Recently, we spent a few glorious days at Blue Mountain Resort. As luck would have it, it snowed right before we arrived so we got a chance to enjoy fresh powdery snow. Toronto is having a bit of a warm winter with no snow so this was a real treat. I was happy to be invited back to Blue Mountain resort, we were there in the fall and loved it. If you have ever wondered what Blue Mountain Village is like in winter, I’m here to tell you it is a dream come true.
As we were travelling with our two little ones, whose minds change quickly about what they want to do, it was important to us to have lots of options outside of skiing. To be honest, I became a bit of a chicken after having kids and have not been on skis or a snowboard for over 8 years. I am happy to report that Blue Mountain Village did not disappoint!
What do do
There is so much to do on the resort from Crock A Doodle, to walking around the picturesque village, to Plunge! indoor aquatic centre. If you love to treat yourself at the spa you have to stop by Iwa spa which provides a variety of treatments from massages to Ganban’yoku ( Gan•Ban) volcanic rock therapy. It was my second time doing the Gan•Ban therapy and I always notice that I feel much better afterwards.
If you already like snow, this is the place that winter dreams about. If you want to go away for a few days and you are not big into skiing but think you might want to try, this is the place to do it. I was very impressed with the quantity and variety of the rentals available. Snowshoes, ski boots, snowboards, and helmets – this place has got you covered.
To ski or not to ski
Between the four of us, there was no question that hubby would be spending a lot of time on the slopes. He used to be a ski patrol and his ability and mine are polar opposites. For him all he needed to hear was that we were going to Blue Mountain for a few days and he started dreaming of skiing. Me? I love snow and winter, but since the kids came along, I preferred to spend my outdoor time trekking through the snow on snow shoes, or gliding along on cross country skis. I did not see myself downhill skiing again. What changed? Lessons.
Lessons made a HUGE difference in my comfort level and confidence. My body naturally remembered certain things, and others I needed to work on again. Now I can’t wait to get back out there and even look forward to being able to ski with hubby next year. I’ll be continuing my lessons to improve my skills.
I’m going to talk about safety for a minute. If you have little ones I know you agree with me about how important their safety is. Sometimes though, we don’t always apply the same rules to ourselves. I liked that Blue Mountain Rentals have a strict approach on safety for everyone doing lessons. So much so that they offer rental of helmets for the whole family. I was speaking with the staff, and was told that all individuals doing lessons must wear a helmet. Since the 4 year old was doing lesson separately form the 8 year old. I felt comfortable knowing that the staff was following all the safety protocols and I could focus on my own lessons.
Personally, I liked that there were sufficient lockers, and was very impressed with the ski valet offering. No need to go back and forth to your room to store your equipment. We left our valuables in the lockers while on the slopes, then left our gear with the ski valet and could go to lunch, or the spa, and back on the slopes. I loved the seamless process that the combination of lockers and ski valet provided.
Where to Stay
There are quite a few options of places to stay at Blue Mountain Resort, the most luxurious of which is the Westin Trillium House. Along with the view, comfort, and elegance of the Westin Trillium House, it is also conveniently located with everything you need accessible without having to step outside if you don’t want to. Oliver and Bonacini , which I think is the best restaurant in the village is located on the main floor of the Westin, and Plunge! is accessible with access off the third floor. Iwa Spa, the slopes, and the village are each less than a 2-minute walk.
In my opinion, the next best place to stay in the Mosaic which is located right in the village. There are no restaurants in this building, but there is one attached to it, and there is an indoor and outdoor heated pool. Best part? It has indoor access to Iwa Spa.
The Inn is the most economical option, and also houses Jozo’s Bar, the Pottery restaurant, and has an indoor pool. The Inn is about a 10 minute walk from the village but with the ease of the shuttle getting around in seamless, and you don’t ever have to drive after checking in if you don’t want to.
The people at Blue Mountain make the experience even more wonderful. The customer service is excellent! The best part is everyone treats you like making your day amazing brings them joy. This is not the only time I noticed this. We were there last October for a conference and had the same service.
Above and beyond
It wouldn’t be a trip without some hiccup right? Well hubby and I had a bit of a misunderstanding about picking up our 8 year old. They were running late with snowboarding lessons for the 4 year old and I had to get to the spa for a treatment. I thought we had agreed for him to get her at the spa at 12:35. My massage was booked for 12:30, what’s five minutes right? I go into the massage and come back out an hour later, and she is STILL there. The staff at the spa didn’t just ignore her, or interrupt my massage to let me know she had not been picked up. Instead they gave her a little manicure and tea, and a cookie. They did not have to do this. They chose to allow me to have a relaxing experience and much needed massage, and also chose to make my daughter feel good, and not be bored for an hour while she waited to be picked up.
During this time my 4 year old had fallen asleep in the room and hubby couldn’t leave to pick her up. I still had one treatment left. Rather than me getting dressed and bringing her to the room, one of the staff members offered to bring her over to the room so I could do my treatment. Again they did not have to do any of this. They did not owe me anything – it is just one of the experiences that show just how much everyone at Blue Mountain Resort is focused on making sure their guests are having a great time. I am so grateful to the staff at Iwa Spa for turning what could have been a very unpleasant situation into something that was the highlight of my daughter’s trip.
Things to make your visit easier
With everything there is always room for improvement. If you are planning to use the rentals, do yourself a favour, and enter your information in the computers before you line up. You must enter your information each day – it isn’t stored.
When to go
If you can manage it, I recommend a Sunday or Monday start and ending mid-week. I loved the fact that we avoided the crowds on the hill for lessons, and we avoided traffic both ways. Going mid-week adds a bit more relaxation and comfort to the trip. Hubby & I took a day off work, we pulled the kids out of school for two days and it was the best decision for us. Oh, and the prices are a bit lower mid-week. That’s a win/win for me.
Whenever you do go, relax and enjoy! Blue is that awesome-sauce that makes winter even more fun.
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