Beware of Whistler Accommodation Rental Scams

Another Winter season is approaching in Whistler and already the stories are trickling in about people falling victim to online rental scams when searching for accommodation.

Whistler can get crowded during the peak winter months and it can be a tough task finding decent accommodation. People often get desperate and panic, and this is when scammers thrive.

PiqueNewsmagazine‘s current issue includes a story about how one unlucky Australian lost $4,000 to a scammer on Craigslist. The story is an all too familiar one. After replying to an accommodation offered advert on Craigslist, the man was talked into transferring the cash to a Western Union account in Manhattan, New York.

The rule of thumb is NEVER send money to anyone without first having met them in person and viewed the inside of the advertised property with them.

To learn more about how to look out for and deal with scams on Craigslist, please visit

Following the first two pieces of advice will likely keep you clear of scammers:

  • DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON—follow this one rule and avoid 99% of scam attempts.
  • NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or other wire service – anyone who asks you to do so is likely a scammer.

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Whistler Season Accommodation

Finding Whistler season accommodation can be a tricky business. The two things you need to think about are price and location. Generally speaking the closer you get to the village the higher the rent will be. Ways to cut costs are to room-share, get staff housing (you don’t always have to work for the company) or live a little bit outside the village.

Finding Whistler season accommodation

Here we’ll go through some of the main residential areas, what they’re like, how to get to them and what the ballpark rent will be.

The rental costs indicated below are monthly approximates and are based on typical Winter season rates (usually up to 6 month stays during the peak season, November to April). If you’re planning on staying on after the Winter season you can usually find cheaper rates in Summer starting in May, or by negotiating a year-round average for long-term contracts in advance (usually 12 months).

Whistler subdivisions

Alpine Meadows

Alpine Meadows is located 4km north of Whistler Village. It’s about 5-10 minutes on the bus from the village and in the Summer season it’s accessible by the Valley Trail. It is predominantly a residential area but does have a small grocery store, a café and a sports centre/gym. Meadow Park is located nearby, which is a great place to chill in the Summer. Meadow Park Sports Centre offers a gym, swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room, as well as tennis/basketball courts and baseball diamonds outside.

Average Rent – Single Room: $650
Average Rent – Shared Room: $400

Alta Vista

Alta Vista is located 3km from the village. It is a predominately residential area situated beside Alta Lake close to the Valley Trail. In Summer it’s an excellent location for watersports with Backroads Canoes & Kayaks and the Lakeside Park Watersports Centre located there.

Average Rent – Single Room: $650
Average Rent – Shared Room: $400


Blueberry is a residential area located 1.5 kilometres from the village. Served by the Valley Trail it is about a 10 minute walk into the village. In Winter the Valley Trail can be tricky to navigate and it’s easier to get there by bus.

Average Rent – Single Room: $650-$750
Average Rent – Shared Room: $500-$600


Brio is located 3 kilometres south of Whistler Village. It is a 5 minute bus journey from the village. In Summer you can walk from Brio to the Village in about 15 minutes. Brio is a residential area. Its main benefit is it’s close proximity to the village.

Average Rent – Single Room: $650-$750
Average Rent – Shared Room: $500


Creekside was the original base of Whistler Mountain. It has a range of amenities including supermarkets, bars, restaurants, a bank, laundromat, dentists and its own gondola providing direct access to the ski slopes of Whistler Mountain the winter. The gondola takes you to the bottom of Red Chair. Red Chair will bring you to the Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler. Lot’s of seasonaires choose Creekside as their home as it has so many amenities but still relatively low rent due its distance from the village.

Average Rent – Single Room: $500-$650
Average Rent – Shared Room: $400-$500

Emerald Estates

Emerald is located 7km north of Whistler Village. Emerald is known to be one of the quieter neighbourhoods. Rent is considerably cheaper out this way, but this is because it’s so far out. It’s not an ideal location for a seasonaire.

Average Rent – Single Room: $400-$600
Average Rent – Shared Room: $300

Fairmont Chateau Staff Housing

The Fairmont Chateau provides housing for staff and for people not working directly for the hotel. The housing is located about a 10-minute walk from the village. It’s a great location though there is a bit of a hill to be hiked to get there! Prices in 2013 were $10.50/night for staff and $16.25/night for non-staff. Staff housing is an unbelievable way to meet people and have a great season.


Nordic is about a 5-10 minute bus journey from the village. It is a residential area with no shops, though that’s no biggie as Creekside is about a 5-10 minute walk away. Creekside has shops, bars and a gondola.

Average Rent – Single Room: $600-$800
Average Rent – Shared Room: $350-$600


Nesters is a commercial area near the village. It’s home to Nesters Market grocery store, which is said to be the cheaper of the grocery stores around the village. Also around Nesters you can find restaurants, cafés, a barbershop, pharmacy and other amenities.

Average Rent – Single Room: $550-$750
Average Rent – Shared Room: $350-$500

Whistler Blackcomb Staff Housing

If you get in here you are laughing. It will be an epic season. Though be warned, it’s party central. You will struggle to leave your room without partying. There are three locations for WB staff housing – Glacier Park, Brio and Westside. You can find out more about them on Whistler Blackcomb’s website. Prices vary depending on location and if you have a single or shared room, but for the most part it’s around $18 for a single and $10 for a shared room per night.

White Gold

White Gold is a residential area located a short walk from the village. It is within easy access of Nesters Market grocery store, restaurants and other commercial amenities. It is also a short walk from the Lost Lake, which is a nice trail route in Winter and Summer. White Gold is also home to Whistler Waldorf School, Spruce Grove Fieldhouse & Baseball Fields and the WCSS Community Greenhouses.

Average Rent – Single Room: $700-$800
Average Rent – Shared Room: $400

Whistler Cay Heights/Whistler Cay

Whistler Cay Heights is a 5-minute walk to the village. It’s one of the best locations in Whistler. The benefit of Whistler Cay Heights is you have the village and the gondolas/lifts on your doorstep, all within walking distance. It’s also got the valley trail nearby so in the Summer you can walk, jog and cycle to your heart’s content. Whistler Cay is the area located behind Whistler Cay Heights a bit further from the village but still accessible by foot from the village.

Average Rent – Single Room: $600-$900
Average Rent – Shared Room: $400-$500

Where to look for Whistler season accommodation


The most popular place to look for Whistler accommodation online is undoubtedly Craigslist. The most important thing to remember when using Craigslist is never send money electronically to anyone, especially if you are not in Whistler and have not seen the property and met the landlord in person. A lot of people are scammed out of thousands of dollars every year before they even arrive in Whistler. We’ve written about this before, so take a minute to read our post, Beware of Whistler rental scams.

Local Press

Pique Newsmagazine is one of Whistler’s two free local newspapers. It publishes every Thursday and can be found on stands throughout the village. It has a comprehensive Classifieds section listing both short and long-term accommodation in Whistler.

Letting Agents

There are also a number of professional letting agents in Whistler who can tailor your search and offer available properties based on your profile. Here are just a few …

Mountain Country –
Whistler Property Services –
Exclusive Accommodations –

Whistler Housing Authority

The Whistler Housing Authority offers access to affordable housing for those hoping to live and work in Whistler. If you are planning on staying in Whistler for at least 12 months it is well worth adding your name to the waiting list to receive email updates about available rental accommodation. Visit for more information.

Additional information for tenants

Your monthly rent may not be all you need to pay. There are additional expenses that can add up over time if they are not covered in your rent payment. While most places will offer at least the basics such as garbage removal and laundry (these may be common strata facilities outside of your building) it is worth asking some questions:

Does the rent include hydro (heat/electricity), cable and/or internet?
Is there a washer and dryer?
Is there garbage removal?
Is there parking?
Is there a bus service close by?

Having to pay for some of all of these services can add quite an expensive on to your monthly rent. 

Tenants rights and information

The Residential Tenancy Branch website,, answers some questions you may have about the Residential Tenancy Act.

The Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre also have a handy Tenant Survival Guide available for download.

Finding housing in Whistler leading up to the Winter season can be a challenge. So grab Pique Newsmagazine early on a Thursday morning, pound the pavement and make lots of phone calls. Remember, landlords can get hundreds of applications for each property, so it’s best to leave detailed voicemails or emails so they can weed out the non-organised and not-so-dedicated tenants.

Welcome to Whistler, have fun!

Whistler Hostel Accommodation

If you have never been to Whistler before and are planning on staying for a season or longer it’s a good idea to start off your accommodation search in a hostel. Hostels are great as they give you the opportunity to get your bearings and meet people who will be in the same position as you – all searching for accommodation. You will also be able to check out a few places without having to commit to anything before you have seen them.

Hostels as short-term accommodation in Whistler

Fireside Lodge

Fireside Lodge Whistler
Fireside Lodge Whistler

Fireside Lodge

The Fireside Lodge is situated on Nordic Drive about a 5-10 minute bus journey from Whistler village. It’s got a cosy cabin feel with a huge communal kitchen and living room. The ideal surroundings for meeting fellow seasonaires! The bedrooms are a bit small, but they are in most hostels and it just adds to the cosy log cabin feel! Another bonus is its games room; equipped with a pool table and a table-tennis table. Fireside is a great place to start off your Whistler accommodation search as it is both near the village and Creekside, so you can check out a good few places nearby to decide where you want to live. Fireside starts from $23. You should note, it is private members only once the season starts, so can be hard to get a reservation.

AMS/UBC Whistler Lodge

AMS/UBC Whistler Lodge
AMS/UBC Whistler Lodge

AMS/UBC Whistler Lodge

Is located further up Nordic Drive past the Fireside Lodge. The big bonus of UBC is the hot tub and sauna. UBC has a large common room area but as the kitchen closes at 8pm it can be a bit of an atmosphere killer. Though still a great spot to meet people and the bedrooms are a decent sized. Though be warned in both Fireside and Noridc some of the rooms don’t have doors just curtains! Once you get used to it you forget why doors were ever needed! Prices start from $30 in low season and go up to $35 once the season starts.

HI Hostel Whistler

HI Hostel Whistler
HI Hostel Whistler

HI Hostel Whistler

HI is more of a four star hotel than a hostel. The bedrooms are gigantic and an elevator makes it the most pimped out hostel going. There’s also a decent café and bar, which is a real luxury in a Whistler hostel. The drawback to Hi Hostel is that it is quite far from the village. It’s not too far, but about 10-15 minutes on the bus. Prices start from $31 and progress as the season starts.

Southside Lodge

Southside Lodge Whistler
Southside Lodge Whistler

Southside Lodge

The Southside Lodge is located in Creekside. It is not the swankiest accommodation in town, but has a good location. Situated in Creekside near bars, restaurants, shops and a gondola, it’s about a 5 minute bus journey to the village.