It’s easier than you think to find really great Whistler deals. We’d love to share with you some tips and tricks on not only how to book, but also when to book.
Armed with this insider knowledge, we hope you’re able to maximise some Whistler deals and look forward to the mountain adventure of your dreams. So without further ado, here’s how and when to book for the best value!
How To Book – Direct Is Best!
You may be tempted to book after seeing third-party Whistler deals or a sponsored Google search result. However, it’s worth remember that the best available rate is typically guaranteed when you book direct. If it’s not? Hey, tell the reservations agent that you found a better deal elsewhere! I’m sure they’ll swiftly match the rate. Or tell them that you’re a BC resident and bag 20% off the best available rate, for example.
Another benefit to booking direct is that you have more flexibility in terms of cancelations, modifications, and refunds. More often than not, the hotel is unfortunately not able to alter your reservation if it was made via Expedia, for example.
Whistler Deals – Be Flexible
Another pro to booking direct is that you can scope out opportunity for savings. Having flexibility in your dates allows you to ask the reservations agent about business levels. If you’re looking to book for winter, ask them when the hotel is quietest. You could even narrow that query down and ask when the hotel is quietest in January. Hotels typically drop their rates for dates with lower demand – think midweek, during school term, away from public holidays etc.
Also, don’t be afraid to barter your own Whistler deals. We’re not talking cash; but rather amenities and services. If you’ve booked during a quiet time, the hotel may consider providing you with a complimentary upgrade, for example, or a complimentary early check-in/late check-out. These are things that have a relatively low impact on the business but a huge effect on your stay!
When To Book – As Early As Possible
There are such a thing as “Early Booking Discounts”, which essentially reward the guest for planning ahead. In the industry, we call these “long-lead bookings” and, boy, did COVID do a number on them! Travelers are waiting until the last minute to book their trip and we get it – travel is at the mercy of Government restrictions and things can literally change overnight.
Early booking Whistler deals may be as much as 30% off the best available rate, which certainly makes them enticing! Just be sure to double-check the cancellation policy and you’re golden.
Whistler Deals – Shoulder Season
Whistler is a resort town and as such it experiences “Shoulder Seasons”. These are periods of time in the year where visitation drops slightly and the Village quietens. It’s the perfect opportunity for you to take advantage of some Whistler deals! And not just in terms of accommodation; dining and activities all have great offers too! It really is a win/win.
But when is the Shoulder Season, you ask? Spring and Autumn are typically your time to pounce. If we were looking to book, we’d be looking at dates in October and up to mid-November (when the mountain opens). Just avoid a couple days either side of Canadian and U.S. Thanksgiving – to be sure.
How To Book – Stay longer and save
You may only be in it for the short haul; but if you’re looking at a longer getaway, it’s worth asking about “long stay discounts”. Some hotels bracket these savings in increments, for example: Stay 3-4 nights & Save 15% or Stay 7+ nights & Save 30%.
TOP TIP: When looking at Whistler deals and hotels, be sure to consider hidden expenses. Charges like “Resort Fees” and “Mandatory Valet” (yes – it exists in Whistler!) are charged per night and quickly add up during a longer stay!
How About Other Whistler Deals? – Dining, Activities, etc.
As we touched on earlier, the Shoulder Season is primetime for offers and discounts at Whistlers restaurants, bars, and hotels. It’s during the Fall Shoulder Season that we welcome the Turkey Sale, too (Canadian Thanksgiving). This is your opportunity to bag a bargain from one of Whistler’s many ski and bike stores or mountain outfitters.
Towards the end of the Fall Shoulder Season, we welcome Cornucopia, too – a resort-wide culinary celebration with all of Whistler’s eateries vying for your attention. Deals vary from 3-course prix fixe menus, such as 3-courses for $39, to incredible 5-course wine pairing extravaganzas for $179 per person.
In terms of activities, a really great resource is Tourism Whistler. Check out their website and/or follow @GoWhistler on Instagram to be kept up to date with Whistler deals. TOP TIP: Check out Tourism Whistler’s incredible Whistler activity combos, which allow you to package up and save.
Whistler Deals – Further Advice We have a couple of other articles, which you may find useful when searching for Whistler deals. If you’re looking specifically for a hotel, read Top Tips On Finding Great Value Accommodation. If you’re considering a trip during the fall, check out our blog on Things To Do In The Shoulder Season. We tough on our recommended Instagrammable moments, Craft Beer Month, and eagle viewing!