Prince of Wales Hotel

Waterton Lakes National Park, Off Hwy. 5, Glacier Park Inc., Box 33, , Alberta, T0K 2M0, Canada

5 Reviews

Prince of Wales Hotel
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  • Families54
  • Couples56
  • Solo33
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  • Go back in time at the Prince of Wales in Waterton


    My sister and 13 year old nephew went up to the Prince of Wales on opening day, 2007. We started our stay w/ the very pricey tea (about $40 a person). The lobby where the tea is set up is very gracious...we had a table right by the 4 story windows that overlook the lake. The tartan wearing staff is very gracious, friendly and young. The general manager even came by each table to welcome guests. Tea was wonderul - served on Prince Albert china, we had the Prince of Wales tea and munched on dainties. I especially loved the smoke salmon sandwiches w/ capers. It was fun but ended up taking my nephew down to town later for Subway because he just ate the chocolates and shortbread cookies!
    We checked in and were delighted to get actual keys. We booked a lakeside room on the 2nd floor. This was not what we had thought it would be - a small room w/ a double bed and a single bed. There was a small desk and a nightstand. The bathroom sink was also in the bedroom. The beds were very comfortable, though and had good quality white cotton sheets. They also had turned down the beds and put Canadian chocolate on our pillows. It was rustic and made us laugh - $200 bucks for a room that felt more like a dorm. The bathroom was clean w/ a tub/shower combo (not clawfoot, something more 1960s). The wind was howling outside and rattled the windows. All and all, it was fun. Rooms are not made for hanging out in - we went down that evening and played cards in the lounge and watched the sun fall away over Waterton lake.

    Unique Quality: The lounge/bar offers cheaper faire than the formal resturaunt. I had a celtic sampler (not my thing but well executed) and an Irish whiskey. Lots of seating in the lounge along w/ a cozy fire (it was cool up there in June) and 2 TVs (which delighted my nephew). Really, after an early afternoon of sight seeing, there is not a nicer way to spent the evening.
    I slept well there and was rewarded in the morning w/ that great view.
    My recommendation - Spend the extra cash and get a lakeside room. Remember that this place was built in 1927 and the Prince of Wales tries to keep that feeling alive.

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    Location, Location, Location


    The Prince of Wales Hotel is said to be the most photographed hotel in all of Canada, and once you see it you will immediately understand why. It is a Swiss-style chalet located on a high hill, the prairie to it's back, lofty mountains on both sides and before it, and overlooking a dazzling lake.

    The hotel was built in 1927 and named for Great Britain's Kind Edward VIII, while he was the Prince of Wales. There are 86 guest rooms above an expansive lobby which has large picture windows framing the lake and mountains. There is also a fine restaurant, lounge, English-style tearoom and a gift shop.

    When Karen and I first saw photos of the Prince of Wales Hotel we knew we just had to stay there on our trip to Waterton. We made reservations months in advance, and it's a good thing. The place is usually booked solid.

    The Prince of Wales shows its age somewhat and does not have air conditioning or television in the rooms, but we didn't miss either of them. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in this hotel, although, at $345 CDN per night, plus tax, for a lakeside room it comes close to being the most expensive lodging I've ever had. You can get a much nicer room for less than half the price in many places, but I don't know anywhere that surpasses the romantic ambiance and the breath-taking views found at the Prince of Wales Hotel.

  • sevillesimon's Profile Photo

    A bit of royalty in the Canadian Rockies


    I did not stay at the Prince of Wales Hotel, but came here for a traditional high tea at Valerie's tea room in the lobby. The Prince of Wales was built in the 1920s by Americans and is one of many grand historic lodges in the American and Canadian national park systems. It has a British styled interior decoration due to its namesake, however the real Prince of Wales (King Edward VIII, later abdicated to marry American divorcee Wally Simpson) had never visited this hotel. Some of the male employees wear kilts. The lobby has a huge chandelier and the guest rooms surrounds the central lobby on the upper floors above the main level. The main level also contains the registration desk, restaurant, lounge, gift shop, and an old fashioned elevator. The gentlemen's restroom is located at the -1 level while the ladies restroom is on the second level. As you enter from the main entrance, you first see the central lobby area with couches, and then behind it is Valerie's Tea Room and its giant windows offering views of Upper Waterton Lakes and the Rocky Mountians. Even if you choose not to stay at the Prince of Wales, do come here for a cup of tea or to look at the architecture and interior decorations of this historic hotel.

    Unique Quality: Very British atmosphere and look for male employees in kilts. The panoramic view of the park is perhaps the best from behind the hotel. But beware of the winds; they may just blow you over. During construction of the hotel in the 1920s, one night the winds were over 90 mph and blew parts of the hotel frame off center.

    Directions: Just before reaching Waterton townsite, turn left onto the small road in front of the Parcs Canada Visitor Centre and it will take you directly to the parking lot in front of the Prince of Wales Hotel.

  • Camping_Girl's Profile Photo

    Fabulous Views!


    This is the oldest hotel in Waterton. I have heard some negative comments that the walls are like paper, the floors creak and the rooms are tiny. That may be true. If you are staying here, you need to understand that you aren't getting a room at the Hilton in downtown Calgary. This is a historic building in a rustic setting, appreciate it for that. If you prefer amenities over charm, then you would do well to book at one of the newer facilities in Waterton. If you are the type of person who can get past that and see what's under the surface, you will find an architectural beauty, with the most amazing views of the lake and townsite. In fact, you'd have to climb Bear's Hump to get a better view than this!

    I am the sort of person who prefers a few more amenities than the Prince of Wales can provide, so I have only stayed here once. It wasn't my place. That's not to say the other people don't really love it here, though! I just think the rooms are really expensive for what you get, that's all.

    The hotel serves traditional high tea every afternoon. There is also a lounge; both places have great views.

    Unique Quality: Architecturally outstanding, inside and out.

    There are no televisions or air conditioning in any rooms. Also no in-room coffee makers or mini fridges are available.

  • zrim's Profile Photo

    Rocked to Sleep by the Relentless Wind


    The wind funnels up Waterton Lake through the 8,000+ foot peaks on either side. I don't know exactly how hard the wind was howling during our stay, but I can safely state that it was in excess of 50 mph.

    When the hotel was first being built, it was blown off its foundation by the wind. Our room was up on the fourth floor and it swayed as if we were on a ship--all night long. There was no let up during our stay, the fierce wind was our constant companion.

More about Prince of Wales Hotel

A historic hotel but needs work

by TripAdvisor Member ecojeep

Wow!!! This place got slammed! Lets get the views out of the way first. They are unbelievable, not as amazing as Many Glacier but stil impressive. Unfortunetly every word written about the rooms is correct. They are small, crowded and have thin walls. Stay here one night, just to say you did, but spend the majority of your time in Waterton. Stay in the Prince last, Waterton doesn't have the view and you may find yourself comparing your view in Waterton with that of the Princes' if you don't. I gave this hotel 3 dots because of views, history and.......well, o.k views and history. If the owner of this hotel reads this you really should upgrade the rooms for the price you are charging. But what do I know I only live in the tourist capital of the world....Orlando.

This hotel is definitely not worth the money

by A TripAdvisor Member

Do not waste your money on staying at this hotel. My boyfriend and I spent a week at Glacier National Park, which we loved, and our last day we went up to Waterton and stayed the night at Prince of Wales.

The view is amazing and the town is cute. The hiking is also great, just like Glacier.
However, do not waste your money on this ridicolously overpriced hotel, it was over 200 dollars to stay here and the room was tiny, not very clean, and the beds were hard as a rock.

My recommendation is to go up there for the day, they have buses that do this, or stay somewhere else. We wish we had and we won't be back to this hotel again.

Chicago, IL

View not worth the money poor management

by A TripAdvisor Member

Althought it's been 10 years since I stayed for four nights in the Prince of Wales Hotel with my wife, it still stands out as the 2nd worst hotel we've visited. Yes, it certainly does have a spectacular view, but the view is free. Just drive up, park, walk the grounds, and take all the pictures you like. And yes, it does have a charming look to it. It seemed very grand inside, and picturesque outside.

However, the prices I paid were the highest prices I have ever paid out of my own pocket for a hotel anywhere. Our room was over $300 a night. It was a corner room. I like that it had a great view on two sides, one of which overlooked the lake. It was without a doubt the most spectacular view I've ever had from any hotel I've ever visited. That may be enough for some people, but for me, I wanted more for my $300+ a service.

The first night we arrived late, so we ate in the dining room. The food was so expensive! And really, I've had better meals at regular franchise restaurants. It was bland and skimpy, not cooked very well.

The elevator didn't go high enough to get us to our room, so we had to haul our luggage the last few flights...but no discount for THAT!

The next morning I wanted coffee. Many hotels have a coffee pot in the room, Prince of Wales rooms do not. I went down and inquired into this, they told me I could get it in the restaurant, for about 3 bucks a cup!! And only if I'm sitting down to a meal, no carry out, or carry up to the room.

Later, in the lobby, we asked about the visitor center, they gave us the directory, but would not let us use the phone. "Why not, I'm a paying guest", I asked. "The phone is for hotel use only" was the reply. So I trudged back up to the room to make the call (pre-cell phone days). It's the little things that give big hints about the quality of a hotel.

Each day we learned to avoid the restaurant, the "high tea" (or as I call it, Highly Priced Lipton), and asking for anything from the staff. Remember this, you are the guest, they are the staff, they don't like you and don't want to have to associate with you, it's beneath them.

The rooms were small, and the bathroom was just a closet with facilities. No AC, so hope for a good breeze. Cheesy furnishings, like a cheap motel. Actually, that's the feeling I had from this place from the start...a cheap motel, tacky...tacky...tacky... They capitalize on a good view and the heck with the rest. As cheaply as they can do it, is good enough for THEM! I suppose I wouldn't complain if I'd only been charged $50 a night or so, but for the price I was charged, I expect a LOT more. I have noticed that park hotels are usually bad quality...such as the #1 worst hotel I've ever stayed at, the one at the Grand Canyon.

Waterton is wonderful, the hikes are some of the best I've had, the shops, restaurants, pubs, ect, are great. The lake is beautiful, the scenery is well worth the trip.

I asked the staff who owns the hotel, thinking a complaint letter would be in order. I was told, get this, it was the Dial Soap Company! I'm sure they know tons about the hotel business. If I had the money, I'd buy the place, just to shut it down and put up a sign saying "closed due to horrible management".

A Grand Old Lady - But Not Again

by TripAdvisor Member cav1865

We hadn’t planned on staying at the Prince of Wales Hole in Waterton, Alberta, Canada, but we discovered that the hotel had opened two weeks early, and the hotel had many rooms available at discount prices of 150 USD per night so we stayed one evening on Jun4th, 2006. The historic eighty-year-old hotel generally brings two types of travelers’ reviews: grand old lady with epic scenic vistas, or run-down overpriced old place totally lacking in modern accoutrements.

Travelers should know and fully comprehend that staying in historic lodges or hotels in national parks means staying in a much older set of buildings which were not constructed with spacious and large rooms having the latest in modern conveniences and technology. You stay in these hotels because of their historic significance surrounded by astonishing epic scenery. We knew this in advance and we weren’t disappointed.

The hotel is not open all year. The harsh winter weather does batter the building and you will see signs of weathering such as peeling paint, but the overall condition of the building was satisfactory to me. We found the hotel staff to be friendly, efficient, and willing to respond quickly to any of our inputs and needs. No problems there.

Our second floor corner room was small, but not cramped. We took the stairs to our room, but an old-style elevator is in operation to take you to the upper floors. The bathtub/shower combination is in a small room all to itself and allowed me to shower or to comfortably soak in the ample hot water. The sink was inset into the wall outside of the toilet area. We didn’t mind this arrangement. The double bed in the room was a bit small, but comfortable. We slept well. I did sense that when the hotel is fully booked, the place would get noisy.

The rooms do not have televisions, radios, or Internet hookups. The rooms do have telephones. The rooms do not have air conditioning, and I can’t comment on what the temperature is in the summer. We had to turn on the electric baseboard heating in our room as the evenings were still chilly.

Our south-facing room gave us a grand view of the lake and surrounding mountains. This was worth the price. You won’t see this from any other place in Waterton. Yes, you pay for the view, and what a view it is! A circling bald eagle one afternoon astonished even the most experienced high-country travelers. We did sit in the large and wonderfully built lobby just to enjoy the solitude and the scenery through the massive south-facing windows.

The restaurant and bar are too expensive; I would avoid them. Except for the hotel’s delicious buffet breakfast, we ate our meals in the small town of Waterton: a short distance away.

I most likely will not stay in the Prince of Wales Hotel again but I will certainly return just to sit in the lobby and have tea. A reasonable, experienced traveler would conclude that the hotel’s historic significance and scenery just are not worth the high seasonable price, although we got a bargain when they opened early. I would recommend you find lodging in Waterton proper and go to the hotel just to have tea in the wonderful lobby and walk through the grand old lady at least once.


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 Prince of Wales Hotel

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Prince Wales Hotel Waterton
Hotel Prince Of Wales

Address: Waterton Lakes National Park, Off Hwy. 5, Glacier Park Inc., Box 33, , Alberta, T0K 2M0, Canada