Why You Need to Stay in Whistler Creekside
Once upon a time, there was a mountain armed with one six-person gondola, two T-Bars, a single chairlift, a handful of ski runs and a day lodge. This little neighbourhood was as basic as they come, but not for long… As word got out that this ski mountain had some of the best terrains the country had to offer, it soon began to thrive.
With more cabins popping up, a gas station, a pub and some shops this little neighbourhood soon became a little ski town and it was named ‘Creekside’. So, you see, Creekside Whistler is the real MVP (most valued place!) and was developed way before Whistler Village even existed.
Fast forward fifty-odd years and Creekside has so much more to offer now from fancy hotels to luxurious dining options, all built on a rich history. Staying in Creekside is sort of an obligation, at least we think so.
If you’re not convinced, let us tell you more…
How to Get There?
If you’re coming from the city then you’re going to hit Creekside on the Sea to Sky Highway before you get to the Village. If you’re coming from Pemberton way then you just follow the Sea to Sky Highway past the Village entry and keep going for a few kilometres.
How Far to the Village?
Creekside is about a five-minute drive to the village, ten-minute bus ride, twenty-minute bike ride and about an hour walk on the valley trail. The valley trail is super popular in summer and a lot of the locals hit the pavement with their bikes or well just their feet.
The BC Transit buses are one of the most popular modes of transport in Whistler, the buses generally run from Creekside every 20 minutes or so from 5:30am to 3:30am and it costs a measly $2.50 a ride. In summer they even offer free buses on the weekend and on a statutory holiday Monday,
What’s in the Neighbourhood?
Creekside has everything you need – hotels, restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, liquor stores, a market, a bank, a gas station, gyms, spas, outdoor fire pit and some unique retail stores – including a Gingerbread house where old mate Santa likes to visit in winter!
In terms of activities, there are lakes and parks which have swimming and fishing access, tennis, volleyball and basketball courts, playgrounds and off-leash dog areas. Creekside also has mountain access via its own gondola, a WB guest service desk where you can purchase lift tickets and season passes, a rental shop and a tuning centre for bikes in summer and skis/snowboards in winter and a Snow School desk to purchase lessons in winter. Oh, and did we mention free underground parking in winter and summer?!
5 Arguments for Staying in Whistler Creekside
The Real O.W. (Original Whistler)
Remember our little story at the start of how Creekside is the original Whistler? Get amongst that history and stay in the heart of where it all began.
Creekside really oozes Canada feels – the old school wood cabin-style buildings, fairy lights at night… sprinkle some snow on top and you’ve got a magical movie setting on your hands. Creekside was the Whistler base of the 2010 Olympics and if you look up the mountain you’ll see the green Olympics rings (fun fact: they’re green to match the environment) on the Dave Murray Downhill.
Fewer People, Smaller Crowds
Staying outside the central village comes with its perks – fewer people are floating around and if you’ve never been to Whistler Village on a peak winter day, trust us on this one – less is most definitely more. Shorter wait times for the gondola, for tickets, for coffee and most importantly, BEER! (Looking for an insiders guide to Whistler’s craft beer scene?)
Creekside is serviced by its very own gondola, which (leading on from our previous point) usually has less of a queue than the Village or Blackcomb gondola – that in itself is a win, because less wait time means more bike or ski time, duh!
Once you hop off the gondola hop onto the big red express for access to the peak and the Roundhouse Lodge. From top to bottom you’re looking at about a twenty-five-minute scenic ride up.
Fully Sick Terrain
Creekside has arguably some of the best intermediate and advanced level terrain on Whistler mountain for both biking and skiing and snowboarding. It is also home to one of the longest ski runs in North America the Peak-to-Creek is just shy of 11kms long and brings a whole new meaning to thigh burn.
Creekside is home to many locals and certainly has a more chilled out vibe than Whistler Village. If you’re after more peace and quiet and an authentic ski town experience, Creekside is definitely the spot for you.
Whistler Village can get very crowded and has a big nightlife scene, which isn’t for everyone. If you want some nightlife action then hit the town and then escape back to Creekside to avoid the late-night noise and overall hustle and bustle.
Where to Stay in Creekside
We’ve managed to narrow down our top three places to lay our heads in Creekside, although there are many more great options. These three are ranked in the top ten of all Whistler hotels, as per Trip Advisor.
Nita Lake Lodge
Nita Lake Lodge is the only lakeside hotel in Whistler, ranking 3rd best hotel in Whistler and there is no wonder why. Not only is it perched on the beautiful lake with big spacious rooms but they offer free bike/canoe/kayak/SUP rentals in summer and snowshoe rentals in winter.
They have an all-year-round plunge pool and hot tub, as well as adults-only rooftop hot tubs with mountain views. The lodge also has an onsite gym and a popular day spa (we highly recommend you treat yoself there).
They also boast a number of fantastic dining options: Aura Restaurant is their lakeside fine dining experience, Cure Lounge & Patio is their indoor/outdoor casual dining area (with amazing cocktails) and Fix Cafe is their coffee shop which offers a lunch menu and great sweet treats. You can also bring your doggo!!
First Tracks Lodge
Ranked fourth best hotel in Whistler, First Tracks Lodge offers ski-in-ski-out access to the mountain. It has outdoor hot tubs and barbeques, a fitness room, a heated outdoor pool and a steam room to soak those ski legs.
They have many different lodging options from a one-bedroom suite to a four-bedroom suite, all with their own kitchen facilities – which gives you the option to be able to cook, rather than eating out every night.
Ranked tenth best hotel in Whistler, Evolution is conveniently located a short walk away from the lifts and the slopes. They’ve got a games room, eucalyptus steam room, fitness room, outdoor BBQ, hot tubs and a heated pool. The rooms range from a one-bedroom suite to three-bedroom suites, which are all open plan which is great for friends and families alike.
Where to Eat in Creekside
If you haven’t noticed, we know where to find good food in Whistler. Whistler Creekside Restaurants are some of the best going and we’ve got the 411 down below:
Rim Rock Cafe
This place checks all the boxes as far as restaurants go: Fantastic service – check, fresh and authentic food – check, extensive wine list – check, great cocktails – check, intimate ambience – check. It’s a locals favourite and it is a little tucked away but we recommend you find it.
Rim Rock specializes in game and seafood and the lobster mash is to die for…as is their sticky toffee pudding. If you’re going to go in peak season make sure you book a table, as it books out regularly.
Red Door Bistro
For an intimate dining experience in a cosy bistro, with high-end service and high-end food, Red Door is the place for you.
This small restaurant is renowned for its phenomenal food and next-level service, so if you fall in love with the sounds of the menu and are sure you want to dine here, make sure you book. Red Door accepts reservations up to three months in advance, so if you’ve got a date in mind, get in early.
Rolands is a sports bar/pub which is located next door to Red Door Bistro and is a much more casual dining experience. Don’t let that put you off though, the food is still fantastic and they definitely dish up some of the best pub grub in town.
You’ll find a lot of locals hang out here to watch sports, play some darts and some sink some beers after a good feed. They also do all of their menu takeout if you’re looking for a decent meal and can’t be bothered cooking or eating out.
It’s a big call but we’re going to make it… Southside Diner has the best burgers in town. It’s also an authentic diner experience, with fun and friendly staff and a great menu (they offer breakfast poutine and it’s as good as it sounds).
Be careful to not leave your kids unattended though, as per their rules they’ll be given an espresso shot and a free kitten! If you’re not in the mood for dining out then they also do take out, score.
Dusty’s Bar & BBQ
Nestled at the bottom of the mountain, Dusty’s is a local favourite apres spot and are famous for their BBQ food.
They’ve got mouth-watering ribs, sticky chicken wings, pulled pork and BBQ nachos (think ribs on top of your nachos) just to name a few things. Dusty’s is a casual indoor/outdoor dining experience, with a pool table and darts to keep you occupied. They also have some damn good burgers!
Watch your delicious pizzas being cooked in the huge wood-fired ovens at Creekbread and try something a little on the unconventional side as far as pizza toppings go, like the ‘Pemby Potato Pie’ (it’s out of this world) all made with locally sourced fresh produce.
This pizza joint is one of a kind in Whistler, so of course, it’s gonna get busy and they don’t take reservations…but that’s okay because they have a fab little bar you can wait at and start making your way through their yummy cocktail list.
Creekside is the original Whistler, where all the magic began and the true heart and soul of Whistler’s mountain culture. It’s a locals lair and has some of the best hotels and dining experiences this town has to offer. Do yourself a favour and choose Creekside, you won’t regret it!