Best Place to Ski in Canada and a recap of The Josie Hotel
Each year I make it a point to visit a new city for a bit of skiing. In the past, I have had the honor of experiencing some of the best skiing in the US including Jackson Hole, Aspen, Big Bear, Brechendrige, and Mammoth. Each place has so many special qualities about it. It did not take me long to fall in love with Rossland, British Columbia. Rossland is one of the places to ski in Canada. The town is just right across the US and Canadian border about a two-hour drive from the Spokane International Airport in Washington. (Kootenay Mountain Shuttle Service can get you from point A to B comfortably.) From the friendly residents to epic powder-filled mountains and breathtaking views, every day in Rossland seemed like heaven.
We were greeted upon arrival at The Josie Hotel with a cup of hot apple cider. The Josie is a ski-in, ski-out boutique hotel part of the Autograph Collection of Marriott properties. The fire crackles in the lobby against the backdrop of ski lift chairs and cozy couches. During the holidays, they have giant Christmas trees decorated in the entryway. It was late evening and dark outside when we arrived so I did not get the full view out my room’s window until the next morning. The curtains were pulled back to reveal unobstructed views of the snow-covered mountains and chairlifts starting up on the RED Mountain Resort.
The Velvet Restuarant and Lounge
Breakfast that morning, and every morning after, was a special treat right downstairs at The Velvet Restaurant & Lounge. With their new Head Chef Takashi Harada gearing up for the start of the ski season, I made it a point to try a new dish at every meal. Each one was a delicious wonder I could indulge in again and again. The Velvet has large glass windows looking out to the mountain views with a terrace perfect for après-ski. With the ski lift just steps away from The Josie, it was no wonder that visitors seemed to eat quickly as anticipation for the day’s adrenaline rush down the mountain seemed to kick in.
Skiing on RED Mountain
We met our RED Mountain Snow Host, Mike, right at the Ski Valet right inside The Josie. You can also pick up your ski and snowboard equipment here making it very convenient for anyone not wanting to lug items back and forth to their rooms. Mike’s ski experience, knowledge of the mountain, and the history of Rossland made for an epic day on the mountain. For someone who had traveled and skied all over the world, he said no place could ever compare to what Rossland has to offer. Most of the day it felt like we had almost the entire mountain all to ourselves with fresh, untouched powder.
At the top of RED Mountain, we looked out at a sea of clouds below us. The locals call it “Kootenay Lake” and it is a sight that will surely take your breath away.
Our après-ski at The Velvet was an afternoon I will never forget. Hot bowls of ramen, flatbread pizzas, cauliflower fried mushrooms, spicy tuna tacos, hot chocolate, crafted cocktails, and a fire pit to roast marshmallows for one of my absolute favorite desserts, s’mores. And of course, just when you think things cannot get any better at The Josie… a puppy shows up ready to play.
Rossland’s mining roots became more apparent as we got into town. Older buildings nestled along a charming main street brought together all the town residents. Apparently, Rossland triples in size during the holidays due to tourists coming in for ski season. One of my favorite things about visiting a new city during the month of December is seeing it decorated for the holidays. The town square was decorated with a gigantic Christmas tree and twinkling lights adorned all of the street lampposts. We stopped by the store Sister Sister owned by sisters Jenna and Crstyal who I had the pleasure of spending the day with in Rossland. Their store carries an array of locally sourced essentials, and conscious and clean beauty and lifestyle products.
While you are in town, I also recommend stopping by the Seven Summits Coffee for a photo op with coffee and the mountains in the background! Just be aware that they will likely close in the early afternoon!
Snowshoeing + Snow Biking
Our first activity on day 2 was to go snowshoeing on a trail not far from The Josie. I had never gone snowshoeing before, but I now see the appeal. The snow shoes give you the ability to trek through gorgeous snow-covered forests and enjoy the scenery you may not be able to see otherwise without sinking knee-deep into the snow.
Because we are all adventure seekers on this trip, we also made time for a short fat biking experience. Think of fat biking as just snow biking. A bicycle with very large “fat” tires to grip the snow. Interesting experience and as I always say, I am down to try new things because it makes the trip that much more fun and memorable.
Holiday Parties and Cocktails at The Velvet
Our last evening at The Josie consisted of a little holiday party and cocktail hour with some of the locals who quickly became close friends. Even if you are just wanting to unwind after a day on the mountain, grab a glass of wine at The Velvet bar and listen to the live band playing holiday tunes in the corner.
I always say that the best trips are the ones you do not want to leave. I left Rossland with so many wonderful memories. The locals, The Josie staff, everyone was so welcoming and warm; eager to show you their wonderful town. I hope one day I get to come back to Rossland and share it with my friends and family so that they can experience all the wonders that I did while visiting. It is truly a special place and one I feel honored to have gotten the privilege to experience! Book your next adventure at www.Marriott.com. I recommend becoming a Marriott Bonvoy member to get extra perks including free in-room wi-fi, exclusive discounted rates for members, mobile check-in services, and more!
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or DM me on Instagram @Laura_Lily. Until next time and thank you for stopping by.
Photos by Damon Chamberlain and used with permission.
This article was written with my own opinions and not endorsed by any outside parties.