While travel may be paused at the moment, that doesn’t mean we can’t all dream of the day when we can reward top achievers for their valiant efforts with the ultimate winter perk: a trip to Canada where deep powder skiing, adventure activities, a rollicking aprés ski scene and wide array of luxurious accommodations await. When the time is right to travel again, Canada will be ready. Here are the country’s top winter retreat destinations and a sampling of what’s in store:
Whistler, British Columbia:
“No one does winter incentives and meetings quite like Whistler Resort,” says Jennifer Attersall, director of sales with Destination Canada Business Events. Slopeside fun, spa retreats and arts and culture experiences are just some of the endless ways you can wow your top performers on an incentive getaway to Whistler. North America’s largest ski resort, Whistler Blackcomb, is a natural reward for high-producing teams.
A scenic, two-hour drive from Vancouver International Airport delivers your top performers to incentive quality hotels like the Four Seasons Whistler, the Westin Resort Whistler, and the ski-in, ski-out luxury of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler which recently topped the list of Canada’s best resorts in Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards.
Although skiing and boarding may top your team’s ‘to-do’ list, beyond the slopes there are a host of ways to make your peak performers feel like royalty:
• Adventure: Sled the snow-filled trails surrounding Whistler,;fly above the snow-covered trees by zipline; snowshoe silent forest trails; give ice-fishing a try or mush a dog team on a guided tour.
• Indulge in après: A time-bound Whistler tradition, you don’t have to be a skier to enjoy fondue, champagne sabering, and more.
• Say spahhhh: Connect mind, body and spirit with traditional therapies to soothe modern day tensions at Scandinave Spa, a silent oasis of calm tucked into a forest on the edge of Whistler.
• Indulge in the arts: Explore Whistler’s arts and culture at the Audain Art Museum or explore indigenous traditions and culture at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.
• Culinary & wine: Dine around Whistler – top-notch restaurants are just steps away from Whistler’s hotels, creating a delicious foodie scene throughout the pedestrian-only village.
Banff | Lake Louise
Commemorate your team’s performance in the quintessential Canadian postcard at Banff and Lake Louise. Attersall notes that either location, with their storybook setting, historic and luxury hotels, dynamic culinary scene and world-class skiing are, “the ultimate incentive reward.”
Ski the Big 3: Lake Louise, Mount Norquay and Banff Sunshine. At legendary Lake Louise, there are four mountains and over 4,000 acres of terrain and plenty of powder. The new Lake Louise Ski Resort Summit Chair’s brings skiers to the peak of Whitehorn Mountain in just four minutes, where exhilarating runs await. On the new West Bowl, intermediate to expert skiers can follow endless routes and fall lines through powder bowls and glades. At Mt. Norquay, an upgraded snowmaking system generates 30 percent more powder, while Banff Sunshine, the third in the Big 3, features more than 3,300 acres of skiable terrain, ranging from gentle beginner, all the way up to extreme big mountain runs.
Beyond the natural beauty and world-class skiing, Banff and Lake Louise provide ample winter adventure just a two-hour scenic transfer from Calgary, including:
• Build team spirit: Building corporate culture and team spirit in the most Canadian of ways: a friendly game of hockey on a frozen lake.
• Adventure: Exploring a frozen canyon on the Johnston Canyon Ice Walk, snowshoe fresh powder on a guided snowshoe safari, or spot wildlife in their natural habitat.
• Say spahhh: Indulge in some well-earned self care at one of the many spas or wellness providers found throughout Banff and Lake Louise.
• Fondue heaven: There’s no better place to sample fondue than surrounded by mountains. Only one of the indulgent culinary experiences you can have here.
Tremblant Resort, with its charming pedestrian village, picturesque mountain vistas, vibrant ski scene, and secluded luxury accommodations is just a one-hour flight from Toronto, or 90-minute drive from Montréal. A top draw for ski incentives, at Mont Tremblant, top performing teams can ski in and ski out of four distinct mountain zones, 96 runs and a 30-acre snowpark. Before, after, or in-between runs, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy Tremblant Resort beyond the slopes:
• Adventure: Mush like a local through forest, mountain or valley trails on a guided dog sledding tour, chill on the ice climbing wall, explore by cross-country ski, fatbike, or snowshoe.
• Build team spirit: Lace up your skates for a spin around Lac Tremblant’s icy surface or a pick-up game of hockey.
• Say spahhh: Find pure relaxation in nature with relaxing treatments at SlopeSide or Scandinave Spas
• Mountain entertainment: test your luck at the Casino de Mont-Tremblant.
Heli-Skiing Canada’s Backcountry Mountains
Canada is one of the best places on the planet to heli-ski. Unique, high-alpine backcountry lodges scattered throughout western Canada are ideal for corporate groups seeking an exclusive team experience where days begin with sunrise and end when the group has had their fill of skiing champagne power. Operators such as Mike Wiegele Heli-Skiing and Canadian Mountain Heli-Skiing can help you coordinate the ultimate ski incentive your team will remember for years to come.
This content is sponsored by Destination Canada Business Events. Learn more at www.businesseventscanada.ca