Today (September 12, 2016): best hotels & lodges in the Canadian Rockies.
Renowned for their jaw-dropping scenery, the Canadian Rocky Mountains are comprised of Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho National Parks and Mount Robson, Mount Assiniboine, Spray Valley and Hamber Provincial Parks. In all of these regions, travelers are amazed by deep blue glacial lakes, endless pine forests, rugged mountains, and abundant wildlife, with the mighty grizzly bear roaming free in this vast wilderness. To assist you in finding your ideal accommodation, I have compiled a top 10 list of my favorite hotels & lodges in the Canadian Rockies.
What is your favorite lodge in the Canadian Rockies? Do you think I missed one? Leave a comment or take my poll below.
When you visit Emerald Lake Lodge, you follow in the footsteps of legendary guide Tom Wilson – who discovered this magical location – famed for its jade-coloured waters – more than 100 years ago during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Today, the hotel remains one of North America’s most outstanding and year-round accessible lodges in a wilderness setting. With its century-old fireplaces and an oak bar salvaged from an 1890’s Yukon saloon, there is no shortage of history within these walls. Built of hand-hewn timber and featuring massive stone fireplaces, the lodge includes an elegant dining room, quiet reading and sitting rooms, conference facilities and a games room.
The Rimrock Resort Hotel is a AAA/CAA Four Diamond Hotel located on Sulphur Mountain in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, a few minutes from the small city of Banff. The hotel offers exceptional views of the Canadian Rockies, fine dining, a relaxation spa and special accommodation packages to suit your vacation needs. Whether a weekend away or a trip of a lifetime, the Rimrock Resort Hotel is a convenient base for a holiday in the Rockies, because it’s located steps from the Banff Upper Hot Springs and the Banff Gondola plus we in close proximity to some of Banff’s premier activities which include golfing, skiing, hiking, biking and popular sights and attractions.
- Hotel website: Rimrock Resort
Situated in Alberta’s magnificent Jasper National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the iconic Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge resort invites you to experience one of Canada’s greatest lodges, surrounded by nature and abundant wildlife. The 700 acre year-round luxury mountain resort wraps around the shores of pristine Lac Beauvert and features Canada’s number one golf resort course. The resort’s charming village of cedar chalets and luxury signature cabins, all connected by picturesque paths, offer guests unique access to explore the natural environment surrounding the resort.
- Hotel website: Fairmont Jasper
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, and $100 USD resort credit).
- Review: coming soon.
Can serene alpine beauty and outdoor mountain adventure sit side by side in the same place? Visitors to Lake O’Hara, the crown jewel of the Canadian Rockies, already know the answer: yes! And the magnificent area has a lakeside lodge at its center. With hot showers, claw foot bathtubs and thick goose down comforters to keep you warm and cozy in bed, the Lake O’Hara Lodge is the perfect place for relaxation after an amazing day of hiking or skiing. In addition, guests can enjoy fine dining and an extensive British Columbia wine list, as well as a massive stone fireplace and postcard-quality views that can be found throughout the property.
- Hotel website: Lake O’Hara Lodge
Surrounded by soaring mountain peaks, the majestic Victoria Glacier and a glistening emerald lake, the world-famous Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise hotel is located in Alberta’s Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is recognized globally for progressive environmental stewardship and responsible tourism. Originally built as a base for outdoor enthusiasts and alpinists over 100 years ago, the massive Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a year-round luxury mountain resort offering guided mountain tours, world-class skiing in the winter, scenic hiking and canoe activities in the summer, kid’s camp, a luxury spa, and exceptional dining experiences.
- Hotel website: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, and a souvenir personal portrait session with a professional photographer).
Mount Engadine Lodge is a hidden getaway in the pristine Spray Valley Provincial Park, south of Banff. Named one of Canada’s “Top Ten Hidden Gems” by TripAdvisor, the lodge has recently undergone a full redesign, bringing the resort experience into the wild, beautiful settings of Canada. A specialized, full-service staff is engaged in making each guest’s experience a relaxing adventure. Meals are served ‘family style’, which is great for getting to know people. At a maximum capacity of 20 guests per night, the lodge maintains an atmosphere of a quiet retreat to indulge your need to disconnect and unwind.
Tucked in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, just 15 minutes from Lake Louise, this architecturally stunning timber lodge is a collection of log cabins set among sheltering trees and soaring peaks. Here, guests wake up to the call of an alpine river, the scent of fresh pine, and the majesty of the surrounding mountains. The lodge features reclaimed Douglas-fir beams, large picture windows, and a massive rock fireplace that warms guests relaxing in the lounge and on the outdoor deck overlooking the Kicking Horse River. Guests are also rewarded with fine regional cuisine and accompanying wines before retiring to their beautifully appointed cabins at the end of the day!
- Hotel website: Cathedral Mountain Lodge
The world-famous Fairmont Banff Springs hotel stands as a landmark in the picturesque alpine town of Banff, Alberta. Canada’s “Castle in the Rockies” has been providing legendary hospitality to its guests for more than 125 years. With 768 guest rooms and suites, this is a massive resort, but the superbly appointed accommodations and the attentive, personalized service guarantee an intimate experience. And you have a choice, from cozy rooms tucked away in quiet corners of the castle to spacious suites with sweeping Alberta mountain views. Don’t forget visit the Willow Stream Spa to sooth sore muscles in the mineral bath, the perfect end to an enchanting day.
- Hotel website: The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
- Other accolades: The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel also features in my top 10 list of the most luxurious hotels in Canada.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, authentically local welcome gift, and $50 USD spa credit).
- Review: read here my review of the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.
The Post Hotel & Spa, a member of Relais & Châteaux, is located close to Lake Louise and often celebrated as one of the world’s finest destination hotels. The property originally opened in 1942 as Lake Louise Ski Lodge by legendary local guide Jim Boyce, and was renamed in 1957 as the Post Hotel. The name was chosen for two reasons: first, to recall the many Post Hotels in the Alps; second, an additional building on the property was leased to the Post Office. Guest amenities include a full service, an award-winning restaurant and wine cellar (not to be missed!), a fireside lounge, a recreation area including an indoor pool, whirlpool and a state of the art fitness room, a well-stocked library, and a full-service spa.
Nestled in a breathtaking valley along the most spectacular lake in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Moraine Lake Lodge provides the ultimate romantic getaway for those seeking a luxurious escape for a honeymoon, anniversary, hiking experience, or a relaxing vacation. All cabins and rooms offer custom designed, hand-crafted log furniture and true Canadian Rocky Mountain comfort with luxurious down duvets, fine Woolrich blankets and pillows, plus beautifully appointed bathrooms with deep soaker tubs. In keeping with a mountain get-away experience, there are no telephones or televisions in any of the rooms.