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Banff for Christmas

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posts: 405
reviews: 6
Banff for Christmas

Hi all - hope you can help - we are hoping to have a White Christmas next year and Banff looks amazing - in particular to stay at Lake Louise. We really need a break from the usual hot Christmas!

Anyway - need to know - coming from Perth, Western Australia - am thinking flying from the east coast to LA (we have to fly Qantas with flyer points) and then from LA to ????? on any airline.

Could I ask regarding weather - is everything really snowy in Canada or only specific regions at that time of year? Reason is we have to be home for New Years Eve and wondering the likelihood of being snowbound or having travel disruptions.

Where should we fly in to from LA and how best to get to Banff for Christmas - plane, train, car?

Also if we have only say ten days how to split it - first visit to Canada (likely to return) - but want a real Christmas experience in Banff.

Sorry I know my research isn't great (yet) but we have a limited window of opportunity to get the award seats and want to ensure it is a good option to travel at that time within this region of Canada without too much disruption.

57 replies to this topic
Perth, Australia
posts: 53
reviews: 12
31. Re: Banff for Christmas

Onslow 147 I will be watching this topic with interest as my family of 4 from Perth are also looking at staying in Banff for Christmas next year! My wife and I went there 15 years ago for our honeymoon and now want to have a white Christmas with our kids.

Banff, Canada
Destination Expert
for Banff, Lake Louise
posts: 2,620
32. Re: Banff for Christmas

@Normskidoodle - Only lift tickets purchased through Ski Big 3 include the Shuttle Bus to the ski hills. Individual ski passes to each individual hill does not include the shuttle. Shuttle bus is $15 return.

The Chateau ski bus is only available for guests staying at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and can not be used by the public to be taken from the ski hill to the lake. The Lake Louise Ski Area offers free shuttle services to the village of Lake Louise and from there you can take a taxi up to the lake.

You can rent skates in Banff yes but the lakes to skate on are outside of town and would need a vehicle to access them. These lakes are use at your own risk and not maintained regularly. The only lake in the area that has regularly maintained ice is Lake Louise.

posts: 4
reviews: 4
33. Re: Banff for Christmas

Skating on the Lake - I should have been more specific. Only skate on the Lake @ Lake Louise. There is a maintained area off Banff Avenue that resembles a small hockey field that's free to use and is ok for a quick skate around at any time.

posts: 405
reviews: 6
34. Re: Banff for Christmas

Hello again well the good news is we managed to obtain award seats on flights so now we fly Per-HKG-YVR on the 15th - train to Jasper on the 16th - 17, 18 & 19 at Jasper.

Then head to LL for two nights 20 & 21 December (my husband's birthday) then head to Banff

for 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 Dec.

We have to fly home via LA as only award seats LA-MEL-PER - this means unfortunately overnighting in LA after flying in from Calgary?

Anyway - a question - have tried online booking Fairmont Banff Springs and it says unavailable every time we try. Is it booked out this far in advance? I have tried emailing them but no reply so far.

Also want to look at Fairmont LL but same thing happens. If it's a fault in the system that's not good for business. I would be most unhappy if it means we can't stay there, was on my wish list!

Please advise if there is anything which needs to be booked earlier rather than later, thanks so much!

Sydney, Australia
posts: 10
35. Re: Banff for Christmas

Keeping my eye on this thread too, as my husband, two kids (4 & 5) and I are heading to the Rockies for a white Christmas in 2014 too. Coming from Sydney though, on 14th December.

We actually lived in Banff and worked at Sunshine Village ski resort 10 years ago, and now want to experience a snowy Christmas with our kids. Really looking forward to seeing what additional tips come up in this thread, as we plan on basing ourselves in Canmore for 5 weeks and taking short trips to other areas.

Getting ready to book airfares shortly, as well as our apartment via VRBO.

Banff, Canada
Destination Expert
for Banff, Banff National Park
posts: 4,309
reviews: 71
36. Re: Banff for Christmas

Regarding your question, onslow147 - I'm sure they're not booked this far out. They're probably not set up yet for accepting reservations online for next Christmas. You could phone and see if they'll take your reservation that way.

posts: 405
reviews: 6
37. Re: Banff for Christmas

Thank you - I checked again today and rooms are available but tried over and over before with nothing as an option.

Phew - so now will look at booking hotels don't want to travel all that way and not have my preferred options.

Calgary, Canada
posts: 3
reviews: 1
38. Re: Banff for Christmas

That is a lot of travelling, especially not knowing how road conditions are. I know you don't want to drive but if you take a shuttle someone will be driving. Three days in Jasper is too much in winter, unless you ski. I would really book your hotels ASAP as Christmas time fills up quickly. Grizzly House Restaurant in Banff is a great Fondue place. If you can afford it stay at the Banff Springs Hotel. The most amazing place ever, lots of things to do and see.

Calgary, Canada
posts: 3
reviews: 1
39. Re: Banff for Christmas

In Banff, stay at the Banff Springs Hotel. Very magical and Christmasy at Christmas. It is a castle in the Rockies that must be experienced.

posts: 405
reviews: 6
40. Re: Banff for Christmas

Thanks so much - Banff Springs it is - although queenie I am not sure what you mean re road conditions.

Yes, it is a lot of air travel - but can't do much about that.

We have train travel Vancouver to Jasper, then a shuttle to Lake Louise, then to Banff.

If we don't go to Jasper then we won't need to take the train - would it be better to fly to Calgary and visit Lake Louise and Banff only?

I was hoping to see some scenery outside of the township and hotels - and the drive from Jasper to LL and Banff appealed as a scenic highlight - wondering if the road conditions may mean we cannot do this?

Just working out dates so any advice appreciated.

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