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Ski, Sleep & Repeat
By John Bowden
It’s going on three months now that Nelson is looking like a snow globe. The forecasts for La Niña were bang on - it’s been dumping consistently since mid-December, with no end in sight.
The skiing has been all kinds of awesome at Whitewater Ski Resort. Stories of unreal powder days can be heard in the bustling pubs and streets of downtown. The energy is wickedly contagious.
With the calendar flipping over to March, and more snow in the forecast, there’s no better time to pack your bags for the Kootenays.
It’s also a great time to spend a few nights at some of Nelson’s most prominent accommodations and enjoy their recent renovations.
The historic Hume Hotel has been hard at work renovating their rooms and adding a boutique spa. The rooms still retain their heritage charm while offering modern amenities and a stylish feel. Plus, the hotel boasts some of the most happening dining options in town.
Situated on one of Nelson’s most prominent locations, the Baker Street Inn completed improvements earlier this winter. Their rooms are tastefully modern and a good bet for those seeking a comfortable stay in the heart of town.
Sitting on the edge of Kootenay Lake, the Prestige Resort is also undergoing upgrades. With over 100 rooms, it’s the largest hotel in town, and offers all the services (including a pool and hot tub) that you could ask for. The view from the lakeside rooms is unbeatable. Ask for a room on the 3rd floor if you'd like an extra level of elegance. And don’t miss dining at Yesaki or the West Coast Grill on site.
If you’re looking for something a little more intimate, check out the highly rated Cloudside Hotel. Previously operating as a popular bed & breakfast, the local owners have added a couple of additional rooms to this charming property. Although breakfasts are no longer included, it now gives you the chance to sample a variety of local favorites and flavours out the front door.
There are plenty of other great accommodation options in town too, or further up the lake in Kaslo. The Kaslo Motel has recently renovated it's reception area giving customers an even better welcome! The rooms are clean, quiet and have an authenticy Kootenay feel.
Nearby Ainsworth Hot Springs, both the Resort and the Motel have taken on some big and small changes enhancing the visitors experience. Both cater to travellers all year round, and with the Hot Springs right there, it's a perfect match after a day of skiing.
Part of the allure in visiting the Nelson and Kootenay Lake area for a ski vacation is the distinctly non-resort feel here. You won’t find a huge base lodge with condos, restaurants and sprawling development up at the hill. Unlike most ski resorts, Whitewater isn’t even open in the summer. The focus is just on providing skiers with unforgettable days on the slopes.
Mother Nature has been particularly generous this season. There’s been more than 900cm of snow as of the end of February. That’s more than twice as much as some of the ski areas in the Rockies. Just saying.
No wonder the stoke level is still high with the anticipation of more snow to come in March. Epic powder days plus cozy lodging in one of North America’s most acclaimed ski towns is tough to beat!