If you’re planning a visit to Banff, picking the right hotel can be tough, especially if it’s your first visit. Over the years we’ve stayed in virtually all the hotels in Banff for one reason or other; we’ve used hotels for parties, weddings, romantic getaways, hot tub parties, budget long-term stays and more. Whatever you’re looking for, this guide should point you in the right direction.
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Here are some of our favourite hotels in Banff and Lake Louise, ranging from the cheapest hostels to the most expensive and exclusive resorts.
|Hotel||Price Per Night||Check Availability|
|Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel||$$$$$||Check Availability|
|Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise||$$$$$||Check Availability|
|Rimrock Hotel||$$$$||Check Availability|
|Sunshine Mountain Lodge||$$$$||Check Availability|
|The Moose Hotel||$$$$||Check Availability|
|The Post Hotel||$$$$||Check Availability|
|Buffalo Mountain Lodge||$$$||Check Availability|
|Emerald Lake Lodge||$$$||Check Availability|
|Hidden Ridge Resort||$$$||Check Availability|
|The Fox Hotel||$$$||Check Availability|
|Deer Lodge||$$$||Check Availability|
|Elk + Avenue||$$$||Check Availability|
|Juniper Hotel & Bistro||$$$||Check Availability|
|Mount Royal Hotel||$$$||Check Availability|
|Tunnel Mountain Resort||$$||Check Availability|
|Inns of Banff||$$||Check Availability|
|HI Banff Alpine Centre||$||Check Availability|
|The Banff International Hostel||$||Check Availability|
|King Edward Hotel||$||Check Availability|
Luxury (4 Star) Hotels $$$$
If you’re coming to Banff for a taste of the good life, there are plenty of luxury hotels to choose from. While there aren’t any 5 star hotels to speak of, there are numerous fantastic 4 star hotels to choose from (in no particular order):
Fairmont Banff Springs – The iconic castle in Banff is the ultimate luxury accommodation in Banff. You can generally expect a certain standard from a Fairmont, and this one is no different. The food is great and its spa is unparalleled in Banff. The castle is full of rich history, and supposedly even has a few ghosts roaming its halls. It also has year round events, particularly at Christmas time, where you can experience “Christmas in the Castle“. If you’re looking for a romantic meal, the Waldhaus is where you’ll find Banff’s finest fondue restaurant.
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise – Again, it’s a Fairmont, so you can expect the best. While the Banff Springs castle is the main attraction in Banff, the real highlight here is the spectacular view of Lake Louise. Again, there are plenty of activities here including pony trekking and hiking in the summer, and ice skating on the lake in winter. We love to come to the Fairmont for their afternoon tea and would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for great views and a peaceful atmosphere away from the crowds.
The Post Hotel – Another Luxury Hotel in Lake Louise that’s fairly well secluded. The hotel has several luxurious chalets with river views, and it offers a rustic escape away from the crowds. We like to visit for their great food, especially for their incredible Mother’s day brunch.
The Rimrock Hotel – The Rimrock is another of the best hotels in Banff. It’s a little dated, but still offers incredible views of the surrounding mountains and is very conveniently located within walking distance of the Banff hot springs and the Sulphur Mountain Gondola (read more on Banff Gondolas here). It’s also home to one of Canada’s few, and Banff’s only, 5 diamond restaurant (the Eden).
Sunshine Mountain Lodge – This is Banff’s only ski in/ski out hotel, and is located on the mountain at Sunshine Village Ski Resort. It has one of the best outdoor hot tubs around and its prime location means you can be first on the slopes in the morning and last down in the evening. The only downside is that you’re a little isolated from the town. The lodge is significantly cheaper in Summer, where you’ll have access to the beautiful Sunshine Meadows hiking area. Read more about ski resorts in Canada here.
The Moose Hotel – One of Banff’s newest hotels and my family’s favourite place to stay when they visit. It’s a modern 4 star hotel with a fantastic location close to the heart of Banff (unlike any of the other luxury hotels on the list). It also has a luxury spa complete with rooftop pool, hot tub and fire pit.
Buffalo Mountain Lodge – If you’re looking for luxury in Banff with some of Banff’s best food, then Buffalo Mountain Lodge has to be your first choice. The rooms are styled as luxury cabins, and it almost feels like you’re alone in the backcountry. Staff are happy to come and start a fire for you while you enjoy the area’s tranquility.
Emerald Lake Lodge – This one is actually in Yoho National Park, but we couldn’t write a list without including it. The hotel located on the shores of the beautiful Emerald Lake, and is the perfect place to escape the crowds of Banff and Lake Louise. Internet and tv signal is weak at best so it’s the perfect place to bring a good book and curl up in front of the fire. Just like Buffalo Mountain Lodge (same owner), the food is amazing and all their exotic meats are sourced from their very own ranch.
Hidden Ridge Resort – This is another hidden gem in Banff that’s tucked away up Tunnel Mountain. The location means you’ll enjoy complete seclusion from the crowds, but you’ll need to drive or take the bus back into town (don’t worry, the bus stop is right outside). It arguably has the town of Banff’s best outdoor hot tub with the perfect view of sunset in the valley.
Deer Lodge – Probably only a 3 star because it’s so old (recently renovated though!). This is the perfect place to stay if you want to be in Lake Louise but don’t want to shell out for the Fairmont or the Post. It also has, without doubt, our favourite rooftop hot tub, and the views of the surrounding mountains are unparalleled. Again, it has amazing food and it’s somewhere we regularly stop in (read about our last visit).
The Fox Hotel – Another popular spot in Banff on the main street. It’s a little bit of a walk to downtown, but not as far as some of the other options. The main attraction for us is the replica of the original hot springs (cave and basin) in the basement. It’s like being in a hot tub in a cave and is definitely the highlight. There’s also a Chili’s restaurant if you’re feeling lazy, but there are plenty of fantastic local options within walking distance.
The Mount Royal Hotel – Formally one of the more popular hotels in Banff, the Mount Royal Hotel actually closed after a huge fire in the summer of 2017 but will soon be reopening. In the past it was always expensive because of its incredible central location, but the hotel itself was fairly basic. Hopefully the renovations will add a modern touch!
Tunnel Mountain Resort – This is another hotel up tunnel mountain. It’s a little out of town but again, you’ll be nicely away from the crowds. You can rent individual chalets for less than you would anywhere else, so it’s great for hosting big groups or parties where you don’t need to worry about noise (there’s also a liquor store across the street). There’s also bus stop directly in front so that you can easily get into town.
Inns of Banff – This is the last hotel before you leave town in Banff, so it’s quite a walk to get to the shops. Having said that, it’s usually a fairly cheap option, has a great outdoor hot tub, and it even has an all you can eat sushi restaurant (one of Banff’s best kept secrets).
Elk + Avenue – This hotel was recently renovated and rebranded, and whereas before it was extremely dated, it’s now very modern and sophisticated. It’s one of the closest hotels to downtown, directly across the street from a grocery store, and it has a great breakfast spot (Ricky’s – yes it’s a chain but a great diner to roll into if you’re nursing a hangover).
Juniper Hotel & Bistro – This hotel is famous for having one of Banff’s best breakfasts, and one of the most stunning views to boot. It’s not really within walking distance of the town, but it’s right at the bottom of Mt. Norquay if you’re planning to ski there during your stay.
HI Banff Alpine Centre – This is a hostel up Tunnel Mountain, close to Hidden Ridge and Tunnel Mountain Resort. I actually lived here for 3 months during my ski season and it’s a great place to live on the cheap and meet some great people travelling through. Private rooms are available if you’re not looking for a dorm experience, and there’s good food at Cougar Pete’s restaurant. The staff are one of a kind and I can guarantee you’ll have fun there. Only downside is that if you’re in Banff to party you’ll be paying for a cab when you leave the bar, or it’s a long walk back up the hill
Banff International Hostel – Another cheap as chips hostel in Banff. This one’s much closer to the town but still a little walk (not as bad as the HI though). Another great spot to meet other budget travellers and backpackers!
King Edward Hotel – This is one of the most central hotels in Banff, and what it lacks in quality it more than makes up for in location. Super cheap and a great location!
Of course, there are plenty more hotels in Banff, but these are a selection of some of the better options that we’ve come across over the years. Feel free to contact us if you’re looking for some more detailed advice!