Where to Stay in Banff

As a resort destination, Banff is one of North America’s best-kept secrets. Tucked away in the sleepy province of Alberta is one of the most picturesque landscapes in Canada, Banff National Park. Encompassed by the Rocky Mountains, Mt Rundle and Mt Cascade, Banff is a dream destination for adventure travelers and lovers of the great outdoors.

The town of Banff itself, although small in size, has a heap of character and rustic charm to enjoy. The main high street is flanked by bistros and boutiques galore. There are dozens of gorgeous Chateaux-style houses, many of which have been renovated into private vacation rentals.

Although the best place to stay near Banff National Park is Banff town itself, there are a number of great places to stay nearby the sleepy resort town. Canmore and Calgary, for example, offer a change of scenery and a different pace of life.

Whether you’re an adventurous traveler seeking to reconnect with nature in the North American wilderness, or a chic Chateaux-slicker who wants to kick back by the open fire for a cozy night in, there is something for everyone in Banff.

Let’s take a look at where to stay in Banff.

Banff

Banff, Canada

Source: i viewfinder / shutterstock

Banff

Banff is the go-to place to stay when visiting Banff National Park and Lake Louise. The Banff Tourism Board’s tagline is ‘this place is alive,’ and it is so very true. At first glance, the placid lake and brooding mountains seem magnificent yet other-worldly in their stillness, but once visitors start to explore Banff and the surrounding landscapes, they discover that the stillness is very much a facade. From dog-sledding and horseback riding to fishing and grizzly bear safaris, there is so much life in Banff.

After a long day of hiking, rafting, climbing and sledding, suffice to say visitors return to town as ravenous as the grizzly bears that they have been on the lookout for. Banff is a resort town created almost entirely with tourists in mind. There is a fantastic array of up-market bistros to explore. Microbreweries and small-scale distillers are making a name for themselves in Banff, much like in the rest of North America.

Good For: Active Travelers, Adventurous Travelers, Couples, Culture Vultures, First Time Visitors, Families, Foodies, Hikers, Nature Lovers, Outdoorsy Travelers, Sightseers, Whistle-Stop Travelers

Neighborhood Highlights: Banff National Park, Lake Louise, Bow Falls View Point, Cascade Gardens, Cave and Basin National Historic Site, Vermilion Lakes Viewpoint,  Banff Surprise Corner, Buffalo Nations Museum, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Central Park, Fenland Trail, Cascade Mountain, Mt Rundle, Mt Norquay

Hotel Recommendations:

Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa – Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa is a very good hotel located on Banff Avenue. The hotel boasts a spa and wellness center in-house that has six treatment rooms and specializes in hydrotherapy. Rooms are generous and feature very comfortable beds. Free parking is available on-site.

Elk + Avenue Hotel – Elk + Avenue Hotel is a family-friendly hotel in Banff. They have their own in-house tours and travel desk, where guests can organize their adventures in Banff and Lake Louise. All rooms feature an iPod docking station and flat-screen TV. The in-house bistro, Ricky’s All Day Grill, has a great menu.

Banff Aspen Lodge

Guests of the Banff Aspen Lodge have access to a coffee machine and mini fridge in their rooms, not to mention gorgeous views of the Banff landscape. Free WiFi and a complimentary breakfast is included in the room rate. There is an in-house cafe and a convenient launderette too.

Canmore

Canmore, Canada

Source: i viewfinder / shutterstock

Canmore

Situated a 20-minute drive south of Banff is the slightly bigger town of Canmore. These small towns sandwich Mount Rundle, and both offer easy access to the incredible Banff National Park.

Canmore is a resort town that is well prepared for international travelers. With food outlets, shops and accommodation aplenty, despite being in the back of beyond in Alberta, travelers have everything they could need and more in Canmore.

A town that is perfectly suited for active, outdoorsy travelers, Canmore acts as a gateway to Banff National Park and the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Visitors can ski, sled and snowboard to their heart’s content. Using Canmore as a base for day-long hiking adventures is a great idea. For those seeking to climb the Three Sisters or even Ha Ling Peak, Canmore is the perfect base.

Grassi Lakes Trail is a popular option for novice and experienced hikers alike. The verdant trail, often sprinkled with snow, takes walkers on a weaving path past two lakes and a gorgeous waterfall.

Good For: Active Travelers, Adventurous Travelers, Couples, Culture Vultures, First Time Visitors, Families, Foodies, Hikers, Nature Lovers, Outdoorsy Travelers, Sightseers, Whistle-Stop Travelers

Neighborhood Highlights: Banff National Park, Lake Louise, Grassi Lakes, Ha Ling Peak, Three Sisters Peaks, Bow Valley Provincial Park, Grotto Canyon, Centennial Park, Canmore Golf & Curling Club, Canmore Nordic Ctr, Quarry Lake Park, Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre, Bow Flats Natural Area, Mount Fable, Mount Rundle

Hotel Recommendations:

Falcon Crest Lodge by CLIQUE – Falcon Crest Lodge by CLIQUE is a super hotel in Canmore that features luxurious facilities throughout the property. Guests can enjoy a dip in one of the two hot tubs and work up a sweat in the fitness center. All rooms feature either a patio or a balcony complete with outdoor seating.

Holiday Inn Canmore – Holiday Inn Canmore is a great place to stay when visiting Canmore and Banff. The rooms are basic but have everything adventurous travelers could need – a comfy bed, a hot shower and a decent WiFi connection so as to be able to upload all of those amazing photos to social media.

Lamphouse Hotel – Lamphouse Hotel is a modern hotel with some seriously photogenic design features. The kind of place that is perfect for lovers of interior design and urban revival, Lamphouse Hotel is a great find in Canmore. A complimentary continental breakfast is included in the room rate, as well as free WiFi and free parking.

Calgary

Calgary, Canada

Source: Alix Kreil / shutterstock

Calgary

Calgary is one of the biggest cities in the province of Alberta. For travelers who are city slickers at heart but want to venture out into the wilderness, Calgary is an ideal place to use as a base.

With towering skyscrapers, bustling bars and a great collection of cultural gems to explore, Calgary offers travelers the best of both worlds when heading to Banff National Park. Set just over an hour away by car, Calgary lives in the shadow of the craggy peaks of the Alberta province.

Travelers should be sure to take a trip up Calgary Tower. It is not just the peaks of Banff National Park that offer stunning panoramic vistas, you know. Calgary Tower even features a revolving restaurant – perfect for a romantic date night in Canada. For a day-time date, Prince’s Island Park is a great find. Featuring walking trials, shady spots and plenty of picnic tables to go around, this inner-city park is as cute as the Canadian accent.

Good For: Active Travelers, Art Lovers, Budding Historians, City Slickers, Couples, Culture Vultures, First Time Visitors, Families, Foodies, Sightseers, Shopaholics, Whistle-Stop Travelers

Neighborhood Highlights: Calgary Tower, Prince’s Island Park, Glenbow Museum, Fort Calgary, WinSport Olympic Park, Calaway Amusement Park, Fish Creek Provincial Park, Devonian Gardens, Peace Bridge, The Bow, The Military Museum, Inglewood Bird Sanctuary & Nature Centre, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, Lougheed House

Hotel Recommendations:

Fairmont Palliser – The Fairmont Palliser is a chic and stylish hotel on 9th Avenue. Perfect for couples on a romantic getaway, Fairmont Palliser offers an indoor swimming pool and a hot tub. Each and every room features a coffee maker and a minibar. There are fluffy bathrobes in the ensuite bathrooms and luxury toiletries too.

Hyatt Regency Calgary – Hyatt Regency Calgary can be found on Centre Street in the heart of the city. Guests are invited to dine at the in-house restaurant or order room service. Each room features a swanky Keurig coffee machine in addition to treats in the minibar. There is a fantastic gym at the Hyatt Regency.

Grey Eagle Resort – Grey Eagle Resort is a modern and minimalist hotel on Grey Eagle Drive. The generous ensuite bathrooms feature a spacious walk-in shower unit and complimentary toiletries. Guests have access to the indoor swimming pool and the bubbling outdoor hot tub at Grey Eagle Resort. There are four restaurants on-site.

Invermere

Pedley Pass near Invermere

Source: Damien Richard / shutterstock

Pedley Pass near Invermere

Invermere is a gorgeous little community which is totally off the beaten track. Perfect for intrepid travelers who want to escape the tourist trail and immerse completely with nature, Invermere is crying out to be explored.

Squished between Golden and Cranbrook, Invermere is a lesser-visited community that likes to keep to itself. That said, when visitors do come knocking, they are greeted with the famous Canadian hospitality everyone has come to know and love.

When staying in Invermere, travelers have access to all manner of outdoor pursuits. As is customary in Alberta, hiking is the most popular pastime and there are dozens of trails to discover. Invermere is one of those places where it pays to get to know the locals; they know all the best routes and hiking trails, some of which may not even be in the guidebooks.

Windermere Lake is a calm expanse of deep blue glory and is perfect for fishing, boating, and if travelers are brave enough, swimming too.

Good For: Active Travelers, Adventurous Travelers, Couples, Culture Vultures, Intrepid Explorers, Families, Hikers, Nature Lovers, Outdoorsy Travelers, Off-The-Beaten-Track Travelers, Like a Local Travelers

Neighborhood Highlights: Windermere Lake, Kinsmen Beach, James Chabot Provincial Park Pynelogs Cultural Centre, Golden. Banff National Park, Lake Louise, Calgary, Cooper Point Golf Course, Windermere Valley Museum, Columbia River Paddle

Hotel Recommendations:

Invermere Hostel – Invermere Hostel provides cheap and cheerful accommodation in the humble town of Invermere. Offering both private rooms and communal dorms, Invermere Hostel is perfect for budget backpackers and frugal wanderers. The whole place is clean and well looked after. The staff are super helpful and can store luggage while guests explore.

The Kanata Inns Invermere – The Kanata Inns Invermere can be found on Arrow Road. Offering cute and cozy rooms with views of the mountains, The Kanata Inns Invermere is great value for money. Each room has its own ensuite bathroom, luxury coffee maker, and a work desk. There is an indoor hot tub.

Invermere Lakeside & Mountain View Home – Invermere Lakeside & Mountain View Home does what it says on the tin. Just a 12-minute walk from the lakeside beach and offering views of Alberta’s rolling landscape, this is a great find. As a private accommodation, rental guests have the whole place to themselves, with access to a kitchen, garden, and free parking facilities.

Golden

Days Inn By Wyndham Golden

Source: booking.com

Days Inn By Wyndham Golden

Golden is another of Canada’s off the beaten track destinations and can be found adjacent to Banff – across the Yoho National Park and Mount Temple. Golden is a gateway to adventure in British Columbia.

With Glacier National Park of Canada to the east and Yoho and Banff National Park to the west, travelers best bring their hiking boots and appetite for adventure – Golden is a truly exciting place to explore.

From a base in Golden, travelers can ski, sled and snowboard as much as they like throughout the winter months. The Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is a popular spot for winter sports enthusiasts and offers visitors the chance to dine at Canada’s highest restaurant.

In the summer months, Golden is a whole other world. From white water rafting and adrenaline-filed downhill mountain biking to quaint farmer’s markets and lakeside picnics, there is never a dull moment. Golden is the best place to stay for travelers who want to put the smartphones down and reconnect with nature.

Good For: Active Travelers, Adventurous Travelers, Couples, Culture Vultures, Intrepid Explorers, Families, Hikers, Nature Lovers, Outdoorsy Travelers, Off-The-Beaten-Track Travelers, Like a Local Travelers

Neighborhood Highlights: Yoho National Park, Banff National Park, Lake Louise, Glacier National Park of Canada, Moonraker Mountain, Sea Lion Mountain, Moberly Peak, Burges James Gadsden Provincial Park, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge, Island Restaurant

Hotel Recommendations:

Days Inn by Wyndham Golden – Days Inn by Wyndham is an unfussy hotel on Golden View Road in Golden. Offering all the home comforts travelers are looking for and great rates throughout the year, Days Inn is an ideal option. Each room comes with a kitchenette – perfect for making light meals and cheeky snacks.

River to Peaks Inn – River to Peaks Inn can be found on River Glen Drive and offers a little bit of luxury in Golden for a great price. The rooms have a cottage-like feel and are warm and cozy, no matter what the temperature outside. All ensuite bathrooms have a walk-in shower unit and complimentary toiletries.

Deer Ridge B&B – Deer Ridge B&B is a superb accommodation option in central Golden. This is a real home away from home in British Columbia. Guests have a whole suite to themselves that features a fully equipped kitchen complete with a fancy coffee machine. There is an outdoor hot tub and a patio space too.

Where to stay: Best Hotels in Banff, Canada
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List of Image Sources

Where to Stay in Banff:

Banff, Canada

  • Banff: i viewfinder / shutterstock
  • Canmore: i viewfinder / shutterstock
  • Calgary: Alix Kreil / shutterstock
  • Invermere: Damien Richard / shutterstock
  • Days Inn By Wyndham Golden: booking.com