BY MARK KEAST

Whistler’s awards, ratings and rankings as a world-class ski destination are too numerous to count. The fact many of those surveys are the opinions and feedback from people who have traveled there and experienced it is the most telling. Nestled in B.C.’s spectacular Coast Mountains, just two hours from Vancouver, Whistler features ski and snowboard runs on two mountains, connected to a bustling village, with quaint and quality restaurants and bars, and shopping.

The variety and quality of accommodation also plays a big part in Whistler’s popularity. Airbnb’s “Luxe” homes are their five-star category properties, factoring in location, space, design, privacy, amenities and service, and it’s telling again that the only Canadian-based homes in this exclusive Airbnb category of world-wide properties are located in Whistler.

So if you are planning a ski trip there, here are the current Top 5 “wish-listed” Whistler properties (where Airbnb members can keep track of homes they like), along with the nightly rate, all according to Airbnb:

WHISTLER SLOPESIDE

A contemporary ski chalet near Village Run, sleeps ten guests, with four bedrooms and four bathrooms. Features include a balcony hot tub that rises above the tree tops, vaulted ceilings and over-sized windows. Current nightly rate is $1,850.

HUNTINGFORD LODGE

A glass-walled ski retreat right in the heart of Kadenwood forest, this sleek luxury property will host up to 12 guests, with five bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms. Features include a fire pit and hot tub on the deck, with jaw-dropping views, overlooking the Tantalus Mountains.  Located just 50 yards from the nearest ski slope, glass walls allow you to take in the views next to a wood-burning fire place, 12-set dining room table, and gym. Current nightly rate is $6,500.

HIGH POINT

A picturesque, contemporary ski-in and ski-out mountain chalet, located just one minute from the Kadenwood gondola. This home sleeps 14, with seven bedrooms, and 5.5 baths. A popular feature is being able to cozy up next to the outdoor fireplace and heat lamps to take in the night time stars, or soaking in the al-fresco hot tub. Sleek furnishings, vaulted ceilings and stone fireplace, the master bedroom has a king bed and its own balcony and fireplace. Current nightly rate is $6,000.


ANCIENT CEDARS

A contemporary chalet located close to Kadenwood gondola, this home sleeps 14 guests, with seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms. Situated in an exclusive Kadenwood neighbourhood, with ski-in, ski-out access to the slopes, heated patio to enjoy the forest and mountain views year-round, the home has a great room framed in wood and glass, a perfect gathering place for friends and family. Ancient Cedars has three bedrooms with king beds, including one master bedroom with a honeymoon-suite-inspired lounge area and private terrace. The current nightly rate is $5,000.

TRAILS END

Are we perhaps saving the best for last? Guests can ski down a private run to Kadenwood Gondola at this mountain lodge. The home comes equipped with a chef’s kitchen and BBQ, a fireplace area enveloped by floor-to-ceiling windows for panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, a hot tub and sauna if guests want to warm up and chill after a day of skiing, maybe enjoy a glass of wine. Whistler Village, Excalibur, and Wizard Express ski lifts are all within 11 kilometres as well. The home sleeps 15, with six bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms. The current nightly rate is $6,500.

Images courtesy Airbnb.