Bed-and-breakfast connoisseurs will fall in love with Buffaloberry B&B (417 Marten St., 403/762-3750, www.buffaloberry.com, $325 s or d), a purpose-built lodging within walking distance of downtown. The home itself is a beautiful timber and stone structure, while inside, guests soak up mountain-style luxury in the vaulted living area which comes complete with a stone fireplace, super comfortable couches, and a library of local books. The spacious rooms come with niceties such as pillow-top mattresses, TV/DVD combos, heated bathroom floors, and bathrobes.
At Buffalo Mountain Lodge, a 15-minute walk from town on Tunnel Mountain Road (at Tunnel Mountain Dr., 403/762-2400 or 800/661-1367, www.crmr.com, $319 s or d), you’ll notice the impressive timber-frame construction as well as the hand-hewn construction of the lobby, with its vaulted ceiling and eye-catching fieldstone fireplace. The 108 rooms, chalets, and bungalows all have fireplaces, balconies, large bathrooms, and comfortable beds topped by feather-filled duvets; many have kitchens. And you won’t need to go to town to eat—one of Banff’s best restaurants, Cilantro Mountain Café, is adjacent to the main lodge.
The Fairmont Banff Springs (403/762-2211 or 800/257-7544, www.fairmont.com, from $439 s or d) is one of the world’s great mountain resort hotels. The rooms have recently been modernized—think Internet access and air-conditioning—although many date to the 1920s, and as is common in older establishments, these accommodations are small (Fairmont rooms are 14.4 square meters/155 square feet). But room size is only a minor consideration when staying in this historic gem. With 12 eateries, four lounges, a luxurious spa facility, a huge indoor pool, elegant public spaces, a 27-hole golf course, tennis courts, horseback riding, and enough twisting, turning hallways, boardwalks, towers, and shops to warrant a detailed map, you’ll not be wanting to spend much time in your room. Most summer visitors stay as part of a package—the place to find these is on the Fairmont website (www.fairmont.com).
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition