As per our annual tradition, my partner and I found ourselves in Whistler BC this Halloween weekend. This is our little getaway before we get caught up in the busyness of the holiday season to come. And Whistler makes such a great destination to get away from it all. It close to enough of a drive, yet far away enough to feel like you are traveling somewhere with luggage packed and road trip on your mind.
This year we made “Summit Lodge” our overnight stay. Having visited them once before and falling in love with them then, I knew I had to bring my partner back to share in the experience today.
In previous years we have stayed in hotels with the Whistler ski chalet feel and ones furnished more traditionally, however we both prefer a modern aesthetic and furnish to our accommodations. And there is no resort more fitting of this than the “Summit”. It is a boutique hotel as unique as you are. And if you like the quirky, they have you covered there as well.
To read my first blush visit with them, please visit the link below. For more details on their actual overnight stay, please continue reading.
You check in before you are able to park underground for the night at $20. However, they also offer a free lot to park within, about a five minute walk away. It is cold and if you are toting around a few bags, I suggest the former. It comes with a scan card entry tethered to your hotel room key card, and an elevator that leads you right to your floor from the parkade.
Today, the lobby check-in included a help yourself bar of fruit flavoured water and bulk candy to scoop into paper cups. Jars of sour keys, liquorice whips, gummy worms and bears, amongst other chewy sweets.
They also have a high tech hot beverage machine with touch screen operating system. This too is a help yourself affair, for all their guests, anytime throughout their stay. It makes over 10 different coffee and chocolate based drinks with various preference settings to toggle between.
We were situated in a king sized studio, overlooking the back yard pool. You could see the steam rise from it, but more so the hot tub adjacent. We would not get a chance to enjoy either during this visit. I wanted to take a soak in the hot tub, but it was a smaller fit, and if there is anyone else in there with you, it looks like you are practically sitting knee to knee across from them. I think I will have to plan a two day stay with them next year, in order to be able enjoy theses facilities to ourselves.
Although I did get some hotel water time within their shower. Fluffy linens, our own little rubber ducky, and a fullly equipped line of food and drink based soaps and shampoos from New York based company, “Malin+Goetz” to slather myself with.
When away, I try not to wash my hair for the hassle it takes given its length. But I did still appreciate the bag our in suite hair dryer came in. It is all about the details with them, like the extra embroidery on the back of their robes.
Our room itself includes a practically full kitchen, with stove top and all the utensils and dish ware you would need to cook a meal or two. However we would not take advantage of this outside their coffee machine with pods and tea pot with bags of English breakfast.
They also had an honour bar available on the counter top. It was a handsome assortment of snacks and beverages. More intriguing and tempting tidbits than at the other hotels I have stayed at, also at more reasonable prices, compared to what you would be charged picking them up yourself from a corner store. Sparkling sodas, energy bars, fine chocolate, seasoned nuts, microwave popcorn, chips, and even wine in your choice of white or red at $20 a bottle.
However, we would not need any of the above considering how conveniently located the hotel is. They are the ideal accommodation for anyone looking to spend a night enjoying Whistler’s social scene. “Summit” is smack dab in the centre of the Whistler Village with all bars and restaurants within walking distance. Perfect for us, considering our plan was do a bar hop/crawl: eating and drinking at several, one after another. And given the chill of the night, the least amount of walking outdoors was preferred.
For more on our over night stay with “Summit Lodge”, scroll to the bottom as I recall our adventures of this night in order.
After we settled in and geared up for the night’s wind and cold, we headed out in search of our first stop, which would later also be our last. Whistler’s “El Furniture Warehouse” offers $4.95 dishes and various drink deals. This is definitely the locals favourite place, and the one to go for a more rowdy time. Especially given their prices compared to everyone else asking for double digits bills for an entree.
There is often a consistent line and some sort of wait. However starting our evening of drinks at 5pm meant we were early birds able to grab a couple of stools by the back bar. Here we watched the first half of the world’s series baseball game as we snacked.
We started with two Coronas and lime. Then I followed it up with their “Pink lemonade” cocktail. This was made with Gordon’s gin, peach schnapps, lemon juice, simple syrup, and grenadine. It also listed an “orgasm” as a main ingredient, but from first sip to last, I can tell you that that never came. Although given how sour and tangy the cocktail was, it did cause my face to contort and my lips to pucker with a surprising series of facial expressions to follow. You can also get this drink and a few other specials with a Corona turned upside down within it. So if you are planning to share, I suggest you go this route for more volume, or to have one person enjoy the Corona and the other, the drink itself for a lower price than getting each separately. They also serve the Corona just on the side, and in our case.
We had their “Glazed onion rings” drizzled with with maple syrup and seasoned with rosemary, served with their “macho sauce” to dip. The sweetness of the glaze and the tangy chipotle mayo-like sauce gave the rings an interesting flavour you went back for. Although, as anticipated, the glaze also made parts of the battered and fried rings soggier, loosing that perfect onion ring crunch.
The “BBQ stacked ribs” were slow cooked pork back ribs, quickly fried crisp and served with a smokey BBQ sauce and peppered fries. The ribs were drenched in sauce, the first bite was good, but it was quick to grow tiresome with one flat barbecue flavour, and an excessive amount of it to boot. A little honey or maple syrup would have gone a long way with this mix. Although given the $5 price point how can you really complain? You get what you pay for and in this case, it isn’t a bad thing.
Our next stop was “Earls”, this time last year they were undergoing renovations, although coming in today we couldn’t tell the difference, besides the newly upholstered plaid booth seats.
Here, we had a couple of Bellinis. My partner ordered his as a double in a man glass, only to find it too strong and to trade it for my regular, in its typical martini glass. I appreciated the double and how aesthetically pleasing it looked swirled in orange and fuchsia. This was drink number three for us both.
“Brandy’s within “The Keg” came highly recommend by our server before. She suggested this to us as her favourite spot when we wrapped up our time with her. This was basically “The Keg’s” lounge space, a floor below the actual steakhouse. Sadly we were disappointed by the energy of the room. The crowd was smaller and definable less lively. We sat at the bar and found it difficult to garner any attention from the bartenders. They were fairly busy chatting up their friends and making plans for their shift’s end.
I made drink number four a single “Caesar diablo” with casamigos blanco tequila, Caesar mix, Tabasco, and Worcestershire. It was as salty as it was spicy, and really not all that memorable. I should have followed my partner and keep on throwing back the Coronas.
At this point I was hungry for some more food, so grabbed a poutine from the outdoor fast food stall, “Zog’s”. They also offered hot dogs, burger with fries, and breakfast in the morning. The perfect quick stop for hungry skiers and snowboarders not looking to remove their gear, content with snacking outdoors.
Although, we grabbed their “Zog’s poutine” and ate it on some benches in doors. I figured their take on fries, Quebec cheese curds, and beef gravy would be an easy win. However, given its delicious it looked, and how hungry I was, this was one of the most disappointing poutines I have ever had. I didn’t enjoy the taste or its texture. You could tell the fries were from frozen, given their chalky centres; and I wouldn’t be surprised if the gravy was from a packet given how flat at tasted. It was the one out of three ingredients that ruined the portion. The cheese was the best part and there wasn’t even much of it. Overall expensive at $7.25, where as I would have been more satisfied with McDonald’s rendition of this Canadian classic.
Our next drinking stop was “The Beacon”, they definitely had the upbeat vibe we were looking for. However the only available seat was in their empty dining area. Here we felt like outsider looking in on everyone having a good time on the other side of the top floor. Patrons playing pool and choosing the music that would be played within the whole bar, for a fee. The playlist included Britney’s “Toxic”, a not for radio Zayn track, Christina Aguilera’s “Dirty”, and Kelis and her “Milkshake”. Clearly it was ladies night up in here.
Here we had two watered down vodka and cranberry for our fifth drink before heading back to the “Furniture Warehouse”. At this point we were tired of walking into bar after bar, and walking out based on the energy level or lack of service. We even contemplated hitting up a club, but weren’t reassured given the security guard’s response to our question of, “how many people were already inside?” And having to pay cover to get in and find out for ourselves wasn’t a gamble we wanted to take. So it was back “El Furny”. So far the most energetic of all out stops.
At this point I was hungry enough and I so unsatisfied that the dishes we ordered at the end of the night tasted a lot better than they would have at the beginning. I am also sure that all my drinking helped in this regard too.
The “Nachos for one” was a substantial serving and a safe choice. Nacho chips topped with cheddar cheese, roasted corn salsa, jalapeño, tomato, and green onion; although it could have used a lot more of each, and I only spotted a corn kernel or two. They come with a sauce cup of sour cream and salsa and to it I added guacamole for $1.95. I found it funny that it the guacamole was 1/3 the price of the nachos themselves. Not that I regretted the additional condiment, as it made all the difference and the dish better.
For dessert we had their “Mini doughnuts” and they did not disappoint. They were dusted in powdered sugar and drizzled over with a toffee espresso sauce with more on the side for dipping. They weren’t as good as the ones you get fresh at a fair, but they were great for a bar. I would have liked the doughnuts themselves better fluffier, with a coarse sugar and cinnamon coating for a more crunchy texture. The dip was a nice twist on this classic.
With my belly now more content, we then followed the above with some liquid desserts. They had a few sugary sweet shots to choose from. Whereas I went by name, my partner chose his based in flavour. His “Bazooka joe” was blue in flavour and tasted like bubble gum. My “Liquid cocaine” was a clear vodka mixed with jäger for a neat gradient effect. My shot was definitely the stronger of the two.
From here we shared three double vodka sodas until the crowd cleared. Given there wasn’t much left to do this late at night, and that the village was fairly empty to begin with, we retired back to our hotel suite.
We planned to watch some tv, but as soon as we turned on the fire place across from the bed, and snuggled up against the room’s token monster, soon found ourselves fast asleep. We were wrapped in the comfort of crisp sheets and down pillows.
And before we knew it it was 10am and our check out was fast approaching. I appreciated the fragrance of our “Malin+Goetz” rum body wash for its hair of the dog affect. And found the peppermint shampoo a great pick me up scent to start the day with, followed by the refreshing qualities of the cilantro conditioner.
We were sad to have to check out, but took the time to fill out their suite comment card, cataloging our stay with them at a high level. It gave me a chance to appreciate their fun note pad and refurbished pen made from an old pencil. Two more quirky things to make our stay with “Summit Lodge” even more memorable.
After checking out, we were in search of a later breakfast. However there aren’t many breakfast options in Whistler, so we settled for lunch at the “Brewhouse” instead. The day was beautiful so we grabbed a table on their patio, which allowed us to bask under the warming rays of the autumn sun. They also provided patrons with red fleece blankets, should you need the extra layer of warmth.
As most of the menu this was on the pricier side, even for soups and sandwiches; we decided to just snack now and find something heartier and cheaper later on. We shared the “French dip” with slow roasted beef brisket, beef jus, cheddar, and fried onions on the side. Onion separate because I like them in sandwiches and my partner doesn’t. Sharing it was more than enough food first thing in the morning. The sandwich was tender with chewy strips of beef sandwiched by a crispy buttery baguette. It was delicious as is, with the dip available for additional dunks and more flavour. Although I would have liked the dip punchier. More pepper or some spice to set it apart from the flavour you were already getting from the sandwich. The fries were nice, much better than the servings we had shared the night before.
Then after a walk around the village we said good bye to Whistler. We would drive up to Pemberton for some scenic views before turning back home towards Vancouver.
And as per tradition, on the way through Squamish we stopped at “Mag’s 99”. This continues to be one of our favourite places, and definitely the most popular within Squamish for their fried chicken and tacos.
I dared to try a menu item I have yet to have before, only to long for the familiar go-to of my favourite Chimichanga. This is their “Crispy mag chilaques”. It is like a Mexican poutine with cheese curds, but tortillas instead of fries and a smokey sauce instead of gravy. It also comes with pico de gallo and a cilantro crema; all served in a cauldron. I found it too salty with all the sauce that pooled at the bottom. And the chips were quick to soak it up, becoming soggy in the process. So texturally I didn’t enjoy this either. But at least you get a lot of meat, although at $14 a serving I would hope so. Lesson learned stick with your favourite and not be disappointed.
And thus ends another successful, one night getaway to Whistler. A three year traditional that I will continue to look forward to. Hopefully you found my post useful, if you are planning such an excursion yourself.