual mountian accommodation booking service to quote as well and pick the best deal - go to the Plan and Buy tab on the Whistler page. Sometimes (particularly for larger resorts like Whistler, Aspen etc) the agents and mountains will have good lift package deals (and when the kids get a bit older they often throw in lift, accom, rental etc for the kids for free) such as ski 14 pay 8 which tips things in their favour. Other times its cheaper to go with season passes for lifts.
    I have found it never pays to ask for what you want either. Last time we went to Aspen the best accom deal by far was through the Official Aspen mountain accommodation service but they did not have access to the Pay 11 ski 30 lift pass deal which was available through the Australian ski wholesalers. I pushed the point with them and they went to the Marketing head person and got us an exemption so we could get access to the lift pass deal without purchasing through Australia. Saved over $2000.

    Budgiesmuggler Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Hi Kiz

    I was in his exact situation last year, our son was under 1 yo and too young for childcare.

    We got onto the whistler season Facebook group and put a post on looking for a babysitter. We found a British girl who did childminding for other people in whistler and got some references which we contacted.

    It worked really well and was cheaper than formal babysitting. Was also more flexible as she also did some nights for us so we could go for dinner, and we called her a few times and she stayed later if we wanted to ski or apr├Ęs. One day she took him up the mountain and we all had lunch together.

    We got accom through allura/vrbo. But if you're set on whistler sign up for their mail list as they do super cheap deals on tickets and accom around August/September.

    We stayed in Lower village which was convenient as right near the supermarket and we got the bus (5 mins) to the lifts. Don't stay creekside it's not convenient to nip back. In whistler village you can ski whistler or blackcomb and get back easily.

    We took our own pram and my wife picked up a cheap highchsir and travel cotnon amazon and had it sent to the apartment, this was cheaper than renting.

    Let me know if you want more info.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017

    Ozgirl Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    This is utter craziness that Whistler a premier ski resort does not have child care for 1yr!

    I used to work in childrens centre's and we used to get parents coming in all the time asking for sitters.

    The great thing about those working in the centre and the instructors is that they have to have gone through working with children checks. (well in Aus and USA at least, assume canada is the same)

    I wonder if this is something that Vail will change in future years? (i just check and vail take babies from 2 months!)

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire Moderator Season Pass Gold

    yup, there are some other Canadian resorts that take the babies and most do from 6 months.

    ....ooops scrap this above.......

    Oh my, just did a quick search...seems it's been a while since I have needed childcare so thought I'd just check...things have changed. Almost every resort in BC is 18mths + for child care.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017

    Harper11 Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    :thumbs: Zimboo likes this.

    Ozgirl Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Yeah lake louise (alberta! take babies from 18 days!!!


    I googled too! Looks like i wont be taking a young'en to Canada! I want to do one trip under 2 when they are free! hahaha (yeah laugh if you wish but im gonna try!)

    Zimboo Addicted Member

    I saw a Japanese mum (hope it wasn't the baby sitter) skiing bumps with a 1yr old kid strapped to her chest in Feb!!!!!! :eek:

    StuckinQld Active Member

    No help for Whistler but we went to Jackson Hole with a 10month and 3yo. Stayed within a minute or 2 of our condo so we could ski in for lunchtime feeds. Got a babysitter through the babysitting service and said we would have her for 11 of the next 14 days and they were flexible with that. She would take both kids when the 3yo was not in ski school. This plan worked great for us. Have fun!

    Gimped Active Member

    Who is the mailing list through?

    Budgiesmuggler Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    The whistler resort accomodation site. Can sign up for their marketing emails. I got one the other day for 30% off accom and tickets in march