Some of the most famous storybook characters and real life heroes came from humble beginnings. While our No. 1 pick certainly had a less than modest start with its 1888 construction as a Scottish Baronial castle, it is still a fairytale destination that will inspire you on your Banff winter getaway.
The Fairmont Banff Springs is not only the point of convergence for Old World elegance and modern day comfort, but also for the Bow and Spray Rivers. Anglers and avid nature lovers will revel in this meeting point that conveniently provides fishing spots and hiking trails near the breathtaking Banff National Park. If slippers suit you more than snowshoes and you still feel the urge to experience the Canadian countryside, The Willow Stream Spa brings the beauty of the outdoors inside. The powerful but peaceful streams and hot springs of the north are harnessed by waterfalls and a mineral pool at Willow Stream. Your Fairmont Banff Springs accommodations are a testament to distinct and classical sophistication. Gaze out at the mountain peaks from your whirlpool in the Presidential Suite or curl up in front of the stone fireplace with your favorite novel.
You’ll never give in to boredom at Fairmont Banff Springs because of the extensive list of onsite and offsite activities. Play a few games at the resort’s bowling center, take a canyon ice walk, try dog sledding or ice fishing, take a sleigh ride or turn figure eight’s in the resort’s ice rink.
Don’t just stare at the mountains, explore them with a set of skis on one of the local ski areas, including Banff Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise.
Related Onsite Offerings
All rooms in Fairmont Banff Springs are appointed with cable TV, an iron and ironing board, hair dryer, coffee maker, high speed Internet and more.
You enjoy slate-colored mountains with rivulets of snow running down the slopes. But you don’t feel like descending its heights with planks for feet and only two poles to navigate through the trees with. The thrill of downhill skiing may appeal to some, but for you there is our No. 9 spot.
Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa does put ski bunnies in proximity to the Banff ski areas and private or group lessons at the Caribou Ski and Snowboard School. Those remaining at the base of the mountain will be pleased to hear that they can enjoy the view from afar and indulge in less wind-whipping pleasures. Terracotta tiles and stone walls may emit a Mediterranean flair, but the Red Earth Spa hot pool is decidedly Canadian, as are the myriad spa rituals. Enjoy head-to-toe pampering with the Essence of Canada or lose yourself in the absolute bliss of a Warm Earth Signature Hot Stone Massage. While you’re waiting for your snow-bound sweetie or kiddies to return, the Keg Steakhouse and Bar offers a casual bar for a post-spa aperitif. After your fill of steak and potatoes, a movie on your LCD TV is the perfect segue to slumber.
521 Banff Ave., Banff, Alberta, Canada T1L 1H8
Have a relaxed and productive meeting in the Red Earth Summit Room which keeps spirits lifted and focused with natural sunlight flooding in through three large windows.
When you’re out and about, take hybrid Banff Transit or a 10 minute walk to downtown Banff for spectacular shop, boutiques and restaurants.
If you’re starting to wonder why we didn’t write a Top 10 Banff Beach Vacations instead, hold off on those cold season blues. We bet that after one look at our No. 4 Banff winter vacation resort, you’ll swap that frown for a smile and beach sand for Banff snow.
Hidden Ridge Resort is tucked away in the heights of Tunnel Mountain, minutes from the bustle of Banff but isolated enough to feel worlds away from it all with only the Cascade, Rundle and Bourgeau mountains as your neighbors. When you’ve had your fill of crisp mountain air from your balcony, turn inside your luxurious condo. If it’s just you and your honey, take in the view from your balcony hot tub in the Premier King Suite. But if you brought the whole family along, we won’t blink twice if we find you in the game room of your spacious four-floor Premier Two-Bedroom Loft Condo. You should be equally unsurprised if you find us in one of the two new, outdoor hot pools. With stunning vistas of the Canadian Rockies and the Bow River Valley, it’s all too easy to remain in those warm, deep blue waters all day.
901 Hidden Ridge Dr., Banff, Alberta, Canada T1L 1B7
Hidden Ridge is pet-friendly and provides pet beds, bowls and treats!
Related Onsite Offerings
Guest laundry facilities, grocery service, complimentary firewood, free transportation on the energy-efficient Banff Roam buses, Mountain Luxury Beds® and high speed wireless Internet.
Upon seeing our No. 5 resort’s name, our interest was piqued. We began to look for furry auburn-coated creatures peeking out from behind the lobby’s rock features. Alas, only the cherry-hued wood used throughout the hotel reminded us of our foxy friends, but we still found plenty more to excite us.
Fox Hotel and Suites puts you steps from the streets of Banff without sacrificing the beauty of the Canadian Rockies. In fact, Fox’s centerpiece, the Cave and Basin Hot Pool, brings the unique features of rock and water from the surrounding landscape into a luxury setting. Wade through steaming waters and weave around rock pillars and outcroppings in the peaceful cavern. For more creature comforts, hop out of the hot pool and into your Fox suite. Outfitted in a rustic but elegant style, bedrooms boast country-style bed covers and wooden doors while the suite blends chic wallpaper with a jewel red, serene teal and calming beige.
461 Banff Ave., Banff, Alberta, Canada T1L 1H8
For an intimate business luncheon or special meeting, the tastefully decorated Fox Board Room and Chili’s Private Dining Room are convenient and ideal options.
The onsite Chili’s keeps hungry Banff travelers happy with its famous baby back ribs, bottomless beverages and nutritious Guiltless Grill.
Discoveries can be made through careful experimentation and research or they occur when something unexpected is noticed. Luckily for us, railroad workers took note of a hot spring at the base of Sulphur Mountain in 1883 and thus began the history of the lush Canadian region we now know as Banff.
Another precious find that has bubbled up to the surface is Delta Banff Royal Canadian Lodge. Our No. 2 spot prides itself on being a quintessential Canadian ski lodge, and we have to agree it fits the part. An impressive Rundle rock fireplace greets you in the lobby while halls adorned in Canadian artwork lead you to the Grotto Spa. Soft lighting, natural rock and ceramic tile add to the tranquil ambiance. Soothe your senses in the eucalyptus steam room or with a lavender, rosemary and orange citrus infused spa ritual. Every bold adventurer needs a hearty meal. You won’t have to travel far to find the Evergreen Restaurant for just such an occasion. A plate of contemporary Canadian cuisine, a glass of fine wine and a bowl of house made ice cream will lift your weary wanderer’s spirits and ready you for another wintry Banff day.
459 Banff Ave., Banff, Alberta, Canada T1L 1B4
Explore the winter wonderland of Banff with the Ski Big 3 Package. This Delta Banff Royal Canadian Lodge package offers one night’s accommodation, tri-area lift passes, ski shuttles and a voucher for the Evergreen Restaurant.
Related Onsite Offerings
Star and end your day with convenient room amenities including complimentary wireless Internet, coffee maker, tea kettle, fridge, daily newspaper, evening turn-down service, plush bathrobes and more.
When word gets out that captivating year-round scenery and activity-filled days are accompanied by warm meals and soft beds, there is understandably an inundation of visitors. Travelers seeking to envelop themselves in the complete solitude of mountain life will rejoice at our No. 3 pick’s location.
Though downtown Banff’s hospitality hasn’t faltered and you’d feel right at home in the midst of shopping centers and diverse dining options, Buffalo Mountain Lodge has chosen the more secluded Tunnel Mountain. A buttery yellow light glows through the windows of a square timber lodge and towering trees with snow-covered boughs line the path to the fieldstone fireplace in Buffalo’s lounge. Spend your Banff winter vacation cross country skiing through this Rocky Mountain stillness or take the quick 3-min. drive into town to scale the mountain sides for downhill skiing on Lake Louise, Sunshine Village or Mount Norquay. We won’t blame you, though, if you find yourself “stuck” in the steaming outdoor hot tub. Or at a table inside Sleeping Buffalo Restaurant. Or surrounded by the high-beamed pine ceilings, heated slate floors, claw-footed tub and feather duvets of your Buffalo Mountain Lodge room.
The sequestered and spectacular location of Buffalo Mountain Lodge is an idyllic setting for a romantic mountain wedding or a centered, successful business retreat. Make planning easy with Buffalo Mountain’s Conference Package, Wedding Package or Christmas Party Package.
In addition to skiing, the Banff area offers outdoor adventures such as snowshoeing, waterfall ice climbing, tobogganing and mountaineering.
Related Onsite Offerings
Each of Buffalo Mountain Lodge’s rooms have a balcony or patio, fieldstone fireplace, feather pillows, cable TV, a coffee maker and hair dryer for your comfort.
We’re sure you’ve heard the adage “The world is your playground,” but have you heard the phrase “Douglas Fir is your playground?” Well, after visiting our No. 6 spot for yourself, we’re fairly certain you won’t even remember the original wording.
Douglas Fir Resort and Chalets has been hosting romantic Banff retreats, Canada family vacations and your annual friend gatherings on Tunnel Mountain for more than six decades. No matter what way you like to play, Douglas Fir has all the amenities to ensure an enthralling time. For couples, the Jacuzzi Suite provides its bubbling namesake and crackling fireplace – leaving you to spark the romance however you choose. Families can say goodbye to vacations that favor the kids over the adults or vice versa. Kids will delight in scaling the inside of a tree or waving at you from a two-story high truck in the indoor playzone. Parents can take their own “time out” in the sauna, steam room or whirlpool. For those annual friend get-togethers, A-frame chalets with a full kitchen, wood-burning fireplace and cozy sofas allow space for games and nightcaps, while multiple bedrooms with views of the Douglas fir trees allow for an escape.
Tunnel Mountain Rd., Banff, Alberta, Canada T1L 1B2
Douglas Fir did not open up for the winter season until 1968 when they changed their name from Fairholme Bungalows to its current title and then built 18 new chalets.
Related Onsite Offerings
Fitness room, high speed wireless Internet, indoor pool with two waterslides, outdoor tennis and basketball courts, underground parking, iron and ironing board, hair dryer, cable TV and more.
If not for the comfy rooms and stylish décor, we have to give our No. 7 Banff winter vacation pick kudos for choosing a memorable homeland creature for their name. From now on, the Banff Ptarmigan will bring to mind images of fluffy-feathered, rounded, dove-like birds, and scrumptious Italian food.
Have no fear, the Banff Ptarmigan Inn by no means attempts to blend the bird and the cuisine. The menu at The Meatball only features mouthwatering creations such as Atlantic lobster and spinach dip, Sambuca prawns, Fusilli Carbonara and a grilled eggplant and Portobello tower. After such a delectable meal – which we’re sure you paired with a white or red cellar favorite – your Banff Ptarmigan Premium Room calls out for an evening curled up in front of the fire with a good read. When morning comes, and your cup of coffee is enjoyed in the comfort of your own room, get ready for a day full of Banff style activity. Explore Bow Falls, Cave and Basin National Historic Site and the Banff Upper Hot Springs. All are within convenient walking distance of Banff Ptarmigan Inn.
337 Banff Ave., Banff, Alberta, Canada T1L 1H8
Let Banff Ptarmigan take care of your big night when you host your event in the elegant Atrium or Sundance Room.
Related Onsite Offerings
High speed wireless Internet, Mountain Luxury Bed®, heated underground parking, ski tuning room and lockers, two whirlpools, steam room, dry sauna, exercise room and more.
By now, the picture of Banff as a popular region for winter adventure and solace seekers is coming into focus. So, naturally you question the ability to avoid mobs of tourists coming to enjoy Canada’s northern beauty at the same time as you. Our No. 8 spot is for that Doubting Thomas or Tammie.
The only hotel on Banff’s north side, The Juniper Hotel delivers genuine seclusion in Banff National Park. And only Juniper boasts views of not only the iconic Canadian Rockies, but also Vermillion Lakes and the Town of Banff. One look at Juniper’s architecture and you’ll know this hotel is distinct and classy in its own right. The low-profile design uses native materials of Bow Valley, such as fir and Rundle stone to present Banff’s outdoor qualities with a modernist twist. The Penthouse’s striking stone fireplace, private balcony, Jacuzzi, full kitchen and dining room are difficult to part from. However, taking a night off from cooking is a must with The Bistro on site. The Sulphur and Rundle Mountains will be your dinner guests as plates of steamed mussels in a creamy garlic sauce and a saffron and green pea risotto fill your table.
With the Banff wilderness surrounding you, Juniper Hotel offers winter packages to ensure you enjoy the cold weather months. Enjoy dog sledding, sleigh rides, winter hikes, backcountry ski trips and more at a value.
From Calgary International Airport, take Barlow Trail toward Calgary City Centre. Take the exit for 16th Avenue West and turn right. Follow 16th Avenue West as it turns into Trans-Canada Hwy. 1 and exits the city. Take the second exit for Banff and turn right at the stop sign at the end of the ramp. Then take your first left onto Juniper Way and follow it to Juniper Hotel.
Related Onsite Offerings
In every Juniper Hotel room, luxury is a priority. You’ll find micro-fiber duvets, mini-fridges, spa quality bath amenities, wine glasses, ice buckets, corkscrews, newspapers, high speed Internet and more.
Our No. 10 Banff Winter Vacations pick is the idyllic Rimrock Resort Hotel. While saying the Rockies Rimrock Resort three times fast can certainly tie up your tongue, your moment of speechlessness will really come when you lay eyes on this AAA/CAA Four-Diamond hotel surrounded by mountain tops.
Rimrock has taken Banff luxury living to a whole new level. State-of-the-art fitness facilities with exercise balls and mats, resistance tubing, cardio equipment, free weights and a squash court allow you to maintain your routine or spice it up! The indoor sauna, whirlpool and pool are just teasers for the deep-set and lasting relaxation found at Rimrock Spa. After a papaya and pineapple drenched Tropical Escape Crème Fraiche Body Wrap, you’ll almost forget the tree tops are covered in snow. Speaking of rooms, while the white blanketed landscape is perfect for cross country skiing and making snow angels, it’s the blankets on your Simmons® Beautyrest® bed that you’ll look forward to at the end of each day. Before throwing back those covers, however, Eden awaits. Not the garden, but still paradise, this Five-Diamond restaurant serves exquisite French cuisine and has wine sommeliers at the ready to assist with wine and course pairings.
300 Mountain Ave., Banff, Alberta, Canada T1L 1J2
Other scrumptious onsite food and beverage options include the casual but elegant Primrose Dining Room, Larkspur Lounge, Divas “Martini Jazz” Lounge and the Rimrock Café.
Surprise your sweetie with the Eden Romance Package. Feel like the only Adam and Eve on earth with sparkling wine and chocolate dipped strawberries in your Rimrock room, four-course dinner for two at Eden and breakfast the next morning.