Facilities & Services
The world famous Whistler Blackcomb
offers an amazing array of resort services and facilities. These are of high quality but there tends to be a Whistler currency applied whereby some services cost more at Whistler than the other Canadian ski resorts.
Whistler Village is the main hub of facilities and services, which is close to both the Whistler Village and Blackcomb Excalibur gondolas. This base area and nearby zones have a plethora of Whistler ski rental shops and retail stores, lots of options for equipment storage near the slopes, and an abundance of other amenities required for skiers and snowboarders. The Whistler Village also has the biggest choice for eateries where you can grab breakfast, a coffee, or lunch.
You’ll pretty much be able to find whatever it is that you may seek in Whistler Village – foreign currency exchange, medical and dental clinics, church services, physiotherapy, office services, library, internet, DVD rentals or movie theatres.
The other two base areas, Creekside and Blackcomb (Upper Village), also have amenities such as ski rentals, ski school, child care and eateries.
Whistler Ski Rental
There are lots of options for ski rental and snowboard rental in each of the villages, particularly in Whistler Village. The Whistler ski shops have the latest and best gear, so a major determinant in choosing a shop may be the convenience of location, either close to your accommodation or the lifts.
Whistler ski rental and snowboard hire is much more expensive than at the other Canadian ski resorts (e.g. approximately $10-15 more per day for a ski or snowboard set). The resort owned shops (Whistler Blackcomb Rentals) and other chain stores are expensive but you pay for multiple bells and whistles, and they also offer significant discounts if you pre-book your ski rentals on-line. Some of the smaller independent shops still provide quality equipment rentals, but minus the convenience of some of the frills (e.g. storage, valet service, van transport), the need to pre-book, and the associated extra cost.
The largest of the Whistler ski rental providers is the resort owned Whistler Blackcomb Rentals. They have a huge range of ski and snowboards from beginner through to demo equipment for adults as well as children. They have multiple locations at Upper Village (Blackcomb) and Whistler Village and a store at Creekside. They also have rentals at Whistler Kids (kids ski school) which is super convenient. Another convenience is that you can store your equipment at the shops near the Whistler and Blackcomb bases, and you can swap your equipment over during your stay.
Affinity is another big player in the Whistler ski rental market. They have multiple stores, well maintained equipment, a free shuttle van to pick you up, and late opening hours. In addition to recreational and performance equipment, they also rent out backcountry equipment.
Summit Sport also has multiple locations with two shops in Whistler Village and one shop in Upper Village at the Blackcomb base. Their main shop near the Whistler gondola and Whistler Kids ski school drop off is large and they have a broad range of recreational up to demo equipment available at reasonable prices.
If you’re looking to rent (or buy) backcountry equipment, another option is Excess Backcountry in the Crystal Lodge. In addition to touring skis, split boards, skins, backpacks, probes, shovels, and beacons, they also hire out avalanche airbag backpacks.
Whistler Ski School for Kids
Whistler Blackcomb has a huge kids’ ski school program at the Whistler Village, Blackcomb and Creekside base areas. Whistler Kids provide ski and snowboard lessons for ages 3-12, as well as a series of programs for teens. Group lessons are for the full day or there are private lessons available. All kids ski school lessons include the use of a GPS tracking system.
Whistler Ski Lessons and Snowboard Lessons - Adults
The Whistler ski school provides a huge range of programs for ski and snowboard tuition for those riding green runs up to single black diamond runs. Group lessons are only offered in a full day format. Adult lessons have a maximum of 4 clients per class which aims to optimize your learning capacity, but you’ll pay a premium for the added attention. Adult private lessons are provided in either a full or half day format, and meeting places are only at the Whistler or Blackcomb base. There’s definitely a Whistler currency applied to private ski lessons. It costs up to twice as much as at other BC ski resorts.
Whistler Blackcomb provides beginners package that incorporate a lesson, lift ticket and equipment rental, and these are really expensive relative to other parts of Canada.
Whistler ski school also provides a raft of specialized camps and programs for women, parks and pipes, racing, and moguls, and a large adaptive program.
For those riding the double blacks, Xtremely Canadian offers a steep clinics program as well as a few backcountry programs.
Another option for Whistler ski lessons is to undertake a ski or snowboard improvement program with Yes Tours
. The Yes courses focus on individual attention, with small group sizes and top level ski and snowboard instructors (CSIA & CASI Level 4s). The courses range from single week improvement courses right up to 11 week professional instructor training courses.
Whistler Babysitting and Childcare
The Whistler Blackbomb resort owned child care is incorporated within the Whistler Kids program. They have slopeside locations at the Blackcomb Base (Upper Village) and Whistler Village base (Westin Resort), whilst at Creekside the Whistler Kids building is located just a short walk from the gondola. Day care is available for infants 18 months to 48 months old. Pagers are provided to parents to facilitate communication and provide some peace of mind. The rates for childcare are a little more expensive than found at other BC ski resorts.
There are various other Whistler babysitting and childcare services available whereby a nanny or babysitter can come to your hotel. Some childcare providers also rent out baby gear such as high chairs and strollers.
A safe & fun alternative to conventional babysitting. Combined care of children whilst taking in the great activities on offer in Whistler. We come to your location day and evening. Newborn to 14 years old. We also hire baby equipment & parties.
Eating On Mountain - Daytime
There aren’t too many downsides to Whistler Blackcomb, but one of them can be the packed on-mountain dining venues. To get a seat you may need to have lunch early or late, or sit separately away from your friends. On the plus side, many of the Whistler on-mountain eateries have wifi, so at least if you’re sitting by yourself you can surf the time away!
Some of the lunch spots are huge self-service cafeterias that lack some ambience. Examples are the Glacier Creek Lodge (Blackcomb), Rendezvous Lodge, and the cafeteria inside the Roundhouse Lodge (Whistler).
For relatively uncrowded lunch spots try the smaller restaurants such as the Crystal Hut on Blackcomb. It is a cosy hidden gem and well known for its waffles that can be stacked high with goodies. Alternatively Chic Pea at the top of the Garbanzo Express (Whistler) is a delightful eatery serving pizzas, subs and their infamous cinnamon buns. The Horstman Hut (Blackcomb) is busy on fine days when folks sit on the ridge top patio; otherwise this can be a quieter spot to grab lunch. There are also a handful of snack huts around the two mountains.
Christine’s Restaurant inside Rendezvous on Blackcomb Mountain provides an upscale lunch with table service, and amazing views. This is the place to go if you want to splash out, and want a long rest from skiing or snowboarding. This restaurant is fairly small so reservations are advised. There is also full service dining available at the Roundhouse Lodge at the Steeps Grill and Wine Bar.
If skiing the lower parts of the ski resort, all the pubs, restaurants and take-away joints near the base areas are also an option. Over at Creekside, a stop at Dusty’s is worthwhile either in the cafeteria section, or you can get table service in the pub.