Banff town serves as the hub for all the resorts in Banff National Park, situated at the park’s southern end. This vibrant, compact town is encircled by the towering peaks of the Canadian Rockies and caters to the influx of tourists exploring Banff National Park.
The town’s main streets feature a variety of resorts catering to diverse budgets and traveler preferences, along with numerous dining establishments and a plethora of shops.
Open throughout the year, Banff, and its resorts, attract couples on romantic getaways, groups of friends, and families on vacation.
During the summer, the streets teem with tourists from around the world who come to immerse themselves in the natural beauty, hike the numerous trails of Banff National Park, fish in its high alpine lakes and rushing rivers, or explore its mountain passes on horseback.
In winter, the town transforms into a playground for snow enthusiasts, offering excellent skiing, snowboarding, and Nordic terrain at Banff’s ski resorts. It boasts one of the longest ski seasons in North America, running from mid-November through April.
For the lowest accommodation rates and fewer crowds, consider visiting in spring or fall.
Here are our preferred resorts for your stay in Banff.
1. Fairmont Banff Springs
The iconic Fairmont Banff Springs stands out as the most renowned accommodation option in Banff, housed within a captivating castle-like structure that serves as an attraction.
Established in 1888, this historic resort was initially envisioned as the world’s largest hotel complex, though the plans did not materialize as intended. Nevertheless, the property, designed in the style of a Scottish baronial castle, remains a majestic establishment that reflects the glamour of the railway tourism era from its inception.
Featuring 745 elegantly decorated rooms and suites, many of which boast panoramic mountain views, the Fairmont Banff Springs offers a range of accommodations. For families traveling with kids, the two-bedroom suite proves to be an excellent choice, while couples seeking a fairy-tale ambiance may find the one-bedroom suites particularly appealing.
During the summer, guests can indulge in a round of golf at the championship Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course on the premises, while skiing takes precedence as the most popular winter activity.
A wealth of amenities enhances the guest experience, including three pools (both indoor and outdoor), two hot tubs, a state-of-the-art gym, and a spa with saunas and natural mineral pools. Additionally, several on-site restaurants cater to various dining preferences, spanning from casual to fine dining.
2. Moose Hotel and Suites
A mere minute’s walk from the heart of downtown Banff, the Moose Hotel and Suites boasts an excellent location for those eager to explore on foot.
The resort exudes mountain elegance, resembling a European Alpine lodge with its pitched-roof buildings and wooden balconies.
Featuring 174 rooms and suites, the accommodations offer a variety of configurations, ranging from double queens to two-bedroom suites. All rooms are characterized by modern comfort and come equipped with amenities such as gas fireplaces. The suites go a step further, incorporating kitchenettes and offering exterior entryways.
For those who prefer dining within the premises, the on-site Pacini Italian Restaurant serves authentic cuisine in generous portions.
Adding to the allure, the Meadow Spa on-site features 10 treatment rooms and a private outdoor hot tub. Guests can also enjoy an indoor swimming pool, along with two additional hot tubs on the rooftop, open to all patrons and providing stunning views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
3. Peaks Hotel and Suites
Nestled in the heart of downtown Banff, Peaks Hotel and Suites stands out as a premier mid-range option for those seeking proximity to over 80 restaurants and numerous shops and attractions, all within a quick stroll.
This tech-savvy hotel enhances convenience by allowing guests to use their phones for room access, and it offers a contactless 24-hour check-in process.
Spanning four floors, the hotel presents a variety of modern rooms and suites, all infused with a mountain rustic vibe.
Among the accommodations, the loft suites stand out as the most spacious, featuring vaulted ceilings and a two-level configuration. These suites include a king bed in the loft area and a living space with a pull-out sofa bed.
The resort-like amenities include a concierge service to assist guests with dining or excursion bookings.
While the hotel lacks an on-site restaurant, guests enjoy signing privileges at the three restaurants across the street at the sister property, Banff Park Lodge. Additionally, access to an indoor pool, hot tub, steam room, and fitness room further enhances the overall experience.
4. Rimrock Resort Hotel
Situated just beyond downtown Banff, a mere five-minute stroll from the gondola, Rimrock Resort Hotel boasts stunning views in every direction.
Nestled into the slopes of Sulphur Mountain, the home of Banff Upper Hot Springs, the resort offers 343 rooms and suites.
The most economical rooms offer views of the parking lot, making them an ideal choice for those seeking a luxurious yet affordable stay. For those desiring the utmost in accommodation, opt for the rooms featuring expansive balconies providing bold mountain views. All rooms feature modern, spacious designs, comfortable beds, and high-quality linens.
Guests have access to an indoor swimming pool, hot tub, steam room, sauna, and fitness center. Additionally, you can treat yourself to some pampering at the luxurious spa.
When it comes to dining, you have a choice of two restaurants, complemented by a coffee shop for a morning energy boost.
While Rimrock is not within walking distance of downtown Banff, you can conveniently reach the town via the complimentary public shuttle service or by driving there in just a few minutes.
5. Sunshine Mountain Lodge
Perched atop the renowned Sunshine Village ski resort in Banff National Park, Sunshine Mountain Lodge stands as the sole direct base camp for on-mountain winter and summer adventures in the area.
With ski-in, and ski-out accessibility during the winter months, the rooms and suites exude a modern rustic mountain ambiance. Anticipate an abundance of polished light wood accents, contemporary leather furnishings, and crisp white linens adorning comfortable beds.
Accommodations are available in either the West Wing or Main Lodge, offering multiple room configurations.
A favored choice is the West Wing Loft Rooms, featuring remote-controlled blinds that cover the 27-foot-high windows, providing direct views of Lookout Mountain. This two-floor room comprises a loft with a king bed and a main floor with a queen bed and a jetted bathtub.
Resort amenities include Banff’s largest outdoor hot tub, a dry sauna, and a small gym. Additionally, a day spa is available for those in need of pampering, offering a range of services from hot stone massages to facials and other treatments.
6. Mount Royal Hotel
Situated directly on Banff Ave, the main street of the town, the Mount Royal Hotel boasts an excellent location for shopping, dining, and catching the free ski shuttle to the slopes during the winter.
This resort features a tour desk that can assist you in planning excursions throughout all seasons.
The rooms and suites showcase a mountain-chic style with comfortable beds. While they may occasionally pick up street noise, this is inherent to staying downtown. The suites come equipped with kitchenettes and separate living areas.
Amenities at the hotel include outdoor hot tubs on the roof, providing an ideal setting for post-activity soaking as the sun sets over the towering mountain peaks.
Additionally, there is a restaurant, general store, library, and even a museum on the grounds, offering insights into the history of Banff and Mount Royal.
7. Royal Canadian Lodge
The Royal Canadian Lodge enjoys a central location, conveniently within walking distance from downtown Banff’s restaurants and shops.
Upon arrival, guests are welcomed by an impressive lobby with a vaulted wood ceiling, a wood-burning fireplace, and an oversized chandelier, providing a vintage mountain chalet ambiance throughout the lodge.
Rooms and suites boast classic stylings, including decorative wooden headboards, catering to those who appreciate the old-fashioned look. Many suites are equipped with jetted tubs for added comfort.
The on-site restaurant offers Canadian fare, and guests can enjoy a heated indoor pool illuminated by a stylish stained-glass window. A notable feature is the expansive 10-person hot tub with a waterfall edge that flows into the pool at one end. Additionally, there is an oversized steam room and a small spa for added relaxation.
8. Banff Park Lodge Resort Hotel & Conference Centre
The Banff Park Lodge Resort Hotel & Conference Center, the sister property to Peaks Hotel and Suites, is centrally located in the heart of downtown, making it an excellent option for those who wish to explore the area on foot. The hotel is also brimming with various amenities.
Featuring two restaurants, the Crave Mountain Grill offers casual Rocky Mountain fare for breakfast and dinner, while La Terrazza serves as a fine-dining Italian restaurant available for dinner only.
The resort boasts an indoor swimming pool accompanied by a large hot tub, featuring a cascading water wall that drops into the pool. For those seeking to unwind, an oversized steam room is available, along with a fitness facility to complete the range of amenities.
The 211 rooms and suites are adorned in a mountain-casual style, offering comfortable beds. Some suites come equipped with Jacuzzi tubs.
For families traveling together, interconnected rooms are also an option, and the service is characterized by attentiveness, with a helpful concierge.
9. Canalta Lodge
Recently renovated and rebranded with a multi-million-dollar investment, Canalta Lodge is conveniently located about a 10-minute walk from downtown Banff.
Exhibiting an eccentric vibe throughout its premises, this 3-star hotel boasts 120 contemporary and spacious rooms that offer a comfortable stay. The loft suites, featuring a two-floor layout and Jacuzzi bathtubs, are particularly recommended.
For those without a room featuring a jetted tub, the courtyard area provides hot tubs, a glacier plunge tub, an outdoor sauna, and a fire pit. The hotel also offers a complimentary breakfast, and while there is no lunch or dinner option on-site, the hotel across the street has a restaurant.
Pet-friendly rooms are available for guests traveling with dogs. Additionally, guests receive free bus passes to access local buses downtown, facilitating connections with the free ski shuttle.
10. Banff Aspen Lodge
Located on Banff’s main street, just a few minutes’ walk from various restaurants and shops, the Banff Aspen Lodge offers a laid-back yet luxurious accommodation option.
This boutique property features 89 spacious and modern rooms available in three categories: economy, superior, and premium.
Economy rooms are ideal for budget-conscious travelers who plan to spend most of their time outdoors but desire the comforts and amenities of a resort. Despite their smaller size and lack of balconies, these rooms offer the same comfortable beds and artistic decor.
On the other hand, premium rooms can accommodate up to four people, with options for two queen beds or one queen and two twin beds, making them suitable for families. These rooms also come with balconies or patios.
Banff Aspen Lodge provides on-site amenities, including a coffee shop serving light lunches and snacks, which doubles as a popular local hangout. The hotel also features an outdoor courtyard with hot tubs and a fireplace for guests to enjoy. Additionally, the hotel is pet friendly.
Q: Are these resorts open year-round?
A: Most resorts operate year-round, offering unique experiences in each season. However, it’s advisable to check individual resort websites for specific seasonal availability.
Q: Can I book guided tours directly through the resorts?
A: Yes, many resorts offer guided tours and outdoor activities. Check with the resort’s concierge or visit their official website for details and reservations.
Q: What’s the best time to visit Banff National Park for a budget-friendly trip?
A: Consider visiting during the shoulder seasons (early fall or late spring) for more budget-friendly accommodation options and fewer crowds.
Q: Are pets allowed at these resorts?
A: Policies vary among resorts. Some are pet-friendly, while others may have restrictions. Check with the specific resort regarding their pet policy before booking.
Q: How far in advance should I book my stay at these resorts?
A: It’s advisable to book well in advance, especially during peak seasons, to secure your preferred accommodation and dates.