Lodging Recommendations for Banff

Old Jun 26th, 2005, 11:30 AM
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Lodging Recommendations for Banff

Hi All,
I am planning a 2 week visit to Banff and Jasper areas in mid-August for my family, which includes 2 teenagers. I know that it's the height of the season but, oh well, that's when vacation is. We would like to drive from Calgary to Banff, stay for a few days, then continue to Lake Louise and Jasper.

Would appreciate good recommendations for places to stay in Banff as this seems to be more booked. Is it better to stay in the town or in neighboring areas? Rustic but clean is fine, as economical as is feasible.
Any ideas for Jasper are also welcomed.


Ora is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2005, 11:37 AM
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You can find a complete list of accommodation for Jasper on

and for Banff

You should look for places to stay outside the park, if you are on a budget.
tom22 is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2005, 12:12 PM
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Hi Tom22,
I am checking out those and similar sources. I was hoping for some personal favorites there. It doesn't have to be bare-bones cheap; I just meant value for the money.

Thanks for your suggestions--
Ora is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2005, 01:28 PM
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Hello Ora,

A family-friendly property that I have not stayed in myself, but that is repeatedly mentioned on this forum, is Douglas Fir Resort in Banff. It's not right in the heart of "downtown" Banff, but is close by. One of the good things about it is that you can have separate bedrooms.

Whether or not it's best to stay right in town or a little way out is a matter of personal preference.

We once stayed at Banff Park Lodge in winter. We liked the location because it was only a couple of blocks -- and hence a short walk -- from downtown restaurants. That suited us just fine when the weather was cold.

However, if I was staying in Banff in summer, I would prefer to be a little distance from the centre of town. But then I'm middle aged, and I specifically go to the mountains for rest, relaxation and proximity to nature. I'm not a teenager who might enjoy the "buzz" of downtown.

You don't strictly speaking need to transfer from Banff to Lake Louise. They're close enough that you can use one as a base for seeing the other. The comments I made about central Banff and the outskirts of Banff also can be applied to Banff townsite as a whole and Lake Louise. There are many people who prefer Banff because it has more restaurants, shops, pubs and people. Then there are other people who, like me, prefer the quieter atmosphere of Lake Louise, which is a much smaller village. I also consider Lake Louise to be more centrally located with respect to prime scenery in the western part of Banff National Park and in nearby Yoho National Park.

If you choose to stay in the Lake Louise area, two family-friendly properties are Baker Creek Chalets and Paradise Lodge and Bungalows. Those two properties also are mentioned on this forum over and over again.

There is another hotel in Lake Louise that is quite family-friendly, and that is Lake Louise Inn. It has loft suites that are suitable for a family. Nothing in Lake Louise is cheap, but LL Inn is reasonably priced by the standards of the village. If you look it up on TripAdvisor, you'll see that it gets mixed reviews, so I recommend it with caution.

Still another option for the Banff / Lake Louise corridor is Canmore, which is 15 minutes east of Banff. It has a large stock of accommodation but is the least centrally located in terms of prime mountain scenery (in my opinion). But there is no predicting what people will like. Australian acquaintances of ours came to Western Canada, and were adamant that Canmore was the best mountain town they'd stayed in -- superior even to Jasper. I couldn't believe my ears.

When it comes to Jasper, I don't think it matters very much whether you stay in town or outside. Jasper is a smaller, quieter town than Banff. It's about mid way between Banff and Lake Louise in terms of the amount of "buzz" that it has.

Jasper has many home accommodations. They are similar to B&Bs, but they don't serve breakfast. Yet that is not a great loss, because many of them have kitchenettes. Two that have received good reviews on this forum are 105 Patricia Street (where you can get a separate bedroom for Mom and Dad) and Crayston's (where you get a bachelor suite that, while it is described as being extremely comfortable, nonetheless has all of you sleeping in the same room). If you cannot get into either of those properties, do a Google search for home accommodation in Jasper.

Cabins or chalets also are popular with many visitors to Jasper. Some of the properties that repeatedly are mentioned on the travel discussion forums are Becker's Chalets, Pine Bungalows, Alpine Village and Jasper House Bungalows.

When you reserve accommodation in the Canadian Rockies in summer, be sure to read the fine print. It's common for properties in Lake Louise and Jasper to impose minimum stay requirements of 2 or 3 nights. It's also common for properties in those places to have stringent cancellation policies -- anywhere from 48 hours to 14 days!

Hope you have a good trip.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Old Jun 27th, 2005, 07:54 AM
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i'll second the douglas fir resort. they have great chalet units so you have a kitchen, living room fireplace and separate bedrooms. there is waterslides there too that are fun. as well as a pool and hottubs. it is a five minute drive to town down the mountain. great, friendly staff. there are some units that have great views and some that overlook the parking lot so when you call, just specify you want a scenic view. i scoped out some that i thought had the best locations
Room 115 & 118 = 2 bedroom A-Frame
Room 113, 114, 116, & 117 = 3 bedroom A-Frame
have fun.
ltt is offline  
Old Jun 27th, 2005, 10:24 AM
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I would definitely look into Bungalows or cabins for family accomodations. Kids can wander the grounds alone, and aren't trapped in a room with you.

Another to consider in Jasper in Bear Hill Lodge. A group of cabins right in town. Here, teens could actually walk to town and back by themselves.

I wouldn't recommend staying in Canmore to save money over Banff unless you get a real deal. In the summer Canmore is almost as expensive as Banff or Lake Louise. Take a look at the hostel in Lake Louise. It is an "upmarket" hostel and has family rooms.
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