Approximately 20 minutes past Lake Louise, the Emerald Lake Lodge is located on a peninsula on the gorgeous shores of the appropriately named Emerald Lake, in Yoho National Park, BC. The original lodge was built in 1902, and was one of the Canadian Pacific Railway hotels, along with The Chateau Lake Louise, but is now owned by The Rocky Mountain Resort Group. The lodge and cabins as you now see them are a result of an extensive renovation done in 1986.
This place is not cheap; it is rustic elegance at it's best, and the off-season rate for a suite on the lake is approximately $260 CDN a night. However, if you can afford one night, go for it. We were fortunate enough to spend a long weekend at the lodge, and all I can say is it is a five-star experience from the moment the shuttle bus driver picks you up from the hotel lot. The rooms are decorated in eclectic rustic elegance -- antiqued pine furniture and fieldstone wood-burning fireplaces, slate bathroom tiles, with a Nygard designer microfibre duvet cover on the down duvet. 100% cotton sheets and soft, fluffy white robes -- need I say anything more?
Generous-sized suites are located in cabin-style buildings, and I recommend asking for an upstairs suite, as the common door can bang very loudly with people coming and going. Bring binoculars, as there are many chances for viewing wildlife -- we saw foraging bear early one morning across the lake on an avalanche slope. Even though the lodge and cabins are in a prime tourism spot, the way the hotel is situated, the area remains quiet and secluded.
The hot tub/exercise area are immaculate ( anyone who would want to use a treadmill when they are in such beautiful hiking country is beyond me). There are many easy walking paths located around the lodge, as well as hikes. Make sure to do the lake circuit, a gorgeous, easy walk, that is 5.2 km, and takes perhaps an hour to complete.
The only tv is in the guest lounge, located in the upstairs of the main lodge. Satellite fed, it has extensive channel choices. There is also free internet access -- complete with a new flat-screen computer. There is phone service in each guest room.
If you are staying at the hotel, you must park in the designated overnight guest lot approx 5 minutes from the lodge and lake. The shuttle bus is operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They will deposit your luggage in your suite, as you could have a fair walk from the main lodge.
This quaint lodge is located just off the Trans Canada near Golden, BC and is an affordable alternative to pricey National Park accomodation. It is about 45 minutes west of Yoho National Park.
We arrived late one evening, and left the next morning, but from what little we saw, we would love to return again. Our room was huge, and decorated simply but pleasantly with Scandanavian-style furniture. There was a sitting area, as well as a beverage centre with coffee maker, complete with coffee, tea and hot chocolate and bar fridge.
You would never know you were just off the highway -- the setting is a wooded area near the Blaeberry River, and everything about this place just charms the dickens out of you, especially the llama farm located next door.
Our back balcony looked out onto the Blaeberry River, and we sat and watched the sun set, and felt very much at peace indeed. Wander down the back dirt road and there are plenty of raspberries and suprisingly sweet thimbleberries for snacking. The lodge is set up very thoughtfully, and the management seem to want to keep their guests as comfortable as possible. The breakfast is not bad, as I'm not a fan of European breakfasts, but is satisfying enough.
The cabins usually do not include breakfast.
The Lake O'Hara Lodge is located on the shores of Lake O'Hara, and I feel that it unfortunately caters to the more wealthier of mountain park visitors. We have not personally stayed here, but got the chance to tour the building extensively with a returning ex-staff member, so saw all areas of the building.
Prices are extremely expensive for what you get -- approx $685 per night per couple, for one of the prime lakeside cabins, and $465 per night per couple for a lodge room, both rates including full board. Plus, there is a minimum stay for 2 nights. Judging from the very rustic environment of the lodge v. the luxury prices of the rates, I would not shell out that much just to say that I stayed overnight on the shores of the famous Lake O'Hara.
You MUST book very early, as there is a waiting list for reservations. All reservations are given to returning clientelle first, then new reservations are considered, which I don't think is a very fair practice.
Touring the lodge rooms, I found them dark and depressing; there is a shared washroom each for men and women, and it reminded me of staying at a boarding school. The furniture almost appears to be made from orange crates, and the rooms cramped. The cabins are just as rustic and cramped.
However, I must say that I've heard rave reviews about the copious amounts of gourmet food, the staff are extremely friendly and efficient, and though simple, the lodge is very, very, clean. There is a comfortable seating area downstairs with large sofas and tables for eating, and a separate "mud room" to store hiking or skiing equipment, so the lodge stays clean and orderly. You get to ride in a better, roomier bus than the regular visitors to Lake O'Hara and you can't beat the gorgeous surroundings. However, for the prices charged, one can stay at the Post Hotel 15 minutes east on the main highway for comparably the same price and be a lot more comfortable with many more amenities. Or, you would be better off staying at the Lake Louise Hostel or a simple motel in Golden, pay each day for entry to the park, and be so much further ahead. I was that unimpressed and disappointed with the rooms.
When you want to feel like you are a million bucks, stay at the Post Hotel. Affiliated with the Relais and Chateau Swiss chain, service is impeccable and they make you feel like you're a famous movie star, not some schmuck from Calgary. The rooms are a unique blend of luxury and simple rustic. Cleanly whitewashed walls and elegantly simple pine furniture combine with luxurious granite and heated slate floor bathrooms. Relax under a fluffly down comforter after your jazucci bath with Aveda products. Most rooms have wood-burning fireplaces.
Also, their restaurant is rated one of the top dining rooms in the world, with their wine cellar winning a Wine Spectator Award. The waiters even have those roller crumb removers that they pull out after you finish your meal. Now, that's classy.
Travel and Leisure Magazine voted The Post Hotel one of the top 10 places to stay in North America for 2004 (best value resort) and #44 of the top 100 North American Hotels (2005)
Andre and George Schwarz , two brothers that own the hotel, are always on hand supervising the facilities, which ensures good quality control. The employees seem happy and genuinely want you to have a good experience. There's a decent pool and jacuzzi, with a recently added spa and exercise room with state-of-the-art equipment, and skating on the front lawn in the winter. You can indulge in afternoon tea from 2:00 pm until 5:00 pm in their comfy and elegant front lobby (the raspberry yogurt cake is my favorite) while gazing onto Mt. Temple.
Also most rooms have a balcony. Just make sure to book on the "preferred side" not the "standard side" and your stay will be very quiet. The standard side includes the parking lot and the railroad tracks. To be totally honest, I'm a light sleeper, and the train isn't a problem (the engineers mercifully don't blow the whistle) but the people using the parking lot is. Go all out and book one of the cabins on the Pipestone River.
This is the best deal for a luxury hotel in the Rockies, taking into account location, price, and amenities, plus none of those pesky hidden "resort fees".
This was a very nice find that I found on the web. They are one of the few places in Canada that honor the AAA discount. And, during the off season plus the discount this place was very affordable. There is a playground for kids, and outside barbeques for sharing. You have a choice of 2 different mountain ranges for viewing from your suite. They had a hot tub, but it was in maintenance when we arrived so we could not use it. Staff is very friendly and is locally owned and operated.
Right in the heart of downtown Canmore, Alberta. Close to shops and Boston Pizza pub and lounge. Good view of the Three Sisters mountain peaks and one other but I forgot the name.
I did not stay at this lodge but the views I found from it's grounds were the best I could find. The buildings looked very fairly plain on the outside but very luxurious inside. From their website I could also see that they serve breakfast and dinner as well. I would love to return some day and stay there.
Secluded 1 kilometer from the highway, amongst beautiful woods, you will find these cute lodge and chalets. The cabin we got was very ample and extremely cozy, with its fireplace, kitchenette and a dining table and bed that reminded us of the 3 little bears. Central heating worked just fine. The only weird thing was the shower water... it smelled like sulfur. It was a charming night at a GREAT price.
This resort by Emerald Lake is both luxurious and rustic. Originally built by CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) in the early 20th Century, Emerald Lake Lodge is currently operated by CRMR (Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts), a company that also owns several similar resorts throughout Yoho and Banff National Parks. The main building has meeting rooms, a couple of restaurants, and a games room. The living unit is made of 24 cabin-style buildings accommodating up to 200 guests.
If you plan to stay here and arrive by car, don't drive all the way to the Lodge. Instead, park your car at the over-night parking and take the shuttle to the Lodge. This is so that Lodge guests and regular visitors to the lake don't compete for the same parking. Also, National Park permit is not required in the Lodge's over-night parking. Behind the parking is the dorm for Lodge employees.
This is an all-season resort. In the winter you can ski or snowshoe. In the summer you can hike, bike, or canoe.
Lake O'Hara Campground lies about a kilometer away from Lake O'Hara itself. This campground has sites that are roughly 9x9 feet as well as two cook shelters and decently clean outhouses. As it's not possible to drive to the campground, you'll have to pack everything with you when you head in on the Lake O'Hara bus. Bear boxes are provided. The entire campground is in a wooded, peaceful spot. The location of the campground makes it convenient for getting to the lake: a 12-15 minute walk on the road takes you to the lakeside and Le Relais Day Shelter. However, the more scenic alternative is to follow Cascade Creek instead of the road to the lake.
From the road right outside the campground, there are good views of Cathedral Mountain.
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