- Reviews: 521
Hidden Ridge Resort: Self-Catering Out of the Centre of the Action
The unit we stayed in was a 1 bedroom plus loft, which allowed us privacy, and provided lots of living space. We had a kitchen - fridge, stove/oven, dishwasher, as well in the living room was a TV and fireplace. DVD player, with films available at the main lodge. There were BBQs in a couple of places on the property which were free to be used by guests. We made use of a BBQ one night to cook the steak which was brought in to us, using the option to have groceries delivered upon arrival at the resort. This was very comfortable accomodations, a good (downhill) walk into downtown Banff, with the option of a bus back up. It was very nice having the facilities to cook and have breakfast foods in rather than having to eat out.
We were there over a very nice (unseasonably warm) autumn weekend, so there were a lot of people around partying. Think the noise bothered my traveling companion more than me. Suspect that it would be difficult to avoid partying.
With the self-catering option, it did make it more reasonable to stay in Banff for a few days. There were stairs up (or down to the lower levels), so might make it more difficult for people with mobility issues. I'm not sure if there are any units that are accessible to mobility disabled people. You would be best have a vehicle to stay, although you could call for a taxi or take the bus.
They do have a hot tub with a nice view over the valley. The BBQ are nice to go out and cook and even eat outside. Having the bus service to/from the downtown was good, too... a bus pass is available from the main lodge.
- Reviews: 1456
HI-Rampart Creek: A Wilderness Hostel!
We stayed overnight at this rustic hostel between Banff and Jasper and halfway up the Icefields Parkway. This hostel is unique because there is no television, internet, running water and the electricity is relied by solar power. This is decided with one whether this is an inconvenience or an adventure? Personally, I prefer the conveniences I had to manage without that evening but it was a sustainable adventure in itself. This is one of the ten wilderness hostels that are in the Canadian Rockies.
The dorm beds were comfortable and it was nice spending the evening in a rustic and calm environment and away from the busy tourist centres.
This rustic hostel is set in woodlands and you don't need to go far to experience the nature and tranquilty as the hiking trails are practically on the doorstep! The hostel offers shared dorm, a self catering kitchen, a common room and a sauna. On an evening, you can relax by the camp fire and enjoy the stars!
- Reviews: 5956
Chateau Lake Louise: a room with a view and a price
Chateau Lake Louise was the brainchild of the Canadian Pacific Railway at the end of the 19th century to lure well-healed Eastern Canadians to the splendor of Lake Louise before it was even recognized as a National Park. It went through many incarnations including being the original mecca of Canadian mountain climbing in the 1920s. Though originally a summer only facility, it was winterized in 1982 and now offers up the whole ski lodge experience to further capitalize on the area's scenic beauty.
It is a decidedly high end affair today with lower end rooms fetching close to C$500 per night in summer peak season. Suites are considerably more. It is a massive complex and to be honest a bit foreboding. I hate to sound like a Yankee Doodle Dandee but the old historic hotels and lodges in US National Parks are National Historic Sites and anyone visiting the parks is welcomed like they were staying in the hotel. It is perfectly fine to hang out by the fire place and write postcards in famed parks like Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. I am not sure if Chateau Lake Louise is recognized as such but in no way did I feel like I could just waltz in there and hang out in my hiking attire. Please let me know if I am wrong. I would love to stand corrected.
I am not a big fan of putting hotels or any man-made structures right on incredibly beautiful lakes, especially in a National Park but this baby predates the park so I guess there's no going back. So, you can enjoy views of it from the hiking trails if that is what you like to see in nature. The hotel does look prettier from above but my guess is the lake would look even prettier without it.
- Reviews: 5956
Castle Mountain Campground: smaller campgrounds are a nice choice
There is no shortage of camping options in Banff National Park, varying in both amenities and price. The most upscale have not only showers but an electric bear wire designed presumably to protect campers within its confines. My guess is a bear if provoked would make his or her way through it. There is no substitute for proper food storage and keeping your campsite clean. If there is not food for bears they will not come around. Hopefully, this fence will not give campers a false sense of security and encourage sloppy food storage and cleanup practices.
Most of the high tech camps were full when we arrived in August of 2008 and we would not likely choose one of them anyway since they are around C$10 more per night and I would imagine a little less natural. We opted for Castle Mountain Campground, one of Banff National Park's smaller and cozier options.
It has only 43 sites. Bathrooms are old-fashioned but well kept with flush toilets and hot and cold running water. I thought it was wild when some graffiti appeared and was painted away while we were staying there, pretty swiftly as we were only there for two nights! The campground is in a dense forest and sites are well-spaced and treed. If you are looking for a great Canadian camping experience, this is a good choose.
We paid C$21.50 per night and stayed two nights. It is self-pay so just put your cash in the envelop and into the provided box. You can also pay by credit card by filling out the slip and providing your card details and a signature. The more developed campgrounds have attendants.
If you want to have a campfire you have to pay for a fire permit in addition to your camping fee. It is C$8.80 per night but includes unlimited firewood. We declined the option as we are not so into campfires nor paying so much to have one. This is a lot more expensive than it was when I first visited in 1994 when I paid C$15 which was about %33 more than most US parks at that time but included unlimited firewood along with having hot water in the restrooms (not so typical in US).
- Reviews: 353
Tunnel Mountain Resort: *LOVE* the Executive Suites!!
The executive suites at Tunnel Mtn were completely redone a couple of years ago. The suites are GORGEOUS!!! These suites are strictly for 2 people - king size bed, leather couch, marble countertops, steam shower, jetted tub, gas fireplace & private balcony. This is a great place to go for a romantic retreat. All suites also come equipped with a mini fridge, microwave and inroom safe.
I have stayed in one of these suites twice now - once during the winter and once in the fall. The hotel also has an indoor pool & 2 indoor hot tubs, which I have never made it to yet!
Front desk staff are awesome here - super friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. I want to extend a special thank you and 2 thumbs up to Curt - the Ozzie who was working the front desk during our most recent visit. He is a perfect example of everything a front desk employee should be. He even helped me get my laptop connected to the wireless internet! Thanks, Curt.
I have never stayed in the chalets at this resort, so I can't comment on those at all. But the newly re-decorated executive suites are super comfortable and beautiful. They have pretty much every amenity you could ask for.
The resort also has a small outdoor playground for the kids and a few barbecues which can be used by resort guests during the summer time.
*Fall is a great time to spend a weekend at this resort if you're looking for a great deal. We rented the weekend after Canadian Thanksgiving, and got a rate of $101 per night for an executive suite!
- Reviews: 324
Elkhorn at falconcrest
located in Canmore, approximately 3 km outside the park boundries, this hotel was exceptionally nice. the room came with its own small kitchen complete with an stove which helped keep eating costs down. The hotel had a rather large hot tub which was nice after a long day but did not have a pool. there was underground parking for guests as well as a access to a small fitness center. overall an excellent place to stay in an excellent location
Surrounded by mountains on both sides, the view was amazing!
- Reviews: 370
Banff Y Mountain Lodge: Best Price; Great Value for Money
Great value for your money. The rooms are like what you would expect in a motel minus the refrigerator and television; sort of an intermediate between hostel and motel. Located within walking distance of downtown Banff, but far enough away to assure peace and quiet. Wireless internet available at a cost, as well as computers in the main foyer. There is also a television lounge and small café serving breakfast and I believe lunch. Front desk staff were very friendly and helpful. Private and shared bathroom option. Highly recommended for those on a budget. Online reservations available.
- Reviews: 353
Bow Valley Provincial Park: Campground away from Crowds
BV Prov Park is just east of Canmore about ten miles, which puts it about 15 miles from the Banff park gates.
This is a really scenic campground - lots of tall trees to provide shade and privacy from your neighbours.
This park consists of 7 separate campgrounds - Lac des Arcs (28 non-serviced sites, pit toilets), Sibbald Lake (134 non-serviced sites, pit toilets), Three Sisters (36 non-serviced sites, pit toilets), Dawson (equestrian campground), Willow Rock (group camping, serviced sites), Bow River (32 non-serviced sites, RV accessible, pit toilets) and Bow Valley (169 sites, RV accessible, some serviced, flush toilets).
Activities include hiking trails, fishing, cycling, windsurfing, wildlife viewing, and interpretive programs - to name a few!
They are open March 31 to October 1-30 each year (dependent on weather).
They take reservations - call the number below during the camping season.
- Reviews: 353
Hidden Ridge Resort: Great Views of the Valley
The Hidden Ridge is made up of a number of lodges and cabins, most of which contain 4 suites - 2 up and 2 down. (If you don't like the sound of footsteps above you, make sure you ask for a suite on an upper level.) All suites are self-catering and even include a dishwasher. In addition, all suites have a wood burning fireplace.
We really enjoyed our stay here Feb/06. The feather beds were the best I've ever slept on! The rooms are very comfortable and all units have a locker outside your door to store your skis in.
The resort underwent some major renovations from 2008 and into 2009. There is a new hot tub, overlooking the ridge. The views are incredible! You won't be disappointed at this resort.
Candles on the mantle and hand-made soaps from Rocky Mountain Soap company are a really nice touch. So were the nice thick comforters.
The resort has a huge outdoor hot tub which is centrally located. In addition there are a couple of gas bbq's in this area for the use of guests.
- Reviews: 1797
Rimrock Inn: Grands views from every room
The Rimrock was the finest hotel we've ever been in. Service was always available, knowledgeable and friendly. We were able to obtain directions to everyplace we wanted to go and got great suggestions on where to eat in town. The shuttle between town and the hotel was wonderful. Without it, we'd have spent a lot of time looking for a parking place. On top of that, we were able to walk into town using the woodland trails and not have to worry about having to walk back up to the hotel.
Oh!! did I mention that the hotel is located half-way up Sulphur Mountain!
Every room has a view of the mountains. Many look down the valley into Banff Townsite.
- Reviews: 376
Loop Brook Campground: In Glacier Nat'l Park Traveling Towards Banff
My daughter and I stayed here this summer while enjoying a trip to the mountains (usually a yearly pilgrimage) with just us babes...no men along on this trip!
Although we had trouble starting the campstove...eventually abandoning it at our campsite on our way out...and having to resort to building a *real* wilderness fire (from logs, twigs, elbow grease, and a touch of camp fuel...*gasp*) to cook our supper (which took 4 hours!) we actually had an amazingly FUN time!!!
And we proved to ourselves that we could really manage (well...almost) a "girls only trip to the mountains"!!!
Although this campground and the one next to it are in Glacier Nat'l Park, I am including it here (for now) because driving from the West Coast where we live, we usually need to stop somewhere (and these are the best places) on our way to Banff National Park or we'd be arriving very late in the day (evening) and less likely to find a good site in the Banff park.
At Loop Brook Campground, you camp among towering cedars and hemlocks, along fast rivers which flow from the Illecillewaet, Asulkan and Bonney glaciers.
Loop Brook Campground has 20 sites and is located just a few kilometres west of Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park. The campground is open from June to October, on a first come-first served basis. Overflow campsites are available at Sir Donald Picnic Area during July and August.
Sites are assigned by staff at the Rogers Pass Centre and Illecillewaet Welcome Station.
That's where you go to choose and pay for your campsite.
Loop Brook campground also has a self-serve check-in station near its entrance...which we never noticed so didn't use. We paid at the Rogers Pass Centre a few minutes drive away.
The campground has a flush toilet washroom building, log kitchen shelters, food lockers, firewood, and drinking water supplies.
- Reviews: 2924
The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel: Luxury Hotel in Banff townsite
This luxury hotel may be out of our budget, isn't it? It belongs to the Fairmont chain.
- The internet website of the chain, is: www.fairmont.com
- The internet website of the hotel itself, is: www.fairmont.com/banffsprings
- Reviews: 2924
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise: Luxury Hotel in Lake Louise
I haven't overnighted here, of course, but it is worth it at least to go inside and have a look. It is in lake Louise. The Hotel belongs to the Firmont chain.
- The website of the chain, is: www.fairmont.com
- The website of the hotel itself, is: www.fairmont.com/lakelouise
- Reviews: 126
Banff Alpine Centre: Banff's best log cabin!
This is a bit more expensive type of hostel but it's worth it. The dorms have only four beds, and they have a private bathroom. It is separated in two buildings and it has a gigantic parking. It's very beautiful and clean and the staff was very friendly.
- Reviews: 640
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
Well, for all these years I resisted staying at the Banff Springs Hotel -- a major tourist destination in itself, which in my books was not an ideal place to stay. However, I was "forced" to stay there recently as part as a birthday weekend my husband had planned. Oh well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!
I must say the service was fabulous, from the attendants at the front door to the cleaning staff. The only glich that came along was I wanted a a little bar of soap for the bathtub. This took 3 different calls, and at the end I was told that "there are no full sized bars of soap" at the hotel. All I wanted was a little bar of facial soap like one that was left at the sink! I eventually waited until the next day and just took the fresh bar of facial soap that was left at the sink.
The rooms are getting a bit tired and I would balk to pay full high season rates for them. Be forewarned that they start in size from approx 180 sq feet with one double bed, so for optimum space I would book a one bedroom suite. We stayed in one, and it had a small living room with the bedroom. I was really disappointed in the decor; it was along the Victorian genre almost bordering on tacky, which again, would really displese me if I had paid full high season rates. The hotel is sprawling, and it takes a couple of days to figure your way around. There are plenty of quaint little seating areas with antiques, reading tables, and writing desks, a testament of time before tv and internet. Again, some places looked well-worn (I noticed duct tape holding pieces of carpet together in the hallways)
The saving grace of The Banff Springs is their awesome spa -- voted one of the best spas in the world by Travel and Leisure magazine, plus their Sunday buffet is very pricey, but well worth it in the end.
If you are looking for total luxury, pass this place over (drop by for a day visit) and book at the Rimrock Hotel, just down the street . If you must stick with Fairmont, book a room at the Chateau Lake Louise; I have stayed at both properties and if I had to choose, the Chateau Lake Louise rooms are in much better condition.
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