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Banff/Lake Louise

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Mark and I are planning to spend some time in these areas right before the Fernie Gathering. Any suggestions as to where to be based, either Lake Louise or Banff?
post #2 of 16
The Lake Louise village is quite small, but very handy to the Lake Louise skifield.
The Banff township is heaps bigger than the LL. It has a lot more shops for a bit of retail therapy, and they stay open late. Similarly there are lots more restaurants and hotels.

If you going to ski all 3 areas - Norquay, Sunshine and Lake Louise then I would stay in Banff, there are free shuttles with your ski ticket (about 40 mins to LL). If you are only going to ski Lake Louise and don't mind the quiet life, then stay at Lake Louise. The Lake Louise chateau is in a very idyllic spot.

Kicking Horse is not far from Lake Louise if you want to do a day trip. It is a bit further from Banff.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I think it will be Banff. Any hotel suggestions?
post #4 of 16
Have stayed at Caribou Lodge and was very nice. About a 10 minute walk from the town center. The Ptarmigan Inn is a little closer but has slightly smaller rooms. Both can be contacted at 1-800-563-8764.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by dougw (edited September 10, 2001).]</FONT>
post #5 of 16

Stay in Banff and rent a car. You'll want to ski all three areas. Ski at Norquay on your first day, particularly if it's a weekend. It's small, groomed, and fun. It has any terrain you might want. There will be NO crowds.

Don't go to Sunshine on a sunny or snowy day. It's all above tree line.

Ski the front of Louise in the morning and go to the "backside" in the afternoon.

All the places on Tunnel Mountain are good. We like the Hidden Ridge Chalets. Stay on Tunnel Mountain as opposed to town. It's only five minutes by car to town. The place is a blast!<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Rusty Guy (edited September 10, 2001).]</FONT>
post #6 of 16
The big question is whether or not you want to be really close to the downtown area. For the very near downtown area I would recomend the High Country Inn(reasonable). It is only about 2 blocks from the downtown malls and has a good restaurant and swimming pool on site. I wouldn't reccomend Brewster's in the downtown area because they don't have the Canadian weather channel on their cable television.(Choosing between 3 ski areas requires good weather forecasting!) If you want to go the cheap route, try the YWCA. It is very well located and quite acceptable. The Banff Springs Hotel(expensive) is about a mile or so out of town and definitely has the best view of any place in town. It is along the river overlooking the Bow Valley, but is a bit out of the way. It also is a real hassle if you are driving a car, since they make you use a parking garage that is quite a ways from the hotel. There are many other options, and I am sure you can find something that will fit your needs. Check out WWW.skibanfflakelouise.com and request some hotel brochures from them. They have been very helpful in the past.
post #7 of 16

Checkout the Banff Springs Hotel. It's a little shot out of Banff, but is a world-class hotel.

post #8 of 16
I really like the Chateau Lake Louise if you can splurge. Banff itself has plenty of reasonably priced motels if you cannot. Lake Louise ski area is minutes from the Chateau. Sunshine is between Lake Louise and Banff.

I will be at Ch. Lake Louise for Christmas.
post #9 of 16
I agree............almost criminal to go to
the Banff area without spending time in the
Banff Springs Hotel. It's like an old European Castle. I have skied both Sunshine and Lake Louise many times -- both are superb
post #10 of 16
Banff Springs Hotel is the Banff equivalent to Chateau Lake Louise. The best all around skiing is at Lake Louise. Once stayed there on an airline special(American). It's great, and the beauty outside the doors is overwhelming. But some like the tourist towns, and that is Banff.
post #11 of 16
We stayed at the Banff Springs Hotel on our first trip, and enjoyed it. I had always wanted to stay in one of those huge chateaus that you always see in the tourist photos - and the amazing thing is the winter is off peak rates. Our room was not huge, but you don't that much time there. I thought it would be way out of our price range until the travel agent suggested it. The spa facilties are awesome, great place for a bit of pampering.
post #12 of 16
Stay in canmore its a short drive to banff. Much nicer town than tourist ville, but then again as a tourist you may appreciate that aspect, it will disappear when you get to fernie. You should ski nakiska over norquay, cheaper, less crowded and some of the best groomed runs around, good place to get a lot of turns in before Fernie.
post #13 of 16
Some pretty good advice so far...

Here's my 2 cents worth: the village of Lake Louise is dead quiet - no night life. Unless you are staying at the CLL like Montana Horn you are probably better off in Banff.

Hotels are about 1/3 the price of the summer season. High end suggestions: Banff Springs; Rimrock (by the Sulpher Mtn. hot springs; best rooms in Banff) - both of these are away from the main part of town. Mid to upper end: Banff Park Lodge, very short walk to the main part of downtown; the condos on Tunnel Mtn are good as is the Banff Centre (great exercise facilities). Mid - level: Banff Caribou Lodge, has a Keg Restaurant that has v. good b'fast. Lower end (but still okay): Banff Voyageur Hotel, has a little pub plus on site liquor store.

"feallen" posted the Ski Banff Louise site address - these are the folks to deal with with out a doubt. Better pricing than booking directly with the hotels usually.

Mt. Norquay is very close to town, has pretty good snow making, no crowds, and sells skiing by the hour!

Don't drink and drive. The Banff and Lake Louise RCMP are very much on the look out for impaired drivers. Catch a cab or the bus instead.


post #14 of 16
We stayed at the Rimrock (see Murray's post above), and it was a really nice hotel. We also stayed at Chateau Lake Louise, and that's incredible. You hardly even need to go anywhere else to shop, there's so much in the hotel itself.
post #15 of 16
Here's another nice Lake Louise hotel...and you can walk to the local shopping area from here (grocery store, etc).
post #16 of 16

My drill at LL has been:

1) Save Norquay for bad weather days as its close by and the amaller than the other areas & tends to protect you from the weather

2) I go for reasonable so I've stayed at the Banff Park Lodge (in town walk to anything) and rent a car.

3) There is a ski bus & the hotel can give you the low-don on that.

4) At least have dinner at the Banff Springs Hotel and a apres ski wine at the Chateau Lake Louise. If you want an evening for two, dine there. It's a magnificent dining room.

5) At Sunshine I think the best terrain is on Goat's Eye Mountain. At LL seems like it was the back side & an area that lead to the Ptarmigan lift?

6)You'll need a lotta film at Lake Louise. It is beautiful.

Have fun,
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