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Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets
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Reviews (1,070)
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Reviewed January 30, 2012

This is second time my entire extended family (10 adults, and 14 kids in total) planned a winter weekend away at Douglas Fir and we can't wait to come again! The well equipped kitchen allowed us save significant $$, as we did not need to eat put, and our room which was a loft in the main lodge easily accommodated nearly all my family for a communal breakfast in the mornings!

The pool and play area were a tireless source of fun for the kids, and even the adults had a good time racing eachother on the waterslides. There are are also beautiful walking trails on the grounds, giving us ample opportunity to guess what animal made the various tracks we found.

To top it off, friendly staff made our trip extra enjoyable. Would definitely recommend staying at the Douglas Fir, especially during the low season when prices are reasonable.

  • Stayed: January 2012
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2  Thank Lockhartinlacombe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BanffFamilyHotel, Manager at Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets, responded to this reviewResponded January 31, 2012

Thank you for your lovely comments. From your review it seems like you and your extended family had a fantastic vacation with us. Our full kitchens in every room help our guests save and you certainly seemed to have made the most of them with cooking breakfast for 28 family members! Our location on Tunnel Mountain means you have the unsurpassed access to the best trails in Banff and not to mention wildlife at your doorstep. Next time you visit you may wish to consider one of our 3 Bedroom Family suites that accommodates 10 guests and will provide the family with even more space.

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Reviewed January 30, 2012

From the time you check into the Douglas Fir you feel like you are 'home'. The staff is unbelievably friendly and the resort is amazing!

We stayed in a loft suite inside the hotel, the most amazing thing was we didn't have to go outside when we had our bathing suites on (as we travelled in the winter) The one thing that I never thought of was flip flops... we had to wear our boots to the pool!! The pool/waterslide area was amazing the kids LOVED it!!! We did stay over a weekend and it got a little busy but not too bad just a couple people wait to go down the slide.

The playcenter in the hotel is GREAT!! It was awesome to sit and enjoy my coffee while the kids ran about :) My twins were a little small to get themselves up on the levels though (2 years old) so I had to go up a few times to help asist a few times.... but it was fun to be a kid again!

The room was also great, the wood burning fireplace was a hit with all of us, we had at least 2 a day! Very clean and had everything that we required.

I recommend this hotel on all levels!!!!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank kheaven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BanffFamilyHotel, Manager at Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets, responded to this reviewResponded January 31, 2012

Thank you for your wonderful comments on your recent stay with us. It is a great pleasure to hear that you felt at home during your time at the resort. Our giant indoor playzone is perfect for parents and kids alike and we designed it in mind of parents who want to assist their younger children/play in the playzone themselves. We will certainly pass on your positive comments to our staff and we hope to see you again soon.

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Reviewed January 29, 2012

My wife and I and our two children just stayed here last night, and I must say that I knew nothing about this resort since my wife had made the reservation. However, it was a kid's paradise with not one, but two waterslides and a fun Playzone area. Even Dad had a great time on the waterslides.

Jana was extremely helpful and friendly and did a great job of explaining where things were, with the exception of directions from our 3rd floor room to the pool area. She told us to go down to the 2nd floor and across the parkade, but we found out after our first trip barefoot across pavement that we simply needed to go the west end of the 3rd floor hallway we were already on and just take the stairs to where we wanted.

The point of this is to not criticize Jana - who would be an enormous asset at any hotel/resort - but to mention that the layout here is fun for people into labyrinths, but not so fun if you're not careful to read signs or don't enjoy climbing up and down several staircases to access the pools and waterslides and entering the parkade to access the Playzone. But I guess being a family-oriented resort, maybe this sort of bizarre design was intentional.

Speaking of bizarre design, let me discuss the underground parkade. Our satisfaction with the idea of underground parking was very short-lived. If you're unfortunate enough to have to park in the lower level, hopefully you will not encounter another vehicle coming your way up/down the ramp because one of you will have to back up to let the other through - unless perhaps both of you happen to be driving Smart cars. And once you arrive at your assigned parking stall, hopefully you will not find another vehicle parked there because there seems to be the absence of the enforcement of the towing policy when somebody else's vehicle is parked in your spot.

We showed up to park in our assigned stall only to find another vehicle already parked there. After reporting the license number to the office, we were informed a short time later that they didn't know whose it was (even though guests are required to write their plate number when they register), and instead of having it towed away like it should have been, since it must not have belonged to a guest, WE were asked to move (we had parked beside it) and park in the lower level. To say that this was a MAJOR inconvenience near the end of a long trip and busy day is an extreme understatement when all we wanted to do was relax.

To top that off, the area behind our stall seemed to be the place of choice for not only the wood cart but also some golf cart that was parked there when we tried to leave this morning that hadn't been there before. That part of the parkade is hard enough to back in to/out of without clutter in the way; we were fortunate that another guest was nearby who offered to guide us out of there without wrecking our van and/or their property.

Anyhow, back to the good news which I must emphasize FAR outweighs the bad-parkade news. The rooms and hallways didn't have strange or stale odors like most places, and the waterslides and pools weren't slimy or moldy, meaning the resort seems to be well-kept overall. We did not visit any of the on-site stores, so we cannot comment on those.

We loved having the kitchenette in our room and the option to get the fireplace going if we wanted to. The room was quiet plus the beds more comfortable than perhaps any other hotel/resort we've ever stayed at. We liked the new flat-screen TV and the DVD player and all the modern "connections", although I could tell by the rather slow wireless internet that they likely offer something like Shaw Lite-Speed as opposed to a fast option.

To top it off, we also had a rather large balcony that would be excellent in the summer, but nonetheless offered a great view of both Rundle and Tunnel Mountains in the cold of winter.

So the parking debacle aside, which was NOT a good first impression by the way (and for which I have to deduct a rating point), this resort redeemed itself by the other amenities. I can't possibly think of a better place for a family to spend their time in the Banff area, and look forward to what a summertime visit would have to offer.

Room Tip: Rooms on the south side have a nice view.
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Dave M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BanffFamilyHotel, Manager at Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets, responded to this reviewResponded January 31, 2012

Thank you so much for taking the time to write your review on your recent stay with us. We are pleased that your overall experience at the resort was very positive, thought we do regret that the parking situation was not ideal for you. We are not able to modify some of the physical components of the parkade, however you have highlighted a few services areas that we can certainly improve upon. The resort first opened in 1946 and our waterslides were first installed in 1985 (thought we just put in brand new waterslides in Dec 2011). As the resort developed and added more amenities, this has led to the creation of some unique hallways for our guests to explore. We pride ourselves in providing our guests with great service, clean rooms and outstanding amenities and we are excited that you were able to experience what we have to offer and we look forward to welcoming you back.

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Reviewed January 26, 2012

We stayed in a bachelor suite complete with kitchen and a lovely mountain view. While the room itself is pretty simple and far from flashy, there were plenty of touches that show the resort staff are proud of what they're offering. All the dishes and utensils were stored/displayed nicely and we had a number of dishwashing towels to choose from (seems like a non-issue but when you don't have enough supplies to clean your messes, it's a total pain).

There were big fluffy stacks of towels in the bathroom and little shampoo/conditions/lotion bottles as you'd expect. We were also supplied with a couple packets of coffee and two teabags. Would have liked to have coffee filters in the room so we could brew our coffee from home, though.

The hot tub and pool were great. We stayed mid-week and never encountered anyone else there. Didn't have a chance to try the water slides, unfortunately.

Not only is the price right for the bachelor at this time of year, but the service was great too. I forgot a couple items in the room and when I called the hotel, they were happy to UPS them to me.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank ZoeyDuncan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BanffFamilyHotel, Manager at Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets, responded to this reviewResponded January 31, 2012

Thank you for your great review. Our Bachelor Suites while being our best value option, still provides all of the same amenities as all of our other rooms including great mountain view from the balconies Coffee filters are provided in all rooms and are located in the coffee packets themselves. Perhaps better signage on our part would help communicate this better to our guests. We would love to have you stay with us again (if only to ensure you try out our waterslides next time). We look forward to seeing you again in the future!

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Reviewed January 24, 2012

We came to Banff for a hockey tournament and the whole team stayed here. Great place to stay especially for families. Staff were friendly and helpful. Rooms were great, clean with full kitchen. Waterpark and indoor playground were great, and no extra cost for it, the team loved it !! Just minutes from downtown by vehicle. Free bus service. I sat in the lobby reading while waiting for my son and husband to finish swimming, it was really neat to hear so many different accents from staff and other guests, it has such a great atmosphere. We only got to stay for two nights but vowed that we'd be back.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Melissa I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BanffFamilyHotel, Manager at Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets, responded to this reviewResponded January 27, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to send us your feedback on your recent stay. We love accommodating hockey teams and they certainly seem to love our giant indoor waterslides, indoor kid’s playzone, private guest pool, games room and more! It’s fantastic to hear you made good use of everything we have on offer and we would love to welcome you back in the future.

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