Day 32 (Lake Louise to Banff) – Wednesday, 10th August

Awoke to cloudy skies and mid-teens temperatures after a reasonably comfortable night’s sleep.

Down to breakfast, only to be told there was a 20-minute wait. This is high season, I suppose, and the hotel seems very full, but…. Not particularly impressed.

Anyway, left my phone number with the girl on the front desk and went a-wandering. Loads of people just milling about, but we found a short walk away from the melée along a pretty stream.

Got the call to breakfast. When eventually seated, it turned out to be a not-very-good buffet, though relatively inexpensive by Canadian standards. Again, not particularly impressed.

Back to the room to prepare for our short trip down to Banff, where we have the luxury of 3 nights.

Uneventful coach trip down to the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, except that the driver looked as though he was about to drop off. He certainly wandered off-lane now and again.

At check-in, we were offered the opportunity to upgrade to Fairmont Gold. I winced at the price at first, but, as this is our last stay in the Rockies, we went for the extravagance. More personal service, breakfast included, refurbished room with aircon and proper USB points by the bedside (very important), snacks included all day and access to a full service (but not free) bar. Hang the expense – it’s only money….🙄

Probably the right choice, but the bathroom is VERY small….☹️ I’m sure we will survive. However, the view from the window was grand:

We used the Fairmont Gold concierge service to book a trip on the Banff gondola up to Sulphur Mountain tomorrow, plus a table at the Vermilion restaurant in the hotel itself.

We then sussed out the spa, pools and fitness centre. And booked a haircut for both of us! At least I now know where the fitness centre is…..

Went for a riverside walk from the hotel into downtown Banff. Long way down to the water, then up and down over the river bank, but some nice views:

Hotel from the front. Looks forbidding, but it’s a very nice, albeit humongous, hotel
Bow River Falls
Further upstream

Thereafter a flat walk into the very busy and attractive downtown Banff.

Bow River
Opposite direction

One of the perks of this hotel is a three-day free pass to the local bus service. Our friendly concierge had worked out a suitable bus timetable to allow us to get from the hotel into downtown Banff, then catch a bus in the opposite direction to take us to the base gondola station for tomorrow’s trip. So we decided to try out the service back to the hotel from Banff.

Nailed it, even though the bus was 15 minutes late. Saved us a very long climb back to the hotel. Rather chuffed with that.

Took advantage of the free canapés, accompanied by a Sauvignon Blanc (Jean) and a G&T (me). Excellent. This could be used instead of going to the expense of a dinner – there was plenty of food available. I recall that we did something similar during our 2018 Australia trip with the Shangri-la hotels….. Saved us a few quid.

Nevertheless, having booked the Vermilion, we gave it a go. Late dinner for us, but a great atmosphere, good service and quality food. Neither of us could finish the meal.

So, another cracking day comes to an end with a G&T in the Fairmont Gold Lounge.

I will try and regale you with our gondola experience tomorrow. Hope you can join us then.

6 responses to “Day 32 (Lake Louise to Banff) – Wednesday, 10th August”

  1. What a great day, glad you found the gym…..

    Excited for your trip today/tomorrow 😂

    1. Thanks, Lesley. I really do actually need to use it, though…..Please keep in touch.

  2. i see there is a pool in the picture did you go swimming Jean?

    1. There’s a nicer and bigger indoor pool in the hotel, but it’s full of kids. Jean might go in tomorrow and I might go to the gym…..

  3. Brings back happy memories. We used to live in Calgary. Sulphur mountain is great

    1. Glad to hear you’re enjoying the blog. We’re at Calgary Airport right now, waiting for our plane to Toronto on the next stage of our journey.

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