Whistler Lodge Hostel
Whistler, British Columbia Canada
For any adventure seeker, Whistler BC Canada is a perfect destination. Whistler Blackcomb Ski resort has 4757 acres of skiable terrain making it the largest ski resort in North America with the greatest uphill lift capacity. The unique peak to peak gondola connecting Whistler and Blackcomb mountains at their peaks offers a sightseeing experience like no other in Canada, as well as providing a much more convenient transport for skiers to enjoy all of the available terrain. In the summer, the town of Whistler is surrounded by some of the most beautiful golf courses in British Columbia as well as stunning lakes, with hiking trails everywhere. The Whilstler Mountain Bike Park has over 47 downhill trails for all skill levels of biker.
As much as all of us want to visit Whistler, the hardest reality is that it is a very expensive destination. Finding affordable accommodation may be the most daunting part of planning your trip. Staying in one of the few available hostels is a great option to save a few bucks without having to sacrifice the quality of your stay.
On my visit to Whistler this winter I spent 5 nights at The Whistler Lodge Hostel. Anyone that tells you that hostels are not quality accommodation have obviously not stayed here. The lodge was built in 1965 by students from UBC’s Varsity Outdoor Club and until recently, was operated by the universities Alma Mater. It is under new management now but the quaint charm is still there.
The Whistler Lodge Hostel is located on Nordic Dr. in the Whistler subdivision called Nordic. Approximately a 5 min drive south of Whistler Village, it is easily accessible by car and is also on the bus line with frequent stops throughout the day. From the bus stop, it is a short walk to the hostel. Unfortunately, it is a short walk up an annoyingly steep hill.
When I arrived at the hostel I was greeted by a lovely front desk attendant who checked me in and gave me a tour of the facility. I was pleasantly surprised by the sauna and the outdoor hot tub.
The common showers and toilets were not as close to my bunk as I would have hoped, but that seemed to be the only real negative thing about the hostel. The bunks are a super cool rustic build-in design that I’m pretty sure are as old as the hostel. I am confident the mattresses however, are not. They are large holes in the wall with privacy curtians, lights and power outlets.
Personal storage for most bunks is limited, but there are lockers located in another area of the hostel where you can keep the stuff that is not of immediate need. I was lucky enough to grab a bunk that is normally reserved for staff so the bunk above mine was empty to accomodate the staff members belongings.
The best part, by far of the hostel, was the common room and kitchen. A very clean and bright great room with vaulted ceilings and a walk-out to a large deck that I’m sure, is a fantastic place to sit in the summer. With a couple comfy couches and a few comfy chairs, there is plenty of space to sit and relax after a long day, catch up on reading or plan out what you are going to do tomorrow. I found that the common area was so warm and welcoming that there were always people to hang out with
The kitchen area was very clean and well equipped. All food storage is marked according to your bunk number. There is a basket and space in the fridge for every bunk. Being that it is so well organized, it makes everything very clean. A convenient bonus is that the kitchen is kind of attached to the front desk area, so when someone is working the desk, you always have somebody to chat with while cooking.
AirBnB has made it possible for homeowners in the Whistler Area to rent out their homes or portions of their homes to visitors in the area for a great value. Unfortunately this has left little accommodation available to the young locals that travel to British Columbia to work for a season or two. Many of the beds at the local hostels are occupied by theses locals and some have even been forced to live out of their cars until affordable living of some kind has become available.
This has resulted in the hostels booking up full most of the year. There are 3 hostels in Whistler and all of them have great reputations and reviews. I loved my time at The Whistler Lodge Hostel but I would recommend any of them. However, booking your stay far in advance would be a good idea.
In the summer months, a great alternative is camping. There are a large number of camping options in and around the town of Whistler.