Insider, local knowledge is key if you’re looking to tick off all the must-do activities, see all the highlights and have an authentic experience on your next ski trip. Locals are chock full of ideas and inspiration to make your ski trip unforgettable, so who better to tap for insider guidance, than the local lodging concierges? That’s why we’ve created a new Ski.com Blog series: Concierge Conversations, where you can glean great destination-based tips and recommendations and learn a bit more about some of the area’s top lodging options.
We tapped Chef Concierge, Stephen Baumbert, who’s been at the Westin Resort & Spa Whistler in Whistler, B.C. for 15 years, to answer a couple questions about his favorite aspects of his homebase and place of work.
A few of Stephen’s favorite things
Ski.com: What drew you to Whistler, B.C. originally and what has kept you there?
SB: The hospitality industry and the love of snowboarding.
Ski.com: What are your three favorite things to do at Whistler in the winter?
SB: Snowboarding, playing hockey on the lakes and relaxing at the Scandinave Spa.
Ski.com: In your opinion, what are some secrets or lesser known facts/attributes about Whistler that visitors should know?
SB: That you can ski until mid-July! After most of the mountain closes at the end of May, the Blackcomb Glacier re-opens form early June until mid-July.
Ski.com: What are some secrets or lesser known facts/attributes about the Westin Resort & Spa Whistler?
SB: The Westin Resort & Spa has the best views in Whistler Village from the patio of our onsite restaurants, The Grill and Vine Restaurant. It’s a secret because you can’t see it from the village street level. Our restaurants combine these great views with a local ‘farm to table’ culinary experience.
Ski.com: If you could only ski or ride one run at Whistler Blackcomb for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
SB: The Dave Murray Downhill—it’s fast, steep and great groomed or in powder.
Ski.com: When guests ask you for the local’s scoop on après-ski/dining/nightlife what do you recommend and why?
SB: For après, Dusty’s is my favorite [located in Creekside Village]. They have a great BBQ menu (ribs, pulled pork etc.) with live music on the weekends.
Ski.com: When guests ask you for recommendations for family experiences what’s your go-to itinerary and don’t-miss spots/restaurants and why?
SB: Skiing to the Tree Fort on Whistler or Magic Castle on Blackcomb is always a hit with the kids. After skiing, take them to the outdoor ice rink at the Olympic Plaza for a skate or to the Tube Park for a slide. For dinner, I would recommend The Westin’s Grill & Vine, 21 Steps or Caramba—all will please adults and kids alike.
Ski.com: When guests ask you for recommendations for upscale experiences what’s your go-to itinerary and don’t-miss spots/restaurants and why?
SB: I would always start off with après at the Bearfoot Bistro for oysters or fondue (and a visit in their vodka ice room!). Then head for dinner at Araxi, enjoying their culinary delights from around the Pacific Northwest. Then, finally taking a short walk to Bar Oso to finish the evening with a craft cocktail.
Ski.com: What winter event or time of ski season do you look forward to most and why?
SB: The World Ski and Snowboard Festival. It’s the last hoorah of the ski season, and is held every year toward the end of April. Aside from the skiing and snowboarding competitions, the festival has a ton of music, art, film and photo events that, in my opinion, are the best part of the festival.
Ski.com: What do you think makes your property popular?
SB: Our location is second to none. When you exit the Westin, you are steps from access up Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain and at one end of Whistler Village.
Ready to book your stay at the Westin Resort & Spa Whistler in Whistler, B.C.? Our 70 Mountain Travel Experts are standing by for your call at 800-610-8911. You can also get started by filling out a form for a free custom quote.
Director of SEO + Content
Originally from the icy trails of New Jersey, I moved West to pursue powder and a career in writing and editing. Now living in Aspen, Colo. and working for Ski.com as Director of SEO + Content, I've been able to combine a litany of skills, passions and interests. You'll find me skiing at Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands in the winter and mountain biking at Snowmass in the summer.