Destination Dispatches: GranFondo and a Grand Time with the Family at Four Seasons Resort Whistler

Guest Editor:
- Carrie Harrison-Ell, Senior Vice President of Hotel Programs for Kiwi Collection and mother of three; she is an expert on family travel. Carrie’s not-so-secret pleasures include: romantic trips to Siena, wine and cheese pairings and everything about the Mayan Riviera.

My husband rode in the 2012 GranFondo, a 122 kilometer bike race from Vancouver to Whistler, British Columbia. With our three kids in tow, I decided to drive ahead, get checked in at Four Seasons Resort Whistler and wait for him to cross the finish line.

The check-in process was extremely smooth (something every mother traveling alone can appreciate). We had several bellmen assist us with our luggage, and received a thorough introduction to the hotel by the front desk clerk. In honor of the GranFondo, the hotel was offering special lunch and dinner barbeques along with live entertainment.

This was just the start, there were many more highlights.

The special treats
Four Seasons really knows how to wow kids, and in turn, wow parents. We had the opportunity to spend time by the pool where we received complimentary poolside treats: freezies, frozen fruit skewers, and—my favourite—Gatorade snow cones in keeping with the GranFondo theme. The kids also enjoyed the barbeque menu, which included chicken fingers and hotdogs for them to enjoy between swims.

However, the best treat was yet to come: before bed, three freshly-baked giant chocolate chip cookies with their names on them were delivered to our door. It reminded us of our Four Seasons experience in Punta Mita where the kids also received personalized goodies.

The room
Our junior suite at Four Seasons Resort Whistler was a highlight for us. The best part was the view. One side of our room overlooked the pool, while the other overlooked the restaurant patio where the barbeque activities were taking place.

The activities (for adults and kids)
The Four Seasons Whistler Resort is a quick walk away from the Olympic Plaza, an ideal location for numerous reasons. Aside from the GranFondo’s finish line, Olympic Plaza also hosts Whistler’s live music venue, which sits in front of the children’s playground. My husband and I were able to listen to live entertainment while the kids tired themselves out on the Olympic-themed playground.

The departure time
I was particularly impressed at the busy departure time especially since every other person had a bike. In our case, we not only received assistance with attaching the bike to the car rack, but with our chariot-sized stroller as well.

Another nice touch was when the valet handed out chilled water bottles for our drive home and sprayed the interior of our car with a fresh lemon scent. Why would I be so excited about a lemon scent? I failed to mention we had a car-sick kid on the way up. Mom had cleaned that well, but the air freshener made things that much better. Thank you for noticing Four Seasons!

The follow-up
Halfway home to Vancouver we realized, to my daughter’s dismay, we’d left her treasured teddy bear in our room. The tears were flowing until I reached the hotel by phone and was reassured that they would have her bear sent home to Vancouver at no cost to us. That’s what I call family friendly!

Read more about Whistler:
Check-in: Four Seasons Whistler
Inside My Carry-on: Whistler Weekender
Destination Dispatches: Whister Ski and Snowboard Festival Weekend
City Travel Guide: Whistler to Win Her Over

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