Fairmont Banff Springs

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The Fairmont Banff Springs, also known as the Castle of the Rockies, is conveniently located in the heart of the Banff National Park. It sits just above Bow Falls and within walking distance of Banff Village.

Banff Springs Resort

The Banff Springs Resort, originally built in 1888 was remodeled in 1928 to resemble a European Castle. And the property was declared a national historic site by the government of Canada in 1988. The resort is not only luxurious and close to all of the attractions in Banff, but the resort itself offers plenty to do including a pool, spa, bowling alley and numerous dining options.

Once we arrived at the Banff Springs Resort, we were quickly greeted by the valet staff. They asked our name and within minutes a hotel guest services representative met us at our car with our room keys and resort information. There was no waiting in line and within minutes we were off to our room.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts are now a part of Accor. That means that sadly, the Fairmont President's Club is no more. Fairmont Hotels and Resorts are now part of the Accor Loyalty Program, Le Club. As a platinum member with Le Club, we received two complimentary drink vouchers. Otherwise, loyalty recognition was almost non-existent. A sad change from the Fairmont President's Club that so many of us truly loved.

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Our Room

The Fairmont Banff Springs has 768 rooms and suites. We had a standard king room with a mountain view. One thing we should point out is that the rooms at the Banff Springs are fairly small. But that's expected as the rooms were designed in another era. Our room had a beautiful view of Bow Falls and Tunnel Mountain. The hotel is starting to renovate and increase the size of some of the rooms in the castle part of the hotel.

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And like the room, the bathroom was small, but again functional. With a single sink, toilet and shower/tub combo, the bathroom served it's purpose.

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Like most Fairmont Hotels & Resort, the Fairmont Banff Springs offers Rose 31 scented toiletries, which were created exclusively for the Fairmont hotel chain. And the Rose 31 toiletries are personally some of our favorite.

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Dining

The hotel features an impressive number of restaurants, fine dining venues, and bars.

Chop House 1888 is a modern twist on the authentic chop-house. And they serve up a menu focused on prime cuts of Alberta beef, sustainably sourced wild game and Ocean Wise seafood. If you are a steak lover, treat yourself to a meal at Chop House 1888. You won't be disappointed!

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Another great restaurant is the Vermillion Room, which is one of the newest restaurants in the Castle. The Vermillion Room is a brasserie or bistro style restaurant. The bistro has an upscale feel. And it reminds you of stepping back in time with it's blue velvet chairs and lots of brass accents. We enjoyed dinner and Sunday Brunch in the Vermillion Room. And both meals were excellent. And you can't beat the Vermillion Room's view!

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Castello Ristorante is a place where you can celebrate the simple pleasures of great food, wine and company with an authentic Italian meal. And if you are looking for Alpine Cuisine, grab a table at Waldhaus Restaurant which features a menu consisting of schnitzel and fondue.

The Banff Springs Resort also has a spot for sushi (Samurai Sushi Bar and Restaurant and a tastings and wine bar, Grapes.

And finally, the newly redesigned and opened coffee shop. Stock, adjacent to the hotel lobby is amazing. Stock serves up delicious coffee, yummy pastries and delicious sandwiches.

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Amenities

The Fairmont Banff Springs Resort features superb aquatic facilities, which are accessible to hotel guests only.

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The aquatic area has a large saltwater indoor pool, an indoor whirlpool, a kid’s wading pool, and an outdoor pool. The outdoor pool is heated and offers great views of the surrounding mountains.

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Plan to spend some time at Willow Stream Spa. The 38,000-square-foot spa offers first-class pampering surrounded by majestic mountain beauty. Reminiscent of the hot springs that beckoned travelers over 100 years ago, the pulsating waterfalls and the mineral pool in the heart of the spa rejuvenate tired muscles and soothe troubled spirits.

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Families will appreciate the endless hotel activities suitable for kids of all ages. Activities include the extensive pool area and Kids Club plus the Banff Springs bowling lanes (which we might have given a try ourselves).

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And if you a golfer, don't worry, the Fairmont Banff Springs has you covered too. Renowned for its panoramic beauty and breathtaking views in every direction, the hotel’s magnificent golf course is a captivating and challenging layout set in the heart of Canada’s Rocky Mountains. Stanley Thompson, Canada’s renowned golf course architect, laid out the original 18 holes in 1928 along the winding Bow River. After an expansion in 1989, the course now has 27 holes of championship layout, that inspire everyone from first-time players to seasoned golfers.

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Overall Impression

The Fairmont Banff Springs is an amazing resort. The Castle of the Rockies is definitely impressive. Do yourself a favor and take a tour of the Castle. The tour, which is a walking tour given by a staff member of the resort, is a fascinating way to learn about the history of this larger than life resort.

The resort amenities kept us busy and we enjoyed spending time at the spa. And the resort's restaurants are just fantastic. We loved both of the meals we had at The Vermillion Room. Plus the coffee at Stock was delicious. And enjoying a cocktail in the evening with a view of the spectacular mountains is the perfect way to finish off a busy day.

There is plenty to do in the Banff area including dozens of hikes, canoeing, plus day trips to places like Lake Louise. If Banff has been on your bucket list, we definitely recommend visiting this picturesque resort town in the Canadian Rockies.

And remember, if you book with a travel agent like Virtual Travel Gurus, you'll get extra benefits like complimentary breakfast, a welcome amenity, room upgrade, early check-in and late check-out!