Where to Stay in Banff • The Best Banff Lodging You Can Find

where to stay in banff

So you’ve decided you’re going to Banff and are now wondering where to stay in Banff. The Rocky Mountains of Canada are known the world over for their majestic beauty. The Rockies span a distance of almost 5000 kilometers across British Colombia and Alberta, and within that area are a number of parks, including Banff National Park.

The town of Banff, located in the Bow Valley approximately 125 kilometers away from Calgary, has the best of both worlds. Everything you need is available in this little resort town on the edge of the Rockies.  

With stunning mountain peaks towering over the town and an abundance of popular attractions, including the Sulphur Mountain Gondola and Cave and Basin National Historic Site, there’s no shortage of things to do. 

However, if you’re someone who prefers to be away from the crowds, all you have to do is drive a short distance, and you’re smack in the middle of a wilderness area and UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s said to be among the most beautiful on earth – Banff National Park. 

Within the park’s 6,641 square kilometers are snow-capped mountain peaks, icefields, canyons, and glaciers. World-renowned ski resorts, such as Sunshine Village, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Ski Norquay, are located in the park.  

Speaking of Lake Louise – this a must-see that’s only 58 kilometers from the town of Banff.  Moraine Lake is another must-see that’s only 15 kilometers from Lake Louise.  

As you drive through the park, you may see various animal species, including bears, cougars, bighorn sheep, moose, and elk.  

Banff National Park is an outdoor-lover’s paradise in all seasons. Whether you enjoy hiking, skating, skiing, biking, kayaking, climbing, or snowshoeing, you’ll find it all here. You’ll also discover an assortment of beautiful accommodations to choose one that suits you best.  


Where to Stay in Banff


1. Fairmont Banff Springs


When it comes to luxury hotels in Banff National Park, none are more iconic than the long-standing Banff Springs Hotel. When you glimpse this grand landmark for the first time, you’ll see why it’s known as The Castle of the Rockies. The hotel has seen guests from all over the world for more than 100 years.   

The view, overlooking a stunning vista consisting of a valley and the distant Mount Rundle, is just the beginning. When it comes to amenities, you’ll have access to a championship golf course, fitness center, swimming pool, bowling center, and tennis courts.  

The Willow Stream Spa offers a variety of treatments, including massages and facials. Each one of the on-site restaurants offers a unique experience. Whether you’re seeking a fine dining experience or a cozy family eatery, you’ll find every type of food – from world cuisine to local favorites.  

There are 757 spacious guest rooms and suites. While there are different categories of rooms, each one has complimentary high-speed internet, cable TV, and a coffeemaker.

A unique feature of this hotel is the variety of cultural programs and organized activities offered to guests. Communal campfires with marshmallow roasting, nature walks, Tunnel Mountain hikes, stargazing outings, guided snowshoeing adventures, and bike tours are just some of the outdoor activities available for all ages. They also decorate the hotel in the most amazing decorations for Banff Christmas.

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2. Elk + Avenue Hotel


If you’re after great Banff national park lodging look no further. Situated in the town of Banff only minutes away from the services of the town and the remote backcountry of the national park, Elk + Avenue Hotel is a rugged mountain escape with a touch of luxury.  

It doesn’t matter if you’re seeking a cozy respite after a day on the slopes or a relaxing evening soaking in a Jacuzzi after a long day of exploring, this Rocky Mountain escape is an ideal base for your Banff adventures.   

On-site amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, a sauna, lockers for storing ski equipment, and a gift shop. A buffet breakfast is served each morning and features both hot and cold items.  

Each of the 162 rooms – which include lofts and junior suites – feature deluxe en-suite bathrooms with luxury toiletries and hair dryers.  

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3. Banff Park Lodge 


places to stay in banff

If you’re looking for a centrally-located hotel surrounded by nature along the mighty Bow River, Banff Park Lodge offers both. This full-service hotel is situated in the town of Banff, but it provides a quiet retreat for when you want to escape the crowds and relax in beautiful mountain surroundings.  

The hotel operates in an environmentally-friendly manner for those who are concerned about the footprint they may leave behind. 

Kick back in the whirlpool or do some laps in the heated indoor swimming pool. Breathe in the rejuvenating scent of Eucalyptus in the steam room or keep up with your fitness routine in the on-site fitness area. Browse the hotel shops and fashion outlets, and at the end of the day, shield your vehicle from the cold in the heated parking area.

Each of the 211 large guest rooms and suites has Wi-Fi service, cable TV, a full bathroom, a coffeemaker, and mini-fridge. Take in the clean mountain air from your private patio or balcony.  

The Banff Park Lodge offers a variety of dining options in several eateries, including La Terrazza, the Terrace Lounge, and Crave Mountain Grill. 

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4. Storm Mountain Lodge


where to stay in banff

Storm Mountain Lodge has some of the best cabins in Banff National Park. If you’re a true outdoor lover who enjoys the experience of removing yourself from everyone and everything, a cabin in the forest offers a true outdoor escape, and Storm Mountain Lodge has one that’ll meet all your backcountry needs.  

Situated halfway between Banff town and Lake Louise, the remote location of this lodge means you are far from the crowds but close to the things that matter most – mountains, forests, and stunning beauty.

If you expect modern amenities, this might not be the place for you. However, if being disconnected from Wi-Fi, phones, televisions, and all those other modern annoyances is more your style, you won’t find any of those things here.  

What you’ll find are cozy cabins with wood-burning fireplaces and full bathrooms, and a lounge serving authentic Canadian dishes made with organic ingredients, homemade desserts, and Canadian wine.

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5. Banff Inn


places to stay in banff

Banff Inn offers modern accommodations with convenient and luxurious amenities in a central location right on Banff Avenue. However, don’t let the central location fool you; the great outdoors and all the fresh air activities you love are only minutes away.

At the end of each day, return to your comfortable room equipped with a mini-fridge, complimentary Wi-Fi, and a coffeemaker. Or you can unwind in the steam room or relax in the Jacuzzi.   

Carlito’s Pizzaria specializes in delicious pizzas but also serves a variety of other options, such as poutine, hamburgers, and salads.  

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6. Canalta Lodge


where to stay in banff national park

For a rugged experience in any season, outdoor adventurers can find comfortable accommodation with easy backcountry access at Canalta Lodge.  

Start each day with a complimentary buffet breakfast followed by a rejuvenating dip in the glacier plunge tub before setting off into the great outdoors to enjoy whatever it is you like to do in the wilderness.  

Return each evening to relax in the outdoor sauna or hot tubs, or kick back in front of the cozy fireplace. Also enjoy access to a gym, coffee shop, ski lockers, and bike rental service.

Each modern room offers many amenities, including complimentary Wi-Fi, HDTV, refrigerator, coffeemaker, microwave, and private bathroom.

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7.  Moose Hotel


Where to stay in Banff

The 4-star Moose Hotel is situated only minutes from the center of Banff, so you can easily walk into town and enjoy the services and attractions available.

This charming hotel has an indoor pool, two rooftop hot pools, a fitness room, and a sauna. The on-site Pacini Italian Restaurant serves gourmet cuisine with a cozy ambiance. Meadow Spa offers massages and various body treatments in a relaxing environment with mountain views.  

Within its 174 rooms, guests will find many amenities, including air-conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi, coffeemakers, and safes. Some suites also have kitchenettes and gas fireplaces.  

With easy access to the adventures you dream of having in the Canadian Rockies, you’ll be able to realize those dreams from this ideal base. Whether it be horseback riding into the foothills, ice climbing in winter, skiing some of the best runs in North America, or white water rafting on the Bow River, a memorable adventure awaits.

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8.  Banff International Hostel


Budget-conscious travelers who are simply seeking comfort with basic amenities can find affordable accommodation at the Banff International Hostel.

This quiet hostel close to downtown Banff offers a fully-equipped communal kitchen where you can prepare your own meals, two lounges with televisions, and complimentary Wi-Fi and laundry facilities.

If you enjoy a cold one while relaxing after a long day in the backcountry, a liquor store is on-site. 

There are dorm rooms and private rooms available at this hostel. Each dorm has a bathroom and lockers. Private rooms are equipped with en-suite bathrooms.

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9. Baker Creek Mountain Resort


Still wondering where to stay in Banff? If you’re seeking accommodation in a location further away from the hustle and bustle of Banff and closer to the natural beauty of Lake Louise, Baker Creek Mountain Resort is a laid-back escape offering comfortable lodge and log cabin accommodations.  

You’ll get a true Canadian backcountry experience surrounded by stunning mountain scenery and vast wilderness. Enjoy a roaring fire under the night sky with access to outdoor fire pits. Retreat to your cozy room or log cabin, most of which are equipped with a wood-burning stove and kitchenette.  

Baker Creek Bistro serves genuine Canadian dishes and local craft beer that you can enjoy inside or on the patio.

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10.  Fairmont Lake Louise


Things to do in Banff around Christmas

Banff National Park accommodation doesn’t get much better than this. The Fairmont Lake Louise is another iconic long-standing resort in Banff National Park. If you’re looking for luxury accommodation with luxury amenities in a location surrounded by mountains and remote backcountry, this is the place for you. 

This stately resort overlooking stunning Lake Louise has 530 rooms and suites in various sizes.  On-site amenities include an indoor pool, hot tub, steam room, and fitness area with a stretching room. The resort spa offers many services, including massages, body scrubs, and facials.

Various activities are also available on-site and nearby, including guided mountain tours, skiing, hiking, canoeing, sleigh rides, snowshoeing, skating, and dog sledding.

Lakeview Lounge, Walliser Stube, Poppy Brasserie, and Fairview Bar and Restaurant are some of the eateries available, offering a variety of dining experiences.  

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11.  The Rundlestone Lodge


When you walk into The Rundlestone Lodge, you walk into a warm and cozy lobby with the fire already going in the fireplace.  

Here, you’ll enjoy mountainous surroundings close to the town of Banff. Easy access to the national park means you can spend your days exploring trails and backcountry. 

There are 98 rooms with more than a dozen styles to choose from, some equipped with kitchenettes or jetted tubs. You’ll also enjoy access to a swimming pool, fitness area, and hot tub.

You can rent a bike from this lodge. Traveling by bike is a great way to explore places you wouldn’t think of venturing with your car. Trails, back roads and tucked away places around the quaint little town are easily-accessible on two wheels. It’s also more fun to zip around with the fresh mountain air in your face.  

Patrino’s Family Restaurant specializes in pizza, pasta, and steak, among many other items that are suitable for all ages.  

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12. Banff Caribou Lodge


Situated in an ideal location on Banff Avenue, the Banff Caribou Lodge offers guests easy access to the best of both worlds – the wilderness of Banff National Park and the excitement of downtown Banff.  

This mountain lodge property is surrounded by spectacular views of the mountains and has many amenities, including a full-service spa, a jetted hot pool, steam room, fitness room, and bike rental service.  

Each guest receives a complimentary Banff Roam Bus Pass, and The Keg Steakhouse and Bar is located on-site.  

The 184 mountain-inspired guest rooms feature complimentary Wi-Fi, televisions, coffeemakers, and mini-fridges.

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13. Royal Canadian Lodge


One of the best places to stay in Banff is the Royal Canadian Lodge. If you enjoy a side of elegance along with your outdoor adventures in Banff, the Royal Canadian Lodge offers luxury accommodation with many amenities to ensure your comfort and enjoyment.   

The boutique hotel is home to the Evergreen Restaurant and Lounge, where you can enjoy fine dining with extensive wine offerings and locally-inspired cuisine.  

All rooms have ample natural light along with many amenities, including a flat-screen TV, mini-fridge, complimentary Wi-Fi, coffeemaker, and safe.  

Grotto Spa offers various services, including body wraps, hot stone massages, and facials. A fitness area, heated indoor pool, hot tub, and steam room are also on-site.  

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A Few Banff Travel Tips To Know Before You Go


Banff at Christmas
When is the Best Time to Visit Banff?

Well that depends on if you want winter or summer! For winter try visiting Dec-February. The summer weather is great in June, July, and August! You can read the full details about Banff weather here.

Download AllTrails

If you plan to do any hiking (including the hikes mentioned on this list) download AllTrails first. Alltrails gives you the latest review of a hike, as well as all the logistical information you may need. If you pay for AllTrails Pro you’ll also be able to download offline trail maps to your phone. We use AllTrails for every hike.

Consider Renting a Car

Being in North America your options for transport are limited. Most visitors to Banff will rent a car in Calgary as this is the easiest way to get around. Renting a car in Canada ensures that you can get to where you want to go on your own schedule.

Depending on the season of your travel car rentals in Calgary can be quite affordable. We’ve rented with Enterprise for less than 20 CAD a day in the winter. However, expect prices to rise during July and August.

In the winter, it’s best to get a car with winter tires so make sure to check with your car rental agency. If you do decide to drive from Alberta into BC these winter tires are mandatory! You can see road conditions here, which are super helpful between November and late April.

Check Rental Prices Here!

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Other Transport Options

You may not feel comfortable driving in Canada and that’s okay! There are other options to get to and from Banff and around the town. However, they are limited so keep that in mind.

To get from YYC to Banff, the Banff Airporter is a good option and costs $138 (CAD) round trip.

Once in Banff, there is the Roam bus system to get around town and in the summer it runs to Lake Louise while in the winter it will easily get you to Lake Louise Ski Resort and Banff Sunshine Ski Resort.

In the winter, it’s best to get a car with winter tires so make sure to check with your car rental agency. If you do decide to drive from Alberta into BC these winter tires are mandatory! You can see road conditions here, which are super helpful between November and late April.

Buy a Park Pass

Anyone traveling into Banff National Park needs a park pass every day that they are there. Day passes for adults cost $10 CAD a day. If you are staying in Banff for an extended amount of time and have a jam packed Banff itinerary you may want to consider purchasing a Discovery Pass.

An adult Discvoery Pass cost $69.19 CAD for one adult. So if you are just one person staying a week it’s definitely worth it to get one. If you are two or more and staying for a few days a Group Discovery Pass at $139.40 CAD is the best option. It lasts for one year and is a cost effective option.

Dress for the Mountains

If I had a dollar for every time I saw a visitor wearing poor mountain clothes I would have, like $500. No, but seriously guys come to Banff dressed for mountain weather. That means packable down jackets and hats even in the summer.

The weather here can change at a moment’s notice and you don’t want to be underdressed. It’s extremely important to pack layers, thermals, and HIKING BOOTS.

Yes, hiking boots or shoes. If you plan to do any hiking while visiting Banff please do not show up in Converse shoes. It will not only make you uncomfortable and look like a fool, but it can be potentially dangerous if you attempt a mountain hike you are not prepared for. You can find my entire list of backpacking essentials here.

Things to do in Banff

Check our our other Banff posts!


Featured Travel Card


Chase Sapphire Preferred Travel Credit Cards

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The other option is to transfer the points to a large selection of airlines such as United, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Southwest, or Korean Airlines. This is one of the best all-around credit cards for travel! Of course, everyone needs something different so check out our post on the best travel credit cards here or you can learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred on Card Ratings!



Plan Your Trip to Banff


Travel Insurance

We don’t travel without travel insurance and neither should you. You never know what can happen in a foreign country and it’s best to be prepared. World Nomads provides good short term coverage

SafetyWing is perfect for digital nomads. See our full review here!

Check Rates


Accommodation in Canada

To feel more at home we use Airbnb you can check out some tips and read more about getting an Airbnb coupon code hereOr just take this coupon for your first stay!

Get Coupon


Things to do in Jasper
Guide Book

Sometimes it’s nice just to have a real book in your hands when traveling. We recommend picking up a Lonely Planet to get you through the wireless nights.

Guide Book


Camelbak
Hiking/Daypack Backpack

You’re going to need something to carry your belongings in while your traveling around Jasper. Even if you’re not doing extensive hikes you need at least something small for day trips. My favorite daypacks are from Camelbak.

See our favorite hiking backpacks here!


Beach Packing List Sunglasses
Sunglasses

Make sure to protect your eyes from the sun in Canada. There are a lot of options for sunglasses and everyone should own at least a pair. It’s best to make sure they do have UV protection for the health of your eyes.

We made our first investment in quality polarized sunglasses with a pair of SMITH Optics Lowdown 2. Truthfully, not everyone needs to invest $150 in a pair of sunglasses, but they do make a huge difference from the crappy $10 ones.

Purchase Sunglasses


Sunscreen

Skin cancer is for real, even in the mountains! Don’t forget your SPF when traveling around Jasper. We recommend ordering some online before leaving the house as you will need it underneath the sun in the summer.

We highly recommend getting an eco friendly sun cream that does not contain harmful chemicals.

Get Sunscreen


Danner Mountain 600 Mens Travel Boots
Hiking Shoes or Boots

If you’re wondering what necessities to bring to Banff then sturdy shoes are perhaps the most important thing you will need before you get to Canada.

I love my Merrell Moab Ventilators and have been going strong in them for two years! Check out my other recommendations on women’s shoes, and we have a post on the best safari boots.

Best Lightweight Hiking Boots


Best Down Jackets
Down Jacket

I ALWAYS have a down jacket with me on every single hike I go on in the Rockies. They aren’t just good for hikes, but doing anything in the mountains. Even in July, you may still find yourself reaching for a jacket!

Down jackets pack up light and small so there is no reason NOT to have one in your bag. Seriously it could save your life in a bad situation. We wrote a whole post on our favorites (hint –Feathered Friends, Arc’Teryx Cerium LT Hooded JacketPatagonia Down SweaterREI Coop Down Jacket)

Feathered Friends


Packable Rain Jacket - Arcteryx Women’s Beta SL Gore-Tex Jacket
Goretex Shell

We’re building up a collection of shell jackets. We always carry one in our pack and they’ve come in handy a number of times. They are lightweight, durable, packable, waterproof, and windproof. We have a bunch of different shell jackets after several years, but my favorite right now is from Arc’teryx.

Any jacket can do the job, but the top dollar ones will hold up and really help in inclement weather.

Arc’teryx


Best Travel Water Bottles
Waterbottle

Please consider purchasing a travel water bottle before your trip! We hate to see one time use plastic bottles ending up in the ocean. The tap water is so good here – seriously please don’t be one of those tourist that buys plastic water bottles in Jasper. It’s a waste of money and plastic!

Grayl Waterbottle


Buff Headband
Buff

I love my buff. I usually wear it for keeping my hair back, but it’s also served its purpose as a scarf and wet rag too. Buffs last for years and aren’t only helpful in the mountains. I actually wear mine every day when I’m snowboarding even traveling in the desert. It’s been one of my top travel accessory investments ever!

Get a Buff!


Move to Canada

Transport

The best way to get all around Alberta is with your own rental car. See all our tips on how to rent a car in Canada here.


road trip quotes

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THANKS FOR READING!

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About the Author

Natasha

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Natasha is a five-foot blonde that believes she was made short so she could fit in air, train, car, and bus seats comfortably. She believes in watching every single movie nominated for an Oscar and loves all animals. Natasha has a passion for environmentally friendly and sustainable travel. Natasha recently made a move to Canada and resides near Banff National Park in Alberta and loves new adventures in the mountains. Natasha's favorite countries are Italy, Iceland, Greece, Japan, Mozambique, and South Africa.

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