I’ve been receiving a lot of feedback about my best places to stay in the Canadian Rockies blog entries. Many of you have been clamoring for a guide to the town of Banff and the best places to stay near Banff National Park. Well, here it is. It wasn’t easy to narrow down the list to five places, but with perseverance and concentration, I finally pulled it off.
Banff is actually Canada’s highest town, sitting at 4,800 feet in the middle of the Rockies. It is surrounded by mountains, notably Mt Rundle, Sulphur Mountain, Mt. Norquay and Cascade Mountain. Banff is also situated above Bow Falls near the junction of the Bow and Spray rivers.
Thus, there are a great variety of hotels, lodges, cabins and places to shack up for the night.
First on the list, I have to pay homage to the Fairmont Banff Springs, a veritable castle in the middle of the mountains. If this experience doesn’t take you back to mid-millennia England, than you must be a historian with a fine eye for detail. The Banffshire Club itself is a throwback to the original Banff, located in Scotland. Comlpetely equipped with every service you can think of, Banff Springs is truly a luxurious way to spend a week in the Rockies.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Banff Voyager Inn. This hotel has 88 rooms and is positioned close to downtown Banff. It’s definitely a family atmosphere and the rooms are beautifully crafted from redwood-finished furnishings, giving it a rustic feel.
Now, one of my favorite options in Banff has to be the Rimrock Resort Hotel. Why? Because there is a great hike just minutes from the hotel, that leads adventurers to Sulphur Mountain. The property overlooks Mt. Rundle and is not more than three miles from downtown. Constructed In the early 1990s, this hotel beckons Canadian Railway-era style with a marble-clad lobby and high ceilings. When it’s time to fill your stomach, you need not look further than… yep you guessed it: Eden.
There are many Banff hotels just minutes from the Banff Gondola. This hotel is a great option for young couples looking to enjoy the town of Banff as well as the mountains and national park. One of the benefits of staying in Banff lodges is that they are close to Banff tour companies, offering a myriad of activities around the area.
If you are looking to stay on the outskirts of Banff, somewhere among the trees and rock, the Buffalo Mountain Lodge is a great option for outdoor adventurers and families. In the area, you can walk to waterfalls, lakes and streams. The Hoodoos rock formations are less than one kilometer from the lodge, and upper hot springs are just around the corner. The lodge has a rustic sensation with high ceilings, copper and glass light fixtures and wood furnishings. Reservations are a must because there are only 108 rooms and suites available, and the summer is popular with travelers from all over the world. The Buffalo Mountain Lodge, my friends, is the mountain man’s favorite of the Best of Banff. Check it out and tell them the Mountain Man sent you.