I stayed at the Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa on a recent ski weekend in Whistler. I had stayed at the Westin Whistler not too long ago, so I was curious to see how the Hilton next door would compare.
The Hilton property is in the heart of Whistler Village, steps away from the Whistler Mountain gondola. The resort features 287 rooms and was host to the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
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Hilton Whistler – Booking
Whistler as a whole can be pricey. The winter resort town is ranked as one of the most expensive globally, and the Hilton Whistler is no exception.
At the time of my stay, rates for a Saturday night stay in early March were $800+ (CAD), and the hotel was packed full.
To redeem one night on points, this stay would’ve cost me 80,000 Hilton Honors points. Since we value Hilton Honors points at 0.6 cents/point, this would be comparable to paying ~$480 for a one-night stay at this property.
Although this was a better deal than paying the $800+ cash rate, it was still a fair chunk of points to pay for a property that didn’t look all too inspiring from the outset.
Hilton’s Free Night Rewards can be redeemed for virtually any standard room in the Hilton portfolio, with no upper limits.
Since both the cash and points rates were exorbitant here at the Hilton Whistler, I considered this is a wonderful use of my certificate, of which I had quite a few that I needed to use before they expired at the end of 2022.
Hilton Whistler – Location
The hotel is in the centre of Whistler Village, a short stroll to the main shops and restaurants. The location is comparable to the Westin Whistler‘s in that it’s less than a minute from the Whistler Gondola base.
If you’re keen on exploring outside Whistler, you can find popular outdoors destinations within a short drive from the resort. Lost Lake is just a five-minute drive away, and Brandywine Falls Provincial Park (featuring a 70-metre waterfall) is a 15-minute drive away.
The resort is two hours from Vancouver International Airport, with a stunning drive along the Sea to Sky Highway for those flying into BC.
Hilton Whistler – Check-in
Arriving at the hotel, there is a pedestrian entrance down one level from Whistler Village and a vehicle entrance on the other side via Whistler Way.
We took the 6am bus from Vancouver on Saturday morning, and arrived at 7:30am. Our room was naturally not ready yet, but we were able to store our belongings with the hotel’s bell desk and went to get our ski rentals.
The lobby area had a nice ski chalet vibe, but was quite dated in its appearance. The space featured numerous patterns that were somewhat disjointed, from carpet to rock walls to wooden accents.
Unfortunately, no suite upgrade was available even as a Hilton Diamond member due to the hotel being full, so we were assigned the King Studio with Kitchenette that we had originally booked.
Hilton Whistler – King Studio with Kitchenette
Our room, Room 463, was located in the South Tower on the fourth floor.
The King Studio with Kitchenette is 400 square feet, featuring one king-sized bed with views of the interior courtyard and tennis courts.
The room consists of warm tones and slightly more drab interiors than the rest of the hotel. To the left of the bed were a reading chair and lamp, while the flat-screen TV was found on the opposite wall.
A small work desk and chair were to the left of the TV, and another small table for dining was on the right side. While the overall square footage of the room was limited, it was at least complete with all the necessary interior furniture, which isn’t always the case for many larger suites I’ve stayed in.
Additionally, the kitchenette was on the left wall adjacent to the bed. It features a two-burner countertop, microwave, kettle, and toaster. The cabinets are also stocked with cooking pans and utensils.
The kitchenette would’ve been more useful if we were staying longer, but it’s nice that even some of the base rooms at the hotel have kitchenettes.
You can find the bathroom immediately to the left as you enter the room.
The bathroom is relatively standard, with a single sink and decent counter space. A long LED mirror spans the wall behind the sink.
Fortunately, the shower’s water pressure was very strong – a much-needed feature after a long day on the slopes.
Complimentary Wi-Fi is also provided in the room; however, the speed was very poor and barely usable.
I had to use my mobile hotspot a few times in lieu of the Wi-Fi, which was very disappointing and frankly unacceptable for the rates that the hotel charges.
Hilton Whistler – Breakfast
As a Hilton Diamond member, the resort offers a complimentary buffet breakfast at The Cinnamon Bear Bar & Grille. Breakfast runs from 7–11am daily.
(“Bar & Grille” always amuses me, as if we’re having breakfast that was cooked on the metal grating at the front of a car.)
I found the buffet to be quite basic, in line with my expectations. The highlight was the Eggs Benedict station, where there were salmon, ham, and spinach Benedicts available for selection. Coffee and juice are also available on a complimentary basis.
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Hilton Whistler – Other Facilities
Located within the hotel is the Taman Sari Royal Heritage Spa. The spa is inspired by ancient Javanese rituals, offering massages, acupuncture, and facials.
The hotel also has a year-round heated outdoor pool and indoor & outdoor whirlpools that are open until 10pm.
We dropped by the pool area after skiing on the first day. The outdoor swimming pool is nicely heated and a nice place to go for a quick dip; however, both the indoor and outdoor whirlpools were packed.
Furthermore, there were no lounge chairs around the pool for relaxing or even placing some of our belongings, which was quite strange.
I thought this detracted a little from the pool experience, though I’m willing to chalk it up to the hotel simply deciding to keep the pool chairs in storage during winter season.
A 24-hour gym is also available for guests. The gym is small but features two treadmills, two ellipticals, and one bike. There are free weights available, and perhaps just enough space for some yoga or stretching.
The hotel’s further amenities include bike storage available at the hotel, a ski valet service via the Summit Sports shop next door, and a seasonal tennis court on the property.
Overall, I wasn’t too impressed with the Hilton Whistler. The interiors were outdated, while the lack of stable Wi-Fi stood out as a major inconvenience, especially for those who may need to do catch up on work during their stay.
I found the Hilton to be a good enough place to rest my head for a weekend of skiing, and can’t really complain as I used a Hilton Free Night Reward and didn’t have to pay the resort’s eye-watering prices on this busy weekend. However, I’m in no hurry to return.
Besides the decent value on paper for your Hilton free night certificate, the only major perk of the hotel would be the excellent location close to the gondolas, although the convenience of the location is comparable to the Westin Whistler nearby.
Next time, I’ll continue trying out a different Whistler hotel to get a sense of the best accommodation options here in the mountains.