WELCOME TO MY WORLD
A little glimpse into my daily life
“If live gives you a mountain, put on your boots and hike”
The mountains have always owned a special little corner of my heart throughout my life. From as young as I can remember, being the daughter of two ski crazy parents, we used to spend our Winters in the back of a car and driving to the wonderful snow filled mountains of Sweden, Norway, and Austria for a week of snowballs and skiing.
As I’ve got older, it seems I have inherited my parents deep passion for skiing, but have also had the chance to explore the mountains during different times of the year and still find them as magical as ever.
From the foothills in Morocco, through Norway in Spring, to Chamonix in the Summer time, there are also plenty of wonderful sights and activities whilst the Summer sun shines in a mountain resort.
Wherever I am in the world, I try my best to visit the more remote parts of the countries which may be off the normal tourist track, and our next destination really was tucked away amongst the trees and the glaciers.
As you know, Norway and Finland really blew my mind and gave both Fergus and I a real feeling of winding down when being so far away from the busy and digital lives that we all lead. So, next on my list of places we were so excited to visit was beautiful Canada, and the amazing mountain town of Whistler.
Whistler, the dreamy mountain town, located in the spectacular Coast Mountains is only 2 hours from beautiful Vancouver, and the perfect place to visit if you are an adventure, nature, or skiing enthusiast.
For Fergus and I, after spending a truly memorable week with our friends and their newborn baby Frankie (the cutest in the world) in Tofino on Vancouver Island, and considering Charlie and Milahna lived in Whistler for many years, we were recommended the traditional hotel synonymous with Whistler right in the centre of The Village called Crystal Lodge.
With an amazing history and once host of the Winter Olympics in 2010, I could tell from the moment we arrived in Whistler Village that the vibe was pleasantly different to the traditional European party buzz in resorts on the continent.
There is certainly a feeling of family fun, luxury and the whirr of activity in the well developed centre, with lots of breathtaking restaurants, shops, bistros and bars covering the wide and clean streets.
The sun was shining and all around us we were surrounded by lush green mountains with a few snowy peaks still on show, and after arriving at our wonderful hotel, the view was breathtaking!
“The beautiful view from our room”
“You & me, & you and I”
This vibrant place is certainly one for the people watchers amongst us! With so many different people from different walks of life, Fergus and I enjoyed a coffee from the comfort of the hotel Starbucks and watched everyone from families of tourists to more boho and chilled locals going about their daily work.
It really is clear that there is no obvious ego about Whistler, and it’s a place for everyone all year round.
As I often mention in my posts, we are always really keen to work with partners that share our beliefs, and one of the core elements of collaborating with Crystal Lodge was their Green Policy and the strong commitment they have to minimising their environmental impact.
I LOVE when anyone in the hospitality or fashion world have the conscience to be creative and work with the environment around them rather than against it.
The beautiful wooden frame and traditional architecture greeted us at the door of the grand entrance hall and is seen all the way throughout the hotel as we made our way to our cosy, lodge style room for the next few days where relaxation and wellbeing is the main focus. It truly felt like the traditional lodge or chalet experience within the confines of a stylish building in the absolute heart of the village centre. The smell of great food from the in-house restaurant Basalt lingered in the lobby as we took advantage of the wine tasting experience that Crystal Lodge host every Wednesday. A dangerous combination having a beautiful salumeria nearby after a glass of superb British Columbian Red.
After fighting the temptation of a few more glasses of wine following a long day of travelling, there was no better feeling than floating in the outdoor (and warm!) pool whilst staring at your postcard-like surroundings during a daydream. This was some real ‘us’ time for ourselves after a busy week of surfing, hiking and exploring Tofino, Victoria and Vancouver Island.
After day one, it was clear that Whistler as a place, is whatever you make it to be.
You can have the most active stay of your life (similar to beautiful Chamonix) with skiing, hiking, ziplining, fishing, golf and more, or simply spend the time winding down and basking in the beautiful scenery with world class hotel facilities, wellness spots and eateries on your doorstep.
It certainly is obvious why Whistler has earned it’s reputation as one of the world’s leading mountain destinations, and contributes over $CAD1 Billion to the Canadian economy per year.
For all my lovely European’s, imagine a European ski resort but on steroids(!), and with all the efficiency and commercialism of North America.
Waking up in our generous suite, we were spoilt for space and amenities as we cooked a lovely breakfast to start the day. What I did enjoy is how Crystal Lodge focus on providing the feel of a luxury chalet by offering huge suites to all guests which are equipped with kitchen and washing facilities (as well as separate lounges) and allow the flexibility to either enjoy a self catered and self contained holiday – which may be perfect for families with children – or with only a short walk downstairs have access to all the normal hotel facilities such a wonderful restaurants, bars and even beauty salons.
We thought we would try a day of each with some home cooked meals in our suite on day one and then devouring all the amazing foods available here the next day. A choice we didn’t regret.
Whilst the sun was out and the temperatures around 25 Celsius we really had to take advantage of the resorts activities and visit some of the beautiful lakes and sights in the area.
Somehow, (after a few glasses of wine at dinner) Fergus managed to convince me to let him chose the next day’s activities as a surprise…. This ending up with me at the top of a 1 kilometre zipline with The Adventure Group. (Read my last post here to almost hear about screams of panic in detail!)
I think it is the longest zipline in North America, sooooo I wasn’t too pleased to have been thrown into that so quickly. The lesson, less glasses of wine Isabella and never let Mr B pick activities!
In honestly, I think my previous post and photos speak for themselves when I say that I was terrified, but it actually turned out to be one of the best experiences of our lives.
3 hours of fun up in the sky over the mountains and sliding around the amazing woodland areas was a crazy rush of adrenaline!
I couldn’t recommend this activity highly enough when you ever visit Whistler – an absolute bucket list opportunity!!
The perfect way to unwind after the exhilaration of zip lining was an evening drive to watch the sun set over Green Lake to the North with my man and a trusty bottle of British Columbian wine.
The generous bottle was a gift from the team at Crystal Lodge for my birthday and went down so at a quicker pace than the sun did.
Waking up in the morning with another stunning sunrise at Crystal Lodge and some real mountain heat shining through the windows only meant one thing.. A bit of midweek motivation to get to the gym and run to explore a bit of Whistler towards Alta Lake.
Walking past Whistler Golf Course, I was obviously made to stop every 2 minutes by Fergus to admire e.v.e.r.y single hole! But I wasn’t complaining about the beautiful views and snowy mountains in front of us – truly once in a lifetime views.
10 minutes later, and we find ourselves at Alta Lake – a stunning oasis of canoes, diving decks, paddle boards and happy families.
I found myself thinking about the types of place I would love to raise a family, and genuinely believe that Whistler has all the attributes of a perfect family destination. If only it was closer to home.
Everything here feels as though people have the right balance of work and outdoors life which is accompanied by the huge smiles on their faces.
As we wander back into the central village with only COFFEE on our mind, we swung by our new favourite spot, Mogul’s, in the Village Square for an Oatmilk Flat White and (having earned the calories), a home baked muffin whilst we watched the crowds pass by with bikes, ski boots (yes, they are still skiing!), bachelor parties in fancy dress outfits, and old couples taking in the sun.
My conclusion whilst reflecting on the last few days: Whistler really needs to be on any Canada travel list whether it’s Winter or Summer.
With the village centre location of our hotel it was perfect for us to explore all areas of the valley by foot or bike and enjoy the generous offering of activities that were available. It really did get me craving a visit here in the Winter whilst we watched all the skiers and snowboarders enjoy the last few days of the snow.
A truly magical place and certainly earns it’s reputation around the world. I think it’s really rare to mix such amazing activities with world class restaurants, bars and even shopping.
The ultimate cherry on the top of a wonderful stay came after waving goodbye to Whistler and the lovely team at Crystal Lodge and during our drive to Squamish, when we stumbled across one of the most breathtaking natural beauties in the valley called Brandywine falls.
And as the deafening crash of water echoed all around the mountains surrounding us, I (rarely) found myself lost for words as both Fergus and I said to each other – not for the first time on this trip – “Oh Canada, we love you!”