Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventure

whistler fitness vacations

Find your Canada with an incredible wellness retreat in the mountains. Here’s how to get ready, two weeks out.

Congratulations on your smart decision to trust our wellness retreat in Canada with your fitness program ahead! And if you’re stumbling upon this blog post randomly, it’s helpful to know that this post is to prepare those who are enroute to Whistler Fitness Vacations live-in fitness wellness retreats in B.C. (We have two fitness retreat programs – private and small group).

The private program can be a dog friendly health retreat, or simply Whistler guided hiking tours on the beautiful trails. You can turn it into a weight loss holiday, or a custom ‘get in shape camp’ depending on personal preference.

This article reviews important travel arrangements and logistics to prepare for Whistler Fitness Vacations small group program. This is a luxury fitness retreat and plus size weight loss retreat that gives true meaning to transformational travel.

My name is Cat Smiley, I’m the owner and I wrote this post to prepare you for the best fitness holiday experience. Thank you for reading! I look forward to welcoming you to Whistler very soon.

fitness vacations in B.C. - Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventure

Credit: Tourism B.C.

Ducks in a row, ready to go!

Please connect with me within two weeks your fitness and weight loss retreat to coordinate a 20 minute ‘get to know you’ phone call. In this time, we can chat about any preferences, goals or special requests. We’re here to make your weight loss wellness retreats amazing (and love to hear how we can customize anything for you).

Within this two week window of arrival, please text a clear face picture of you to 604-906-1034. This photo is only used for your client file, and seen by our staff. I share your photo and name with them, to make it easier for them to remember – especially when we have larger groups.

When in Whistler, you’ll have wifi in the hotel so we can imessage to save your data and long distance.

Lets also connect on Linkedin if you’re there, and Whistler Fitness Vacations facebook here.  

fitness center best weight loss retreat - Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventure

I hate to sound bossy, but…

It’s important that you watch our 2020 Video Presentation. This is 30 minutes of quite valuable insight about our wellness retreat.

Whistler bound!

Check in for Whistler Fitness Vacations weight loss retreats for women begins anytime after 4pm on Sunday. If you’d like to arrive in Whistler earlier than Sunday, please book the Westin directly and send me the reservation code. I’ll coordinate for your room to be merged with the room that you’ll be in for your stay.

NOTE: the private Whistler guided hiking tours program that we offer is available 7 days a week, but as mentioned, everything in this blog refers to the weekly small group program. It’s a bit confusing I know.

flying to whistler fitness vacations - Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventure

Transferring to Whistler by shuttle

Whistler Fitness Vacations is one of the most assessable wellness retreats in Canada. You need to fly into YVR airport. Fly into Vancouver International Airport in B.C. and it’ll be easy from there to get up to Whistler. The transfer to Whistler is your expense and responsibility.

Your trip from Vancouver to Whistler will be smoother than ever on the stunning Sea to Sky Highway (Highway 99) with multiple transport options to suit every budget and group size. Get a shuttle bus or charter vehicle, soak in the amazing views of Howe Sound and the Tantalus Range and arrive refreshed and relaxed to start your vacation. –

Click here to learn about the many shuttles to Whistler – from the airport and Vancouver hotels. 

driving to your fitness vacations - Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventure

Private car to Whistler Fitness Vacations

Private car is also a popular option for our guests as when in Whistler you won’t need a car. Some guests book a driver to take them up to Whistler – chauffeur service. I believe it’s around $400 each way. It’s nice to have a driver pick you up after a long flight!

If you decide to get a rental car from the airport, be aware that parking in Whistler is sometimes scarce. Valet parking at the Westin is available, but it’s almost $1000 month. There are overnight parking lots nearby, but it’s not guaranteed to get a space every night.

Most guests catch or Skylynx – great service, and only about $40 each way. Usually theres wifi and a bathroom on the bus.

Good to know: outside of your scheduled day at Whistler Fitness Vacations, it’s easy to get around on foot. Theres also a complimentary shuttle for Westin guests.

float plane to fitness vacations - Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventure

Float plane transfer

From about $200 one-way you can catch a float plane directly into Whistler. This is an original and quick way to travel, with an incredible view of the mountains! You’ll fly over glaciers, volcanic formations, and gorgeous provincial parks where the mountains meet the sea. It’s really the perfect location to enjoy getting active in nature.

Don’t forget, if you’re mostly wanting hiking retreats style of experience with Whistler Fitness Vacations, we’ll choose the right routes for your level. The journey up the Sea to Sky highway looks like there are huge mountains to climb but please try not to worry. These are beginner fitness retreats and everyone starts somewhere. It’s just wonderful that you’re starting with us!

whistler valley - Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventure

Registration Form

In an effort to have your details as current as possible, the registration form is filled upon arrival at the wellness retreat. We’ll also take the opportunity before you arrive, to learn more about your health history and any mobility restrictions. This is usually over the phone.

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Your Mile Time

On the first day at Whistler Fitness Vacations, we’ll time you in your fastest mile as part of your fitness test. This is done on a flat treadmill at whatever pace you can do, while still being able to talk. There’s nothing to stress. It’s simply a grading system that will allow you to goal set in a sensible, accurate way.

This goal setting platform is used for our Whistler guided hiking tours and biking cardio adventures. It helps us for accurate route planning and pace setting. We want you to work to a level where you feel like you’ve achieved everything you could each day, safely and successfully.

Please ensure that you meet our base arrival fitness requirements.

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How we keep our plus size fitness vacation authentically for larger women

Whistler Fitness Vacations is the only weight loss retreat in B.C. that focuses on one thing – helping women move from unhealthy weight, to healthy weight. To be able to do this, it’s necessary to have registration restricted to only those who fit the below requirements.


Base fitness requirements

  • Complete fastest mile (power walking or jogging at highest pace) in under 25 minutes
  • Complete fastest mile (at highest pace possible, 85% +) in a slower time than 13 minutes
  • Do not have an injury that restricts from reaching the aerobic zone on hiking trails, and can keep in that pace without pain for 30 minutes or more.
  • Can ride a bike on gentle, flat terrain. You can walk with it up the not-so-flat terrain if you need to!
  • Can walk in a pool with your head above water (aqua fit class)
  • Waist measurement between 32 and 70 inches (no weight restrictions)

Get ready to be coached towards powerful lifestyle change!

health retreat biking - Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventure

Confidential disclosure

Guests joining our weight loss camp program will be taken on a coaching experience towards their goals. For this reason, it’s important to disclose to me, Cat Smiley, if you’ve been treated for anorexia, bulimia, alcoholism, addiction or transgender hormone therapy in the past 2 years. Together, we’ll coordinate the best course-of-action for your weight loss coaching as modification may be required.

***NOTE: You don’t need to disclose this if doing the Whistler guided hiking tours/private outdoor fitness vacation.***

It’s helpful to share with your family doctor or mental health provider your plans to join our health retreat. They may be able to provide valuable suggestions or recommendations to ensure that your stay is not triggering in any way.

All weight loss camp guests need to be able to commit to no alcohol and no smoking while at Whistler Fitness Vacations. There are some dietary requirements as well – refer to our catalog for details.

healthy food fitness vacations - Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventure

Receiving Packages

If you will be staying with us for a while, you’re most welcome to have packages directed to front desk.

Send to Westin Resort and Spa, YOUR NAME, 4090 Whistler Way, Whistler, BC V0N 1B4.

You can call 604-905-5000 for any advance information about your stay. Whistler Fitness Vacations is very much a residential weight loss program that feels like home. Your lodging is truly gorgeous, and the Westin staff is so lovely! It’s easy to slip into a long term stay, so it’s likely that you’ll order things online or have delivery.

flowers with breakfast scaled - Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventure

Practice self-care whenever you can, even the most simple ways like fresh flowers on your breakfast tray.

Flower delivery

For loved ones who want to send flowers to in-house guests, contact the Westin concierge team. They’re great at coordinating beautiful flower delivery which is always such a treat. Nothing beats waking up away from home to colorful flowers on the table.

Some families also send encouraging cards with the guest to pack, post dated. They open them on the day listed, such as Friday after the first week. Nice boost as it’s quite emotional to go through the rigors of our wellness retreat.

ups postal dog  - Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventure

Organizing a pet friendly weight loss retreat

Whistler Fitness Vacations is a pet friendly weight loss retreat however it’s necessary to organize your dog ahead of time. Like everything in this blog post, I’m referring to our small group program. The private program just needs you to chat with me about requirements, so I can plan your hiking routes efficiently. 

So back to the weight loss camp prep – speak with the Westin concierge for details on pet-sitting from 8am to 2.30pm during the week, when you’re in session. They’re welcome to stay with you in your lodging but not unaccompanied – even the quiet/small/athletic/amazing/best-friend ones.  

If you’re looking for the best wellness retreat with dog option, go with our customized private program. Click here for friendly fitness retreat banner scaled - Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventure

Part-time digital detox retreats

Our wellness retreat is only offline during program hours. Digital detox retreats are definitely not for everyone, and unplugging isn’t always practical. For that reason, I designed Whistler Fitness Vacations to only encourage guests to be off their devices during scheduled program hours.

However you can take text breaks in the bathroom, at lunch, or quickly glancing here and there while driving to trails etc. Plus if there’s an emergency you need to deal with, we’ll all totally understand. So don’t think you’re going off into the Canadian wilderness or something – we want these to be the best wellness retreats for each individual and that means being flexible as things pop up.

best wellness retreats in whistler - Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventure

Working during your stay

Many of our guests need to work during their health retreat, whether it be conference calls, sales or emails. Guaranteed hours at your lodging are before 8 am and after 4 pm, evenings and weekends free.

High speed wifi internet is included, and there’s a business center at the Westin. About 15 kms away there is an Apple store called Burnt Stew. Canada’s electrical supply and electrical outlets (sockets, wall plugs) are the same as those found in the United States.

whistler fitness vacations computer - Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventure

Buying Cash

Canada has many things to celebrate, but having a lower dollar to the USA isn’t one of them. For this reason, it’s great to stay in Canada if you’re Canadian… and travel to Canada if American!

Canadian banks will likely offer better exchange rates between U.S. dollars and Canadian dollars. Otherwise, you should be able to make the currency exchange at airport kiosks, border crossings and shopping malls. – USA Today.

It’s common in Whistler for retailers to accept US dollars, but they might not give you the best exchange rate. You can withdraw CAD from a cash machine but the transaction fee is usually at least $5 per time. In saying this, most guests at Whistler Fitness Vacations use their credit cards for things in town, saving cash for tips etc.

Service providers in Whistler – valet, housekeeper etc can be tipped in any currency (but not coins).

Watch the Canadian dollar here, and buy some money if it’s above 35 cents to the USD. The dollar has plunged down to 20 cents without warning over the past few years. It’s smart to prepare ahead of arriving at your weight loss retreat in B.C.

travel media fact sheet - Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventure

Credit: Tourism B.C.  

Crossing The Border

UPDATE: 15 MARCH – below was written prior to the pandemic. Check latest travel advisory before booking your wellness retreat in Canada.

Traveling to Whistler Fitness Vacations is 99% of the time straight forward. If immigration asks a few more questions than expected about why you’re coming up to Whistler without a work visa, here’s what you need to know:

  1. You’re a customer. Keep your receipt handy.
  2. They can check our business number here.
  3. Here is where you are staying and phone number.

If they need to call to verify your stay at our weight loss camp in B.C., have them call the Westin.

Canada has new immigration rules since November, 2016. Be sure to check rules before your stay. If you are traveling from the Middle East or a country with stricter visa rules, check right now if you’re even allowed to come to Canada. Then contact me immediately if there is an issue.

getting to whistler fitness vacations - Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventure

Infograph Credit: Tourism Whistler.

Medical Clearance

You don’t require clearance to join our health retreat or Whistler hiking tours, as you sign the waiver. However if you’d like to get it for your own personal safety or confidence, below can be used.

Medical Clearance and Doctors Letter. 

Even if you’re feeling great, and don’t think theres anything of concern, it’s good protocol to get a checkup before you join our plus size fitness retreat.

Doctors love Whistler Fitness Vacations! And we love them. They help us help you.

weight loss resorts biking - Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventure

Essential Travel Insurance

Whistler Fitness Vacations is a destination weight loss program with outdoor activities and elements. Make sure you’re covered for all your adventures in Whistler and can go to the hospital if there’s need. One trip to the doctor can cost non-locals $500-$700 before they even do anything, so you definitely need to look into this carefully if you’re out of province or out of country.

Coverage should include hiking, scrambling, hillwalking, cycling (on organized tour, independent touring, incidental to the trip), fitness training and gym training.

The EXPLORER PLAN on World Nomads is the policy I recommend, and it covers you for all of these above mentioned.

There are gorgeous backcountry trails that we might add on outside of regular programming, depending on group ability etc. These trails include Rainbow Flank, Chekamus and some of Whistlers more beautiful trails that are outside of Whistler central.

whistler fitness vacations emma review - Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventureAlpine Hiking

Weight loss retreats in Canada simply wouldn’t be the same without access the mountain trails. For this, you’ll require a 360 Alpine Experience unlimited access pass. It’s best to discuss on the phone in your call two weeks prior) what the best pass option would be for your stay. This will depend on the weather, hiking schedule and how long you’re staying.

  • May – Ascent Trails
  • June – Snow Walls
  • July/August – All trails open!
The 360 pass gives you access to the peak to peak gondola, open-air chairlifts, the new skybridge and over 50kms of amazing alpine trails. Purchase on Monday after 2pm to get the discounted rate 2 days before you use it. We coordinate the alpine schedule for Wednesday or Thursday to give guests time to purchase their pass.

Bring your hiking poles if you have them, it’ll help reduce impact on your knees when walking down.

Digital Detox

As previously mentioned, these aren’t complete digital detox retreats, but definitely a mini one for some people as we do require cellphones to be off during scheduled hours.

READ: Digital Detox Retreats Don’t Work (But Here’s Why You Should Hike Unplugged

Bathroom breaks are also text breaks so if something important is happening, there will be opportunity to get in touch but please ensure that people in your life know that you are busy ‘with a project’ for a couple of weeks and might not be quick on the replies as usual.

You’ll likely love the break from constant connectivity and we find it much easier to work together with those who can contribute to this vibe we’re striving to create of being present and cell free.

hiking on whistler - Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventure

Camera & phone usage

We provide cell phones to the fitness guides for the purpose of taking pics of your stay. They take terrific photos of our day from the best viewpoints on the trails. Nearly all images on this site are taken by myself and team. We give them to you at the end of each day (imessage or airdrop).

Whistler Fitness Vacations as a general rule, doesn’t permit guests to take photos, film or have conversations on their phone during scheduled hours. This is so we don’t lose you on the trails…so we can keep the pace moving, improve camaraderie, stay focused and avoid unwanted photos being posted in various social channels. Of course if you see a great shot you’d like to take just let us know (it’s totally ok on occasion).

Our structured system makes it easy to stay in touch with work and family, with guaranteed hours of the day that you are available. Thanks for your help keeping our program authentically fitness focused!

wellness retreats in bc 2 - Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventure

The ‘no plan’ plan

Whistler Fitness Vacations is one of the best weight loss retreats in B.C. for changing your lifestyle. Not many wellness retreats in Canada compare! Our coaching/activity combination is second-to-none.

Assigned workouts are designed with you in mind, based on your ability and comfort level. You’re going to get uncomfortable here. And you’ll need to dig deep some days to keep pushing!

Perhaps trekking the last hills on Half Note trail (Blackcomb Mountain) will be the most challenging. Or maybe facing yourself in stretch class, when we work together to adapt your hamstring stretch. Either way, everyone has a weakness just like everyone has their strengths.

whistler fitness vacations let go - Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventure

We treat you like an athlete in training.

Workouts at our wellness retreat are developed not only based on your physiological, but also your emotional response to each previous workout. Factoring in the emotional response is an often neglected – but crucial – part of working with beginner exercisers.

These strategies tap into the principals of fitness programming, progression overload and accelerated building. This customized approach is what sets us apart from other wellness retreats – in Canada and worldwide.

Together we’ll coordinate your goals, using both personal trainer and life coaching strategies.

taking a photo at digital detox retreats - Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventure

Letting go

Weather changes in the mountains, just like our body does as beginner exercisers. Whistler Fitness Vacations will unfold an amazing day for you and help you take ownership of your health. We do this by providing learning opportunities throughout the week of your wellness retreat with us.

Being coachable is a skill that is learnt with time. If you’ve never been an athlete, this can be new and sometimes quite scary especially if you’ve always had to be ‘in control’. You might feel out of control at first with our system and that might make you panic. But after a few days in the fitness retreat, you’ll find it incredibly relaxing.

Whistler Fitness Vacations health retreat staff take the care to get to know your perfect pace, trail style, route, and more. We find the perfect balance of pushing you as hard as possible – while still guarding your safety. Sometimes that takes trying different workouts until we find the right one. Our ‘no plan plan’ allows us to do that.

rainy grass - Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventure

Wellness retreats in B.C. can be rainy!

You’ve got to love the west coast! Rainy days are common.

Whistler Fitness Vacations is a wellness retreat in B.C. that ‘keeps calm and carry on’ when it rains. We dress appropriately and try to find more sheltered trails. We also have the option of using our beautiful partnership health club facility – very practical for cross training.

We believe that if you can empower yourself to workout in the West Coast weather, you can empower yourself to do anything!

Every week usually has at least a few hours scheduled in the health club for weight training and cardio. This is helpful especially for gaining confidence in workouts that may be similar to something you would do at home.

For the most part however, please come to our weight loss retreat in Canada prepared to be outside all day. There might be bugs, wildlife sightings and sitting in the dirt for lunch. Dogs are often off-leash and might say hello. There are washrooms on most trails but sometimes you might have to use the woods. Sometimes it’s torrential rain or snowing and although we play it safe with lightning and slippery trails essentially, you’re out there!

cat smiley best weight loss retraets  - Travel preparation for your Whistler Fitness Vacations adventure

See you soon!

Wishing you a safe and relaxing journey up to Whistler Fitness Vacations, and look forward to meeting you very soon! I hope you feel confident about your stay. It’s natural to have a little bit of anxiety coming into a new environment, but be assured, you’ll be warmly welcomed and will fit right in.

Great job making this happen. You’ve taken an important and meaningful step towards improving your health and happiness in a truly powerful way!


Hey, I’m Cat Smiley. I’m a fitness, nutrition, weight loss and life coach. Hire me if you want results! Click here to learn more about my 1-to-1 phone coaching services, upcoming weight loss retreats, and personal workshops.

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