Banff Canada

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Accommodation Near Banff & Accommodation Near Lake Louise Canada

Beautiful in summer and winter, Banff and Lake Louise are resort towns in the Rocky Mountains of Canada, just north of the American border near the west coast.


Lake Louise is renowned for its stunning emerald water that flows down from the towering Victoria Glacier. The emerald water colour comes from rock "flour" carried down in melting water from the glaciers towering above.

Photo of Lake Louise's famous view from Chateau Lake Louise


Banff is the bigger of the two towns and really is the place to stay as an alpine resort.  It has varied accommodation including the Fairmont Banff Springs, a Scottish-style baronial castle that's the centre of Banff social life. 


Banff also features many restaurants and good shopping with all of the well-known designer names present. You can take a gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain at the end of the main street for stunning mountain views, or soothe your body in the hot springs around town. 


Banff is quite a busy town and while it's entertaining, it's a little bigger than some of the quaint European resort towns.

Banff near Rocky Mountains Canada

Banff town center near the Rocky Mountains


Since you're staying in a national park, if you get up early you're likely to see all manner of wildlife around Banff including elk, mountain sheep and even grizzly bears. Bear repellant known as bear spray is available for hikers, so be careful if you go off the beaten track.


Lake Louise is an alpine experience 40 minutes from Banff in the heart of Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

 Lake Louise is one of Canada's most beloved destinations. It is such a wonderful adventure to take in the grandeur of the emerald lake from the turreted Chateau Lake Louise.

Chateau Lake Louise

Photo of Lake Louise looking back from lake walk


The views from the chateau's gardens overlooking the lake are matched by the postcard perfect views from the dining area inside the chateau.


Make sure you take the exhilarating walk around the right of the lake.  Be sure to take a side trip off the lakeside path up to Lake Agnes tea garden, a welcome stop with a wonderful view. There's also a world-class ski area here and more ski slopes in winter all around Banff.

restaurant lake louise Canada
Photo of Chateau Lake Louise restaurant with a great view of Lake Louise




If you're looking for a real experience, stay at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, known as the Castle in the Rockies.

As you enter this grand hotel of 770 rooms, you may even see guests checking in with a dog; they're allowed if they're small and well-behaved.


The Banff Fairmont Springs really is a fairytale castle with the rare natural wonder of mountains all around it, whichever way you look.


grand Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
The grand Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel


Even if you're not staying here, go to the outdoor terrace past the lobby and take in one of the world's best views. Have a swim in the heated pool as you soak up the mountains surrounding you.  Then, it's only a 5 minute walk into town across the bridge.


You'll be greeted by the unusual yet endearing sight of Tony, the hotel's deeply-tanned Jamaican ambassador wearing a kilt and long socks.
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
Tony the kilted Jamaican in a Scottish baronial castle in Canada


This stand out Banff hotel was built in 1888 as one of the grand lodges along the Canadian rail system, with sister properties at nearby Lake Louise and three hours further on at the beautiful little hamlet of Jasper. 


The Fairmont Banff Springs has different room types and sizes because earlier travelers didn't always want the ensuites that have been fitted in to every room today. The bathrooms include marble, granite and stainless steel shower heads that spurt water from above and both sides.
A good tip if you think your room is a little small is to request another room which is likely to be different and bigger.


Hotel room photo Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

Photo of Fairmont Banff Springs room with a view


The Fairmont Banff Springs "Gold" package is worth paying a little more for; it includes an impressive breakfast and evening hors d'oeuvres that are so delicious and filling that you won't need dinner afterwards.  When you add the old world ambience of the huge fireplace, it's a wonderful place to be.


Rocky Mountain stream
One of the world's best views from the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel


Other hotels in Banff include the Fox Suites in the middle of town or Hidden Ridge Resort on the outskirts, but this can be crowded with cars packed into the resort in the busy seasons.


For the ultimate tour of this beautiful region, Banff is also the perfect starting point for one of Canada's most scenic drives - the Icefields Parkway, which is also within easy reach of Lake Louise and pretty Jasper.



Our favorite is Melissa's, a cheerful and colorful little place off the main street that has tasty honest fare at a good price.


Coyotes Southwestern Grill is another local favorite especially for breakfast, but get there early because it can be packed by 9am. Try the delicious cornbread, the spicy black bean burrito or chicken enchilada.


At the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, try the hearty fare in the restaurant leading to the outdoor terrace, where on rare occasions wild elk wander in.  The photo below captures the spirit of nature mixing with five star luxury.

 Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

Oh deer at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

Storm Mountain Lodge Restaurant is just out of town on the way to Lake Louise.  Many travelers rave about the delicious food here, including tender meat and organic produce.  If you're passing through at lunch, the bison burger will virtually melt in your mouth for $14 and the chowder is memorable. The chicken is also very good. This is a cute wooden lodge with an open fireplace and leather lounges.


For Monday and Tuesday specials in a pub atmosphere, try the Elk and Oarsman on Banff Avenue, the main street.  Monday nights feature pizza for $10 and Tuesday is their famous Steak Night for around the same price.


For healthy dining, go to Nourish Vegetarian Bistro and Teahouse, also on Banff Ave. This is fun because what you're expecting from the menu often comes out as a total surprise.  The vegetable dishes are so delicious that you won't notice the lack of meat.  The nachos are a standout.




One of the world's most popular holiday destinations, Banff National Park certainly qualifies as one of the world's best holidays. You can indulge the nature lover in you right through to the other extremity of the shopper  in you.

There are lots of beautiful places to see including Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper a little further on, with the incredible Parkfields Iceway in the middle of them all.

If you love nature and luxury all in one, this is a Rocky Mountain high.


Photos of Banff & Lake Louise



Map of Banff Canada

Larger Map of Lake Louise & Banff


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