There's something magical about the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel. Its location and grand appearance would be the obvious reasons, but it's more than that. What really makes this four-star hotel special is its devotion to luxury and dedication to excellent customer service.
The local travel experts at Canadiantrainvacations.com can help you arrange your stay at this famous Rocky Mountain hotel. This guide provides insight into what you can expect during your stay and why you should consider adding a few nights here to your Canadian vacation.
Location of Fairmont Banff Springs
Many associate the Rocky Mountains with the United States, but Canada also has a mountain range called the Rockies that is in Alberta and British Columbia. Fairmont Banff Springs is in Banff in Alberta, in an area of the mountains that is easily accessible. This stunning, historic hotel has the nickname of the "Castle in the Rockies."
There are many entertainments in addition to its mountain activities. In addition to the spa on the property, and exploring the alpine town of Banff, there are also nearby attractions, including museums, horseback riding, and events at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, to name a few.
Visiting the Canadian Rockies
The Rocky Mountains are gorgeous, with highlights such as glacier-fed Peyto Lake. It's nothing short of breathtaking. Other standout spots are Moraine Lake, Emerald Lake, and Lake Louise. There are stunning natural landscapes and views of majestic peaks everywhere you look. Lush dense forests lend an air of mystery, and it's hard not to imagine what one would find within the wilderness.
Speaking of which, while you're doing outdoor activities in Banff National Park, keep an eye out for the biggest four-legged residents, such as bears and moose. The area is everything a nature lover could want.
Accessibility to Local Attractions
There are many amazing local attractions to enjoy in the area around the hotel and Fairmont Banff Springs will help you get to them. It offers a shuttle service to several local spots, including ski resorts. For example, it offers a "Banff Ski & Stay Offer" package deal that includes transportation. Due to the hotel's location, if there are any local attractions you want to see or do, it's best if you ask if it offers shuttle service there and back. If it doesn't, staff members will likely be able to provide you with specific instructions about your best option(s).
There are many attractions in and near Banff National Park you're going to want to see and do. For instance, you could take a ride on the Banff Gondola, indulge in the Upper Hot Springs, explore the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum, go tubing or fat biking, or float down the Bow River. A whirlwind of adventure awaits you.
Banff National Park: UNESCO World Heritage Site
The history of the property and the surrounding area makes the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel in Canada even more special and significant.
History of Fairmont Banff Springs
Fairmont Banff Springs has called this area of Banff National Park and the famous alpine town of Banff home since June 1, 1888. Almost 100 years later, in 1984, it, as part of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Three other national parks – Kootenay, Yoho, and Jasper – also received the designation as part of the Canadian Rockies, as did provincial parks Hamber, Mount Robson, and Mount Assiniboine. This significance can have numerous advantages, including increased attention and tourism along with more commitment and interest in protecting the area.
Banff National Park is actually the oldest national park in Canada. It was established on November 25, 1885, just a few years before Fairmont Banff Springs came to be. In 1990, Banff was incorporated as a municipality, becoming the first in the country to do so while also being in a national park.
Fairmont's Banff Springs Historic Architecture
The history of the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel is one featuring perseverance. Considering the hotel dates back to 1888, it's easy to assume that it's constructed of materials from that time period. However, that's not the case. It was originally made of wood, but it burnt down in 1926. It took only two years for the "Castle in the Rockies" to be rebuilt as you see it today. The hotel didn't start staying open year-round until the 70s, and today, there are a multitude of activities to do during every season.
Hotel Accommodations and Amenities
The accommodations and amenities at Fairmont Banff Springs will be an essential part of your trip. Many options are available, letting you decide what will help you make the most of the experience.
Room Options at Fairmont Banff Springs
The Fairmont Banff Springs hotel has 739 guest rooms and suites in various sizes, so you're not short of options. Please note that – due to the extensive range of room types – various aspects, including unique attributes, features, and amenities, can differ. If there are any specifics you desire, such as a particular view, it's best to ask about the request before making the hotel reservation. Availability, especially during exceptionally busy times of the year, plays a part in what rooms are open to reservations.
- Six types of guest rooms are available: the Deluxe Mountain View Room, Fairmont Mountain View Room, Studio Room, Deluxe Room, Gatehouse Room, and the Fairmont Room. These guest rooms, with the exception of the studio room, all have the option of one or two beds. The studio room has one king bed.
- Guests have their choice of nine types of suites: The Majestic Suite - Two Bedroom, Turret Suite, Junior Suite, Summit Suites - Two Bedroom, The Crown Suite - Two Bedroom, The Terrace Suites - Two Bedroom, One Bedroom Suite, Gatehouse Suite, and the Gatehouse Mountain View Suite. The Turret Suites, although the smallest option at 33 sq.m (350 sq.ft.), have the added intriguing perk of being in the castle's towers.
Now, onto the five types of Fairmont Gold accommodations, essentially the crème de la crème of rooms at the hotel. Selections are the Fairmont Gold Room, Fairmont Gold One Bedroom Suite, Fairmont Gold Mountain View Room, Fairmont Gold Junior Suite, and the Fairmont Gold Two Bedroom Suite. The elegant rooms and suites are on private floors with a private entrance. Many amenities are available, but if you're planning on soaking in a tub, you may want to opt for a different type of room, as these include European-style body spray showers instead.
Standard in-room amenities typically include items such as a hair dryer, television, and a coffee/tea maker. Additional amenities requiring a request consist of options such as air conditioning, a crib, and a sofa bed. Connecting rooms may also be an option. Accessible rooms are available at Fairmont Banff Springs, with features ranging from a shower transfer bench to a person lift.
You'll never be short of options for what to do at Fairmont Banff Springs. Golf aficionados can get on the green of the 18-hole golf course that dates back to the 1920s or on the 9-hole Tunnel Mountain course. Once done, visit the 40,000-square-foot Fairmont Spa Banff Springs.
You can also spend time in the Fitness & Aquatic Centre, where you can take a dip in the Fairmont Banff Springs pool, engage in a personal training session, participate in group fitness classes, use the strength training machines or free weights, or just relax and do some yoga.
Recreational activities, ranging from crafts to geocaching, are great options for all ages. Special kid's activities for children ages three to 12 are available. Guests bringing their own bikes and skis must store them with the hotel as they're not allowed in the rooms.
For parents and/or guardians who want to enjoy a little time on their own, the Kids @ The Castle Program has certain nights where – for two hours – there are child minding services, and the first hour is free. Pet-sitting services and third-party babysitting services are also obtainable through the hotel.
Various tours and programs are available. Please view the current list to see which may be of interest. If you have questions about things to do at Fairmont Banff Springs, the concierge can recommend one or more activities.
# Travel Tip: Visit the spa
Booking a facials, massages or body treatment will give you access to the amazing spa facilities at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel for the day. Spend time in the outdoor whirlpool, soak in the indoor Hungarian mineral pool and circuit through the three waterfall-style whirlpools.
Hotel Dining Options
Guests can enjoy in-room dining or spend time at one of the several Fairmont Banff Springs restaurants and bars.
- The Vermillion Room, a restaurant with a focus on French cuisine, is open every day. Breakfast is daily from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., with brunch on Sundays only between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Lunch is Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and dinner is Friday through Monday from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- As the name indicates, the 1888 Chop House concentrates on meat and seafood. It offers dinner and dessert from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.
- Castello Italiana serves – you guessed it – Italian fare for dinner and dessert. It's open Friday through Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- STOCK Food and Drink is open 24/7 and has special menus for overnight, breakfast, and throughout the day. If you want a homemade cake for a special occasion or just when you want to sit in bed and live your best life while diving into your very own dessert, this is where you can get one.
- Grapes is a bar with an emphasis on wine, cheese, bread, and meats. It's open Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Tuesday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Step into a Bavarian-style cottage where you can get German food at Waldhaus Restaurant. Dinner and desserts are available. Please note that it's not a wheelchair-accessible establishment.
- Visit the Waldhaus Pub & Biergarten, which offers an all-day menu of alpine-inspired cuisine. The establishment, which isn't wheelchair accessible, is open every day from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and doesn't take reservations.
- Rundle Bar has an all-day menu that it offers from Friday through Wednesday, starting at 11 a.m. On Friday and Saturday, it closes at 1 a.m., and Sunday through Wednesday, it stays open until midnight. It also hosts a fabulous afternoon tea every day from noon to 3 p.m.
- Ramsay Bar, with its fantastically old-school feel, is open Friday through Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dinner hours are 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Hours at the Fairmont Banff Springs restaurants and bars may change at any time. Private dining experiences are typically available at the hotel. Please review the hotel's website, especially on individual restaurant and bar pages, or speak to the concierge for current information.
Various event spaces, including function halls and ballrooms, are available for meetings and other types of events. Deciding on your ideal wedding location? Consider a Fairmont Banff Springs wedding an opportunity to get married in a castle. Contact the hotel with details regarding your preferences and anticipated guest list size, and staff can recommend options that meet your needs.
# Travel Tip: Look for the secret lounge
The Rundle Bar is worth checking out for its inviting and luxe atmosphere — think upscale, cozy library — but you should also look for the hidden room behind one of the bookshelves. If it’s not booked, you can even sit in there to enjoy an exclusive cocktail.
Guest Reviews and Testimonials
With 12,000+ Fairmont Banff Springs reviews on Google, it's easy to get a good idea of the guest experience. A few reviews include:
- Alexandra Grant says: "We had an incredible stay and thoroughly enjoyed the restaurants and bars on site. Would recommend staying for 2 nights to get the full experience. The outdoor pool was the perfect temperature, and we stayed in it for about an hour while the snow fell. Magical experience worth the money for a special occasion."
- Carol Whetzel states: "I cannot say enough nice things about this place. We opted for the Fairmont Gold level, and it has been well worth it. We loved the private entrance for parking. The private lounge has been our favorite. Everyone is so nice. The customer service has been amazing. We've traveled to a lot of places, and this is by far the best service we've ever received!"
- Nick Pacitti says: "The Fairmont Banff is a stunning hotel, both exterior and interior. We had a great time walking the grounds and taking advantage of the hotel's unique location. However, our room was much smaller than anticipated, and the bathroom, in particular, was hardly navigable. I'm a fairly slim and normal height male and had difficulty showering after long days hiking and in town."
Offers and Exclusive Packages
The Fairmont Banff Springs hotel in Canada has an "Offers" section at the top of its website, making it easy to see current possibilities. Options are subject to change at any time. However, one year-round opportunity is the Banff Bed & Breakfast Package. Make sure to read all the terms and conditions of any package you desire before booking.
There's nothing like the extraordinary experience of staying at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel. It's a beautiful combination of luxury, outstanding service, and nature that you can't help but appreciate.
Ask a travel expert at Canadiantrainvacations.com about including a stay at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel to your trip. This iconic property is included in many of our popular itineraries.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Host Events or Meetings at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel?
You can host events and meetings at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel in Canada. Multiple function halls and ballrooms are on the property.
Can you visit Fairmont Banff Springs without staying there?
It depends on what you want to do while there. For example, you can visit the public areas, including the lobby, bars, and restaurants, but the Fitness and Aquatic Centre is only for hotel guests. If there's a particular activity of interest, contact the concierge before making your way over to learn if it's something non-registered guests can experience.
Is the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel pet-friendly?
Pets are allowed at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel in Canada for an extra charge and a promise to adhere to the pet policy. A portion of the fee goes to the local SPCA. Pet-sitting services are available.
Can I Explore Banff Springs Hotel's neighborhood?
Banff is a beautiful place to explore with many possible activities. However, please keep an eye out (and have respect for) for the local wildlife.
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About the author: Katherine is Product Manager with Fresh Tracks Canada. Having worked in the Canadian travel industry for almost 20 years, she enjoys sharing her local expertise with visitors. She is based in Calgary and one of her favourite Canadian destination is the... Read more
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