More about Banff Aspen Lodge
Great value--no complaints!
My boyfriend and I stayed at the Banff Aspen Lodge for 2 nights as part of our Alberta trek. We got a 'premium' room, and were able to afford it because of the 50% off coupon in the Montreal Entertainment Book. The room was very large, clean and all we expected. We really liked the breakfast room (nice art) and breakfast consisted of juice and coffee, croissants, cereal, yogurt and fruit salad. We got a King Bed as requested, and reception staff was extremely friendly, more than answering all our questions about restaurants, ski rental places, etc. Overall we had a great time, and we would return to the hotel. About parking: yes, the underground one got full by evening time, but more convenient was the back of the hotel parking, which is covered. I say it's more convenient because the ski/snowboard storage room is right there for easy loading into the car.
I didn't personally take the shuttle to the hills, but saw it in the morning (as the other reviewers have posted). Enjoy your stay in a beautiful town and area!
The worst hotel ever
After a month long vacation out to the Pacific Northwest, we thought we'd splurge and stay in an lodge in Banff on the way home. The Banff Aspen Lodge is no lodge, it is a motel. I can handle staying in a motel (with the limited expectations that come with it) if I'm not paying $300 a night.
Our first sign that this was not going to be a good experience was when we were informed that the underground parking (advertised on their website as a selling point) was full and we'd need to park behind the motel. No problem, except that most of the parking berths were filled with old mattresses, making it difficult to park and exit the car. Second, we were informed that there was a laundry room but it was out of order. Our room, a two-bedroom suite, was equiped with one wash cloth, no airconditioning, a broken lock on the sliding door out to the deck, a broken screen door, a filthy carpet, a leaky toilet and a sink that smelled of sewage. Our second night there, we returned late to find no parking available. After about 20 minutes of the desk staff trying to figure out where we should park, we were instructed to park in the lot of the neighboring hotel. When more washcloths were requested that evening, it took a good 15 minutes for the front desk staff to locate some that were clean.
The breakfast was alright, and the wait staff pleasant. There was an incident when one of the waitresses called her friend a "piece of (--)" in front of my 6-year old, which wasn't appreciated.
The staff were pleasant enough but uninformed and inexperienced. I'm not sure if they were high school or college-aged, but clearly there is a need for this lodging to hire some competent adults.
Location is great, but I have some fair complaints
The staff and furnishing at the hotel were very accommodating and well-kept, respectively. The location of the hotel really couldn't be much more convenient... you're just two or three blocks from "downtown" Banff, certainly within walking distance. The underground garage is a great bonus as parking throughout the town can be hard to come by. The continental breakfast was very adequate and well prepared... you're actually seated and served coffee and juice by a friendly server.
However, I must say (and I've read other reviews that mentioned the same) that it was entirely too warm in the rooms as the air conditioning seems to be turned off in the summer. We stayed from June 24th through June 28th and it was honestly uncomfortably hot in the rooms at night. Opening the windows helped very little. I really don't understand why the A/C could not be turned on. There are thermostats in the rooms (at least there was in mine) but it was inoperable. I actually slept on the floor one night to try to stay cool... not fun. That kinda stinks when you're paying so much for a room and bed to sleep in!
I'd definately return to Banff but would not stay at this property again unless I was assurred they had A/Cs in the rooms during the summertime. I'm just one of those guys who needs it a little cool at night. Fair enough?
I would echo much of what the reviewer from Dallas, Texas who posted on May 22, 2006 said. My husband and I too fell for the hot tub photo and we also never saw it used nor used it ourselves (there's too much to do in Banff to sit in a hot tub! What were we thinking?!). We paid over $200/night for this hotel and it was worth maybe half that. The parking situation was horrendous, and the staff was indifferent about helping us out. There is an underground garage, but it is tiny and fills up fast. (In addition, the garage door was closed the entire second day of our visit, and while checking out we learned that the front desk staff who checked us in was supposed tell us to just drive up to the door if it's closed and it will open...ERG!). The parking in back of the hotel was filled up by old, dirty mattresses (yes, really. How scuzzy can you get?) and tour buses. It was ridiculous. The television was incredibly fuzzy; we just listened to what was being said. However, breakfast was nice and the location is terrific since you can easily walk into downtown. If we'd paid less, we might have been able to overlook the difficulties we encountered at the Banff Aspen and rate it relatively highly, but at the price we paid, we expected much, much more. Since you'll be spending an arm-and-a-leg in Banff regardless of where you stay, I'd suggest you make sure it's at least worth that arm-and-a-leg you're paying. We had a great stay at the Mount Royal when we visited Banff five years ago; we should've spent a bit more and stayed there again this time. Hindsight is 20/20. Don't make our mistake!
OK, but not terrific
This hotel shows its age somewhat, but our room appeared to have been redone in the last few years. The bathroom, carpet, and bedding all looked good. Our room was on the 3rd (top) floor, and was very quiet.
Contrary to what some of the other reviewers wrote, we found parking to be very ample. We parked in the garage, and it was never more than 50% filled. This ample parking may be due to the fact that a tour (bus) group was staying in the hotel at the time, so they didn't tie up parking spaces.
Our biggest complaint was with regard to the included continental breakfast. The breakfast runs from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. On the first morning, we arrived at 7:15 a.m. and had to wait about 5 minutes for a free table. This was not a big deal, but while we ate the line of people waiting for a table grew to about 15-20 people! We felt a bit rushed since we knew others were waiting for a table. The next morning, we arrived for breakfast at 7:00 a.m. (hoping to get one of the first tables) and were SHOCKED to be told that no one except those from a specfic tour group could be seated for breakfast before 7:30 a.m.!!! The reason we were given was that their bus had to leave early. We informed the staff that we, too, had to leave early and were also paying customers of the hotel. The host and waitress apologized and obviously felt bad that other paying customers were treated this way -- they weren't the ones who had made the decision so we didn't raise a stink over the issue. I do praise the wait staff for being so accommodating; they provided us with a tray and allowed us to fill plates with food so we could eat in our room, so breakfast wasn't a total disaster. It just really surprises me that management would make a decision to BAN other paying guests from the first 30 minutes of breakfast. A much better option would have been to open breakfast up early (say, from 6:15 - 7:00 a.m.) for the tour group. This way, the group could have been accommodated without banishing other paying guests from the posted breakfast hours. It just seemed to be an unprofessional decision that was made. I expect better from a hotel costing $200+ per night.
Overall, the hotel was OK but I would likely not stay here again because of this incident.
Not bad at all
I chose to stay in this hotel after a recommendation from a friend. I did check around other hotels in Banff but it was the only one that suited the group I travelled with (3 girls - didn't want to share beds, centre of Banff, free parking, breakfast included). I was quite nervous after some of the reviews I have read so was pleasantly surprised on arrival. Sufficient parking and friendly staff greeted us. Our premium room (1 queen & 2 twins) was large enough to accommodate 3 of us and our luggage, the bathroom was more than adequate and the 2 sinks outside it were helpful also. The breakfast was really good, especially the fresh fruit salad and the waiting staff were always helpful and very pleasant.
There were 3 problems I would have to point out:
- the beds were made each day with the sheets all tucked up at one end and not reaching the bottom of the bed (I had to remake to be comfortable - really strange),
- the waiting time at breakfast (especially annoying when you can see clear tables & are just waiting to be seated), but this never exceeded 5 mins (we always ate around 9am)
- the noise at night from the plumbing - if you're a very light sleeper avoid as it sounds like water is constantly running down the wall!
Overall I would definitely stay again, I would certainly like the chance to go in the hot-tub (not enough time). If like me you want somewhere pleasant to stay while you are out & about in Banff (without spending your budget on accommodation) this is the place!
LOVED HOTEL AND VIEW
I stayed in this hotel and loved opening the balony door and just having the view of the rockies in front of me, made my postcards so easy to write! The hot tub was used when I was there and very popular. The location is great, would definitely recommend this hotel.
This hotel was above average, it was nice, clean and close to shops. The staff were helpful and rather friendly. There is a shuttle from the hotel to Lake Louise and possibly to Sunshine. The hot tub is in a very public spot, and outdoors. The breakfast room is very nice, but the breakfast isn't anything great.
Decent Value for a few days
We stayed at the Aspen Lodge for 4 evenings this last week and found it fairly reasonable.
The rooms, although not the fanciest, were immaculately clean. The bathroom could use a little updating and TLC. Beds were above average in comfort. The hotel staff were friendly and pleasant. We decided to extend our stay for an extra day and the staff were pretty flexible on pricing, they offered up the rack rate and quickly dropped down to almost half that.
The location was good, downtown is a couple short blocks away. I never tried to park in the underground garage, I drive a larger truck. Parking was available in the back of the property and I never had trouble getting a spot.
I never tried the hot tub. It seemed to get good use and those down in it seemed to enjoy it.
The breakfast buffet was a bit disappointing. The service was OK, but there was generally a short wait for a table, and the food served, although very fresh, was pretty basic. After 4 days of it, I was pretty tired of the limited selections.
There was some noise transferred through the walls and floor, not excessive, but you could hear the comings and goings of neighbouring rooms.
All in all, I thought this hotel, although a bit basic, was suitable for decent accommodations, and could be got for a very reasonable price for a park hotel.
Skiing in Banff
As 2 couples we are going to Banff in February next year for 10 days skiing. We are pretty much ready to book our package holiday but are torn between 3 hotels - Brewsters Mountain Lodge, Banff Aspen Lodge and Red Carpet Inn. We wanted somewhere that did breakfast rather than go out looking for breakfast in the morning (although we will eat out on the days we have off)and that's why we've shortlisted these 3 hotels. We also want to be within very quick walking distance of bars, restaurants, shops etc, can anyone give any recommendations between them please.
Re: Skiing in Banff
I definitely would skip The Red Carpet Inn unless you're really desperate for a place to stay. Brewster's Mountain Lodge is nice, but be forewarned it's near a busy intersection if you don't like noise. However, the upside is that it's right smack in the centre of town.
Out of all of those, I would pick the Banff Aspen Lodge.
Re: Skiing in Banff
Thanks for that, i think i'd pretty much decided on Banff Aspen.