Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sea to Sky in Style

Vancouver is Gay-Fabulous!

I don't know where to begin - and it's not like this is my first time to Vancouver, Whistler and Vancouver Island. There is just so much to say - and others have described it so well that I'm going to paraphrase...

  • From crisp mountain mornings to spectacular seaside sunsests, Canada is all about variety.
  • The key to this great country (where gays and lesbians can legally marry) is to tap into its diversity.
  • No matter if you're a ZipTrek thrill seeker, massage/spa/yoga hedonist or an avid photographer, you're not likely to be disappointed.
No tourists wanted. Come to explore and Travel Gay Canada.

This (frequent) visitor's choice is British Columbia and the host cities of the 2010 Winter Olympics -
Vancouver and Whistler.

I was on my way here for a travel conference and expo when I met the sales rep for Four Seasons Resort at Whistler in my NYC travel agency. I accepted his offer to check out Canada's only AAA Five Diamond Resort in a New York minute! An Olympics buff, I wanted to see for myself where the events will be taking place and buy some souvenirs with the Olympic emblem and Whistler logo. TH\he Four Seasons is nestled beneath the legendary Blackcomb Mountain (loved by elite skiers the world over). The peak was covered with fresh white-sugar powder upon arrival for a picture postcard photo opp.

Dean Nelson, Mr. Whistler, gave me a personal tour of the village which is host to the annual Gay Ski Week which Dean's company produces.

Together, we joined other international bloggers on a VIP tour of the Four Seasons, led by their savvy PR manager, Elena, who I learned spent sometime in Melbourne Australia at the same time I was living downunder. I was glad she encouraged me to book a relaxing treatment in the spa the night before; great relaxation room with a view of the heated outdoor pool and hot tub.

After my hearty breakfast, I was ready for the tour of the resort's beautiful grounds and interior ambience - with a deetour to the golf course across the street. (My night before dinner at the award-winning bistro - where breakfast was also served - was incredible and lived-up to its reputation.)

Whistler Mountain and Whistler Village (which reminded me of my hometown Aspen) combines the pleasures of a winter wonderland with superb golf and wilderness activities in the warmer months. If you haven't been, don't wait till 2010!

Right now, the olympic venues and village are 2.5 hours from YVR International Airport - but the highway is being reworked to save an hour. The construction will be done well before 2010, so local skiers can get up to the slopes quicker for practice before qualifying for the games.

My recommendation if you're going between Whistler and Vancouver or the airport is to use Perimeter Whistler Express for an easy, comfortable ride in a clean private coach. Alternatively, the Whislter Mountaineer rail trip for $185 is worth it if you want to ride for 3 hours in an observatgory car for the sea to sky views like no where else! Of course, if you own your own floatplane or have a private helicopter, you can get there that way too. Rocky Mountain High!

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