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3 hotels?/shuttle or car?/ packaging trip?

Which Banff hotels are on sale?
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Tampa, Florida
posts: 16
reviews: 21
3 hotels?/shuttle or car?/ packaging trip?

Vacationing 12/27/14-1/3/15 in Banff. Narrowed down to 3 hotel options (Banff Aspen Lodge, Banff Park Lodge Resort, and High Country Inn. Travelers: myself, husband, and son (17).

In general the 3 seem to fit my criteria. Having a tough time trying to pick one. Hoping someone could offer additional insight that I did not see from the reviews that may lean me more toward one over another.

Also, regarding ski shuttle. Is there ever a problem that when it arrives at your stop to take you to the mountain that the shuttle is full? (Especially if you are one of the later stops?) Should I be concerned? Same question for the return trip from the mountain. Trying to decide if we should rent a car and drive to ski resort for flexibility with time for leaving and returning. Is it more of a hassle to have a car? (Driving in snowy conditions, traffic, parking etc?) We rented a car last year when skiing Mont. St. Anne and Le Massif. We were based in Old Quebec City. Driving was easy and convenient.

Lastly, advice for airfare. Flying from Florida:) Currently around $700 a ticket. Would we do better packaging the trip through AAA or a using a website like Ski Big 3? Thinking we could include hotel, airfare, ski tickets, and ski rental. Thoughts?

Thank you in advance for your help and suggestions. Trip Advisor has been very helpful in the trips I have planned.

5 replies to this topic
Banff, Canada
Destination Expert
for Banff, Banff National Park
posts: 4,445
reviews: 72
1. Re: 3 hotels?/shuttle or car?/ packaging trip?

Of those three hotels, I would be inclined to pick Banff Park Lodge. It's right downtown, within 2 blocks of many wonderful dining options. Yet the back of the hotel faces toward the river and a quiet area to go for a stroll on days when you aren't skiing.

I have never heard of anyone being left behind by the ski bus. I would really recommend going that route rather than driving. For one thing, you will get dropped off right where you want to be, rather than parking at the far end of a lot and carrying your gear. And you won't be paying for a rental car that will just be sitting paarked for most of the time. If you stay at a centrally located hotel, you really won't need a car.

I know that there are many excellent package deals, but have not used them myself, so can't say which would be better.

seattle
Destination Expert
for Seattle
posts: 14,896
reviews: 83
2. Re: 3 hotels?/shuttle or car?/ packaging trip?

I too agree with Banff Park Lodge. Its off the main drag by one block which makes it quieter. It has a huge steam and sauna and its jacuzzi and indoor pool make for a relaxing time after ski. The bar and restaraunt are very good and your only a block or two from Mt. Royal where many of the shuttles originate. Its a great hotel and far more convenient than the others you've mentioned.

Tampa, Florida
posts: 16
reviews: 21
3. Re: 3 hotels?/shuttle or car?/ packaging trip?

Thank you for your helpful reply. I am looking into the Banff Park Lodge. I called the shuttle place about them possibly being full before they get to all the stops. Apparently they have more than one shuttle during the holiday season and if they are full before they get to your stop, they radio to have another shuttle come.

Tampa, Florida
posts: 16
reviews: 21
4. Re: 3 hotels?/shuttle or car?/ packaging trip?

When you mentioned that the Banff Park Lodge is far more convenient than the other two I mentioned, did you mean that it is closer to the shops and restaurants than the other two hotels or did you mean something else?

Banff, Canada
Destination Expert
for Banff, Banff National Park
posts: 4,445
reviews: 72
5. Re: 3 hotels?/shuttle or car?/ packaging trip?

It is closer to shops and restaurants and a place to stroll (see post #1)

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