You’ve a couple of weeks off school and a lovely long bank holiday weekend – but that’s not all that makes Easter one of our favourite times to ski Canada… Resorts are brimming with EGGciting things like egg hunts and Easter Sunday Brunches; the slopes are usually ship shape for springtime skiing, and with clearer skies, the views of the Rockies will blow your ski socks off.
Chalets with hosts and chalet catering aren’t as easily found in Canada as they are in France. But if you’re happy with a slightly different meal plan, you’ll find some lovely chalet-like accommodation that work wonderfully for springtime ski holidays.
Guests spending Easter at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge can stay in chalets and log cabins dotted around the main lodge – the whole place is huddled in 1000 acres of glorious woodland giving it a really cosy feel, while housekeeping and nearby restaurants take care of the chores.
A lot of resorts have self-catered condos, which are generally roomier than European apartments, with your own space to relax in at the end of the day. Many even come with open fireplaces and hot tubs for added comforts often found in traditional chalets. The Rocky Mountain Resort Condos near Banff were built in wooden chalet style; they also come with their own lounge and cooking areas, which you can use as much or as little as you like without having to share with other chalet guests.
By far, the most easy-to-find accommodation in Canada is hotels, and if you’re happy to book a hotel room instead, you’ll often find a lot more choice when it comes to which resorts are available.
Spending Easter in one of Canada’s ski apartments makes the week fabulously flexible. There are no meal plans included, so you can cook your own nosh, eat out all week or do a bit of both. The best thing about self-catering in Canada is that apartments – or condo’s - are often bigger than the ones you find in Europe, many having proper lounge areas with fireplaces. A lot of them are connected to hotels, so you get to use facilities like spas and pools as well as having your own home from home in the mountains.
Pick yours in a great location and everything’s even more convenient – the Marriott Residence Inn Apartments are about 150m from the village centre in Mont Tremblant’s Old Town. Over in Banff, the Inns of Banff Apartments are on the town’s main thoroughfare, Banff Avenue (and a lot of them look right onto the glorious Rocky Mountains).
Whistler’s terrific at this time of year, with snow sure slopes and a lively town making it a bit hit for Easter holidays. You’ll find all kinds of apartments, from the Blackcomb Village Condo’s just steps from the slopes at the foot of the Blackcomb Mountain to the Whistler Village Condo’s slap bang in the centre of resort.
There’s a lot of choice when it comes to Canada’s ski hotels at Eastertime – whether you like yours with no frills or all the trimmings.
For Easter skiing on a shoestring, you’ll find a bundle of 2 and 3 star hotels acting as comfy crash pads. The Fernie Slopeside Lodge is in the centre of the Alpine Village a short walk from the lifts, while Chateau Jasper is in the middle of downtown Jasper with the ski bus right outside.
The warmer weather brings clearer skies and fabulous views, and sights simply don’t get better than the ones from the Fairmont Château Lake Louise. It sits right on the lakeside, surrounded by thick forests and the peaks of the Rockies. The only close contender is its sister hotel Fairmont Banff Springs, which was built in the style of a baronial Scottish Castle and peers regally over the National Park. Both regularly appear in lists of the best hotels in Canada, if not the world, making them a fabulous choice for some late season luxury.
If the snow is a top priority, Whistler’s slopes usually have the finest conditions at this time of year. Stay in the Coast Blackcomb Suites which are on the same mountain as the Horstman Glacier (where slopes are so snow sure, they’re still skiable in the summer!).