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Which is best Fairmont Hotel: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper?

Ottawa, Canada
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Which is best Fairmont Hotel: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper?

My family (husband and two older teenage daughters) are planning a trip to the Rockies to hike, ride, golf and enjoy a few luxuries. If we could stay at only one of the Fairmont hotels, which one would you recommend? Which one is in the best shape? has the nicest rooms? best service? amenities? I understand they all have great locations!

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Which is best Fairmont Hotel: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper?

Hi Lynn ~

I think it would be a good idea to figure out these hotels in the context of your plans. How many nights are you planning for the Rockies. When are you planning this trip? Will you arrive at Calgary? It takes about 2 hours to drive from Calgary to Banff. 45 minutes from Banff to LL. The drive from Banff to Jasper is more than just getting from point A to B. It really requires a full day on the Icefields Parkway, even up to 10 hours. So getting to Jasper is more than just choosing to stay at the Fairmont there. Also, I would suggest you need to consider the attractions and activities around each hotel area as well to see if those things would suit you.

Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: Which is best Fairmont Hotel: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper?

Thank you for responding so quickly. I have learned a lot already. I have not been to Alberta before except for a short business trip to Edmonton. We are planning to go in August starting in Calgary and staying there a night or two. We have 7 or 8 days to enjoy outside of travel days. I will take your advice and review the attractions in each town more closely. Thank you!

Banff, Canada
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3. Re: Which is best Fairmont Hotel: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper?

Also consider the experience you're looking for. The Banff Springs and the Chateau Lake Louise are chateau-style grand hotels: huge buildings with huge public spaces that dazzle with their grandeur and their spectacular views. Jasper Park Lodge is more the lodge-y but luxurious experience, with a park-like setting.

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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4. Re: Which is best Fairmont Hotel: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper?

While you can visit Banff and Lake Louise from a base in either, Jasper (town, and much of the park area) is too far away to visit as a day trip from either Banff or LL.

I would check the hotel reviews for those properties here at TripAdvisor to answer the questions in your original post.

I have noticed that the reviews of the Jasper Park Lodge tend to be inconsistent. At the Chateau LL, you are paying for "location, location, location" - there is only one hotel on the shore of Lake Louise, and if you want a room looking out over the lake, you will pay dearly for it. The Banff Springs hotel's rooms are apparently quite small (since it's an older hotel).

Newmarket, Canada
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5. Re: Which is best Fairmont Hotel: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper?

I would agree that you need to choose the hotel based on where you would like to go and the activities you would like to do. However, since you did specifically ask about the 3 hotels, here is my opinion...

Firstly, remember that JPL in Jasper is not a hotel but a lodge. There is a main building with the main public spaces, but the guest rooms are in outbuildings. BSH and CLL are more your traditional hotel formats. Whether you prefer the lodge or hotel style would be entirely a personal choice.

If you're looking for a fabulous view, a lakeview room at CLL is tops and a suite is even better. A room at the BSH with a view over the Bow valley is also very nice. The view from the rooms JPL does not even rate when compared to the other two properties.

As for the physical condition of the 3 properties, I find that the CLL is in the best shape of the 3 properties--both the guest rooms and the public spaces. At JPL, the main building seems to be well kept, but the cabins are in need of repair and smell a little musty. They are also noisy with their portable window air conditioners. BSH is a grand old hotel, the grounds are well kept, it's nicely updated in places, but some parts could use a refurb. Some of guest room furnishings and carpet are showing signs of wear.

For best service, I've found the BSH to be great. The CLL had pretty good service too, with a few misses. I've had many service challenges at JPL and encountered a greater number of staff who don't seem to take quality service seriously.

If you're looking for the best spa among the three properties, then it's no contest... The Willow Stream Spa at the BSH is the clear winner.

The room size at the CLL is the smallest of the three (although the most updated). If you upgrade to a Jr. Lakeview Suite, you won't be disappointed. Rooms as BSH are a bit larger.

For location, it entirely depends on what it is you want to do and what you want to be close to.

I was at all 3 properties last month, and my preference was CLL. My wife preferred the BSH. Neither of us were particularly impressed with the JPL (although the food there was excellent).

Ottawa, Canada
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6. Re: Which is best Fairmont Hotel: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper?

Wow! What impressive responses to my question. Thank you so much.

Ottawa, Canada
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7. Re: Which is best Fairmont Hotel: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper?

In the end we did not stay at any of the Fairmonts but we went to the ones in Banff and Lake Louise several times. We enjoyed having lunch at both. Our best lunches in Banff by far were at the Fairmont. The Fairmont golf course in Banff was very expensive but the views of the mountains, water and hotel were fantastic. We did not make it to Jasper. We would recommend the hotels we did stay at in Banff and Lake Louise - the Rimrock and the Post Inn.

8. Re: Which is best Fairmont Hotel: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper?

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Perth, Australia
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9. Re: Which is best Fairmont Hotel: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper?

Hi Lyn, depending on your travel dates I have timeshare weeks available at Hillside, Riverside, Riverview and Banff Rocky Mountain Resort. I have never stayed so I can't tell you what they are like but you will find alot of information on tripadvisor

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10. Re: Which is best Fairmont Hotel: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper?

I've never stayed at the CLL but I've stayed at the other two. My personal preference is the Banff Springs. It's beautiful and very chateau-like. My husband and I stayed in one of the tower rooms with a spiral staircase to the bedroom and it was incredible. It has amazing restaurants and it is really cool at night. It has just the right blend of charm and luxury. I would make sure to take a stroll around Lake Louise but not necessarily stay there. I will add that I believe CLL is less expensive than Banff Springs if that is of concern. The Jasper Park Lodge is great too- the Edith Cavail restaurant is fantastic. The other two win hands down though because they are really castles in the Rockies and worth a stay.

If you want some sightseeing ideas I would drive to Jasper from Banff via the Icefield parkway. Alternatively you could stay along the parkway but Jasper is worth a visit. Jasper is less developed and less touristy than Banff but both are amazing. Another idea would be to drive from Banff into Radium, British Columbia, less than 2 hours away. Basically whatever you chose you can expect amazing scenery. You will love it!