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“Remote, clean, and great food.”
Review of Shadow Lake Lodge

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Shadow Lake Lodge
Ranked #4 of 18 Speciality Lodging in Banff
Certificate of Excellence
Seattle
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Remote, clean, and great food.”
Reviewed 1 August 2016

This place is great. We have stayed at other "hike in" cabins ranging from the canvas type to the cabin type. The place was clean. There are compostable toilets and one shower per gender but you are in the back country! I thought it was great! They set it up to maximize the views and privacy while still encouraging travelers to meet each other. The cook was AMAZING! It is a little pricey but for the accommodations and the food it was worth the price. We would go back and probably stay the extra night. The only small things that I can think of to be improved upon and to keep in mind when planning a trip is the timing of breakfast and gratuity. Breakfast was at 8:30 AM in the summer and it gets light out at 5:30. For us early morning risers that are used to hitting the trails at 7:30 AM, the later breakfast start was a little difficult. Morning people, bring a snack and some coffee. Secondly, there are signs that say gratuity is appreciated and 10% is customary. This caught us a little off guard as most places we have stayed build this into the price. Not to mention, 10% of $600 a night? It made for an awkward checkout. Too bad it wasn't built in to the price so come prepared with a little extra money.

  • Stayed July 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kateri S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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109 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Calgary, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 25 July 2016

Epic hiking by day, creature comforts by night. Shadow Lake Lodge is a perfect destination to get away from it all, to enjoy the beauty of the Rocky Mountains, to walk on lightly-travelled trails and to be treated to sumptuous meals by friendly and welcoming folks.

  • Stayed July 2016, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ursula W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2016

We hiked in to Shadow Lake Lodge on last Tuesday and hiked back out on Friday. The 14K was a bit of a challenge for us I had a heavy 25 lb. plus pack & we decided to hike in with a group of younger guests. We made it up in 3 hours with a 15 min. lunch break. As there are usually bears in the area, you should have bear spray with you.
Due to the rains during our trip, most of the trails were very muddy. Our biggest problem during our stay was getting our boots to dry for the next day. We managed to go on 2 great hikes; the Amphitheatre and Gibbons’ Pass.
The Lodge was very comfortable and cozy. The beds in our room were so comfortable I don't think that I moved all night. The toilets & showers are located in a separate building not far from the cabins. The showers were hot and clean. The lodge has a separate cabin with a fire place where you can just sit and enjoy the fire. It is a great place to read and unwind after a hike.
The food was wonderful and is served in the main cabin. There were plenty of lunch selections to pack each day for the hikes. Breakfasts are served at 8:30 am and supper is served at 6:30 pm. The gourmet meals vary from day to day and are served by the friendly lodge staff. You can choose from a variety of wines and local beers to enjoy with your suppers.
This is not a place to go to plug in all of your electronics. Everything has to be conserved as they use solar panels for power. We found the lodge to be very peaceful and serene. It was a great stay and we hope to come back in the near future.

Room Tip: A room closer to the bathrooms is best.
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  • Stayed July 2016, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dawn D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
309 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 217 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2016

During an especially crowded summer in the Canadian Rockies, Shadow Lake Lodge was an oasis. Our family had our own little log cabin deep in the wilderness among the mountain peaks, with ready access to lightly-travelled trails beyond the reach of day-trippers. No cell phones, no WiFi, no TV. There was no need. The gorgeous scenery occupied our full attention.

We visited early in July and the wildflowers were putting on spectacular displays of colourful blooms. We experienced a bit of rain and some muddy hiking boots but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We stayed four days /three nights: one day to hike in, one day to hike out, and two days to explore the trails around the lodge. I wouldn't recommend any shorter visit and you'd find lots to do with an even longer stay. The cabins were basic but cozy and very comfortable.

The various hiking trails offered good contrast: we could walk along the lake and mountain streams, over mountain passes, and even scramble up to a peak or two. The trails were well-defined and easy to follow but directional signage was rare. Carry a good map and make sure to get precise directions from the staff if your hike involves turning off one trail and onto another.

Meals were served family-style. A staff member would clang the wrought iron dinner triangle to call everyone to the dining cabin at once. The tables sat eight, four on each side, just the right size for two or three parties to sit together and get to know one another. Breakfast was hearty. Then, you'd assemble your packed lunch for the trail. You'd return in the late afternoon to light snacks of fancy cheeses, crackers, and fruit. The final meal of the day was a three-course candlelit dinner. The substantial main courses were served buffet style and you could return again and again for seconds and beyond.

Because one of the members of our party is celiac, we made an advance request for gluten-free options. We couldn't have been more pleased. The chef really went out of her way and made every possible accommodation, right down to gluten-free pancakes for breakfast. This attention to detail, and to guests' comfort, permeated our entire stay. The staff was fabulous.

Throughout the day, delectable scents emanated from the kitchen with bread, biscuits, and cookies all baked on site. The deserts were remarkable. One evening, we enjoyed the lightest, fluffiest, richest chocolate soufflé I've ever tasted. All this in the back country, 14 km from the nearest road. Truly an unforgettable experience. Highly, highly recommended.

  • Stayed July 2016, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TorontoJK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 15 July 2016

We hiked up there on a Friday and came back down Sunday. The setting was breathtaking and the staff, food and guests we met there were incredible. We would highly recommend it although suggest staying a minimum of three nights. We were too tight on time to do all the hikes.

  • Stayed July 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank _J_C_E_YYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peterborough, Canada
1 review
Reviewed 25 June 2016

For those who want an authentic back country "luxury mountain experience" Shadow Lake Lodge is a must. So much of the history of the National Parks is preserved in the Brewster Family's labour of love. It needs to be experienced as there are no words to truly describe it.

Room Tip: They are all good rooms
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  • Stayed July 2015, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank trainrider592016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canmore, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 29 February 2016

Shadow Lake is a precious gem. Lesser known than other backcountry lodges in the Rockies such as Assiniboine and Skoki, Shadow trumps its competition with better value, better accommodations, and better food. The individual log cabins hand built by the Brewsters (the lodge has a wonderful photo collection on the building) are super comfortable and the sauna and hot showers are a luxury in the backcountry. You can tell the staff love the beauty of the spot as much as the guests as Shadow has that extra-special feeling that makes a stay feel magical. Even with the not great snow conditions we had this week, the trip was a highlight of the winter.

  • Stayed February 2016, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SkierKate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shadow Lake Lodge

Property: Shadow Lake Lodge
Address: Box 2606, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1C3, Canada
Region: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Banff National Park > Banff
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 18 Speciality Lodging in Banff
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Shadow Lake Lodge 2*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in the high alpine meadows of Banff National Park, Brewster's Shadow Lake Lodge is a remote back country lodge with private cabins, accessible only by hiking, cross country skiing or snowshoeing. Included in the rate are three mountain gourmet meals as well as afternoon tea served to you daily in our dining lodge. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Shadow Lake Hotel Banff
Shadow Lake Lodge Banff, Alberta

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