Weekly rental next summer in Banff?

Jul 20th, 2004, 02:21 PM
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Weekly rental next summer in Banff?

I've just done a search of accomodations posts in Banff, but nearly all of them are about the major "expensive" resort type places, or they mention "away from the bustle of downtown Banff". So here's the problem. We like to drive off and then hike most of the day, but in the afternoon we actually would LIKE to return to the bustle of the town and walk to a place for drinks and another for dinner. So anyone have recommendations within the town? And what about apartment rentals for a week?
Patrick is offline  
Jul 20th, 2004, 03:03 PM
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Hello Patrick,

Here's a map of "downtown" Banff (to the extent that a town with a permanent population of some 7,000 has a "downtown").


If you click on one of the little red squares, it'll tell you the name of the property.

The interesting thing about the expensive resort type places is that they aren't within walking distance of downtown Banff either. So, even supposing you wanted to pay that amount of money for accommodation, they wouldn't meet your needs either.

From the description of how you like to spend your evenings, you probably want to be north of Buffalo Street, south of Moore Street, and within a block or two on either side of Banff Avenue. That probably narrows you down to Mount Royal Hotel, Brewster's Mountain Lodge, Banff Park Lodge, and Ptarmigan Inn. Of those properties, I've only stayed at Banff Park Lodge, but have received good reports of the other three.

Banff doesn't have that many self-catering properties. The ones that it does have, like Hidden Ridge Resort and Tunnel Mountain Resort, tend to be outside of the hub.

Another town you could consider is Canmore, 20 minutes' drive east of Banff townsite. Canmore's tourist facilities have developed more recently than Banff's have. Way back when, Canmore was a small mining town. Then it went through a phase during which it was an artist's mecca. Then it experienced a growth spurt when it started providing overflow accommodation for Banff.

Probably because Canmore's accommodations are newer than Banff's, Canmore has more self-catering establishments than Banff does. Borealis, who posts here, had complimentary things to say about Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge, although I think she also did mention that it is not quite centrally located with respect to Canmore's restaurants. A self-catering place at which I have not stayed, but which has been mentioned around here, and which is more centrally located in Canmore, is the Marriott Residence Inn.

The downside of Canmore is that it does not have as large a selection of pubs and restaurants as Banff has, so if you stayed there you might find yourself driving to Banff for dinner anyway.

If you really do want to be close to the centre of Banff, and if you're willing to stay in a hotel rather than in self-catering accommodation, I believe you would be happy at Brewster's Mountain Lodge.

Sorry, I don't know if I'm in the right ball park from a price point of view. Hope this helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jul 20th, 2004, 03:15 PM
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Okay, Patrick, this is really none of my business, but that doesn't seem to have stopped me before this, so I'll go ahead and say it anyway. I've just noticed once more that your thread title says a WEEK in Banff.

I don't know the length of your full trip in the Canadian Rockies, and it's possible you'll be staying elsewhere in the Rockies before or after Banff. If, however, you envisage Banff as your only destination, I advise against that.

You would be short changing yourself if you didn't spend at least a couple of nights in Jasper.

Any one of Canmore, Banff or Lake Louise can be used as a base for seeing the sights in Banff and Yoho National Parks, most of the best known ones of which are not far off the TransCanada (#1) Highway.

The Icefields Parkway (Hwy #93) that connects Lake Louise and Jasper, however, is spectacular, and Jasper townsite's environs are lovely too. It really is not feasible to see these things from one of the more southerly bases that I mentioned before. To take in those sights, you pretty much have to go north to Jasper townsite.

If I've managed to convince you about the wisdom of including Jasper, let me give you a further time saving tip. The Jasper accommodation that is most popular here at Fodors is Becker's Chalets. You can do your own word search, of course, but that's what the results will tell you.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jul 20th, 2004, 03:22 PM
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Oh yikes, I just remembered that, while Becker's has a popular restaurant, it too is outside of "downtown" Jasper. So there again, if you want to include Jasper and want to be in the town core, you'll have to go back to the drawing boards when it comes to accommodation.

Okay, I'm finally out of here.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jul 20th, 2004, 04:25 PM
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As a new poster to the Canadian board (they are tired of me on the Europe and US boards) I should have given a little more background.
We've been to the Canadian Rockies twice before and have stayed a few days here and there in the area. We've stayed in Jasper and in Banff as well as in Calgary and in Edmonton (yea, we actually love cities as well as the outdoors). This summer our trip to Europe for three months was done at a much slower pace than usual -- mostly staying for a week at a time including places like Montepulciano -- a town probably smaller than Banff! We loved traveling this way. Next summer we'll probably be traveling about four or more months of the summer, so we're not so much into hitting tons of highlights, but settling into places for a little more "rest and relaxation" than we used to do. Last time in Banff we stayed outside the town and found ourselves heading into town every night, so we'd kind of like to do it another way this time. We probaby won't return to Jasper (although we liked it), but we may spend a few nights at Emerald Lake or Lake O'Hara Lodge or somewhere like that in addition to Banff. I'm not tied to the idea of a full week, and we really aren't into cooking for ourselves, but the apartment idea is nice for a lot more room and comfortable living. So the week is kind of aimed at 'if we find a rental it probably needs to be for a week if we want to save some money at the same time'.

Judy, your comments are wonderful and a good start to what I'm looking for. By the way, a few years ago we spent a wonderful few days in Calgary and we'll certainly be spending a few days there again as well.
Patrick is offline  
Jul 20th, 2004, 06:03 PM
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Welcome to the Canada forum Patrick!!!

Judy has given you some excellent pointers regarding accommodation. I would say that Rocky Mountain Ski Resort in Canmore is OK for a weekend, but because it is rather "basic" and not that big, for a longer stay I would suggest looking for a condo ("townhouse" style) in the Canmore area. There are many new ones popping up all the time, two-three bedrooms and several bathrooms, living area, kitchen, etc. etc.. A selection should be fairly easy to find if you do a Google search for accommodation in the Canmore area. The downside is that they are not exactly inexpensive, but would be perfect for a family. (just a thought - the US $ is much stronger than our Canadian $, so the prices actually work out to your benefit, even if they seem expensive to us).

Otherwise you should look for accommodation in Banff on Tunnel Mountain Road. Most of these places come with kitchens or kitchenettes, some with separate bedrooms and fireplaces etc. Although Tunnel Mountain Road is not in the town centre, it is within walking distance. We have stayed there in winter and have walked (and back from dinner after two bottles of wine ), so in summertime it should be even more fun ;-) (plus recently I did notice that there are buses that travel between that area and Banff Ave = the main street).
Borealis is offline  
Jul 21st, 2004, 06:00 AM
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We spent a week in an apaartmentin in Montepulcianon last summer and it is MUCH smaller than Banf.

We were in Banf a couple of weeks ago and stayed at Tunnel Mountain Resort. IT is only about a 15 min walk to downtown and the location worked out well.

As Borealis said, there is a bus that goes from downtown to Tunnel Mountain Resort ( about 3 stops) at a cost of $2
Dick is offline  

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