Baby/Toddler · Family Travel · Kids

Whistler Family Vacation – Aava Whistler Hotel Review

My family and I recently visited Whistler and stayed at the Aava Whistler Hotel.

Whistler Family Vacation - Aava Whistler Hotel Review - Whistler Map

The Aava Whistler Hotel (#19) is on the outer edge of Whistler Village. We really liked this location for several reasons. First off, we were literally steps away from Village Square and the Village Stroll where the majority of the shops and restaurants are located. There is also a grocery store right by the hotel that was a lifesaver when I underestimated our milk needs and had to go out a grab a jug. My husband hates walking in his ski boots so, being close to the lifts was also a major advantage for him.

Whistler Family Vacation - Aava Whistler Hotel Review - Hotel Entrance
View of Aava Whistler Hotel from the street
Whistler Family Vacation - Aava Whistler Hotel Review - Whistler Village Centre
The entrance to the Whistler Village Centre is literally across the street for the Aava Whistler Hotel

Although we loved the location of the Aava Whistler Hotel, the hotel itself left a bit to be desired. We booked our stay several months in advance but for a place as popular as Whistler, it was still pretty last minute and accommodations were limited. We chose the Aava Whistler Hotel because it had good reviews with 4 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor along with their Certificate of Excellence. The Aava Whistler Hotel was also the most affordable option available being about half the price of other hotels with availability even though the cost per night was still several hundred dollars.

Our stay at the Aava Whistler Hotel was not all bad, however. I will start off with some of the positives besides location:

  • Hotel Exterior and Lobby

The outside of the hotel was nice and looked well maintained. While we were visiting they had string lights on the trees around the hotel which made the area look really pretty at night.

The lobby was very modern and stylish. I don’t usually spend a lot of time in the lobby when visiting hotels but, for those who do, there was ample seating along with a fireplace. In the lobby there was also an area with a TV where you could grab a free cup of water or pay for a cup of Nepresso.

  • Pool

Although small, the outdoor heated pool was perfect for splashing around with my little guy. It was so fun swimming around with him while snow was falling from the sky.

Whistler Family Vacation - Aava Whistler Hotel Review - Pool
Working on little man’s backstroke in the pool

Not many other guests were using the pool while we were in it but there were a ton of people in the hot tub. There were guests all along the edges and filling up the middle. In the afternoons and evenings, don’t expect to have much space if you are looking for a post-ski soak.

  • In-House Ski Shop

My husband doesn’t own his own skis so it was nice to be able to rent them from Black Tie Rental Delivery, located in the basement of the hotel. Besides the convenience of it being located in our hotel, the ski shop also gave Aava Whistler Hotel guests up to 50% off their rentals. We shopped around and compared prices before we arrived and their price for hotel guests was a pretty good deal. There are also free ski boot dryers and ski lockers located within the hotel.

  • Free WIFI

I always love this perk at a hotel

The Aava Whistler Hotel also has several other perks for guests that we didn’t take advantage of including:

  • Free Fat Tire Bike Rental
  • Free Snowshoe Rental
  • Dog Friendly

All of those things are great but, unfortunately it was our room and its condition that would not have me recommending the Aava Whistler Hotel, especially for families.

A hotel can have all of the amenities in the world but if the rooms aren’t nice, you aren’t going to want to stay there. Seriously, where do you spend more time, the lobby or your actual room?

We stayed in the Deluxe Queen Sofa room which was a perfect size for my family a three.

Whistler Family Vacation - Aava Whistler Hotel Review - Deluxe Queen Sofa
Aava Whistler Hotel – Deluxe Queen Sofa

The bed was a good size and very comfortable (one of the only positives I have to say about the room but, an important one) and the area in front of the sofa was a perfect space for us to set up the Pack N Play for little man to sleep in.

Whistler Family Vacation - Aava Whistler Hotel Review - Deluxe Queen Sofa Bed

Whistler Family Vacation - Aava Whistler Hotel Review - Deluxe Queen Sofa Pack N Play

As soon as we walked in the room, however, we knew that this would not be an ideal living situation for the next few days.

  • Room Odor

When we opened the door to our room, there was instantly a weird odor that my husband and I picked up on. It wasn’t horrible and we did eventually get used to it but it definitely wasn’t pleasant.

  • Damage

I understand that hotel rooms get a lot of wear and tear but there were some glaring damages that the should have been taken care of like cleaning the black marks off of the ottoman and replacing a torn window sheer.

Whistler Family Vacation - Aava Whistler Hotel Review - Deluxe Queen Sofa Ottoman Damage
Black marks and fraying fabric on ottoman
Whistler Family Vacation - Aava Whistler Hotel Review - Deluxe Queen Sofa Torn Sheer
Torn window sheer
  • Dysfunctional Mini-Fridge

When you have a baby or a toddler, having to a way to keep their milk cold is essential. When we came into the room,the mini-fridge was unplugged. This isn’t completely abnormal from other places I have stayed so we plugged it in minutes after walking into the room on Friday afternoon. Well, by the time we left to check out on Monday at 11am, the mini-fridge still hadn’t cooled.

Whistler Family Vacation - Aava Whistler Hotel Review - Deluxe Queen Sofa Broken Mini Fridge
Broken mini-fridge

Luckily, we had a cooler that we kept our milk and food in but keeping it cold required my husband taking a couple trips each day to the ice machine (on a different floor) to fill it up.

  • Thin Walls

Honestly, this is one that I was expecting because I had already read about it in several reviews about the hotel before we stayed there but it is definitely worth mentioning for anyone reading this and considering staying here. You can definitely hear other people walking down the halls and occasionally in the rooms next to you. One night there were some people playing music loudly for maybe 30 minutes that I assuming management asked to turn it down and there was some stomping upstairs that same night.

This one, surprisingly or not, isn’t a huge deal for me. Everyone in my family, even when we are at home, sleeps with white noise in the background, so each night I just cranked up the volume on the app we use and we all slept perfectly well the time we were there. If you are a light sleeper, however, this could be a deal breaker.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend the Aava Whistler Hotel for families. From thin walls to damaged and dysfunctional rooms, this isn’t the ideal escape for a family retreat. The Aava Whistler Hotel is, however, a great budget-friendly option when visiting Whistler. If I was younger and didn’t have a family, this would be a great option to pass out in after a long day of skiing and partying with friends.

Although I don’t know when our next visit to Whistler will be, we will definitely be going there again in the next three years while we are living in this area and I am sure a few more times even after we have moved. Next time, we will hopefully have some more notice and can shop around a bit more for our accommodations. Last minute hotel booking is definitely not ideal during Whistler’s ski season!

Have you visited Whistler before? Where did you stay and would you recommend it?

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