In the middle of the Canadian Rockies wilderness, three Fairmont hotels — the Jasper Park Lodge, Chateau Lake Louise and the Banff Springs Hotel — offer a taste of the extravagant.
At the 1922 Jasper Park Lodge, backwoods lodge meets luxury with shuttles from the main lodge to the 446 log cabin rooms. The hotel’s main lodge offers almost anything a guest could want, with several restaurants, shops and a heated pool.
“The Jasper Lodge wants to provide you with the park lodge experience, so it’s more spread out,” said Blair Keating, regional tour sales manager for Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. “This is probably my favorite hotel property. Even if every room is booked, it never feels crowded. You can walk around and see elk and other wildlife.”
The nearby Chateau Lake Louise originally opened to cater to the numerous mountaineering tourists. After concern that too many tourists were unprepared for the realities of climbing the Canadian Rockies, the hotel hired Swiss mountain guides to keep their adventurous guests safe.
As a result, the 1911 hotel is filled with Swiss influences in its architecture, interior decor and menu items, such as fondue. The imaginative hotel furnishings are outdone only by the hotel’s view of Mount Victoria, Lake Louise and Victoria Glacier.
When I arrived at the final Fairmont property, called the Banff Springs Hotel, I felt like I was in a Disney movie, with an opulent medieval castle perched amid the mountains. Designed after a Scottish baronial castle, the 1928 hotel kept up its castle theme with its decor of medieval-style hanging rugs, suits of armor and stained-glass details.