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5 Cheap Whistler Accommodation Alternatives Booking.Com Doesn’t Want You To See

whistler cheap accommodations cover photo

Finding Cheap Whistler Accommodation Ain’t Easy

If you’re a budget traveler looking for cheap Whistler Accommodation options… good luck. Budget hotels and motels literally do not exist in Whistler.

A Google search of “Whistler Cheap Accommodation” will bring up an endless list of travel sites looking to sell you rooms. And guess what? Saving you money is not their objective. Don’t trust those sites.

Trust us instead!

Here are the cheap Whistler accommodation options sites like Booking.com and Expedia don’t want you to know about, plus an insider tip at the end that can save you up to 15%.

The worst place to search for whistler cheap accommodation
Nothing here’s going to help you find cheap Whistler accommodation.

1. Airbnb

Head to Airbnb to rent a room or apartment from a local, save money, and enjoy a more authentic experience than any hotel can offer.

It’s not unheard of to find entire apartments for under $150 a night during the ski season, and private rooms for under $80. You’ll also save more on longer stays because hosts typically charge hefty one-time cleaning fees.

Don’t be scared of Airbnb. It’s super safe, easy, convenient, and comfortable. Check the reviews from past guests and if they are positive you’re sure to have a fantastic experience. You might never stay at a hotel again!

2. Hostels

The hostels in Whistler are nice. Very nice.

They have fantastic lounge areas for chilling out, fully equipped kitchens so you can save money on food, secure gear storage, parking, free wifi, helpful local staff, and tons more that hotels rarely offer (or charge you extra for).

The freshly renovated Whistler Lodge Hostel, located in the relaxing Creekside part of town, is a great way to experience Whistler chalet life on a budget. There’s even a hot tub and sauna. Dorms cost as little as $38/night during the ski season. Each bed is a super-private alcove with its own mini-storage and curtain.

The HI-Whistler, is a bit further out of town, but offers free parking and buses to the mountains and town are quick, easy, and frequent. This big hostel always has something going on. Dorms are about $43/night during the ski season and private rooms complete with a queen-sized bed, cable TV and mountain views are $154. Hostelling International members save 10%.

If you’re leaning towards booking a hostel in Whistler, be sure to check out the ultimate guide to Whistler hostels first in order to make the best choice for you.

whistler lodge hostel is a good cheap whistler accommodation option
Not your typical hostel lounge (image from Whistler Lodge Hostel)

3. Squamish

Only a (beautiful) 40 minute drive, bus, rideshare, or shuttle from Whistler, 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 and a gondola of its own, as well as charming local cafés, bars, shops, and restaurants in town.

But most importantly, it’s way cheaper than Whistler.

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 during the winters they have their own daily Whistler ski shuttle.

Alternatively, check out Sunwolf for a relaxing wilderness stay in one of their cozy cabins, or the Howe Sound Inn and its all-too-convenient downstairs brewpub.

Squamish adventure inn hostel exterior
Places like the Adventure Inn in Squamish are close to Whistler, much cheaper, and in a town worth exploring

4. 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 previously, but it’s still cheaper than Booking.com.

Suite Secrets is run by Tourism Whistler. 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.

whistler cheap accommodation options on Suite Secrets
What you’ll see searching on Suite Secrets (November prices).

5. Desperate Times = Desperate Measures

If all of the above fail try… Facebook. Join a group like Whistler Winter and ask 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.

Final Insider Tip!

Always book directly with the hotel or hostel you’re staying at and ask for a discount.

If you want to save money, never book through websites like Booking.com and Expedia. Why? Because they charge commission of 15% or more. Hotels would rather give you that 15% than pay it to big online travel agencies.

Use this knowledge to your advantage. Book direct, and if you’re up for negotiating, call the hotel directly and ask for a deal. You’ll be surprised how often they’ll give you one.


Did we miss anything?

If you know of other cheap Whistler accommodation options we didn’t mention, let us know in the comments.

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