Most of Whistler’s hotels are smack in the middle of the action in the British Columbia village, where it’s nearly always busy. But Nita Lake Lodge, set about 10 minutes down the Sea-to-Sky Highway from Whistler Village, feels like a quiet mountain retreat. That’s just enough distance to give guests some breathing room while not being inconvenient: there’s a multi-use trail, the Valley Trail, that heads into the village, perfect for a jaunt using the lodge’s courtesy bikes. The lodge also offers free shuttle service to the village, and complimentary slopeside ski lockers.
True to its name, the back of the lodge and its ample patio open toward Nita Lake, which is covered with a slab of white ice in winter and glistens blue in summer. When the lake thaws, the lodge gives guests free access to its collection of canoes, kayaks and paddleboards.
The hotel impresses from the outset, with a grand entrance reminiscent of a classic mountain luxury lodge, accented by large wood beams and hefty stonework. The suites, which include a king bed, double soaker tub and fireplace, are similarly styled. If you can swing it, a lakeside view adds to the ambience.
Nita Lake Lodge’s dining options include a friendly, quick service café called Fix, serving light breakfast sandwiches and pastries. Just off the lobby, Cure has the dual feel of a sports bar and a cocktail lounge, with rotating original concoctions and local beer, plus upscale bar snacks. The restaurant has cozy fireplace seating, plus patio access when the weather cooperates.
Aura Restaurant is the resident fine-dining establishment. Chef James Olberg oversees a menu that applies French techniques to Pacific Northwest ingredients, resulting in seasonally-changing dishes like a roasted beet salad with horseradish crema, linguine with braised short ribs and foraged mushrooms, and butternut squash risotto. Diners can choose dishes a la carte, or choose a three course dinner with optional wine pairings. It all comes with a view of the lake.
Nita Lake Lodge has a slew of other amenities too: year-round lakeside plunge pool and hot tub, plus more private hot tubs near the full-service spa that overlook the Creekside ski lifts and gondola. There’s a gym with 24-hour access fitness classes, personal training and yoga sessions. With so much to do here, you’ll be hard-pressed to spend time anywhere else.