Affordability - 3.1
Romance - 9.1
Food - 9.3
Adventure - 8.7
- His Top Tips
2. You don’t need to be staying at the hotel to dine there, and if you’re going to eat in Banff, you won’t find better than what the hotel has to offer.
3. Banff is a perfect place to set up camp for skiing. Sunshine Village, Lake Louise, Nakiska, and Norquay are all close by.
When I meet people from other countries and they ask me where in Canada they should visit, Banff is always in my top 5 recommendations.
Banff is perfectly located in the heart of the Rockies with easy access to Sunshine Village, Lake Louise, Nakiska, Norquay, and countless other world class ski hills. The town has an “old west” kind of feel, played up to the point that’s charming without diving in to the realm of tacky. Smaller hotels, restaurants, and shops along the main strip resemble log cabins, adorned in rundlestone which creates the sense that the town seamlessly blends in to the mountains that surround it. If it were not so huge, the Banff Springs Hotel would have the same effect.
The Banff Springs is like no other hotel in which I have ever stayed. And that is exactly what is so amazing about it. From a distance, it appears as a castle that appears out of nowhere, a safe haven in the midst of absolute wilderness. The hotel is about as luxurious as you can possibly find while remaining as rugged as the mountains that surround it. I suppose that’s also one of the reasons I love it so much. I don’t feel flimsy staying at the Banff Springs, I feel like a man… a man who enjoys the outdoors.
While Europe is home to castles that were built by kings and queens thousands of years ago, the Banff Springs was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway at a time when the nation was beginning to form. It is just as crucial a landmark in Canada as Edinburgh Castle is in Scotland, although in a completely different manner. Without the railway, Canada would simply not exist as the nation that it is today. It was created to entice settlers from Europe to populate the west and keep the Americans from expanding north. It was an enormous undertaking for its time, and would still be equally as impressive if carried out today. Aside from the fact that the hotel plays host to some of the most incredibly lavish restaurants, bars, lounges, and shops in western Canada, it also serves as a massive museum with grand hallways and ballrooms lined with paintings of past CPR presidents and trains snaking their way along mountainsides.
If you can’t afford to stay in the hotel (which is understandable, it is by no means a cheap affair), the town of Banff offers countless discount hotels and hostels in the area for around $30/night at peak season. If this is the case, you should at least take the opportunity to wander the main floor of the Banff Springs, enjoy a drink in the Rundle Room, and grab some dinner at Castello (my favorite restaurant in the hotel) if you are willing to spend a little extra.
Trail rides, hiking, golf, and visiting Bow Falls are all popular in the summer, whereas the winter is completely devoted to skiing and snowboarding. If you are looking to fly in to town, you will need to arrive in Calgary and either hop on the shuttle bus to Banff or rent a car and drive your way out west for about an hour. This is a great little town to see Canada’s natural beauty, devour some incredibly tasty (although often expensive) food, enjoy some of the world’s best ski hills, and learn a bit about the country’s history. For all of these reasons, Banff is a must see when in Canada.Banff in alberta