Living Travel:

The Magic of Whistler

Ice Cave images by Justa Jeskova

Additional review on A Hotel Life

The Calderones are decidedly an adventure-seeking family with extremist tendencies. The truth is, we all thrive in nature, pushing ourselves ever so slightly beyond the limit and engaging in a thrill-seeking activity together, just us three it is our time. It is when we truly connect, disconnected from work and friends and emails and social media and tutoring and deadlines and events and scheduling. You know, the busy urban life that pulls us in so many directions.

We snowboard in winter, we surf in spring, and we love to explore a new culture in the summer. That is, we used to. These past two years have been sans travel because of the renovation that has taken over our life and subsequently our finances, and it has kept us from any travel at all. It’s all for a very good cause, but nonetheless it’s meant we really needed some family time recently. Working on Cook Beautiful and the townhouse simultaneously had me in a tailspin of a hustle and admittedly my family focus waned at times. We needed a holiday, a reset, a grounding connection so we could laugh and play. Whistler provided just that at the start of 2018.

As we all know, I am a lover of all things delicious, so an epicurean focus is always at the forefront of my mind when we plan any trip. Whistler honestly has it all. It bears some of best culinary offerings in Canada. It also has not one, but two exceptional mountains to explore, the side-by-side Whistler and Blackcomb, which together form the largest ski acreage in North America. The area offers vast and challenging terrain, a little off-roading between the trees, which we love, a heli adventure opportunity to the top of a glacier with Head-line Mountain Holidays to explore the majestic hidden ice caves, and the cozy and intimate Nita Lake Lodge to decompress after it all.

This family holiday was rather sacred, so I will not go into too much detail, but I will most definitely outline my favorite activities, adventures, restaurants, and hotels for you. This holiday truly was epic and you should experience it in the same way!

Lunch for three atop an icecap at the southern tip of Whistler

Within the depths of the cave, vibrant shades of blue were revealed on the faceted ceiling and walls. It reminded me of a kaleidoscope — never have my eyes experienced beauty like this.


Nite Lake Lodge,  a little slice of heaven in the Creekside Village

The vast and serene glaciar-fed lake is Nita’s backyard.

Cure Lounge is the perfect Aprés Ski location + Fireside cozying up in our suite after a day on the slopes

NOT TO BE MISSED – Bar Oso’s Bourbon Maple Cocktail + The Scallop Crudo!

I SWOON SWOON SWOON everything about Il Caminetto



Nita Lake Lodge

We have been coming to Whistler for 15 years and only now have we found our tried-and-true hotel. We have stayed in condos in the main village but they were meh” on the bedding and amenities. We have tried well-known mainstays, but they were too large and stuffy. Nita Lake Lodge is a little slice of heaven in the Creekside Village, and on the most breathtaking glacier-fed lake that is vast and serene. It is a 4-star hotel with ample amenities and oversized suites with fireplaces overlooking that lake. For those worried about not being in the main village, no need to fret. Creekside has its own gondola so you are still slope-side, and Nita offers a shuttle every 30 minutes to take you to the base. The wellness-focused full service spa is dreamy, and Jivamukti yoga is onsite.

Aura Restaurant + Cure Bar

Newly-renovated Aura restaurant was spectacular. It offers seasonal local fare in a modern space. It also has an open kitchen, and I LOOOOOVED observing the chefs in action. The only downside was, the restaurant lighting was a little stark hopefully they get a dimmer and some candlelight. The resto only just opened the week we were there. Also, I really enjoyed the breakfast buffet in the a.m. before hitting the slopes. Cure Lounge & Patio in the lobby of the hotel was the perfect après-ski fix thanks to its oversized fireplace and an exceptional cocktail program. We even ate dinner in the bar one evening and experienced one of the best burgers I have devoured in recent years.

Head-line Mountain Holidays

Unlike anything I have ever encountered and certainly one of one of the most astonishing gifts of nature. Our Head-line Mountain Holidays adventure began as we soared by helicopter to a rare ice cap at the southernmost tip of Whistler to explore a vast and evolving landscape of ice and snow. Amid the icy terrain, bobcat tracks were brought to our attention. Beneath the powder we entered a swirling and cavernous underground cathedral carved by glacial waters. It was a hidden frozen wonderland that shifted and changed with every step, refracting light through the shards of ice that stretched from floor to ceiling.  The sight, the science, the nature, the wildlife, the thrill, and the gourmet lunch atop the icecap on sheepskins are simply not to be missed!

Bearfoot Bistro

For Whistler’s best tasting menu, The Bearfoot Bistro is your spot. The food is top notch, created by a highly revered and awarded top chef, who happens to be female! We were invited to the massive wine cellar to explore, and to saber a bottle of champagne, essentially hacking off the tip of a champagne bottle with a saber in one clean cut. Jivan was up for the challenge and now, at 15, has most certainly learned his tried-and-true party trick! After sabering, we were given Expedition Canadian Goose coats for the far-below-freezing temps so we could more comfortably enter the (literally) frozen Ketel One Ice Room. After that boozy vodka experience, tableside ice cream was made using dry ice, which yielded the creamiest ice cream this lady has ever encountered.

Oso Tapas + Bar

Not to be missed! Experience Oso’s stylish yet super intimate space and authentic Spanish tapas. Sit at the bar to see Chef Jorge Muñoz Santos in action as he creates the tastiest dishes in the teeniest behind-the-bar kitchen. Hands down the best cocktail I have ever sipped is the Oso Sour, a maple bacon bourbon sour, by bar manager Jason Redmond. Also, promise me you will get the wild scallop crudo, an award-winning dish Chef Jorge whipped up for the San Pellegrino Young Chef competition.

Il Caminetto

This place is an institution and was recently taken over by the chef and team that oversees Araxi and Bar Oso. It offers beautifully renovated, elegant, modern décor and is hands-down one of the best classic Italian meals I have had in Canada. We devoured a chef tasting from Chef James Walt that included arancini, burrata and squash, the most decadent mushroom and truffle risotto, and a mouth-watering rib eye. Il Caminetto is a necessary place to dine in Whistler.

Rocky Mountain Candy

In all of my years at Whistler I don’t think I have ever not ended my day on the mountain at Rocky Mountain for their plethora of caramel apple options. I mean, the possibilities are endless. I go classic with caramel and crushed almonds, but Victor and Jivan explore toasted coconut, rocky road, chocolate with espresso, fudge, chocolate-dipped marshmallows, and any other confectionery concoction you can dream of. This is an institution, in my opinion!


The BEST on-mountain dining you can or will ever experience. Help yourself to Christine’s top-notch fare in your ski gear as you look over the vista of Blackcomb and beyond. I devoured the vegetable curry and Jivan’s beef cheeks were simply to die for so beautifully presented that this swooner was absolutely swooning. Make a reservation because she gets booked up quickly. She is that good!

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