Fairmont Banff Jasper

Old Dec 8, 19, 9:11 am
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Fairmont Banff Jasper

I will be staying for the first time in a Fairmont hotel soon at Jasper.
The hotel has a very interesting winter package with snowshoes, skates,etc. for a relatively cheap resort fee of $ 30.

Does the hotel in Banff offer a similar package? It looks like a very stylish hotel but at twice the price of its namesake in Jasper I would expect something more than just a room.
Has somebody experienced this hotel in winter?
Is it worth paying twice the price of the Fairmont in Jasper, as well as on average double the prices of other hotels in Banff?
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Old Dec 8, 19, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by kcaluwae View Post
I will be staying for the first time in a Fairmont hotel soon at Jasper.
The hotel has a very interesting winter package with snowshoes, skates,etc. for a relatively cheap resort fee of $ 30.

Does the hotel in Banff offer a similar package? It looks like a very stylish hotel but at twice the price of its namesake in Jasper I would expect something more than just a room.
Has somebody experienced this hotel in winter?
Is it worth paying twice the price of the Fairmont in Jasper, as well as on average double the prices of other hotels in Banff?
While both hotels are located in their respectively named National Parks in the Canadian Rockies, they are very different hotels. The Fairmont in Jasper is named the "Jasper Park Lodge", not "hotel", because of what it is. They do have a main hotel building where there are some rooms and all of the services and dining options, but it is mostly a sprawling property around a mountain lake, with individual cabins around the grounds that you stay in. It is well set up for things like skating and snowshoeing. If you are looking for a hotel in Banff to partake in ice skating, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, etc. right from the hotel's front door, then you will find more of that at the Chateau Lake Louise than the Banff Springs Hotel. The Banff Springs is in a lovely mountain setting, but would focus more on travellers looking for a more luxury hotel experience than a luxury outdoor adventure experience. The Chateau Lake Louise is a mix of the two.

In the winter, the most popular outdoor service to guests of the Banff Springs is probably the free shuttle bus to the area ski hills, rather than skates and snowshoes (which they do have, although I've not used them so don't know if they're free or come with an additional rental charge). However, they do have a small outdoor skating rink. But unlike Lake Louise and Jasper, the Banff Springs is not on the shore of a lake, so it's a man-made skating rink.

I've stayed at all three of them several times, and they are all great places. Jasper is normally cheaper than the other two, probably because it is twice as far from any international airport. Jasper National Park, in general, receives half the number of tourists than Banff National Park.
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Last edited by CanadaDH; Dec 8, 19 at 10:04 am
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Old Dec 8, 19, 10:05 am
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Banff Springs is on the edge of town, next to a golf course, but if you're energetic you can walk to town for restaurants and stores. There might be a small museum. It's the closest of the three to the airport if you're flying and renting a car.

Lake Louise is an iconic historic property, with stunning location and building. It's isolated, although there is a variety of restaurants in the hotel. It's also very large, with mostly identical rooms that are rather small. Bus tour groups seem to stay here.

Jasper is a modest lodge in an interesting setting.
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Old Dec 11, 19, 3:46 am
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Thanks for the info, I will have another look at the activities that we want to do to see if staying at Lake Louise is an option.
Lake Louise is in the middle of nature, which looks really attractive, but if we want to take part in activities that leave from Banff we would need to drive 40-minutes (one-way). I'm OK doing that once but not every day.
Maybe a combination of a few nights in Lake Lousie and some in Banff will work best.
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Old Dec 11, 19, 6:25 am
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Originally Posted by kcaluwae View Post
Thanks for the info, I will have another look at the activities that we want to do to see if staying at Lake Louise is an option.
Lake Louise is in the middle of nature, which looks really attractive, but if we want to take part in activities that leave from Banff we would need to drive 40-minutes (one-way). I'm OK doing that once but not every day.
Maybe a combination of a few nights in Lake Lousie and some in Banff will work best.
If you have the time, then staying at both is a good option. Last year I split up my February ski trip with a week at each of Banff and LL. This year, I'm back to all LL. It depends on what's right for you. The Banff Springs has great facilities on site, including one of the best hotel spas you will find. It is also close to the Banff townsite, so if you want to walk the streets of town and do some shopping, then BSH is closest. But, many of the outdoor activities you will do, even if closer to Banff, might involve a drive anyway.

If you want great spas, shopping and dining in a nice mountain setting, then BSH is the choice. If you're there to ski, skate, ice climb and hike, then CLL is the choice. If you want to do both, then it's a tough decision, and splitting your time might make sense. But don't discount Jasper entirely. If you're OK with the 4-hour (mostly boring except the last 30 min) drive from YEG to get there, it's really nice. But take caution if you wanted to drive between Lake Louise and Jasper in the winter. The Icefields Parkway is beautiful drive, but it's not maintained to normal highway standards in the winter, they don't use salt nor do they plow down to bare pavement, and it has frequent closures, sometimes for multiple days, for avalanche control (sometimes planned, and sometimes not). I've done the drive in the winter, and it can be fine, but have some flexibility and don't plan to catch a flight out of YYC from Jasper on the same day.
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