The Winter Fairmont Fantasy - Banff & Lake Louise
We had the perfect ski vacation planned this winter with SkiBig3 and it was fabulous, but the untold second love was where we stayed. The Fairmont Banff Springs is a luxury hotel tucked away in the valley just minutes from downtown Banff. It feels like you are in a castle in the forest with cascading mountain views all around. We had the pleasure of staying here for four nights and getting extremely familiar with everything the Fairmont has to offer. We also spent an afternoon at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, another splendid experience I will share as well.
I live a few hours away from Banff so we drove into the park that afternoon to check into the Fairmont Springs. Only an hour and a half from Calgary it is an easy commute in. As we parked out front a crew of staff came and took all of our bags, skis and car without the lift of a finger from me! I know it sounds a bit uppity but I don’t often stay in luxury hotels so this was one of those things that had me so excited. When you travel a lot like myself, not hauling bags and freezing your butt off to park is a big selling point! We checked in and started to explore the grand castle all around us.
First we checked out the beautiful pool and outdoor pool which looked onto the most stunning view. There are many shops all around as well so we had fun finding some souvenirs. We had a few drinks with our friends in the Rundle room. It all felt like stepping back in time with the incredible architecture of the rooms. Everyone was brilliantly nice as well, always helpful.
We headed out for the ski hill the next morning after a lovely brunch in the Vermilion Room. As for brunches go, it was one of the best with a very European feel and a big upgrade from my single coffee in the morning. We had plenty of time to chat with our friends before the day of skiing and it was easy enough for me to get our server to call for our car. Our first SkiBig3 experience was with Sunshine Village. I love this scenic hill and was excited to show my friend. A quick 30 min drive and we started our Guided Adventure on Sunshine!
After an amazing day on the hill I was getting cold and ready to take all my snow gear off. We came back to the Fairmont and dropped our car to get ready for some spa time. After a day on the slopes the spa is a perfect way to recharge and refresh. The spa at the Fairmont is a stunning part of the hotel with 23 treatment rooms, sauna, steam, mineral pool and hot pools to recreate the hot springs that brought guests to the area. My favourite part was the eucalyptus inhalation room. Such a healing essential oil straight into the skin and lungs, it was like renewing the day. We had a great time discussing our favourite runs and what we would be doing the next day on the next SkiBig3 hill. The change rooms were also impressive to note, for the girls anyway they were equipped with sterilised hair brushes, blow dryers, skin products and curling irons so you didn’t have to leave the spa looking like a wet dog and could flash up for dinner.
A notable place that we shared a meal was the Grape Room. Amazing. It is a small little cheese room that requires a reservation but so worth it and a must do. The cheeses are imported from the east Canada and some from Europe and they are heavenly. They also have incredible wine choices and I rarely drink wine but decided to have a glass here. Such a smooth rich bodied partner to the amazing cheeses and chutneys.
Another wicked day on our second hill with Ski Louise. I love this hill and it has one of the best views of the ranges. The SkiBig3 guides took us to the best spots on this mountain and got us very hungry for the afternoon ahead!
After we left the hill we spent time exploring the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Another lovely place to spend some time in Winter. We were there during the Ice Carving festival which displayed the most immense talent. It was like being inside a life sized snow-globe. Horses and carriages whizzing past, laughter on the ice rink as couple skated hand in hand and big fat flakes of snow falling from the towering glaciers and mountains above. It was like a dream.
We took our winter party inside to test drive the desserts. We headed to Alpine Social where we ordered yummy drinks and one of every dessert to try! The berry cheesecake was the winner, so decadent. We earned our calories skiing right?
We had our last day on the slopes in Norquay, which is only a 15min drive from the Banff Springs. This hill is much smaller than the others but it was actually really fun! So much downhill I loved getting great speed here. We had a great morning soaking up the last of the powder. We headed back to the hotel for a relaxing afternoon.
I decided to check out the fitness center before leaving the beautiful Fairmont Springs as my friend Jordana took a skate on the outdoor ice rink. A wonderful fitness center with five treadmills which meant I didn’t have to wait in line. They also had fitness classes going all day to join.
Our last treat at the Fairmont Banff Springs was tea time. We decided to share a HI tea with some friends who joined us on our final day. I have done HI tea at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and absolutely loved it so we wanted to compare to the Banff Springs tea. It was just as decedent in a similar but different way. The little sandwiches were prepared in such a fine way that every flavor was incredible rich and blended so perfectly. I love how it comes on a tier which gives it such a fancy look. Food makes me so excited if you couldn’t tell. It was the perfect way to end our time in Banff.
The Fairmont Banff Springs and the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise are both beautiful accommodations that are not just that. The hotels are so close to the best SkiBig3 Ski Resorts the they provide a completely different way to spend your time in the park with a complete renewal feeling like no other. I would be so happy to be a guest at a Fairmont again.