We are off to Sun Peaks. I'm actually kind of amazed how little information there is on the web about this ski resort. Well, maybe we can be the top hit 🙂
Anyway, here are some resources:
* Sun Peaks, British Columbia - Reviews and travel information. There are a bunch of sites like epinions and igougo.com that have entries for Sun Peaks, but absolutely no content. This seems to be the best general purpose reviews mainly about how nice the Delta Sun Peaks Resort is. Makes me suspect that either it is an incredible resort or that they have figured out how to get people to write about it.
* "Sun Peaks Office Site":http://www.sunpeaksresorts.com/. Except for the snow report, this is a pretty useless site. There are for instance no deep descriptions of hotels or of restaurants and the reserveration applet just doesn't seem to work. The main thing is that they have a list of restaurants and hotels with phone numbers that seems up-to-date (more than can be said of yellowpages.ca which can't find any Sun Peaks Restaurants at all).
* "Mountaingetaway.com":http://www.mountaingetaway.com/Guides/SunPeaks/. This seems to be one of the only professional reviews written. They do have a basic description of "restaurants":http://www.mountaingetaway.com/Guides/SunPeaks/dining.html althought the descriptions are pretty clearly ad copy.
* "Sun Peaks Reservations":http://www.sunpeaksreservations.com/. These folks do alternative bookings and they seem to have the best guide for the various rental properties. We use this site for our bookings.
So here is our guide to Sun Peaks....
First, if you are going up there for February break, the key is to book early. We normally do it in _July_ of the previous year. It is super popular with folks in Seattle mainly because it is a "blue" mountain filled with intermediate slopes and it is not gigantic like Whistler so the kids won't get lost all over it.
In terms of the best lodging, the "map":http://www.sunpeaksreservations.com/graphics/village_map2.gif really shows off the best where you should stay. Here are some recommendations:
* "Snow Creak Village". These are condos which are ski in and ski out. As condos, they are roomy and have kitchens. Most of the other places are kind of ski-in, but you still have to hook it. So if you want to make it easy, find a spot there. The main reason for booking early is that you can get an outdoor hot tub if you are first :-0.
* "Timberline". The Snow Creek condos book early, so as an alternative, Timberline is a good choice. You still have to hoof it about 10 minutes to get to the slopes, but most of them let you ski pretty close. These have 2-3 bedroom condos and are very roomy. We got quite a few people into our unit two years ago.
* "Sunburst Estates". If you want to get deluxe, there are a few houses that are right on the slopes. YOu can't as easily book these, but they are really nice. (that is, they don't book at sunpeakreservations.com).
* "Delta Sundance Resort Lodge". If you are splurging and want hotel life, this hotel is right in the middel and super deluxe. We haven't been there yet, but it does have a spa, hot tubs, etc.
* "Forest Trails". We've not stayed there, but close to the Snow Creek condos and they seem newer.
Here from memory and "Sunpeakscondo.com":http://www.sunpeakscondos.com/village/eatingout.htm and "Mountaingetaway.com":http://www.mountaingetaway.com/Guides/SunPeaks/dining.html are some restaurants to think about. The main thing is that during the February break, things are incredibly crowded, so we highly recommend booking restaurant reservations early. One year, we waited an hour just to get pizza. This is a small mountain and you have to imagine a thousand kids all hungry at the same time.
* The Val. This is a high end restaurant. We ate there, it is pretty good and all the restaurants are kid friendly. Not a bad choice for the first night or if you get a "date night" out. (250) 578-8111
* "Mantles":http://www4.deltahotels.com/hotels/hotelinfo.html?categoryId=2&hotelId=38. This is the restaurant inside the Sun Peaks Resort hotel. 150 seats. Pacific Northwest Cuisine. Its for upscale family dining, so a good choice for after skiing when you want some decent food. Call (250) 578-6000
* "Baggio's":http://www.baggiosristorante.com/. They are in the Heathstone and have home made pasta. 250-578-8832.
* "Servus at Creekside". This is a high end restaurant. (250) 578-7383. Serves "European" cuisine whatever that is.
* "Mountain High Pizza". The usual pizza and they deliver too. 250-579-7272
* Double Black Steakhouse. If you really want to tempt fate with Canadian beef 🙂
* Macker's Bistro & Bar. (250-578-7894) Casual with pizza, pasta, steaks, kids? fare. You know the drill.
* "Powderhounds":http://www.kamloopschamber.bc.ca/directory.php?mod=listing&cmd=browse&cat=59&scat=1209&id=1509&. Casual dining with veal, pasta and other European cuisine.(250) 578-0014
* "Horie's":http://www.sunlodge.com/en/restaurant.html. If you absolutely have to have Japanese food, theere is a semi-decent restaurant that has it, but it ain't super deluxe.
* Masa's, and Bottom's are both pubs at the bottom of the mountain. Decent and good for lunch. Just make sure to get in at 1130 or after 130 to beat the rush. Another reason to ski early.
h3. Ski Lessons
On this crowded week, you need to book ahead for ski lessons. Call 250-578-5505 to make a reservation. There are a couple of options including a whole day day-care thing for kids, but for us, Sun Tots is a good program. You get a 1.5 hour group lesson so just enough for Grace.
h3. Other things to do
* Sun Peaks Massage Therapy & Spa. This is a great thing for folks like Connie who hate skiing. Available 7 days a week for massage therapy, body wraps, salt glows, facials, pedicures, manicures, tinting, waxing, make-up artistry, hair styling, etc. (250) 578-7222 for reservations.
h3. Phone service
Naturally your US cell phone works, but the roaming charges are killer. Far better to get a dial around service that works in Canada. Here are some choices:
* If you go there a lot AT&T Wireless has a US/Canada plan if you go there a lot. There isn't cell coverage on the mountain as I recall.
* "Cognicall":http://cognicall.com or if you are going to use broadband access anyway, but they have a dial-around service that is 11.6 cents per minute. Pretty reliable. Nice thing is that there is no monthly fee, but you do have to sign up. It technically a prepaid, monthly-billed calling card service. You dial an 800 number in Canada, type in your access code and then any number in the US.
* "OneSuite":http://onesuite.com. A similar service to Cognicall, but it uses VOIP for transport. It is 3.5 cents if you use their 800 number. So it is way cheaper, but it does require that you buy in $10 prepaid increments. There is no monthly charge unlike many other services, so it is very inexpensive as long as you are willing to commit $10 to it 🙂
* "Skype":http://skype.com to get out into the real world.