Turning moments into memories is something our friends at Fairmont are well versed in. If you’re starting to plan your must-see destinations for Canada 150, we highly recommend you make a stop in the Canadian Rockies to experience what the Fairmont Banff Springs, Chateau Lake Louise and Jasper Park Lodge have to offer. We had the privilege of spending a week out in the Rockies and want you to be able to do the same, so we’ve provided some recommendations below to help you with your trip planning. We promise you’ll leave feeling relaxed, refreshed and inspired to continue exploring our breathtaking backyard.
Stop 1: Banff National Park – Fairmont Banff Springs
After a quick drive (~1.5 hours) from Calgary International Airport you’ll arrive at the iconic castle in the Rockies. The Springs is close to all the activities Banff is best known for, like tubing at Mt.Norquay or skiing at any of the Ski Big 3 properties during the winter months. If you’re coming during the summer, head up to Norquay to experience the Via Ferrata or explore one of the many local hiking trails. After a day of exploring head back to your oasis to soak in the views from your room, head down to Willow Stream Spa, or gear up for a meal at one of their many in-house restaurants. Our personal favourites are Grapes Wine Bar, Samurai Sushi Bar and Rundle Lounge. Once you’ve explored every nook of the property, pack your bags and get ready for Lake Louise.
Stop 2: Lake Louise, Banff National Park – Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Your 45 minute drive from the town of Banff to Lake Louise is welcomed by the jaw-dropping beauty the area is known for. After you’ve checked in and taken a moment to soak in your surroundings, get ready to go exploring. Rent some skates and head out to the most spectacular outdoor skating rink in the world (CNN even said so!), grab a pair of x-country skis and sight-see around the lake, or schedule an evening snow-shoe – a highlight of the week for many of us!
When you wake from your slumber the next day, take the shuttle up to The Lake Louise Ski Resort and grab a ticket for the gondola or take your skis or snowboard and spend the day taking runs up and down the mountain. In the summer months, you can hike to your hearts content around Lake Louise and Moraine Lake as the trails are accessible within a few steps from the doors of the Chateau. You’ll inevitably work up an appetite during your time in Lake Louise, but lucky for you, you’ll never have to venture far to feast. The dining options are as endless and varied as the activities in Lake Louise, ranging from grab and go meals at The Chateau Deli to fondue at Walliser Stube and tapas at Lakeview Lounge.
Stop 3: Jasper National Park – Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
What we love most about the three different Fairmont properties in the Rockies is how vastly different they all are from one another. One day you’re at a castle, the next you’re in a modernized, rich in Swiss-history chateau and the next you’re nestled in a cabin in the woods surrounded by wildlife. The journey to Jasper National Park from Lake Louise is three hours of pure bliss. We love seeing this view from the sky, but to be able to see it from below is just as special. Leave some room in your schedule for stops as you’ll want to see Peyto Lake, the Columbia Icefield and Sunwapta Falls along the way.
Your time at Jasper Park Lodge will epitomize #cabinvibes. The property itself is situated just outside of the town centre, but don’t let that deter you, adventure awaits! Plan a day to head up to Marmot Basin for some skiing and snowboarding during the winter months. During the warmer months you can hike a plethora of local trails, take in the views from the Jasper Sky Tram or grab a canoe to cruise around the lake right from the hotel. Maligne Canyon, a popular winter and summer destination, is an absolute must-do. The winter months allow you to get right down into the canyon – with the right footwear, of course! SunDog Tours can show you the ropes and guide you up and down the riverbed. When you’re ready to slow things down and just enjoy the lodge, you can soak in the spa or take a nap so you’re rested and ready for a late night discovering the night sky.
Any stay at Fairmont is always special, but we highly recommend the Gold experience if you can afford the upgrade. It’s a perfect mixture of the comforts of home and the luxuries of vacation. Hang out in a cozy atmosphere outside your room, enjoy the food (oh, the food!) and some of the best amenities Fairmont has to offer.
Are you ready to make some memories? Visit westjet.com to see our low fares to Calgary or Edmonton and start planning. See more #WeLoveWinter moments by searching the hashtag on Instagram and Twitter. Happy travels!