During a recent visit to Panorama Mountain Resort, I was booked into a family suite in the Panorama Springs Lodge.
There are a bunch of awesome things to do at Panorama, which you can read about in my post about Panorama Resort on TravelingMom, but let’s start with a good look at one of the most family-friendly properties at the resort.
The Springs Lodge is located in Panorama’s upper village. Much like Tremblant, there’s a lower village, too, which connects via cabriolet. The upper village at Panorama is where you’ll get access to the best restaurants and bars and it’s where you need to be to catch a chair lift or check into lessons, ski in the Discovery Zone (for beginners), and so on. So this location is fabulous.
I was also the only one out of our group who was able to ski right out of my accommodations. With kids along for the ride, this is key. KEY! Not only is it a true ski-in/-out property but what I like best is that you ski right into the Discovery Zone onto the easier of the two bunny hills. So amazing if you’ve got kids who are just getting back into the swing of things or there are beginners in your family.
One night, after a particularly long day on the slopes, my group decided to meet in the Panorama Springs Hot Pools for some R&R. As a guest in the Springs Lodge, I was the only one who didn’t have to walk outside or up the path to reach the pools. This lodging is the only one in the village that’s connected! It’s pretty nice to be able to wander down from your room in a towel and flip flops.
My room was clean, bright and comfortable. And cozy! I arrived to find the fireplace on in my living room. There’s a pullout couch in there, then a small dining table and a kitchen — complete with dishwasher.
The Springs Lodge is a condo-style room, so everything you need to cook and eat in your room is there, so you could save a bundle of money this way. (There’s even a free daily shuttle to and from Invermere, about 20 minutes away, if you need to pick up groceries, booze, etc.)
The king bed in the master was really comfortable, and closing the blinds was enough to get it pitch black at night.
In fact, I found that it stayed quite dark until around 9 a.m. because the sun just isn’t over the mountains yet. So if you have kids who need complete darkness to sleep, they’ll get it here.
There was a nice, big balcony with a table big enough to seat four people. This would be gorgeous in the summer because the view from the Panorama Springs Lodge is just gorgeous. (Important note here about summer stays, though — apparently the rooms here are not equipped with air conditioning. Having never stayed in the summer, I can’t tell you if the mountain breeze is enough to keep it cool, but that would be my guess.)
The wifi is fast and free. The only slower service I experienced was when I was trying to download some Netflix movies for my plane ride home. And considering it was “hotel wifi,” it was excellent overall.
It was easy to get to the Lodge’s street-level exit from the second floor, but you can also take a short-cut into the village by going down to the first floor and walking out near the pools, as if you were going to ski out. There’s a little walking path to the right instead.
Remember how I mentioned that the fireplace was on when I arrived? That’s because it’s controlled by the thermostat. It’s what heats the room! I loved this because it was usually on when I woke up, which is extra-comforting on an otherwise dark and cold morning. I always left my winter boots, ski boots, socks and underwear in front of the hearth at night so when I put it on in the morning (or in the case of my winter boots, for après), they were toasty warm. Ski boots are soooooo much easier to get on when the plastic is warmed a little.
It’s great that the Springs Lodge offers a variety of rooms for different-sized groups. There’s a studio with a queen bed and a queen pullout. There’s a one-bedroom, which is what I had, with a king bed (splittable into two twins) and a queen pullout. And there’s also a two-bedroom, with one split-king in the first bedroom, a queen or two singles in the second, a queen pullout and two bathrooms.
The price needs to be noted, because it’s very good. A quick online check for a midweek stay in early February 2017 at Panorama Springs Lodge gives me CAD$148 a night for the studio and $252 for the two bedroom. Considering the two-bedroom suite can fit six adults, you’re looking at $42 per person per night. Even a Thursday to Sunday stay during March Break this year only increases these prices marginally ($236/night and $272/night, respectively). Killer deal if you ask me.
Ski lockers! So great to have a ski locker. It’s on the first floor and has the same number as your room. If you don’t have a lock, you can get one at the front desk at check-in with a $20 credit card deposit. The only problem…
…is that I’m not sure it would be big enough for a family of fours skis/boards and poles. Two sets, yes. Four? Questionable.
New pillows would be welcome. Yes, yes, I’m a pillow snob. They certainly weren’t the worst I’ve ever slept on (the ones at Jewel Runaway Bay take the cake), but they could have been fluffier.
The décor is a bit dated, which could be from all that glorious sun streaming through the windows. It might be that it’s more faded than dated, actually. It’s perfectly fine and especially good for parents with kids who will inevitably walk around in their ski or snowboard boots. But if you’re looking for luxury accommodations, with luxe details like granite countertops, you’ll have to lower your expectations a tad. This is family-friendly and cozy, but the Ritz it ain’t. I’d stay here with my family regardless — especially with the room rates being what they are.
The bathroom is really, really small. It’s a one-person-at-a-time kind of bathroom. If my kids were older, its size would be problematic for sure because the only way two people will fit in there at the same time is if one person is in the shower. The counter space is also very limited, so bring those toiletry bags that hang instead of ones that need to sit open on a countertop.