Fairmont Banff Springs
Landmark resort in the Canadian Rockies
What it is
Your baronial base for exploring Banff National Park.
What it isn't
A bona fide ski resort—though three ski areas are less than an hour's drive away.
What we think
As you'd expect of a historic Fairmont railway hotel, the Banff Springs rises like a massive chateau above the snow-dusted evergreens of Banff National Park, a jumble of turrets and mansard roofs, with the Canadian Rockies providing a majestic backdrop. Built in the style of a Scottish castle in 1888 and expanded and reconstructed in the years since, the resort serves as a gateway to the park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of mountains, forests, hot springs and ski runs. The grandeur of the exterior continues in the stacked-stone lobby with its palatial central staircase. Upstairs, the 745 rooms and suites have a traditional and homey décor (dark wood bed frames, slipper chairs, marble baths) that befits the history-steeped but family-friendly atmosphere. Junior suites have a separate living area, and the turret suites have a spiral staircase leading up to a romantic bedroom aerie. Activities on offer include both a 9- and an 18-hole golf course in summer, tobogganing hills in winter, and a bowling alley any time of year. There's also an award-winning spa and a multitude of dining options—tops is the 1888 Chop House, which specializes in local and sustainably raised beef and bison.
You're here because
The natural wonders of Banff are on your life list, and your easily-bored brood requires a full menu of activities and dining options.
You're about to take your swing at the fourth hole when something in the distance catches your eye: A majestic elk, its intricate antlers held high and proud, emerges from the pines and walks across the fairway.
Restaurants & Bars
1888 Chop House - Presents a modern twist with a menu focused on prime cuts
Vermillion Room - French inspired menu with effortless Canadian charm
Castello Italiana - Modern Italian cuisine
Waldhaus Restaurant - German-inspired alpine cuisine served in a rustic cottage
The Lookout Patio - Open seasonally in the summer. Features gourmet burgers, share plates and salads.
Stanley's Smokehouse - Traditional barbecue fare
Rundle Bar - Stylish cocktails and light fare
Grapes Wine Bar - A curated selection of meats and cheeses paired with a selection of wines
Ramsay Lounge - A relaxed and informal setting with cool cocktails
STOCK - Hand-crafted light meals, coffees, alcoholic beverages and a whole new take on a quick meal at the Castle.
Just above the famous Bow Falls and a short stroll from the town of Banff, the resort is about 1 hour 45 minutes from Calgary International Airport.