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Poss's Rockies trip: installment #4 (accommodations, still)

Poss's Rockies trip: installment #4 (accommodations, still)

Sep 17th, 2006, 10:31 AM
  #1  
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Poss's Rockies trip: installment #4 (accommodations, still)

Emerald Lake Lodge. We'd been scheduled to spend 2 nights here, but when Jasper Park Lodge offered a special "pay 2 nights, get 3rd free," we reduced Emerald to one night. We'd have enjoyed a 2nd night, but felt one was ok. I liked the look and setting of Emerald Lodge better than Jasper Park Lodge-- more casual, rustic, more the style we like. I was not all that crazy abt the rooms themselves. We booked the most expensive category (other than the Point Lodge), and we were pretty much turned off when we got to our accommodation. Everything seemed kind of old and shabby. The bed was ok, but the bathroom badly needed updating; likewise the room-- carpet, furnishings, etc. We love casual and unfancy-- but our room seemed more dowdy than rustic--not all that different from a pretty good motel. Liked the fact of no TV, and liked the little fireplace.
Food in the dining room (Cilantro was closed for the season) was excellent; and lovely view. We shared the mixed game platter and were wowed: probably best game dish we've had. And the veggie soufflle thing also terrific. The desserts looked spectacular-- had no room for them tho. Breakfast next morning also very good.
Service at Emerald considerably less "polished" than at our other places (knocked on door when we had Do Not Disturb, person at front desk somewhat sour, etc.) But not a big deal.
Very much enjoyed the walk around the lake. Didn't love Emerald nearly as much as Moraine Lake or Lake Louise-- but think it's worth the detour (esp combined with nearby Takkakaw Falls and the even nearer natural bridge).
In short: nice place, tho not top quality.

Last night (well, not quite...): Back to Calgary and airport Hilton Garden Inn (reported on earlier). Our Air Canada flight from Toronto back to Phila was cancelled (we never found out quite why--kept getting diff stories). Stayed at airport Hilton (at our own expense! $269+!!) Much less pleasant place than the Calgary airport Hilton. Would not recommend.

That's it for accommodation part of report. Please ask if there are things I can shed more light on.

Again (and never too often) thanks for all our pre-trip help, fellow Fodorites.
poss is offline  
Sep 18th, 2006, 04:09 AM
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I am really enjoying your trip reports and excellent hotel/restaurant reviews. We are hoping to return next Sept.

The Emerald Lake Lodge was our favorite place that we stayed. We also stayed at Beckers and Baker Creek. We did stay in their least expensive room but the room and bath had been recently refurbished. We thought the setting and style of the lodge was so perfect for the Rockies. You wrote a very nice report on the Chateau, but I have never been able to figure out the whole French Chateau on the lake. It just seems like it should be a rustic or upscale lodge. Our first visit to the area was the year before the Calgary Olympics when they were adding the new wing to the Chateau.

Glad to read that you enjoyed your trip. Your report makes me anxious to return.
LindainOhio is offline  
Sep 18th, 2006, 06:11 AM
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Hi Linda-- We stopped at Baker's, also, on our way up Bow Valley Pkwy to Lake Louise. I loved the look of the place-- seemed similar to Becker's, not just in name. In fact, we'd made reservations to eat at Baker's (cause of Fodor's recs) one of our 2 nights at LL, but when we timed the drive on our way to LL, we realized that we wouldn't want to haul back that far for dinner (esp since we're wine lovers). We'd hoped to have lunch there on our way back down to Calgary at the end of our trip, but there were so many other things we wanted to do on that last day that we didn't get around to it (had a wonderful picnic at Beauty Creek instead).
Abt the "Chateau": I guess given our druthers, we'd always prefer an upscale lodge kind of thing to the fancy hotel deal (tho I didn't really see any of the kinds of lodges in the Rockies that we've swooned over in some other places-- places like New Zealand, e.g) Thing is, though, I guess I don't think the Fairmont is really out of place since there are many many such buildings all over Europe on similar kinds of gorgeous remote lakes. Switzerland comes to mind first, I guess, but plenty of similar hotels in France, Austria, Spain, Germany, etc etc etc. Spain, eg, has that wonderul Parador system, where the accommodations are in fantastic old castles and monasteries and such-- one feels almost like "royalty," and I've got to admit that the feeling ain't bad at all!
Thanks for responding to my report, by the way. I'd begun to wonder whether I'd been foolish to post since there were virtually no replies or questions. And I envy your already looking forward to returning to that splendid part of our planet. At our age, we have that bittersweet sense that each trip will almost certainly be our last to a particular place-- even areas as splendid as the Canadian Rockies. There are other things we hope to do, but if we had world enough and time, the CR would be high on our list for repeat visits. Our weather was just abt perfect, by the way: lovely temps and gentle winds-- but vistas and such somewhat spoiled by much smoke in the air. E.g. the whole trip up the Icedields Pkwy was almost ghostly: could see the mts, but through a haze, could only really see them and their wondrful colors when we got up close. Not the absolute ideal, but stunning nonetheless.
Bon Voyages!
poss is offline  
Sep 18th, 2006, 06:26 AM
  #4  
mms
 
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poss--Thanks for such a detailed report! We have been to the CR several times, and have a trip planned for next summer again. We stayed at Emerald Lake Lodge years ago on our Honeymoon and loved it. Also stayed at the Banff Springs and loved it. Small room, but it was very nice. Baker Creek is a favorite of ours. Stumbled upon it once, and have returned a few times. Already have our reservations there for next summer. Have not made it to Jasper yet, but that is on the itinerary for the next trip, so I appreciate your notes for that. Glad you had a good trip!
mms is offline  
Sep 18th, 2006, 11:55 AM
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Poss, I've been reading your posts with great interest, as I'm sure many others have. Thank you for taking the time to include so many details. I've been having a great time trying to decide where to stay on our trip next June. We're planning on 3 nights in Lake Louise, 2 in Jasper and 2 either back in LL or in Banff. I'm still debating on whether to stay at the Emerald Lake Lodge or the Rimrock during our last 2 nights (well, almost the last 2 nights; we're spending the night before we leave in Calgary). I don't want to miss the opportunity to stay at ELL, but your description of the Rimrock is making my decision even harder.
Devonmcj is offline  
Sep 18th, 2006, 12:52 PM
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Devonmcj: When you're coming back down Icefields, Emerald Lake Lodge and Rimrock are just abt the same amt of driving time from the Pkwy (as you probably know). Your choice may depend on just what things you'll have already seen (or may want to see again) during your LL stay, what things you hope to see on those last 2 days. Emerald Lake (as you know) is west of LL, Banff is east. There's so much to see and do in both directions (and of course right around LL itself --including Lake Moraine!!!) Your choice could also depend on which sort of accommodations you most prefer-- the more simple and woodsy and rustic (Emerald) or the more "upscale," "refined," whatever (all those goopy words). Both have gorgeous views, but very different: the Emerald Lake "vs" the wonderful mts around Rimrock . From Rimrick, you can do more things "right there." At Emerald, the handsome lake (takes only abt 2 hrs to stroll around it--at a very leisurely pace) is the only thing there. For everything else, you get shuttled back to your car (5 min.) and then drive (e.g. to Tak Falls, etc) Great food at both places (more options in Banff). If I can answer any very specific questions that may come up as you continue your research/thinking, please ask. Happy to oblige.
poss is offline  
Sep 18th, 2006, 01:04 PM
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>>>>>>We're planning on 3 nights in Lake Louise, 2 in Jasper and 2 either back in LL or in Banff. I'm still debating on whether to stay at the Emerald Lake Lodge or the Rimrock during our last 2 nights (well, almost the last 2 nights; we're spending the night before we leave in Calgary). I don't want to miss the opportunity to stay at ELL, but your description of the Rimrock is making my decision even harder.<<<<<<

Devonmcj, since you'll be traveling with a 9-year-old (based on one or more of your previous posts), I think you would be better off spending the last couple of nights in Banff rather than Emerald Lake Lodge. Just my opinion.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Sep 18th, 2006, 01:48 PM
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Judy, I'm very interested in your opinion of why Banff would be better than Emerald Lake Lodge. The photos I've seen are so beautiful they make my heart ache. Of course, 9-yo isn't as appreciative of visual beauty as me. Are you thinking there just won't be enough there to keep him occupied? I noticed one poster on TripAdvisor said children weren't particularly welcomed at Cathedral Lake Lodge (which is another place we considered). Maybe the same is true at ELL. Thanks for your advice.
Devonmcj is offline  
Sep 18th, 2006, 02:52 PM
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>>>>>>Of course, 9-yo isn't as appreciative of visual beauty as me. Are you thinking there just won't be enough there to keep him occupied?<<<<<<

Yes, that's my point exactly.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Sep 18th, 2006, 02:56 PM
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Further to my point above, Devonmcj, I highly recommend the Tyrrell Museum. I think I've mentioned it to you before, and it may sound to you as if I'm flogging a dead horse. But if you want to see your 9-year-old's jaw drop, just take him to the Tyrrell.

By the way, if you do not stay at Emerald Lake Lodge, it does not mean that you have to be denied the view of Emerald Lake. You can visit Emerald Lake from your Lake Louise base.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Sep 18th, 2006, 06:19 PM
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Judy, I didn't mention it, but we're trying to work out a way to extend our trip so we can spend the first night in Drumheller and see the Tyrrell Museum. If that's not possible, we'll probably cut LL back to 2 nights. DH hates to spend only one night anywhere. (Have to keep the big guy happy, too.) Luckily, we've still got lots of time to finalize our intinerary.
Devonmcj is offline  
Sep 18th, 2006, 06:57 PM
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Someone recommended only 2 nights in LL. We had plenty to do and we were ready to move on. We saw a lot and hiked a little. We did not go first class on accommedations. We stayed at Mountaineer Lodge. It was very clean. It had been redecorated at least our room. The price was right. If I had more to spend I think I would stay at the Post. The Fairmont had a lot of tourist busses. We visited ELL and it seemed very pretty ( not sure about the rooms). It is far away from other restaurnats,etc.
gloseashore is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 05:17 PM
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Thanks, poss, for the great posts. We are leaving in a few weeks for the same areas, and I found some great info in your reports.

I know the last post was 2 years ago, but it is a shame to see so much info lost in fodor cyberspace.

Thanks!
Celiaanne is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 09:39 AM
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Lovely of you to comment, Celianne.
May your trip be splendid in every way.
poss is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 10:48 AM
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Thanks celiaanne for moving this up and Poss for writing it in the first place! We are leaving in a month and can't wait. Every little bit of info has helped.
Sue
sueoz is offline  

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