One thing Whistler isn't exactly lacking is a wide range of tourist accommodations.
Still, whether you've booked one bed at a small boutique property or a spacious suite in a towering resort, staying at a hotel typically means having to share amenities with your fellow guests. Groups looking for a more private experience will have another option available to choose from when the resort's newest accommodation offering opens north of the village this fall.
Falling somewhere in between a four-star hotel and a luxury vacation rental, Wedge Mountain Lodge & Spa will cater to groups of up to 20 guests for overnight stays, or 50 for receptions. The two-storey, 12,000-square-foot lodge is located in the tranquil WedgeWoods development, about a 15-minute drive north of Whistler Village.
The modern, newly-built space was designed with events like corporate retreats, weddings and extended family getaways in mind.
The lodge contains 10 guest bedrooms accessible by elevator, each outfitted with a king bed and en-suite bathroom. Two “family-friendly” rooms also include bunk bed nooks to accommodate younger guests.
Guests can plan to unwind in Wedge Mountain's private spa facility, which features a sauna, steam room, gym, yoga studio, massage rooms, hot tub, cold plunge, and a 30-foot outdoor pool that will remain heated year-round. The lodge also boasts a fire pit, conference room, 18-seat movie theatre, wine cellar stocked by local sommeliers, bar, games room with poker, pool and ping-pong tables, and dedicated play areas for the kids.
Unlike standard homestay rentals where visitors are generally left to fend for themselves, this staffed lodge intends to provide its guests with the same level of hospitality travellers might find at a high-end hotel or bed-and-breakfast. "Wedge Mountain’s full-service experience from arrival to departure includes a live-in housekeeper, concierge and additional support staff on hand and available whenever needed," according to a release. That means private transportation, a champagne sabering reception on arrival, bartenders to pour drinks and a private chef to whip-up personalized breakfasts, après snacks and dinners are all included with each stay.
The Whistler locals who developed the lodge put just as much effort into accommodating those employees as they did into dreaming up guest amenities. The property includes a five-bedroom staff accommodation wing attached to the main building, featuring two large en-suite bedrooms and three smaller rooms whose occupants will share two bathrooms, plus a garage for ski and bike storage. It's all accessible via a covered private walkway to the staff entrance.
"It's thoughtfully designed, offering staff privacy from the guests ([and] vice versa), and as much secluded outdoor space as we could," explained Keltie Holdsworth, one of Wedge Mountain Lodge's owners and operators, in an email.
"We intended to have [five] staff on site, all with a private bedroom; but we have the capacity to offer a shared bedroom if couples wish to apply," she added.
Wedge Mountain Lodge employees will also have an electric vehicle at their disposal to travel to and from the village, "so our staff don't feel isolated out here on their days off," Holdsworth wrote.
Wedge Mountain Lodge 'has been a dream of our family for many years,' say owners
Though Wedge Mountain Lodge & Spa is new to Whistler's accommodation landscape, the family behind the space isn't.
The Holdsworth family—Keltie, who is half Canadian and half English and moved to Whistler after university, her husband Dan and his sister Anna, who both relocated to the resort from the U.K.—has more than a decade of experience developing and managing vacation properties in the Sea to Sky corridor.
According to the Holdsworths, the concept for Wedge Mountain Lodge & Spa grew out of countless discussions during their own large family gatherings about what the perfect Whistler vacation property would look like. Bringing that vision to life became a possibility after the trio wrapped up construction on their first two custom homes in the WedgeWoods neighbourhood in 2019.
“We are thrilled to witness the realization of our long-held vision for the Lodge,” Holdsworth said in a release. “It has been a dream of our family for many years. Our enthusiasm stems from a passion for showcasing the wonders of Whistler. We firmly believe that the guest experience at the Wedge Mountain Lodge & Spa will be an extraordinary and truly exceptional affair.”
Extraordinary experiences in an already world-class mountain resort don't come cheap: full-service rates at Wedge Mountain Lodge & Spa range from $12,500 per night in the off-season to $26,450 per night during the holidays, with a three-night minimum stay required.
Wondering how that compares to hotel prices in Whistler? A king room for two guests at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler on Friday, Dec. 15, for example, would currently cost between $499 and $750 before taxes and fees, if booked through the Fairmont's website.
For now, crews are busy putting finishing touches on the property before Wedge Mountain Lodge & Spa officially opens for business later this year.
The lodge is slated to kick off full-service operations in mid-November, but is accepting bookings for vacation rental-style stays in September, October and early November at a discounted rate. "We would be delighted to host a few groups in the fall [and] hope we can bring some locals in to experience the space," Holdsworth added in her email.
The Holdsworths also plan to host a Grand Opening reception in September.
Wedge Mountain Lodge & Spa is the newest addition to what has so far been an exclusively residential neighbourhood. When construction on the WedgeWoods development began in 2008, plans called for 108 lots to be created in six phases. With all of those lots long since sold, a proposed bylaw amendment currently under consideration at the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District could pave the way for dozens of new homes—including several non-market units—to be built on 18 new lots north of Green Lake in the coming years.
- With files from Robert Wisla