Whistler WonderlandWords by Samantha Payne
For the adventurous newlyweds who crave natural surroundings for their honeymoon, or the adventure-seeking destination wedding couple, consider the ruggedly elegant Whistler, Canada. A three-hour flight from Los Angeles will get you to Vancouver. From there, gaze out the windows of your shuttle for the two-hour ride along the “Sea to Sky” highway. You’ll be in awe of the raw majesty British Columbia has to offer with ocean vistas, glacier views, deep forests, mountains and waterfalls cascading down cliffs.
Although primarily known as one of the top ski resorts in the world, Whistler is gaining recognition for its summer allure. Whistler Village sits at the base of the Blackcomb and Whistler Mountains, allowing for romantic, breathtaking views from just about anywhere. An alpine village with chic-modern charm, it is lined with shopping, boutiques, galleries, bars and exquisite culinary experiences.
The Bearfoot Bistro is a couple’s fine-dining dream. While your inventive, decadent meal is being prepared, head to the underground wine cellar boasting over 20,000 bottles. Learn to saber your own bottle of Champagne, a tradition made popular by Napoleon’s soldiers. If vodka is more your style, you’re in luck as this unique restaurant also holds the coldest vodka tasting room in the world for subzero tastings in the Ketel One Ice Room.
After a full night’s entertainment, relaxing luxury is a short walk away at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Centrally located and looking like a castle from a Disney fantasy, it’s no wonder the Fairmont is so popular. There is even a rooftop terrace for couples interested in marrying on-site. The Fairmont is known to accommodate and personalize events ranging from parties to ceremonies, taking into account guests’ personal desires. With all the expected luxuries and red carpet treatment known of the Fairmont name, the Chateau Whistler rises to its reputation.
For lovers craving cozy elegance in a more remote setting after saying their “I do’s,” the Nita Lake Lodge offers serene and intimate surroundings. Also priding itself on personalizing weddings, parties and celebrations, the award-winning service from the staff will make all events memorable. There is on-site yoga, a full spa, an art gallery and a restaurant boasting farm-to-table ingredients from their own rooftop garden. Surrounded by deep temperate rainforest and situated on the edge of the lake, every room is a suite in this luxury boutique lodge. No want will be left unfulfilled as you relax with tranquil views and unrivaled service.
On the mountains, winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, bobsledding, snowmobiling, ice climbing and snowshoeing are famous for being world-class. The mountain activities abound in the summer as well with epic hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, golfing, horseback riding and whitewater rafting. “It’s no wonder Whistler is becoming nearly as popular for its summertime activities as those in the winter,” explains Mary Zinck of Tourism Whistler. “We also have many festivals that cater to music, the arts, health and wellness, wine, film and more – Whistler really is a year-round destination.”
Companies like The Adventure Group can help you arrange many adrenaline-filled and scenic excursions, like Superfly Zipline tours. What a thrill for honeymooners to hold hands side-by-side while zipping through the air 600 feet above the ground at 65 mph! Or, spoil yourself with unique Finnish spa treatments and Scandinavian baths at Scandinave Spa Whistler to feel ultimately refreshed.
For romance and elegance, heart pounding activities and pampering relaxation, large group celebrations or intimate getaways for two – whatever your destination wedding desires may be, Whistler, Canada will create unforgettable memories.
Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): Fairmont Chateau Whistler (1st & 3rd), Mike Crane for Tourism Whistler (2nd), Nita Lake Lodge (4th) and Mike Crane (5th)
This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Fall/Winter 2015 issue. You can order a copy here.
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