The hallmark of a great ski town is its après culture.

Where do you go for that post-ski drink? The traditional après is right off the slopes to the closest pub, but not everyone wants to party in their ski boots. And, not everyone wants to drink all night. What about an après massage? What about something more low-key, chilled out?

On a recent weekend trip to Revelstoke, my much younger sister Victoria became my après ski partner-in-crime. Victoria, 30 years old, still enjoys the traditional bright lights and beer pitchers vibe. She has boundless energy and late-night endurance. But as a child of the ‘80s, the massage and cocktails speak to me. Let’s see who survives the weekend. 

At the base of the Revelstoke Mountain Resort (photo: Melanie Chambers)
At the base of the Revelstoke Mountain Resort (photo: Melanie Chambers)

Luckily, in Revelstoke, aka Revy (said with your pinkie, index and thumb out), the après culture has both rejuvenation and celebration. Revy’s après culture has enough cocktails to satiate a bougie, hibiscus-infused crowd like me, but it also has the bumping traditional après culture. 

Four hours from Calgary and an eight-hour drive to Vancouver, the town of Revelstoke, population now over 8,000, started as a railway and mining town. Today, this ski hub boasts the biggest vertical skiing – 1,713 metres—in Canada. It also has the most snowfall on record. Mount Copeland got 24 metres back in 1972!

Driving up from Rossland, we make sure to hit the Halcyon Hot Springs before the debauchery begins. I call it the “avant” to the “après” weekend.

The hot springs feed from the mineral water in the Upper Arrow Lake – the Indigenous called it the “great medicine water” because it contains sodium, magnesium, calcium, strontium and lithium – all considered therapeutic.  


Dipping my shoulders down into the cold pool feels like tiny knives hitting me at once—it’s 14º  Celsius.


I can’t stay in longer than a minute before running in to the hot pool. That’s more like it; at 40º, my skin tingles immediately. Is it working? Am I healed? Who knows, but lying back with my head on the edge of the pool, looking out onto the snowy Monashee Mountains as the steam rises all around me, I feel no pain.

The spa still bottles and sells the water as a health tonic, but be careful, I felt a bit lightheaded from all that healing — nothing a little drink can’t fix. On to Revelstoke!

Melanie and Victoria enjoying the hot pools at Halcyon Hot Springs
The author and her sister at the Halcyon Hot Springs (photo: Melanie Chambers)

The Swiss Chalet Motel, not to be confused with the chicken, isn’t what you’d expect of a motel not far off the highway. The crisp white sheets, fluffy comforter and curated art on the walls make it cozy-chic. It’s a two-minute walk to the downtown action, and there’s a convenience store across the street for late-night snacks. Or, you can grab a juice or coffee from the breakfast station, which stays open all day. Nice touch.

the snow covered Swiss Chalet Motel in Revelstoke, BC
Swiss Chalet Motel in Revelstoke (photo provided)

After arriving in Revelstoke, we ask around for locals’ favourite après spots. They say the words Monashee Spirits, then close their eyes as if remembering their first love. This place is well-loved. 

Inside the dark interior, with tiny sepia lights, hundreds of bottles line the walls on slabs of wooden planks. The cocktails are made from fresh ingredients and some of the gin or vodka that they make in-house. And each cocktail comes with a story; you just have to find one that speaks to you. My signature cocktail: Topless Girl on a Bike in Paris. The story begins: “Who the hell stole our painting of that topless girl riding a bike from the bathroom? Why won’t you give it back?” 

My sister orders the Huck Me Baby One More Time. Millennials. 

And just when you think it cannot get any cooler, each cocktail comes with a stencilled imprint lying on top; mine has an almost topless woman. “It’s edible!” says the waitress. I try it, but decide against it—it tastes like a soggy piece of paper. 

A cocktail with edible photo stencil on top at Monashee Spirits in Revelstoke
Topless Girl on a Bike in Paris cocktail at Monashee Spirits in Revelstoke (photo: Melanie Chambers)

The next day, as my sister gets ready for the slopes at the Revelstoke Mountain Resort, I get ready for my first hot stone massage at the Sointula Massage & Day Spa (Soyn-too-la). Like any traditional massage, it’s soothing, but the heated stones sliding all over feel like a full-body hug. The heat glides along your skin pulling the stress out. It’s glorious. 

I assume only hotel guests or resort types get massages, but Candace, my therapist corrects me.   

“We get all kinds of people in here for massage. The Revy crowd is really tuned to their well-being and body—most of the people I know here are athletes of some kind so they want to take care of themselves.” She adds many skiers come right off the hill for a massage, then hit the après bars nearby.

Melanie lies face down on a massage table with hot stones sitting on her back at the Sointula Massage and Day Spa in Revelstoke
Hot stone massage at the Sointula Massage & Day Spa (photo: Melanie Chambers)

The Rockford Grill, dubbed “The Après Zone,”’ is the classic après place, and it’s just across the street from the spa.

“It’s so easy to head there right off the slopes and then before you know it, it’s 2 am and you’re still wearing your ski boots!” says Candace. 

The official après between 2pm and 5pm has drink specials, but the restaurant is après with a sophisticated twist: imagine a truffle burger or truffle fries. The drinks include local beer from Mt. Begbie Brewing, an impressive selection of nearby Okanagan wines, and fancy urban cocktails like a pomegranate hibiscus cosmopolitan. 

When we finally make it downtown, about a 10-minute drive from the ski hill, The Village Idiot is bright and open-spaced with skis and snowboards tacked to the wall. Energetic and welcoming, it’s the classic après vibe with live music and a wide selection of British Columbia ales.

It’s got perogies and other sharables, but if you walk away without eating their homemade dough pizzas, with toppings like bison and locally grown arugula, you’re a fool! Similar to Monashee, however, the menu names rule. Read them. Miss Piggy’s Luah pizza professes: This pizza is specifically designed to destroy all diets.

Speaking of piggies, I switch up the après scene and return to the spa. This time, my pedicurist is a young woman who moved here three years ago from Czechia. “You’d be surprised to know that there is a huge Slovak and Czech community here,” says Hannah. “Revy reminds me of my home—there is so much snow! Last year I shovelled every day!”

I ask her about her customers, assuming it’s just the women who stay at the resort: “Oh no, we get men and women and young and old… those downhill ski boots are horrible on your feet.”

The author's freshly pedicured toes at the Sointula Massage & Day Spa in Revelstoke
Pedicure at the Sointula Massage & Day Spa (photo: Melanie Chambers)

I wonder what she thinks of my feet: “I’ve seen worse,” she says. “You’re wonderful,” I tell her.

Before leaving, she recites a list of après spots and restaurants. “The international scene is amazing here.” With this in mind and a huge appetite, we head to Seoul Street, a Korean street food restaurant. The vibe is definitely après with giant pitchers of beer and sizzling plates of food, but the menu has amazing diversity and spice. My dakgalbi is an enormous hot plate of sauteed spicy chicken and peppers. I can’t help but steal from my sister’s plate of fried chicken. She slaps my hand away, but not before I sink my teeth into a giant drumstick. 

And of course, you can get local beer, but I opt for a Gangnam Cosmopolitan made from soju (Korean alcohol, typically sweet and clear). My sister contemplates the Shaft Shot. Unbeknownst to us, it’s the signature B.C. cocktail of vodka, Kahlúa, Bailey’s and coffee. It’s more dessert than drink. 

plates of food at Seoul Street in Revelstoke, BC
Korean Street Food at Seoul Street in Revelstoke (photo: Melanie Chambers)


Continuing the downtown après pub crawl, Rumpus Beer Co. opened in 2019 and was named “The Best Après Adventure Spot” by Forbes. Wowza! This place is all about post-ski fun—the patio is hopping on a bluebird day with live music, pretzels, and a DIY growler fill station.

the beer menu and bar at Rumpus Beer Co in Revelstoke, BC
Rumpus Beer Co in Revelstoke, BC

As a child of the ‘80s, I can’t help but love the vintage tabletop videogame while sipping on an Acid Drop Sour beer. My sister wasn’t even born when this game came out. 



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We definitely can agree on the late-night snacks so we head over to another après haunt, the Taco Club. Even late at night, this place has a line-up. Tonight a group dressed up in flowery dresses for a birthday party take over the bar; looking around, it’s a sea of people wearing toques eating enchiladas the size of your head. I opt for something non-alcoholic: their sodas are made in-house and my blackberry soda helps put out the fire in my mouth—hot sauce overload! 

The next day, I feel invigorated enough to try hot yoga. My sister, who found a house party the night before, sleeps in. Makes sense—she’s 30; I’m 51. Revy has tons of yoga studios, but the deciding factor: baked goods. The Alchemy Studio shares space with Flourish Bakery. Walking into the smell of hot cinnamon is worth sweating for. It’s also gluten-free. Inside the studio, I immediately start sweating. “Take a child’s pose when you need it,” says the instructor. I take her advice, often. Between the dim lights, the instructor’s soothing voice and the calming music, I almost fall asleep on my mat. 

Melanie in a yoga pose at The Alchemy Studio in Revelstoke
Hot Yoga in Revelstoke (photo: Melanie Chambers)

The final stop for our Revy après trip is an award-winning brewery. Canadian Brewery of the Year in 2017, Mt. Begbie Brewing took home a gold from the Canadian Brewing Awards for its Kolsch and Cream Ale.

Located outside of town in a giant meadow, there’s a bright yellow house and a pink shed next door. “It’s an Airbnb,” my waitress reveals. “We get lots of weddings and groups of friends.”   

A bright yellow house and pink barn at Mt Begbie Brewing in Revelstoke
Mt Begbie Brewing Co. (photo: Melanie Chambers)

We’re both exhausted on the drive home and we only scratched the surface of Revy’s après scene. I hear another road trip calling. 

Interested in checking out the apres scene in Revy?

The Revy Beer Festival is on April 5-6 and is the perfect excuse to visit. For more information on Revelstoke’s craft beer and spirits scene check this out.

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