For clients looking for a ski vacation, British Columbia may be the ideal destination. This region of Western Canada offers spectacular mountain runs and a host of other winter sports options, yet doesn't draw the crowds of other, more high-profile North American ski destinations.
Vancouver is the gateway for winter thrill-seekers arriving in B.C. Two hours to the north from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is Whistler/Blackcomb, the top-ranked destination resort in North America, and home to a number of resort accommodations. Clients can choose to stay in a number of locations around Whistler, including the Mountainside Lodge (www.mountainsidelodge.ca) in Whistler Village, just 60 seconds from the slopes. This European-style pedestrian village is graced with an abundance of fine restaurants and unique shops. The Lodge offers a collection of intimate studio, spacious one-bedroom and lofted suites that feature fully appointed kitchens, gas fireplaces and jetted hot tubs.
The Crystal Lodge (www.crystal-lodge.com) is also located in the heart of Whistler Village. Its central location allows clients easy access to all that Whistler has to offer, including three restaurants, a lounge, two coffee shops and several retail stores right in the building. It is located just steps from the base of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, and from the Telus Conference Centre.
The Crystal Lodge offers a large variety of accommodation choices to meet the needs of each individual, group or family, from its comfortable traditional hotel rooms (choice of King or Double/Double) to its newly renovated Deluxe Rooms (choice of King or Queen/Queen). For more luxury, guests can choose a loft room, Junior Suite or one Luxurious Two- or Three-Bedroom Suites. All rooms are nonsmoking and air conditioned, with complimentary coffee and tea service, a small refrigerator and hair dryer. Many include a fireplace, full kitchen and balcony. The hotel also offers dog-friendly rooms.
For high-end clients, the Adara Hotel (www.adarahotel.com) is Whistler's first and only member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Conveniently located steps away from the Village's best restaurants and nightlife, the designer boutique hotel allows clients to choose from four distinctive room configurations, featuring spa-like bathrooms, luxurious beds, "floating" fireplaces and artful design details—Superior King/Queen; Deluxe One-Bedroom Suite; One-Bedroom Loft Suite; and Two-Bedroom Loft Suite. All rooms offer stunning views of either the mountains or the village. Commissions are 10 percent for agents.
Framed by the Canadian Rockies and the Purcell Mountains, Panorama Mountain Village (www.panoramaresort.com) is known for its immense mountain and true slope-side lodging and is located is located in the Toby Creek Valley, a tributary of the Columbia River, near the towns of Invermere and Radium Hot Springs. Calgary International Airport (YYC) is the principal gateway serving all major carriers and ground transportation options (three-hour drive southwest from Calgary). Motorcoach transportation from Calgary International Airport is available upon request, if booked 30 days prior to arrival. To book, call Panorama's Transportation Coordinator at 250-341-4193.
Panorama Mountain Village is offsetting travel costs this season by offering lift and lodging discounts of up to $120 per night. Skiers and riders are encouraged to plan and book early to maximize their savings. Book your clients in any unit type in September or October and save up to 35 percent; in November, the saving is 25 percent (or $90 per night when two people stay in a Gold studio and ski for one day). For December reservations, the saving is still 15 percent. There are no minimum or maximum stay requirements and the savings apply to all Panorama Mountain Village lodging. Agents are advised to book by October 31 for the best deals of the season. Travel agents can call 1-800-663-2929; If they provide an IATA number, they will receive 10 percent commission on packages (not including airfare).
At the entrance of the village, clients will find a convenient check-in for all Panorama Mountain Village lodging, including 1000 Peaks Lodge, Panorama's newest lodging development with accommodations ranging from studios to two-bedroom apartments. A "Mountain Boutique"-inspired interior features a gas fireplace, a full kitchen with dishwasher and microwave, underground parking and a private hot tub.