On the last day of the winter sport season in Whistler, there isn’t a ski, snowboard, or snowshoe to be found at Nita Lake Lodge. The temperatures are breaking into the mid-20s, and slathering on SPF 15 on the lake-side deck, it seems that summer at the mountain is in full swing.
Located in the quiet Creekside just before Whistler Village, Nita Lake Lodge is the perfect resort for those not necessarily destined for the slopes. Sure, in the winter it’s a great place to station oneself (lockers are available onsite for grab-and-go skiing) but in the warmer months, Nita retains a full array of charms and sun-filled activities.
The 77-room property is a smaller-scale boutique hotel, more in tune for a quiet weekend away than a family affair. At Whistler’s only lakeside lodge, guests can take full advantage of glassy vistas in the lakeview two-bedroom suite. The two-level, 1,060-square-foot suite features floor-to-ceiling windows and a deck made for Prosecco sipping. The master tub also features its own water view, for those who prefer a bubble bath over bubbly.
Downstairs, at the recently re-launched Cure lounge and patio, a whole new selection of bites and drinks have been refreshed for an updated take on Canadian cuisine. Innovative cocktails such as the Smoked Sazerac with smoked ice, and a take on the Hemingway daiquiri named Hemingway’s Daughter, are standouts on the menu—perfect to take into the sun on the 80-seat patio. Midday nibbles like flatbread pizzas and organic beef burgers are classic accompaniments.
In time for the season, typically beginning in May, kayaks and canoes can be taken at leisure to explore Nita Lake. The glacier-fed water stays chilly even in the summer, but Nita’s soaking pool and hot tub fit the bill for a dip any time of year. If one prefers to stay on dry land, a 40-mile trail runs along the lake and the train tracks where the Rocky Mountaineer comes. In fact, if one so wishes, the train can be taken directly to Nita Lake Lodge from May to October—the quaint station is located right in the hotel.
Essential to the Nita Lake experience is The Spa, which offers a range of services such as pedicures, manicures, and massages including hot stone and the signature Kundalini. Focusing on chakra healing and alignment, the Kundalini treatment is a gentle, pressure-point massage—very unlike the typical Swedish deep-tissue. Instead, the focus is based along the spine and head. It’s a more meditative take on a typical spa treatment, and one that Vancouver yogis are sure to fully embrace. For before and after, there is a calming eucalyptus steam room.
Take that “om” straight to Aura Restaurant, where chef Dean Hossack presents a seasonally-focused menu based on, what else, local produce. Served this particular night is a fresh spring salad, roasted chicken (with amazingly crispy skin), and an Earl Grey chocolate pot de crème to finish. Looking over the lake, it’s a picture-perfect ending to a weekend full of sun, not a snowflake to be seen.