Banff Travel Guide - Lodging
I would like to tell you finding a hotel in Banff is easy, but I can't tell you how many hours I spent looking at hotels all over Banff, Lake Louise and other locations. I had a few dream places I wanted to stay, but I knew the Fairmont (at over $900 CAD per night) was not a reasonable thought process. I read blog post after blog post to see what may be the best, but in the end I headed over to Trip Advisor to see what they recommended. On thing to remember when looking at lodging in Banff, or the surrounding areas, is that the prices can increase or decrease depending on the time of year. The prices will be higher during June - August as this would be peak season for the area. They will decrease during the off seasons.
Moose Hotel and Suites
The Moose Hotel and Suites is the #1 rated hotel in Banff on Trip Advisor, but that was not the selling point for me when I booked it. The deciding factor was the uniqueness of the hotel and the space. Besides those other two factors, Mom and I used to call Callie moose as a cute nickname, so I thought it would be cool to stay at the Moose Hotel! I went to Expedia and took a look at the room options, which I was surprised by. For a hotel that only has 174 rooms, they have at least five different types of rooms you can choose from. After reviewing all of the options with our group, we decided to go with the rooftop two bedroom suite because we wanted to make sure we had enough room for ourselves and our luggage. Once we arrived, and checked into our room, we realized how perfect our room really was. As you walk in the door you are in the common area where there is a couch, eating area and a kitchenette. The kitchenette was perfect for our group because it had a mini fridge, microwave, plates, cups, utensils, kettle, Keurig and basically everything you would need in your room. From the common room you could access both rooms, one had a king bed and the other had two queen beds. Both rooms had full baths, so everyone had everything they needed in their. On the back side of the room there was a balcony, that ran the length of the room, which had some outdoor furniture and looked over The Corner House and hotel courtyard. The biggest feature in the room, which I didn't think we were going to use much, was the fireplace in the common area. We ended up using the fireplace everyday as it was the fastest way to heat ourselves and the room up.
Welcome to the Moose Hotel & Suites
The common area on our room
The king room
Two queen room
When we checked in we spoke with the receptionist about celebrating two birthdays.
They sent up this bottle of wine and birthday card from the hotel.
Our group on the balcony
The down view from the balcony
The up view from the balcony
It snowed Sunday morning!
The view without snow
Our group in front of the Moose statue outside of the hotel
I am a girl who loves amenities at a hotel, so when we were looking into this hotel I was pleasantly surprised with the amenities. First, and most important, the hotel is centrally located to Downtown Banff. Once you park your car, in the underground parking garage, you can walk to anything and everything in downtown. The official start of downtown is two blocks from the hotel entrance, so everything is very accessible by foot. Secondly, one thing you will read about when you research Banff is the Hot Springs. Many people say it's worth a trip, but there are just as many reviews stating it is not worth the time or the money. The hotel has an indoor pool, hot pools and a fire pit on the roof. We didn't partake in this specific amenity at the hotel, but we did go up and visit the area. Everything looks over the main street and the views of the mountains are just gorgeous.
One of the hot pools and the fire pit
The view of downtown from the hotel
One amenity that shocked me, the hotel is pet friendly. They will include a pet bed, bowls, treats and a special take home toy for an additional charge of $25 per night. They recommend you not leave the pet in the room alone, but most things downtown are dog friendly, so there wouldn't really be a need to leave your pet in the room. There was one room that had a note on their door stating the room didn't need to be cleaned because there were two dogs in the room, so some people do leave their pets in the room while they go out. There is a restaurant in the lobby of the hotel, Pacini, which is an Italian restaurant. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, but will also do room service if you are a guest at the hotel. We did not eat there, but the reviews we read about it said it was good. A full-service spa is also located in the hotel. Meadow Spa and Pools are located on the third floor of the hotel and have massages, facials, nail services, etc. If you need a day of rest and relaxation, this is the place to be. You don't have to be a guest of the hotel to enjoy the spa, but you will gain access to the pools and fire pit on the rooftop. I know these amenities aren't important to everyone, but the hotel does offer free underground parking and free Wi-Fi. If you are more into public transportation, there are busses that will pick you up from the front of the hotel and take you to certain attractions that are close to the downtown area. I believe there is even a Roam bus that will take you up near Lake Louise, which is about 35 miles away. I think I have listed enough amenities, so lets move on!
The views in Banff are the reason people go, but some of the mountain views from the hotel are some of the most amazing views you will see. On Saturday and Sunday it was very overcast, so the mountains were not very visible. But, Monday morning we were heading out to grab breakfast and all of a sudden we had mountains everywhere!
This was my favorite!
Another Mountain View.
Let's go with one more view!
Beyond having a moose in every room, and the big one in the lobby, the most unique thing about The Moose Hotel and Suites is The Corner House. I mentioned The Corner House earlier in the post, but I did not provide any details about it. The Corner House is one of Banff's original mining dwellings, dating back to the early 1900s. The mining house was moved to Banff, from neighboring town Bankhead, in 1926. The house was located at the corner of Moose Street and Banff Ave. until 2016 when The Moose Hotel and Suites was built. The house is now located in the courtyard of the hotel. The house is completely furnished and can be booked when you make your reservation. The house only sleeps two people, but the photos on the website look amazing!
Photo: Moose Hotel and Suites
If you are planning to visit Banff, which I highly suggest you do, definitely add The Moose Hotel to you list! You will love staying here!