They say you gotta be a little bit crazy when you try something new. Case in point: The Josie Hotel, at the base of Red Mountain in Rossland, BC.
By :: Todd Lawson
Until 2018, there hadn’t been a true ski-in, ski-out slopeside hotel built in North America in more than a decade. Many thought the idea of a luxury hotel built in a town not known for luxury was crazy, but the developers forged on and created what is undoubtedly Rossland’s showpiece attraction. Aside from super-stylish rooms that make your jaw drop when you open the door, it’s the kind of place you bring your friends to rub shoulders with eclectic locals and for ridiculously good food.
“The Josie is a true gem,” says Christy Anderson, a longtime Kootenay local who’s been skiing at Red for more than 40 years. “The slopeside views can’t be beat. The food, ambience and wine list make this our go-to for dinner out. Having an award-winning hotel at the base of our local mountain feels really special.”
But what does make The Josie truly ‘special’? Accolades? Awards? Five-star reviews? Or is it the high ceilings with giant chandeliers, the cozy leather couches, the smiling staff? Those certainly help, but the one word that brings it all together is a word that resonates at both Rossland and Red Mountain. And that word is character. We chose The Josie during a family road trip vacation in March 2020 (pre-COVID) and as soon as we walked into the Velvet Lounge after a glorious bluebird day on the mountain, character oozed between the walls: live acoustic entertainment by a fantastic musician, kids in ski boots laughing and dancing, colourful locals sitting at the bar drinking pints of local beer. Everyone in the room made us feel right at home; the Kootenay aprés vibe was in full swing.
Later the next day a poster advertising ‘The Spring Thing’ event that stopped me in my ski-booted tracks. The wonderful rogues of Rossland hereby welcome you to celebrate our quirky mountain culture over 17 days of non-stop revelry, both ridiculous and refined. How’s that for an authentic invite? Ridiculous was 18cm of fresh cold smoke powder and another bluebird day. Refined was a four-course menu at the Velvet Lounge after another epic aprés session: Panzanella salad and marinated clams, Taynton Gin-cured wild B.C. sockeye salmon, Carnitas enchiladas and Vanilla bavarois with huckleberry compote. The mastermind behind the mind-blowing meal is a chef by the name of Marc-André Choquette, a Vancouver transplant who’s managed to elevate Red Mountain’s culinary scene to a whole new level.
When our heads hit the fluffy pillows that night I couldn’t have dreamed up a crazier day than the one we just experienced. Crazy good, crazy satisfying, crazy wonderful. Those wonderful rogues of Rossland should be proud.