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“Good, but could easily be SO much better!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Banff Ptarmigan Inn

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Banff Ptarmigan Inn
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   337 Banff Avenue, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1H8, Canada   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #23 of 31 Hotels in Banff
Montreal, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Good, but could easily be SO much better!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2012

Spending 2 nights at the Ptarmigan Inn this week and while this hotel offers many "pros", the "cons" mean I would not return nor recommend it to friends without some caveats.

PROS

. The Ptarmigan Inn is very well located, especially for travelers without a car. On the main drag but a 5 minute walk from the busy center. Perfect.

. The staff is very friendly and helpful. At check-in, I asked about fares for Roam buses and was given a free pass good for my entire stay. I was also upgraded to a premium room (with fireplace and jacuzzi tub). Just cause.

. The room I was given is large and faces Banff Avenue. It is a bit rustic to my taste but everything works fine and the bed is wonderful.

CONS

. I had read reviews so knew the Ptarmigan Inn deosn't have a/c. Silly me thought I wouldn't need it since it gets quite cool at night here (5 C last night). Well... My room is boiling hot! For some reason, there is little to no air circulation during the day even though both windows are wide open. At night, to avoid hearing road traffic, I have to close the windows so no cooling down then either. There is a wobbly floor fan in the room but, let's be honest, all it does is move hot air around. If the Ptarmigan isn't willing to invest in a/c (which several guests wish they would judging by the reviews), seems to me the least they could do is install ceiling fans above the beds which would be slightly more efficient than what they have now.

. The breakfast room is dark and dreary. Food is ok but not replenished often/ quickly enough so you have to constantly ask for more bread/bacon/eggs/coffee...

. When I checked in, I specifically requested a quiet room since I have low/no tolerance for noise. Why then has a mediocre at best musician been strumming his guitar and howling underneath my window for the last hour?

In short, if you don't mind a stuffy room, dark breakfast space and bad live music, this is the place for you! But until such a time as the Ptarmigan starts offering a comfortable, bright, airy and quiet experience to its guests, I won't be returning.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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730 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (161)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Sacramento, California
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2012

The Ptarmigan Inn is a slightly worn hotel in the center of Banff. You walk out the lobby and you are in the middle of the Banff with easy access to stores and restaurants. It has an excellent on site restaurant. Breakfast was included, but I was left with the impression that not all rooms come with the complimentary breakfast. Underground parking. Nothing special about the rooms. Had to go down to the lobby for WiFi. No A/C, but was manageable with the windows open. A computer with printer is tucked away downstairs to print boarding passes. Staff was very friendly.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

It's nothing fancy but the Ptarmigan is a very clean, comfortable hotel close to Banff's central commercial area. We were pleased with our room (312) with 2 twin beds and 1 queen bed - perfect configuration for a family of 4. The complimentary breakfast was good also and we were surprised to find that there was an omelette station included. Staff were all friendly and happy to recommend restaurants and attractions. Some other reviewers have commented on the lack of AC at this property. Banff is only very warm for a few short weeks in the summer and even then the evenings can be cool so you can enjoy sleeping with the windows open. No big deal unless you happen to be in Banff during a real heat wave.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leduc, Canada
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

It was just a room, nothing fancy about it at all. No A/C (it was hot!!), poor cable reception, WIFI was horrible, worked only sparingly, and bathroom was very tight. Staff was polite, beds were comfortable, and room was clean. Don't know if I would stay again, for the price, just might try something different

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
High Point, NC
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2012

We had originally booked one night, but loved this hotel's location so much we extended for a 2nd night. It is right in the heart of downtown Banff. If you are from the SE coast of the US like us, you may not realize how incredibly cute the town is.

We had an outside facing room, which would have been nice to be able to open the windows, but it was practically ground level (floor 1 1/2? level). While the area felt very safe, I didn't want to take any chances of someone easily stepping into our room. So, we had to keep the window closed. The room had split double beds, so it was almost like two bedrooms, with the small bathroom in the middle. However, that layout made the floor single fan completely unable to reach both sides of the room. Plus, we found out afterwards we were above the kitchen. Yikes. That's why it was sooooo warm in our room.

The hotel was clean and the breakfast was fabulous! It came with our room, but some guests did not have it included in their stay. I am not sure why there was a difference, but I am glad we were able to enjoy the breakfast.

Overall, I would stay here again, for the location and breakfast!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2012

Stayed here in June 2012, you get what you pay for. The rooms are a little dated and a bit worn in places but are kept very clean, credit to house keeping.

The front desk staff were incredibly friendly and helpful, pointing us in the right direction after a flight from the UK and putting up with my continual 'dos and don'ts' questions. Some of the morning restaurant staff were a bit grumpy though, you can over look this though with the great range and quality of food on offer for breakfast.

Super soft beds which I enjoyed but my wife didn't have a great sleep and of course there was the customarytrains horns which can be heard pretty much everywhere.

Great central location within easy access of the highway.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012

I stayed at the Ptarmigan for 3 nights. Check in went smoothly and the staff were very friendly and helpful. Having done my homework and checked I was aware there was no air-conditioning; however a lot of hotels in Banff don't have it. When I got to my room which was overlooking the atrium, I was pleasantly surprised. The atrium is air-conditioned and the door to the balcony had been left open so the room was quite comfortable. There was also a fan so the nights were not at all too bad. I had a room on one of the higher levels and noise was certainly not an issue. Guests are advised that between 11.00 pm and 7.00 am there is a noise curfew which was great. I have stayed in other hotels where noise was much more of an issue into the night. Breakfast is included in the price and there is lots to choose from - bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs and a variety of freshly cooked omelets as well as more basic items. I also ate at the restaurant a couple of times and found the food quite acceptable, although I would have liked a little more choice. There are however a lot of eating places around if you prefer something more up market (and probably costly). The location is convenient to anywhere in town and the hotel also pays for you to use the Roam bus with a free pass. This bus takes you to a few places of interest, such as the hot springs and the gondola. It is an older hotel but most of them are. My biggest issue was the lighting, which I would have preferred better lighting and also newer towels would have been nice. However these were minor issues and I would stay there again, specially for the price, which by the standard of pricing in Banff was quite reasonable in view of the inclusions.

Room Tip: Probably one of the higher rooms is better top avoid street noise.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
littleworld, General Manager at Banff Ptarmigan Inn, responded to this review, August 13, 2012
Welcome home and thank you for the review. We are very glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay overall. We do our best to keep our hall ways and the Atrium cool, so that our guest rooms can remain as cool as possible, considering we have no A/C. However I did want to clarify that the Atrium does not have A/C, only a central make up air unit that brings in fresh air and circulates the internal air. Nonetheless we are very happy that we were able to make it comfortable for you, and hope we can do so for future guest, yourself included. Hope to see you on your next trip to Canada.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Banff Ptarmigan Inn

Address: 337 Banff Avenue, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1H8, Canada
Location: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Banff National Park > Banff
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #23 of 31 Hotels in Banff
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Banff Ptarmigan Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 134
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on Banff Avenue, one short block from downtown Banff- Includes Full buffet breakfast with a made to order omelette station- Indoor hot tubs, sauna, steam and fitness equipment- The Meatball Pizza and Pasta- 134 cozy hotel rooms- The Sundance and Atrium function rooms for small to mid-size - meetings/receptions- Complimentary wireless internet access in all guest rooms- Heated underground parkade with free parking (first come basis)- Complimentary Roam Bus passes for the Banff transit system. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Banff Ptarmigan Hotel Banff
Ptarmigan Inn Banff

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