More about Buffalo Mountain Lodge
Loved Buffalo Mountain Lodge
My husband and I stayed here last october and were thinking of returning again this year. I went to look it up and had forgotten the name of this place, so I went and got my old brochure. I am suprised it wasn't up there with the Fairmont etc this place is so romantic and the room we stayed in last year wich was the Premier with the heated floors they were so cozy! Its just such a great place I would highly recommend it.
Have a couple hundred you need to unload?
By far the best meal we had in Canada was at the Buffalo Mountain Lodge--right across the street from our rooms at the Tunnel Mountain Lodges.
The dining room is rustic yet elegant. The room has cathedral ceiling and big windows and is made of lengthy logs. The staff is meticulous and knowledgable and very attentive. Meanwhile, the diners are wearing casual clothes--a flannel shirt would not be out of place.
But really you go to a restaurant for its food and it is very good. For an appetizer we shared a foie gras with citrus french toast and currants. The currants and the citrus toast cut the sweet fatty foie gras to make for a very pleasing snack. For main course Becky had the Alberta beef tenderloin with portabella mushroom and a risotto cake and au jus. I took the three piece elk sirloin with a yam, yukon gold and goat cheese gratin. The entrees came with lightly steamed or boiled asparagus, red pepper, baby squash and purple radish. We chose a 1997 Gordon Bros. Cabernet with the dinner.
Dessert was even better. I had piped white chocolate over a brulee of very dark chocolate with a pistachio crust and two cherry truffles. We sampled some ice wines with dessert and were glad we could walk back to our lodge.
I can't recommend the Buffalo Mountain Lodge highly enough, but be prepared to drop some cash--it is pricey.
Enjoyed this more than the Fairmont Springs!
We stayed at the Buffalo Mountain Lodge over Christmas weekend, Friday and Saturday, then moved to the Fairmont on Sunday because we thought it would be more "special" (and there were no rooms left at Buffalo Mountain for Sunday). Boy, were we disappointed in the Banff Fairmont Springs, and wished we could have just stayed at the Buffalo Mountain! We loved our rustic room here with a fireplace and balcony. We loved the fact that we could park right next to our room (with no parking fees). We even received a little Christmas gift from the staff on Christmas morning! The staff were lovely, very accommodating, and the surroundings were charming and comfortable. We would definitely stay here again!
A Romantic Tradition
We've returned to Buffalo Mountain Lodge for more than one New Year's Eve party and at least a couple of Easter weekends. Since it's within walking distance of the Banff Centre for Performing Arts, we stay at the BML whenever we visit Banff for a concert. It's also a favorite site for plain old weekend getaways in the winter.
I would recommend the premier rooms just because the big old-fashioned bath tubs are such a delight (especially when it's snowing outside). I would also recommend the upper level rooms because the cathedral ceilings let in a little more light (another reviewer mentioned dark rooms - the lower level rooms are shadier).
The dining room in the main lodge is staffed by one of the most competent and cordial waitstaffs I've had the pleasure to encounter. We tend to be adventurous with the menu and have always found the cuisine to be exceptional - created and presented by a wonderful chef.
Something else I'd recommend is room service: we especially enjoy ordering high tea or a game platter to our room on colder days so that we can enjoy uncommonly good cuisine with a glass of wine and a book by the fire.
Finally, some reviewers have remarked on the general condition of rooms. I would add that we have never found our accomodations to be anything but spotless. Some fixtures may be a little older or worn, however, and, although they are replaced in a timely fashion, this may account for others' comments.
This lodge is very much a romantic tradition for my husband and me, and one that I am always happy to recommend to friends and business contacts. We've never heard a complaint from anyone who's taken our advice.
My wife and I absolutely LOVED this lodge!! We booked the Buffalo Mountain Lodge for our honeymoon because of it's rustic charm and we were not disappointed. We booked a Premier Room with a king size bed and a mountain view (Rm #1107) for 3 nights, and loved it so much we decided to cancel our travel plans to Jasper and Edmonton. Our room was already booked so we stayed in Rm #1202 for an additional 2 nights. This room was also a premier room but with 2 queen sized beds rather than the king. Both rooms were awesome, and fit into the atmosphere that Banff tries to portray - exposed pine raftered ceilings, fieldstone fireplace and feather duvet, clawfoot tub with heated slate floors, and was just out of town on the edge of Tunnel Mountain, (2 minute drive) so it was quiet at the busiest of times. Each night there were Elk grazing on the lawn right in front of our balcony/porch, as well as in the field directly across the road - it was more than we could ask for.
When we arrived the first day we were greeted with a plate of chocolate covered strawberries, and a nice card welcoming us to the lodge and wishing us a great honeymoon - a nice touch!
The outdoor hot tub is nice and relaxing - but it does seat about 15 people, so not that intimate :)
When we decided to extend our stay, the staff were more than helpful, and even moved our belongings for us.
We didn't eat at the lodge, deciding instead to sample the fare in Banff, so I can't comment on the cuisine.
There really was nothing negative to say about this place. The staff were friendly, helpful, and courteous. The room was fantastic and romantic, and the setting was amazing. I would recommend this lodge to all nature lovers.
Cozy Mountain Retreat!
After engaging in considerable research to select lodging for our trip to Banff, I finally decided on the Buffalo Mountain Lodge, mainly because of the recommendation of a Calgary TripAdvisor reviewer who said she regularly recommends it to family when they come to visit (assuming, of course, that she likes the family members!).
Upon arriving at the lodge, we immediately sought the beautiful scenes captured on their website, and were not disappointed - the property was as beautiful as it was represented. While the mountain views are somewhat sparse - I would guess only 15% of the rooms have full mountain views - the rooms were nonetheless quite comfortable. After all, who spends their Banff vacation in the hotel room? One word of note: while the lodge's website did not misrepresent the room content, the interior pictures on the site show an up-level room, not the basic or "deluxe" room. In our "deluxe," we had no claw foot tub, no microwave or refrigerator, but it did have a very nice wood burning fireplace and a cute balcony. The deluxe room was otherwise equipped as one would expect a normal hotel room, with some up level toiletries in the smallish bathroom.
While property-wide wireless Internet access would have been nice, the hotel offered to accommodate frequent surfers with special order in-room access at a cost of CA 12.95 per day. Otherwise, the front desk was very generous with access in the lower level of the main lodge for complimentary email checking.
If the facility had been perfect in every sense, it still would've taken a back seat to the lodge staff. Absolutely everyone with whom we came in contact - the front desk, maintenance, housekeeping, and food service staff - were positively inspiring in their politeness and helpfulness. We did not have a single less-than-awesome experience with any of them, something to be greatly commended.
The first evening, we ate at Cilantro, the charming on-property bistro cafe, and the meal was very good. The gourmet pizzas were made right in front of us in a wood-fired oven, and the pasta was just as impressive. Day two, we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast in the main lodge, and despite what looked like a very complete buffet for 18.95, we opted to order from the menu. Again, the food and service were wonderful. Don't miss the basket of wheat bread!
The workout facility could've used a little attention; most of the machines worked acceptably well, but with little annoyances: the stationery bike seat wouldn't lock in position, and the pulley weight system had some friction problems. Add to that a funky odor in the lower level room, and you wanted to get in and out as soon as possible, something that may be a plus for those who aren't interested in working out during vacation. The 18-person stainless steel hot tub was very nice and worked exceedingly well; unfortunately, the chlorine and other chemicals were so heavy that you could still smell the scent on your hands the next day, even after a shower. However, the temperature was perfect and the jets were very powerful, so all in all, it wasn't bad.
Despite the website location description, this property isn't really what I would term 'walking distance' from downtown Banff; no doubt, one could relatively easily walk down and back, but if you plan to do any shopping or eating while you're in the downtown area (and you WILL!), take the car. Parking, while sometimes at a premium during high season in downtown Banff, is pretty plentiful, especially on the side streets off Banff Avenue.
Great hotel, not stuffy, but classy!~!!
Excellent hotel away from the chatter in the town of Banff. Great location, super rooms, superb service....biggest hot tub in Canada...and CLEAN!
Breakfast buffet is delicious with a selection fitting this well run hotel. We were two families with two teens in each. We had the B&B plan and had the breakfast buffet every day. We were told it was included. When checking out, they added $82 per day to our bill for the buffet. After some discussion, they realized we were misinformed and removed the charge from our tab. I was very impressed with the managerial service. It could have been a hassle but was amicably resolved. Just be sure to clarify your plan when you check in. We would be very pleased to visit this hotel again!
Rooms vary substantially
There are many glowing reviews of Buffalo Mt. Lodge, so the rooms must vary substantially. Ours was a premium room. $295 Canadian, with 2 (very comfortable) queen beds and a fireplace, but the room was DARK! Even in the daytime you had to have all the lights on, and it was still dark. The low wattage light bulbs didn't help, and it was impossible to read. On the plus side, it was very quiet, and the staff was very friendly. On the minus, the dining room was overrated in my opinion. My wife had to send salmon back because it was overcooked, and breakfast eggs also were overcooked. We ate elsewhere after those experiences.
Good in some ways, not so good in others....
We stayed in this hotel whilst travelling across Western Canada, and this was the poorest hotel we stayed in. We had booked directly with the hotel via their internet homepage, and had booked a bed and breakfast offer. Upon check in I was told that breakfast was not included, but was paying the same price. Obviously we explained that this is what we had booked, showing a print out of the booking page but they insisted we were wrong, and simply said sorry. If you're staying here it would be worth confirming what you have booked before arrival.
We booked a premium room which was nice - we were in 1110 which was on the bottom floor overlooking the mountain. I would agree that the rooms are dark, but the fireplace was lovely and cosy, and the heated floor a luxury on the cold mornings. The beds were comfy. The room was not spotlessly clean as there was some dust on lamps etc.
We ate one evening at the Cilantro cafe on site. The food and service there was superb. They serve Mediterranean influenced food which is cooked in front of you. An excellent choice for an informal tasty meal. We chose to have breakfast on site one morning. I chose from the buffett which was OK. The hot food tasted as if it had been standing there for a while and we went at 8:00am. There was lots of choice though. My husband chose from the menu, which he ate half of, and then sent the rest back due to it being very overcooked. The waitress apologised and said it would be deducted from the bill. No offer of anything else was offered. However, the food was left on the bill and we had to explain our problem again to the Supervisor who then deducted it from the bill. Overall, breakfast is much better value and tastier in Banff. Although this isn't strictly at Buffallo Mountain Lodge, we would recommend the Grizzly Steak House where we had a fantastic meal. Try the set fondue meal!
Overall, would I recommend this hotel? Probably not. Their website creates an impression of luxury, where as in reality this isn't the case, and the experience does not match up with the cost to stay there.
If chosing between hotels- pick this one!
A very lovely, quiet location. Staff were very helpfull answering any questions we had. We were there during the off season and was a quiet and enjoyable experience. I would definately reccomend this place to anyone. I will for sure return back and stay at this hotel. The delux room cost $125 can. I would absolutely call this a great rate and a steal for this room especially given its location. Since it is located on top of tunnel mtn rd., I would reccomend getting a car. The first night we stayed at Banff Rocky Mtn resort, and moved to Buffalo the next night. The Rocky Mtn resort was outdated and not near as nice as the Buffalo mt. resort!! The ONLY downside was that I do not think that there is much insulation between rooms. The last night we stayed there, trying to go to sleep, people under our room came in and the lady was wearing heels on her shoes and you your hear it quite clearly upstairs!! I did not know you could walk around that much in a room!!! Oh well. That is the only thing. This was a fantastice, romantic get away for my husband and myself! Would reccomend to anyone!!!
Waterfalls in Johnston Canyon
Banff bridge over river icy banks
Balkan, The Greek Restaurant, Banff.
banff in aprill 2010: weather and what to do?
my wife and me are planning to go to banff in april 2010 (starting in vancouver). my question: do we have to expect problems driving around the area by car because of snow and ice?
second: is the area worth a trip in this time of the year (because we are not going to ski)? which acitivities can be done (hiking?) outside? or is it just driving by and looking outside the window?
many thanks for your help in advance
best wishes, dirk
Re: banff in aprill 2010: weather and what to do?
April is still "winter" season for the mountain areas - one of the ski hills in the area is usually open until May, to put it in perspective for you. What this means is that all of the lakes will still be frozen, higher elevation roads and hiking paths will still be snow-covered and closed. Driving should not be a big issue as the highway is at what would be considered a "lower elevation" and should be bare and dry, unless we get a freak snow storm. Even then, the snow wouldn't stick around for very long.
You should still be able to do some lower elevation hikes and drives (Bow Valley Parkway to Johnston Canyon, Lake Minnewanka drive for instance) and there are plenty of things to see and do in and around Banff and Lake Louise at any time of year.
Re: banff in aprill 2010: weather and what to do?
If you don't want to ski I have no idea why you're going to banff in April. For the same price you can get a cabin on the gulf islands with your own private outdoor hot tub on a cliff overlooking the sea. Or a lakefront cabin in the okanagan. Or a cheap vacation to mexico/cuba
Re: banff in aprill 2010: weather and what to do?
The roads should be in good condition to drive on in April. Activities for Banff in April realy depend on how much snow has melted by thn. If there is still snow there are Dog Sled tours that you can do. Also Cave Tours run out of Canmore (20min from Banff) all year round. You could go hiking however alot of the trails will still have some snow on them. I would check out www.banffadventures.com They have a list of activities for Banff. I am sure they can tell you what activities you can do in April
Re: banff in aprill 2010: weather and what to do?
I agree with the other posters, Banff in April will still be quite chilly and the snow will likely not have melted from most of the higher hiking trails. You will still be able to do some hikes, but if you are planning on camping all I can say is... "Brrrrr!"
Is it possible to do your trip a couple months later? The weather in Alberta in June, July and August is glorious and you will have plenty of warm sunshine and all the hiking you can handle then!