Just as California has its famous Highway 1 winding up the Pacific coast, British Columbia has Highway 99—otherwise known as the Sea to Sky Highway. As the name evokes, this gorgeous stretch of road, which was expanded in advance of the 2010 Winter Olympics, winds its way from the ocean’s edge in Vancouver along the shores of Howe Sound and up into the Coast Mountains and past old-growth forests, before reaching Whistler at 2,200 feet above sea level. It’s a stunning, photo op–filled drive that’s best enjoyed in car that you can really let rip—and now, thanks to Fairmont Hotels and BMW, there’s an experience that lets you do just that, and get the exclusive chance to get behind the wheel of the brand new BMW X7, the largest and most luxurious vehicle to be added to the brand’s fleet in its history.
Just launched this month, the Life is a (Luxurious) Highway package begins at the five-star, waterfront Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver, a favorite with international dignitaries and the A-list crowd for its excellent service, award-winning restaurants and bars, and indoor/outdoor Willow Stream Spa. There, you’ll spend two nights in a Fairmont Gold–level room (with the option to upgrade to one of the mid-century-inspired Owner’s Suites), and enjoy food, beverage, and spa credits, access to BMW e-Bikes to explore the city or Stanley Park, and a gourmet picnic lunch to take on your drive. Once in Whistler, you’ll overnight at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, which sits at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, and enjoy perks like twilight golf rounds, food and beverage credits (which can be used at the Grill Room, recently named the Best Restaurant in Whistler), hiking and other activities with an Experience Guide, and sightseeing on Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.
But it’s in-between the stays at the two hotels where the thrilling part happens. Only available for rent in Canada via this exclusive Fairmont partnership, the BMW X7 (launched this past March) is at the top of the automaker’s X Sport Activity Vehicle lineup, offering a roomy interior for up to seven (with individual Captain’s Chairs in the first two rows), top-of-the-line design and power, and intuitive technology, including Active Protection and Active Driving Assistant modes (to help with everything from parking and traffic jams to preventing side collisions and keeping drivers in their lane) that are accessed from a newly-designed iDrive Controller console. Additional perks like multiple seat massaging options, full TV screens in the back rows, top-notch sound systems, and hand-gesture recognition for controlling music, phone calls and more help make drives from sea to sky not just adventurous and scenic but pampering as well.