Why go to a ski resort if you don’t ski? Sun Peaks Resort in Canada offers plenty of alternative opportunities for fun in the snow!
I’m both sport and risk-averse, so when I was invited to check out Sun Peaks Resort, an alpine ski resort in British Columbia, Canada, I knew I’d have to find ways to enjoy the experience that didn’t compromise the integrity of my knees. Fortunately, Sun Peaks offers a comprehensive selection of ski alternatives – and I’m not just talking about the great restaurants and bars there. I’ll be sharing those experiences soon, but today I want to introduce you to this picture-postcard pretty little village.
Located 56 kms north-east of Kamloops, in British Columbia, Sun Peaks is the second largest ski area in Canada. The region averages 2,000 hours of sunshine annually, giving visitors plenty of great weather in which to enjoy the 4,270 acres of skiable terrain, the 12 separate lifts, 135 ski trails and the annual snowfall of six metres of light, dry powder.
The village and surrounding housing development are part of a meticulous masterplan for the community with the design successfully reflecting the look and feel of a traditional Central European alpine village. There are enough retail outlets in the main street to keep a shopaholic happy, without undermining the warm, friendly atmosphere of the town, and enough quality restaurants and bars to keep this foodie very contented every day.
There’s a huge range of accommodation options in the town, from budget right up to luxury, with everyhing in between. The Bloke and I were guests at the family-friendly Nancy Greene’s Cahilty Hotel & Suites. Nancy Greene is a Canadian senator and a world champion alpine skier who was voted Canada’s Female Athlete of the 20th Century. She has a long list of trophies in her cupboard (on display in the foyer), including an Olympic gold medal from the 1968 Games.
The suites offer perfect family accommodation, with fully kitted out kitchens and big screen televisions. Our suite could sleep 4-5 in a cosy loft bedroom with a spacious queen-sized bed and bunks with a double below. Just across the road is a supermarket which keeps long hours and sells all the groceries a hungry family might need.
The hotel facilities also include both indoor and outdoor hot tubs and a gym – just in case you didn’t get enough exercise on the slopes. The former are clearly the favoured socialising spots for folk of all ages. We ran into a damp man in the lift who’d made friends with a family group and was heading up to his room to grab a bottle of wine to share with them.
I know a lot of Australians head to Canada for the snow season – there was no shortage of them in Sun Peaks – and I can certainly see the attraction here. The village has a genuine community feel to it. It’s the kind of town where you can send your kids off to the store on their own without feeling any concerns. People here seem to watch out for each other and there is always a friendly nod and greeting when passing each other on the streets. I wonder if that is the case in the larger, more sprawling resorts?
I was smitten by Sun Peaks from the first time I (gingerly) wandered down the snowy streets – and that was before I’d had a taste of the great fun and food available. Stay tuned – there’ll be more on both those features very soon.