When it comes to winter playgrounds, it’s hard to beat the slopes of Fernie Alpine Resort in British Columbia, Canada. Found in the heart of the mountainous Kootenay region, the ski resort is based on the Lizard Range of the famed Canadian Rockies, and is a popular spot for snow seekers.
Its location just beyond the scenic Crowsnest Pass means powder hounds are able to drive there as a day trip from Calgary, but to enjoy a true city break it’s worth making a weekend of it and booking slopeside accommodation. Lizard Creek Lodge has an enviable position on the hill, making it the perfect ski-in/ski-out accommodation—not to mention its room configurations ranging from studios to three bedroom units, with full kitchens and stone fireplaces. Here are just a few of the perks of a slopeside stay at Lizard Creek Lodge.
Proximity to the Ski Hill
The biggest benefit of staying right on the ski hill is easy access to those first, fresh tracks. From the main complex at Lizard Creek Lodge, the Elk Quad chairlift is literally just steps away, meaning one can easily roll out of bed and glide onto the lift.
A day at Fernie Alpine Resort means navigating the 25-hundred acres of skiable terrain, carving through one of the five alpine bowls and tackling one of the biggest verticals in the Rockies—oh, and there’s also a skier cross course. Another benefit of staying slopeside? You’re already thisclose when it finally comes time for arguably the best part of the day: cozying up fireside for après–ski.
A long day spent swishing down the slopes means no guilt when it comes to calories—good thing too, because it’s hard to hold back when it comes to dining at Cirque Restaurant. The gorgeous space features sky-high ceilings, huge floor to ceiling windows that make the most of the surrounding mountain vistas, a roaring fireplace and stylish chandeliers.
Tuck into a plate of fresh oysters to start, then sample the savoury confit duck leg garnished with date puree, spinach and parsnip crisps. Other crowd pleasers include the cooked-to-perfection beef tenderloin, or elk ribeye served on a bed of polenta, carrots and potatoes.
Breakfast is also quite the event, featuring healthy options such as oatmeal or avocado toast with a side of poached egg, as well as traditional fare such as the classic bacon and eggs with heaping portions of tomato, mushrooms and toast.
The Ice Bar
Nothing says winter like hanging out in an ice bar, and Lizard Creek Lodge just so happens to be home to one of the only frozen lounges in the Canadian Rockies. Fernie’s Ice Bar is located in Cirque Restaurant, making it the perfect spot for some arctic après–ski.
Visitors bundle up in one of the Helly Hansen parkas which are provided (don’t forget your gloves!) then head through the dazzling entranceway into the polar pub. Shelves holding glistening bottles of vodka are carved into the ice blocks which make up the walls, and guests can choose from dozens of different brands and flavours served up by a private bartender. The subzero spirits are perfectly chilled, which seem to make the glacial libations even smoother.
WATCH: The Ice Bar in Fernie, B.C.
Since the novelty of spending the evening in what’s essentially a freezer tends to wear off once you can’t feel your fingers anymore, most people only spend about 20 minutes visiting the Ice Bar. The novel experience literally finishes off with a bang, as guests are invited to smash their glasses onto the floor after the final round—because naturally, they’re made entirely of ice!
Insider Tip: The Ice Bar is open year round, which makes it a pretty cool spot to seek respite from the summer heat.
In the mood for some R&R? Guests love the convenience of Névé Spa, which welcomes visitors with a steaming cup of fresh brewed tea and offers a range of services including warm stone massages, facials, manicures and pedicures. Even those who aren’t staying at the lodge can book in at the spa which is just steps away from the ski hill, and services include use of the hot pools.
Spa-goers are pampered with products made by Canada’s own Rocky Mountain Soap Co., which are 100 per cent natural and toxin free. As a bonus, those who book in for a Blissful Feet Therapy session (which includes a relaxing Epsom salt foot soak, relaxing sugar scrub and foot massage) receive a complimentary foot butter to take home with them. Spa-aah!
After a long day of shredding powder, there’s nothing better than a hot soak to relax tired muscles. Lizard Creek Lodge’s amenities include both an outdoor hot tub and large heated pool, which offer sweeping mountain views.
Lodge guests can also take advantage of free Wi-Fi, a fitness centre, and heated underground parking just steps away from the units which makes it easy to unload all that ski equipment. Those who arrived empty-handed will appreciate the convenience of the Sports Alpine Performance Rental Shop, which can be found in the lodge’s lower level.
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Globe Guide visited Lizard Creek Lodge in partnership with RCR. As always, hosts have no editorial influence on articles.