Finding Cheap Whistler Accommodation Ain’t Easy
If you google “cheap whistler accommodation,” your search results will be an endless list of travel sites fighting to sell you rooms.
And guess what?
Saving you money is not their objective. The more you spend, the more they make.
So before you give in and book on sites like Booking.com (or after you look through them and get shocked by the prices), check these out:
5 Cheap Whistler Accommodation Options
1. The Bargain Bin: Whistler Suite Secrets
If you absolutely must stay in a hotel in Whistler, then “Suite Secrets” is your best bet.
It’s more expensive than the other cheap Whistler accommodation options mentioned here, but you can still sometimes value some decent last-minute deals.
Suite Secrets is run by Tourism Whistler and works like Hotwire.com. You’ll get last-minute bargain offers, but are only told the star-rating of the hotel and have to make a non-refundable payment before the name of the hotel is revealed.
It’s not unheard of to find entire apartments for under $150 a night during the ski season and private rooms in shared apartments for under $80 on Airbnb.
You can also save more if you stay for longer because hosts typically charge hefty one-time cleaning fees.
Don’t be scared of Airbnb. It’s safe, comfortable, and generally cheaper than hotels. (See our honest Pros and Cons of Airbnb Versus Hotels for more.) The trick is to carefully read through the reviews from past guests. If they are overwhelmingly positive, you’re sure to have a fantastic experience. You might never stay at a hotel again!
You can even get $45 off your first trip if you’ve never used Airbnb before by using our special promo code.
Then click here to see if Airbnb is your answer to cheap Whistler accommodation.
Tip: Consider Creekside
Whistler’s Creekside is only 4.5km./2.8mi. from Whistler Village and has its own gondola up Whistler Mountain.
Creekside doesn’t have as much action, activities, and attractions as the Village, but it’s quieter, has a supermarket, and some decent places to eat and drink.
Don’t be so quick to reject hostels as an option for cheap Whistler accommodation. The hostels in Whistler are nice. Very nice.
They have chalet-style lounge areas for chilling out, fully equipped kitchens so you can save money on food, secure gear storage, parking, free wifi, and helpful local staff. These are things most hotels in Whistler either don’t offer or charge you extra for.
And if privacy is a concern, you should know that hostels have private rooms too, some with en-suite bathrooms.
So before assuming hostels aren’t for you, take a look at our guide to Whistler’s best hostels. You might surprise yourself by finding one that suits your needs perfectly, and for way cheaper than any Whistler hotel.
Settle for (and Into) a Pod?
Pangea Pod Hotel, “Canada’s first boutique pod hotel,” opened in the heart of Whistler’s Village in 2018 and is a decent semi-budget accommodation option if location is your top priority.
Instead of rooms, you stay in pods, which are essentially deluxe double-sized bunk beds / micro-rooms. Each pod has three walls, a curtain covering the fourth wall, and its own lights, fan, hangers, mirror, outlet, and locker.
The pods are expensive, around $100 a night, but still much cheaper than neighboring hotels. Plus, they’re a unique experience.
Only a beautiful 40-minute drive, bus, rideshare, or shuttle from Whistler (in the direction of Vancouver), Squamish is an excellent option when:
- Whistler is full.
- You want to save money.
- You prefer to avoid masses of tourists.
- You’re looking to do more than just ski.
Squamish also has amazing backcountry skiing, a gondola of its own, and charming local cafés, bars, shops, and restaurants in town.
But, most importantly, it’s way cheaper than Whistler. And if everything in Whistler is full, you can sometimes still find last-minute places to stay there.
At the centrally located Squamish Adventure Inn, you can get a private room with ensuite bath plus access to a fully equipped communal kitchen for as little as $75 a night. Dorms are just $38.50. And it’s just down the street from the daily Whistler ski shuttle.
Alternatively, check out Sunwolf for a relaxing wilderness stay in one of their cozy cabins, the Howe Sound Inn and its all-too-convenient downstairs brewpub, or Airbnb (maybe you’ll get lucky and be able to stay at my brother’s funky cabin there).
5. Desperate Times = Desperate Measures
If none of the above cheap Whistler accommodation alternatives work for you, maybe try… Facebook. Join the Whistler Winter group, search for offers, and ask the 30,000+ people (!) in the community if someone might have a room or couch to rent.
You can also try Couchsurfing, which is the best and cheapest option if you’re an experienced community member. But if you’ve never couchsurfed or hosted couchsurfers before you will likely have a tough time finding someone willing to host you.
Finally, if you’re insane enough to risk getting a crappy place and being ripped off entirely, there’s Craigslist.
More Tips and Guides
Let us know your questions about finding cheap hotels in Whistler in the comments and check out these guides for more unconventional tips from Kim and I: