As I am getting older, I’m starting little luxuries in travelling. Given that the COVID-19 is not making international travel enticing, I splurged ion my hotel stay at a local trip to Whistler. My goal was to mainly relax while catching up on work. 2019 was my last Whistler visit where I stayed at The Westin Resort & Spa, which was very cozy and I liked having a kitchenette. I was leaning towards the Delta Hotels by Marriott Whistler Village Suites as I am a Mariott Bonvoy member. But after reading how the Fairmont Gold Lounge was opened again at Fairmont Chateau Whistler, that was the cherry on top and met all my needs for a relaxing 3 night stay.
What is Fairmont Gold?
Fairmont calls it a “hotel within a hotel” experience. There a dedicated floors for those who chose to upgrade their room to a gold suite and a private floor for guests to check in and out. After seeing how many people were checking and lining up for the elevator during Canada Day week, I was glad I had this service. In addition, you get a complimentary breakfast, afternoon canapes, evening tapas, and dessert. You also will have access to unlimited coffee and tea and if you like your drinks, there is also an honor bar in the lounge. We also got private car service for complimentary rides to/from the village (and other parts of Whistler when we requested it.)
An average night for the Canada Day week for the basic Fairmont Room was around $320/night. On Expedia, I saw that the Gold Rooms were available for $487/night, though the Fairmont website was showing over $600/night. I phoned the hotel and booked in for the lower rate, with an additional 10% off for being an Accor Live Limitless member. This loyalty program is free to join so might as well signup for hotel perks!
Note that there is a $20 resort fee per night (regardless of whichever room you stay at) and $37/night for overnight parking at their underground parkade.
Fairmont Chateau Whistler – Location
Fairmont Chateau Whistler is located at the base of Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler, a super popular skiing and snowboarding destination. As I am not an outdoor sports person, this didn’t impact my decision but I can definitely see why Fairmont would be so busy during the winter season. It is not in the Whistler Village area, but it only is a ten minute walk away!
In the hotel, there is also Vida Spa, where you can opt to do a RMT massage or other treatments such as facials. Nothing can take the place in my heart except for Willowstream Spa at Fairmont Pacific Rim (Vancouver) so I skipped the spa. There is also an outdoor pool and fitness centre – and due to new BC health restrictions, there are no reservations made now!
Fairmont Chateau Whistler – Fairmont Gold Room w/ 1 King Bed
My Fairmont Gold Room was on the seventh floor (the Gold Lounge was on the 8th floor – I often took the stairs instead.) It is a 365 sq ft (34 sqm) room that has a King Bed and gas fireplace. The washroom has a double sink, a shower and a large soaker tub. In the closet, there are also bathrobes and slippers. The room is also equipped with a Nespresso machine that uses Vertuo capsules and also a kettle. I was surprised at the kettle as not often I see them in hotels and I’ve been bringing my own kettle. That was a waste of my luggage space. The top drawer in the large table under the TV, contains your mugs, espresso cups, spoons, glasses, Nespresso capsules, and Lot 35 tea bags.
The Le Labo branded toiletries was one of the highlights. Rose 31 is made specifically for Fairmont and the shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, and shower gel were customized with me any my fiance’s names on it. I definitely liked the nice touch and most certainly I brought them home with me. A 237mL of Le Labo Rose 31 shampoo retails for $67 online, so the 90mL bottle I received values for ~$25 already.
I also enjoyed the gimmicky essential oil capsules that are compatible with Fairmont’s showers. It looks like a coffee pod and you insert it into a part that is mounted on the wall of the shower. There were four scents to chose from; they were fun even though the scent didn’t last very long. The other toiletries that came with the room were 40g and 60g Le Labo Rose 31 Body Bar soap, Fairmont Lip Balm, nail kit, sanitary bag, shower cap, Q Tips, cotton puffs, and Crest Scope Mouthwash.
Fairmont Chateau Whistler – Gold Lounge
Am I boring for not wanting to exploring Whistler? It’s not my first time there, and wasn’t looking to spend money on any fine dining experiences. I’m not an outdoor person, so I really enjoyed spending my time in the Gold Lounge on eighth floor. This is an exclusive area for those who paid extra for a Gold room. In the lounge, there were lots of cozy corners, tables with couches or leather chairs, and many outlets.
Because of COVID-19, the meals were pre-portioned already into little ceramic pots in the hot food section, or in glass cups in the cold section. Other snacks were pre-packaged in little plastic bags. There were also pots of pre-brewed coffee and an automatic hot/cold water dispenser.
Breakfast service was from 7-10am, Tea Service (light afternoon snacks) was from 1-3pm, Après Service (hors d’oeuvres and charcuterie) was from 5-7pm, and Sweet Treats (daily house made desserts) was from 8-10pm. Essentially, if you are ok eating little bites through the day, you really don’t need to spend money on breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Gold Lounge has trays for you to bring the food back to the table, or even back up to your room!
Hands down, this was one of the best hotel breakfast I’ve experienced. There was a different flavour of bread pudding each day and they were all delicious. One of the breakfast hashes was a Yam and Potato Hash with Balsamic Onion Jam and it had so much flavour . My fiancé indulged in his daily frittata, eggs benedict, and yogurt parfait. Other memorable bites was a tofu bahn mi, pulled beef roll, and the smoked fish plate. Given how much I eat, the portions were perfectly sized so that I could have a taste of everything and feel satisfied after. All paired with a cup of coffee, tea, or some sparkling water on the side!
I wanted to highlight that the staff was amazing. The level of service was truly impeccable. They cleared the table when they saw empty dishes, and helped guests use their fancy Nespresso machine in making a cappuccino/ espresso etc. If you wanted a non dairy option, they can also make a soy latte/almond milk latte/ oat milk latte in the back kitchen. I really enjoyed my oat milk cappuccino while reading emails!
Fairmont Chateau Whistler – Overall Thoughts
Though the complimentary items came at a premium price (we know it isn’t really complimentary, the higher hotel rate covers this,) but I thoroughly enjoyed my stay and would book a Fairmont Gold room again. Having 3 light meals and a evening treat was a great perk and I was very productive catching up on work in the hotel. The change of scenery with lots of natural light really boosted my productivity – plus the constant coffee refills was a bonus too. We also had a really good parking spot, so taking advantage of the car services (and shuttle) added another dose of convenience to our local getaway. Overall, the value for the extra price paid was worth it to me.
So you might be thinking – hold up, this is still a bit pricey. That is correct, and did the cost justify all the services I received? I am saying yes – but also because I had a few promotions/points stacked up. One thing about me is that I love, love, LOVE collecting travel points, reading about travelling hacks, and looking for promotions. It gives me an adrenaline rush every time I math these things out. During Black Friday and Mother’s Day; there was a Fairmont gift card promotion – if you purchase an e-gift card, you will receive a 20% bonus back on another e-gift card. For example, if you bought a $500 gift card, you will receive another $100 gift card as well. These gift cards can be used for hotel stays or any other services within the Fairmont hotel property. Also, if you have a travel credit card, you will most likely earn bonus points while paying your bill and can apply those points after the transaction is posted. Occasionally, there are other promotions – previously in January there was a “second free night” if you booked during a certain period. It is worth keeping an eye out for online specials + combining travel rewards to help minimize your spending.
Is this one of my longest posts in a while?! Travelling is something I’ve missed and being not in Vancouver for a few days really cleared up my head! Fairmont Chateau Whistler was the perfect mini getaway and I already miss feeling pampered in the Gold lounge!