Right in the heart of Banff National Park sits a legendary hotel dubbed the “Castle in the Rockies,” the Fairmont Banff Springs. The discovery of the area’s natural hot springs led to the creation of Canada’s first National Park here, and this landmark hotel has been welcoming guests to the area for more than 125 years.
This unforgettable retreat in Alberta, Canada offers impeccable service, exceptional cuisine and stunning vistas of the Canadian Rockies at an affordable price. And it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Banff is a playground in every season that seems especially magical when the snow falls. Visitors can strap on snowshoes to explore the pristine wilderness of Banff National Park accompanied by a trained naturalist or venture further afield with the heli-snowshoeing option.
For something tamer, the glacier-fed lakes in the park become scenic ice rinks every winter. Take a whirl on the rink at the hotel where you can lace up your skates under a shelter and warm up near a crackling fire. Nearby is the lake at Chateau Lake Louise, home of January’s annual Ice Magic Festival.
Explore the vast mountain terrain on a snowmobile with a half or full day tour, or head off feeling cozy under a bundle of blankets behind a team of huskies. Dogsledding is an ideal way to journey through the park’s mountains and valleys. There’s also skiing, snowboarding, and cross country adventures right outside the door at Ski Louise.
The hotel’s Willow Stream Spa is ready when you need to relax from a day on the snow with pulsating waterfalls, soothing mineral pools and a selection of services to refresh and renew body and spirit.
After skiing it’s a short stroll from the hotel to the town of Banff, a charming place to discover local galleries and museums, upscale shopping and restaurants, and popular local attractions including the Banff Gondola that’s known for delivering panoramic 360-degree views of the valley.
There are endless activities to keep kids engaged as well. Besides the sports options, the hotel has a Kids Club, a bowling and entertainment center and pool areas. Even pets are welcomed as family members provided you let the hotel know when you reserve your room.
Banff is under two hours from Calgary, so you can sample the city nightlife or join the enthusiastic crowds who cheer on the NHL’s Calgary Flames playing Canada’s national sport.
Just outside of Banff National Park you can try caving, led by an interpretive guide who keeps everyone safe as they experience an underground world with no lighting, handrails, or walkways – just caves in their natural state.
Fairmont Banff Springs offers world-class amenities in its 764 guest rooms, some tucked away in quiet corners, some spacious suites with sweeping mountain views. With rates starting at about $120 per night, it’s affordable luxury for travelers who crave winter adventure in a setting that’s one of the world’s most naturally beautiful places.
Photo credit: Fairmont Banff Springs