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Banff Accomodation Recommendations

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
hi looking for some help in finding a good central hotel in Banff.

it's our first visit to Canada from the UK so wish to get the right hotel, preferably in the main street area, and on the ski bus route.

We will be arriving 30th Jan, what generally is the weather also like at that time?

hope some of you can help.

thanks in advance
post #2 of 7

Some tips

The shuttles go right along Banff Avenue and pick up at a number of hotels. There are a couple of ways you can approach this. Since you'll need ski tickets anyway, you should check out the site: http://www.skibig3.com
They will sell you lift tickets that work at all of the three Banff area resorts (Sunshine, Lake Louise, Norquay) and they also will provide quotes for accommodation from a number of Banff hotels.

Another option might be to check in with one of the companies like Inghams that operate package tours. The hotel I spent the most time at last year (Banff Inn) usually had a tour group in at the same time. From my observations it appeared that several of the more inexpensive hotels along Banff Avenue were also being used.

If you have a time share you can arrange an exchange with the Banff Rocky Mountain Resort (I know they do II and I think they are also tied in to RCI). The resort is about 3 klicks out of town along Banff Avenue but they do operate a shuttle from the resort.

How luxurious do you want to go? I just checked my rate sheet from last winter and I was getting reasonable accommodation for about $60 to $75 a night single. Keep in mind that this included a discount for a season's pass (or one from a coupon book available to locals). My requirements are fairly simple (hot tub, wireless Internet, a bar on site or within staggering distance), and I have a lot of choice. The pricier hotels tend to have a few more amenities but the quality of the room may not be that much greater.

What ages are your family? That may make a bit of difference as well. If you have a passle of kids along, then it may make sense to go for one of the chalet resorts on Tunnel Mountain (farther away from the centre of town).

As for the weather, on the hills it will probably range between -3 to -20 Celsius. If this seems a bit cold to you, be somewhat reassured because it is a "dry" cold. The low humidity makes it much more bearable than similar temperatures in Britain. You should be prepared with multiple layers of fleece that can be adjusted to fit the temperature. At around -10 to -15 (typical skiing weather at that point in the year_ my wardrobe usually consists of good ski socks, polypro underwear (bottom), a midweight fleece top, lined ski pants, fleece-lined ski jacket (detachable lining), fleece neck warmer, helmet, and gloves. At -5 I lose the underwear and change to a lighter weight jacket. At -25 I add a second layer of fleece top and bottom and a fleece balaclava under the helmet (retaining the neckwarmer) and use a heavy weight pair of gloves. Banff is a pretty informal place so the priority should be on packing the clothes you need to be safe on the hill.

Drinking age is 18 and the underaged cannot go into pubs/bars. On the other hand restaurants will usually serve a complete menu of beer/wine/liquor so that is not a hardship (although to my mind the absolutely best burger (beef, chicken, bison, or veggie) and minnestrone soup is at Bruno's Bar and Grill and the adults in your party should be sure to check it out).

There are a number of Bears from this area so if you have any questions or want more info do a follow up post.
post #3 of 7
hotels downtown = late night noise = close to bars.
mnt royal, BPL, homestead, King eddie (cheap/dive) banff international.

weather: crap shoot. maybe -30 overnight (but clear skis and warm days)
maybe -10 overnight and 0 in the day.

overall dry (low humidity)
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Accom recommendations

Thanks guys for your helpful and comprehensive replies.

We have booked Brewters Mtn Lodge, on a recommendation of my booking agent, so hopefully all will be well.

Thanks for the clothing tips, I am pretty much sorted but family will need more (decent) layers, the plan is to get (hopefully) branded kit at prices less than the UK, is this assumption correct?

1 kid, 9 yrs of age, so eating out places will need to be planned.

All in we are looking forward to our first (of many) visit(s)

Until our next set of questions, thanks
post #5 of 7
As for weather, we were scared to death when we went last year during the first week of February. We had heard so many horror stories about the cold. Yes, it was cold, but it was rarely unbearable. Only one day were we so cold on the slopes that we had to take more breaks for hot drinks than we would have liked. Keep in mind that we live in Texas, so chilly to us is 60 degrees and we were able to function without too many issues.

There is an Irish pub/restaurant right in the heart of Banff that was incredible! During the week we were there, we ate there three times. It's called the St. James Gate. Give it a shot if you are looking for good eats!
post #6 of 7
Look at the Banff Aspen Lodge good price/ nice rooms/ right on Banff Ave

You should eat at the Spaghetti factory and Earls both nice and right in the center of town

post #7 of 7
mntlion is right and lucky enough to live in one of the best towns in the world IMHO. Legend is the guy that discvered Lake Louise broke down and wept with the beauty of the place.
Things you must do while in Banff:
- Hot Springs Banff bathe in
- Banff Springs Hotel eat in the Bow Valley Grill Smorgasboard
- Chateau Lake Louise visit skate on lake
- Eat Smoked Wild Sockeye Salmon
- Book again for next year because when you see the view at Lake Louise from the Whitehorn Restaurant you will be blown away!!!!!!!!!
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