After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

Five You Can Drive: Enjoy Whistler from comfort of Nita Lake Lodge

Linda Solomon Wood takes her family to Nita Lake Lodge in Whistler Creekside and loves what she finds. This is the fifth of VO's "Five You Can Drive" series: amazing vacation destinations you can reach within a day from Vancouver, BC, sponsored by Ford Escape.

Nita Lake Lodge

Summer is the perfect time to explore the great outdoors in Whistler, British Columbia, and there's no better place to stay while doing it than Nita Lake Lodge, rated by TripAdvisor as Whistler's top hotel.

Set on a small, glacier fed  lake, Nita Lake Lodge offers gourmet food, 3 hot tubs, a pool, and gear for all the outdoor recreation you could want. Suites with two spacious bedrooms, luxurious bathrooms and soaring ceilings distinguish this outstanding mountain hotel, as does its very helpful and welcoming staff.

Two bedroom suite at Nita Lake Lodge

It's such a short drive from Vancouver to Whistler, and the view from the Sea to Sky Highway surprises me every time with its smashing beauty. It's as if I'm seeing it for the first time every time, even though I've driven this route often. Whistler's mountains offer such a dramatic relief from the city, I find myself wondering why I don't come here more.

Sea to Sky highway (photo: Hello BC)

Nita Lake Lodge makes it easy to get equipped to enjoy the amazing natural beauty in the region. The hotel provides complimentary bicycles, kayaks and canoes, along with helmets and life jackets The stunning Valley Trail, which begins on the boutique hotel’s doorstep connects all of Whistler’s neighbourhoods, lakes and parks. The trail runs alongside lakes, passes gorgeous homes and meanders along a golf course on its way to Whistler Village, a mildly challenging trip you won't want to miss.


Aura Restaurant 

Our first night in Whistler, after a day spent getting to know the area by car, my husband and I kicked back for dinner on the deck. Overlooking the lake, we enjoyed a glass of wine, while the kids played nearby. They'd already soaked in the hot tub, swum in the pool, and eaten hamburgers and french fries in the lounge over a game of Scrabble. They gave the food an "A+."

Fix Cafe

As for we adults, dinner at the Nita Lake Lodge's restaurant was unexpectedly fresh, creative and delicious. Using locally sourced ingredients, including salad and herbs grown in the Nita Lodge rooftop garden, Executive Chef Paul Moran created a bed of greens for seared rare tuna. The sliced, rare steak my husband ordered was unusually tasty, too. Organic, vegan and gluten-free are all words I saw on the menu allowing vegans, meat lovers, the health conscious and ultimate foodies to enjoy lakeside dining peaceably together.

We took our children the next morning on a drive north towards Pemberton and stopped to take a mellow walk along Green River to Nairn Falls Provincial Park.  Along the way we marveled at the crystal green colour of the water.  At the waterfall, we all stood silently in awe of the spectacle of pounding water plunging into the river, leaping into the light, and falling down over boulders, swirling and eddying.

Enjoying fresh mountain air post hike (photo: Go Whistler)

We then headed to Pemberton for lunch. On the way back to Whistler, we turned up into Garibaldi Provincial Park and drove up a rugged road to the trail head for a magnificent walk. Back at the hotel, we picked up bikes and spent the afternoon cycling. We had dinner at the very good Creekbread Pizza, a short walk from the hotel, and then went canoeing on Nita Lake.  After our paddle, we decided we had to try and jump in the lake, so we changed into bathing suits.  After lengthy, careful dips into the water, we took the plunge into the ice cold lake. Now we were nearly freezing, so we found the rooftop hot tubs, right outside the spa, and recovered in the warm water, surrounded by the woods and mountains.


Spa rooftop

Nita Lake Lodge's spa features treatments such as Kundalini Massage, a gentle, nurturing massage that realigns the body’s rhythm, while restoring it’s natural balance. Guests can also combine gym workouts and the great outdoors with Innovative Fitness, both on site.

The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge

Aura Restaurant
This summer, the hotel’s very own rooftop ‘Chef’s Garden’ will spring back to life growing the freshest of ingredients that are used in salads, restaurant dishes and creative cocktails. The fresh juice and smoothie bar was an added boost that got us ready in the mornings for our big adventures.

Every aspect of my stay at Nita Lake Lodge exceeded expectations.  As for my kids, they said they hated to leave and made us promise to bring them back.


More in Travel

Great places to hike in British Columbia

These awesome BC hikes are some of the world's most beautiful.

Top 8 Vancouver Day Trips: British Columbia's beautiful hot springs

British Columbia's beautiful hot springs offer vacationers a relaxing way of being in nature or just kicking back. Get your soak on.

Sunshine Coast a year-round outdoor haven with plenty of 'Beachcombers'

Howe Sound is glass-still on the voyage from Gibsons Landing to Keats Island, save for the odd motorboat wake jostling the kayak. The peace is also broken momentarily as a seal bursts out of the...
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.