My wife, my 16 year old daughter and myself spent a week there in February 2009. Can’t say enough good things about the hotel and especially Whistler. It was a terrific week and the Pan Pacific Village was a great place to be based during the week. My thoughts follow.
We stayed at Pan Pacific Village Centre. There are actually two Pan Pacific hotels in Whistler, the Village Centre and Mountainside. We choose the Village Centre due to the suite availability as well as the complimentary continental breakfast. Both hotels are in the main Whistler Village area with Mountainside right at the base of major chair lifts providing ski in/ski out while Village Centre is a sort walk away. Both very convenient.
The hotel is extremely nice and we would stay there again. We were in a one bedroom suite. It’s approximately 550 sf. It was perfect my daughter stayed on a fold out bed in the living/dining room combination and we were in the bedroom. There is a full kitchen and a breakfast bar along with one full bath.
The staff could not be nicer. The breakfast service is family and kid friendly, nothing specifically yet more than adequate. It lasts from 7:00am to 10:00am. The hotel also has a one hour complimentary cocktail hour. Also, there was free wireless internet; not something that is often complimentary in hotel of the sort as Pan Pacific. Loved it.
Another feature that I noticed while in town was the the Pan Pacific web page had contact information on all senior staff of the hotel including email addresses. I contacted the general manager about a recommendation and got a reply the next day. Very impressive.
The hotel was at the edge of Whistler Village, across from Earl’s restaurant and a stone’s throw from one the Starbucks coffee shops in the village. Loved the location. It was close to everything, but there was never any noise during the night that would wake anybody up.
The village was terrific. Shopping and restaurants for anybody on any budget were available. It was a true European Ski Village design with all car traffic on the perimeter and the interior limited to foot traffic. This was super, very appealing visually, and lead to a terrific community environment. Walking everywhere was easy and if a ride anywhere was needed the hotel had complimentary transportation available, which we used a few times.
Whistler will hit anybody on any budget,but it can be pricey. However there are terrific choices at all price points. Even thought we were prepared for this the first night in Whistler took us by surprise as it was the Sunday of Presidents Day weekend and even though there were not many Americans there, it was still very busy. We shopped in the nearby grocery store and cooked in our room. We did try out some restaurants, had a wide array of dining experiences and I’ll briefly discuss below.
Our first place we went to was Barefoot Bistro. We would recommend it highly. My wife booked our dinner several months in advance as it had terrific reviews. We were not disappointed. It’s a very authentic place with a chef who’s 29 years old (Melisa Craig) and was named the #1 chef in Canada for 2008. The menu was truly unique. My wife and I both had a crab appetizer that had the crab prepared in three separate ways; crab roll, fried, and liquid. I had the game (caribou, onyx, and bear while my daughter had lobster ravioli and Karen had the beef tenderloin. For desert, I had the chocolate soufflé and my wife had a deconstructive banana split and my daughter had the white chocolate. My wife had a local BC wine and I had the sommelier pair three separate wines with each course. It was a terrific dining experience and truly fun and unique.
For some more casual meals we ate at Earl’s across from our hotel. My wife had lunch there two days, I had lunch there one day and my daughter and I had dinner there one night. They have a low-calorie clam chowder that my wife had each lunch and my daughter and I split. My daughter and I had ribs, which were tasty. It was good.
Our other major dinner was Opera. It was very good. We sampled it on the tasting tour and had a prior reservation, and were happy we did. My daughter and my wife split a special seafood pasta dish and I had the local BC halibut, which was excellent. We very much recommend the restaurant.
Another casual restaurant we went to was Pasta LaPinno. This was across from Elements restaurant and the Summit hotel a small walk from our hotel. The restaurant was super; a little hole in the wall and very reasonable. My wife had minestrone and pasta and I had a roasted squash soup and spaghetti and meatballs. Both were excellent. The restaurant makes their own pasta and sauce and both were terrific.
Transportation and Access
We took a non-stop flight from Chicago to Vancouver on United. Once we landed in Vancouver we took a coach bus directly to Whistler as well as on the return. We did not rent a car and were happy we did not. We took the bus directly from the Vancouver Airport to Whistler. This was terrific. Dropped us right at our front door. Though there were perhaps a few activities that a car might have been nice for, a car is unnecessary and when needed our hotel provided car service. Customs in the Vancouver International Airport was fine, cordial and not very intrusive.
Attitudes of People.
One of the nicest elements of being in Whistler was the people. I’m not sure if it was travelling there during a major economic slowdown, which made folks appreciate their job even more or the combination of Canadian, Australian, English and others that made it so appealing. Folks were generally very nice. As mentioned, the hotel staff was terrific. Staff at restaurants was extremely nice and everybody we ran into was very pleasant. The Canadians we met were especially pleasant. I’m not sure if it’s western elements or being Canadian, but we enjoyed this time in Whistler and especially the people.
Whistler is a mecca for activities. Frankly, it’s a fantasy land. We stayed in Whistler Village which is the best lodging option due to its proximity to restaurant and shops. All auto traffic takes place on the perimeter and the interior is for foot traffic and takes the look of a European Village. It’s exceptionally charming and has a wide variety of restaurants, bars, stores and all commercial activities that fronts on what is called the “Village Stroll”. Walks through the village were fun. However, it was weird seeing many people drinking or eating al fresco when it was in the 30’s or colder outside. I guess that’s what alcohol and irresponsibility will do for you!
My daughter either skied or snowboarded every day. I skied 5 of 6 days there. Skiing was terrific and our days developed a nice routine. My daughter took a full day lesson each day. I walked her to her lesson, came back and worked the morning and had breakfast and then skied during the afternoon. We met for a long last run for two days.
The other major activity outside of skiing that we participated in was The Whistler Tasting Tour. I would not classify us as foodies, but this was terrific fun. Along with another family, we met for a drink and appetizers at the Fairmont Mallard lounge. We then tried Elements where we had British Columbia salmon, Après where we had stuffed ravioli with sausage, Quattro where we had a great lamb chop, stopped at Rogers’s chocolate where we had a chocolate truffle and then went to Mountain Club where we had a triple chocolate cake. Each course was paired with a local British Columbia wine. It was great.
I’m not certain when I’ll be back, but it may be in the summer. Speaking with a local, he mentioned a saying that I’ll remember about Whistler. “Skiing is what get’s you there, but the summers are what bring you back.” There were more winter activities that could have been done by us such as snowmobile, snow show walks, sleigh rides, heli skiing, zip lining, snow tubing, etc, but we stuck to the basic skiing. My goal was to leave Whistler just as a came, without any casts, broken bones, etc and I was very successful in my goal.
We all enjoyed the trip. Our cell phones worked terrific, it was great to travel on solely Pacific time zone where it was easy to work for a few hours each day, skiing was terrific, food was great and the entire travel and hotel worked out very good. In short, was a very pleasant week and skiing was solely a part of what made being there truly wonderful.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.