Winter or summer Nita Lake Lodge in Whistler, British Columbia is a picturesque place to spend some time.
Fate Hands West Coast Explorer Heartening LessonBy Mike Fisher
Injuries can reveal character on the road. More importantly for travelers, they can show establishments’ true colors.
I explored Vancouver and the mountain ski town of Whistler with my arm in a sling. As my throbbing shoulder worsened, I became a 5-foot, 5-inch Napoleon hurtling toward my West Coast Waterloo.
The Vancouver Sea Wall is one of the city’s most popular
attractions. At the foot of popular Yaletown, the 6-mile walk
offers changing perspectives of the city’s waterfront.
In my case, it was a Napoleonic complex that reached full bloom a few days later when I demanded that the room refrigerator (a welcome touch at luxurious Nita Lake Lodge in Whistler) be unplugged. Most people wouldn’t notice the low-hum noise that switched on and off, but I was crazed. As a pleasant hotel maintenance man visited my room, the pain of the rotator cuff injury that had kept me awake spiked and I bared my teeth like a junkyard dog.
In the end, before admitting defeat by going to the Whistler hospital emergency department, I could only raise my right arm by pushing it up with my left; an angry puppet with a broken string.
Grab some graham crackers, marshmallows
and Lindt chocolate,made available beside the
deck chairs.Then make your own s’mores
as you overlook lakeside at Nita Lake Lodge.
Explore Vancouver, Yaletown and the Seawall
This hip property rocks in every possible way, aside from being the only Four Star Forbes boutique hotel in Vancouver. For eats and drinks, Yaletown is a multifaceted gem, but you don’t even need to go outside OPUS hotel in Vancouver.
Ambient guitarist Peter Jack Rainbird made everyone’s day as
they walked along Vancouver’s seawall. Stepping out onto
some stones, he seemed to float at the ocean’s edge.
In the OPUS Bar, revamped in the past few months with Venetian plaster, bass thumped beneath the clank of mixers and shakers, the din of conversation and the clink of glasses. It’s a cool place just to chill. Barry the chief mixologist whipped up a King George cocktail (rye, grapefruit bitters, Campari) and later that night, there was a DJ.
La Pentola features Italian family-style, which means heaping plates that come to the table in waves. For dinner, the restaurant was full, patrons passing plates and bantering in a room accented with white tile, dark wooden tables and copper pots on the wall the chef brought back from Italy.
OPUS Hotel is in the heart of Yaletown, just steps from
shops, cafes, restaurants, spas and Vancouver’s waterfront.
So, yeah, the eats and drinks and boutique charm and even the complimentary in-room iPad at OPUS are a few reasons I love this property. Major plus, I’ve got dogs, too, and it’s pooch friendly.
The People Make the Place
Rick the Bulldog is one of many pampered
pooches who enjoy OPUS Hotel’s boutique
offerings for canines.
Then Patrick drove the property’s new Jaguar to a downtown pharmacy to get an arm sling and much-needed Advil. Every time I left my room, the staff would ask how I was doing, knowing that I was hurting. That kind of help goes a long way with me. If you’re on the road and ailing, it likely will with you, too.
As my shoulder burned, so did my temper. I asked for a room change when I couldn’t sleep and was accommodated without difficulties. It was all about me, in the worst possible way for those who had to bear it, but OPUS went out of its way to ensure satisfaction.
Poke Around Yaletown
The temptation will be to slurp back multiple Paper Planes at
Hawksworth Restaurant and then try to make a safe landing.
They’re very tasty. Try one in the swanky Hawksworth Cocktail
Bar before dinner.
Can’t Miss Dish: The roast venison strip loin with crispy spatzle, squash, salsify, and sweet and sour nage, was one of those dishes where every bite was wow. The menu is seasonal, but I hope this one has staying power.
Trade Urban Chic for Mountain Retreat: Nita Lake Lodge
I didn’t have to be a vegan to enjoy one of the tastiest salads
I’ve ever had. The Wild Rice salad at Aura Restaurant in
Nita Lake Lodge is superb.
Aura Restaurant for dinner was mind-blowingly good. Can’t Miss Dish: Among many exceptional dishes, Executive Chef Dean Hossack’s Wild Rice Salad is a tasty vegan dish (and I’m no vegan), served with chilled and warm components. On the base of the dish is herbed cashew spread, flavored with nutritional yeast flakes and fresh lime juice. Wild rice, raisins, diced butternut squash and chives comprise the salad and the dressing, whoa.
Again, even more than the food, drinks and wilderness retreat vibe, the employees at Nita Lake Lodge really make the place. When there was a wedding at night and a conference during the day, the lodge ensured I was taken care of. Even when I had to go for urgent care because of the pain, the shuttle driver took me there and picked me up.
Nita Lake Lodge in summer is wonderful
place to relax or to get out and for a canoe
on the lake or a hike in the mountains.
The lesson I learned is that it’s never too late to rely on the kindness of strangers, especially when travelling (even if, yeah, you’re likely paying to stay at their place).
Mike Fisher is an award-winning, Calgary-based writer. When he's not travelling throughout North America, Mexico, the Caribbean and elsewhere, he's trying not to injure himself. You can find him on Twitter @Fishbyter