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“Can't beat ski -in ski-out” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sunshine Mountain Lodge

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Sunshine Mountain Lodge
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   One Sunshine Access Road, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1J5, Canada (Formerly Sunshine Village Resort)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 33 hotels in Banff
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Can't beat ski -in ski-out”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

We travelled to Sunshine Mountain Lodge this February for a family trip. Have visited this ski resort before but stayed in nearby Banff and made use of a rental car.

This time round, we decided to try out the onsite lodge. Located at 7000 feet, the start of your journey is dropping off your luggage and skis at the desk located at the base of the resort. It will take between 2-3 hours before those bags make it up to the lodge, so plan accordingly. Unless it is Friday, the gondola only runs until 530 PM so once up, you must make use of the restaurants (good but on the pricey side for a family), or onsite facilities (whirlpool, sauna, family movie room, coin-operated games, fitness centre), or your room (kettle can be requested). As we arrived on Friday, we trekked back to Banff. Travelling by gondola in pitch blackness is an adventure in itself!

To be able to ski within steps of your hotel room is the drawing card! While the gondola begins to run very early, the chairlifts start between 830 and 900AM. We made close to first tracks each morning. This is particularly AWESOME on Goat's Eye Mountain, and, on the Continental Divide run.

The room we had was very close to the Mt. Standish chairlift but the windows are well insulated so it was very quiet. Having the balcony provided a "fridge" for a few snacks we had brought along, as well as a quick way to leave the hotel room. Note though that one of your party must lock the door from the inside and then join you outside. The room itself was tiny - although it was stated it was for four. Murphy and queen bed provided but not much room for storing clothing (and there are bulky pieces considering you are skiing)! Shower great but lukewarm water only.
For a larger family, you would definitely need the loft rooms which are a great deal more expensive.

We enjoyed the breakfast buffet offered - wonderful food and not greasy! A real treat actually. Service was wonderful both on the hills and in the restaurant. Front desk staff at hotel also helpful. Down at base - could use a bit more training for when guests first arrive. We expected more information to be provided, and, a warmer welcome.

Overall, we'd go back in a second. Being there for the first run and skiing right to the end was fantastic. Also, being able to stretch out those limbs following intense skiing over lunch was great too.

Room Tip: Choose a room located in the newer portion of the hotel.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Mark B, Manager at Sunshine Mountain Lodge, responded to this review, February 19, 2013
Water F

Thank-you for sharing your experience with us. We pride ourselves on providing Banff’s only ski-in, ski-out accommodations and are glad that you enjoyed the room and close proximity to the chairlifts. We also appreciate your feedback on our front desk staff, as we strive to continually enhance the guest experience. We hope to have you back soon.

Kind regards,

Mark Bell, Hotel Manager, Sunshine Mountain Lodge
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118 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Ontario
Top Contributor
147 reviews 147 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

We decided to book Sunshine Mountain Lodge based on a recommendation by a coworker and the fact that we were going to go skiing for 2 days. The location of the hotel was definitely worth experiencing and quite convenient if you just want to get to your room quickly, but there were a few quirks with it.

We decided to get the ski and stay package, but only for Sunday evening as it was not offered on Saturday. Lift tickets aren't cheap, came up to about $170, so we figure the remainer of the room for $130 wasn't so bad. The quirk with staying here is you have to check in before 5pm as the gondola closes, meaning you would be stranded up there till the next day. The staff helped us bring our luggage up the gondola, but there was a 3 hour delay. Fair enough, as we didn't need our luggage immediately.

Deluxe room was on the small side, and therefore only had one bad. Toilet had urine stains all down the front and the vent had tons of dust/mold; we left a note for the housekeeping and it was dealt with the next day. Housekeeping was a little on the slow side; we noted things were finally done late in the afternoon. Only one ice machine in the lower level. One elevator only, and was slow, so more often than not we took the stairs.

As we were limited to food, especially in the night, you were either going to eat at Chimney Corner, or Eagle's Nest (we skipped this one because we found food to be overpriced). The food at Chimney corner was generally pretty good (surprisingly); the burgers were juicy and food delicious, except for the one time I had the chicken and waffles and the waffles were rock hard so skipped eating those altogether. On speaking to the girls when booking, they stated no large amounts of alcohol were allowed, with the exception of one bottle of wine; their alcohol was expensive, and they even had the audacity to charge for 3 cans of beer for $20; but they did have a pitcher of beer for $20 deal that wasn't bad. We noted the service during breakfast and dinner to be extremely show, possibly due to understaffing, possibly due to lack of motivation/care, possibly because the staff knew we had to eat there anyway. But during lunch it was quite busy with other skiiers and service was quite speedy.

Hot tub was a nice touch and was clean. Same with the gym. We also utilitized the common room and games room, but do note there are families with screaming children and teens that will beat you to using the facilities. Lockers were convenient in that we had a place to store our wet equipment; inconvenient that it was at the other end of the hotel, but what can you do.

Our package included a ski lesson on the 2nd day; we had talked to the desk and they had said on 2 occasions the lesson is booked and to show up at the ski school. We showed up; it wasn't booked. They had to call an instructor to come down the hill to give us the lesson. Found the desk to be under average with communication, but at least we got all our luggage back.

For the purposes of the location on the ski hill, I'd probably stay here again, and may suggest it to friends, but I would personally do more research; I think if staying in Banff, it would be nice to enjoy the local sights at nighttime and at least have some variety to choose from.

Room Tip: The deluxe room is relatively small and only has one queen bed; consider larger rooms if going as a...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark B, Manager at Sunshine Mountain Lodge, responded to this review, February 19, 2013
Joanie T

Thanks for taking the time to give us your feedback. We certainly appreciate your business and apologize for not fully meeting your expectations. We can assure you that your feedback is extremely important and will be used to improve our level of service.

Sincerely,

Mark Bell, Hotel Manager, Sunshine Mountain Lodge
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

This is an amazing way to experience Sunshine if you are an avid skiier. So cool to be right on the mountain. Dining options are excellent too. I would recommend this to anyone who worries that the trip from Banff into Sunshine Village is slightly prohibitive to a really full ski day - what could be better than staying right there, with access to great food, massages, and a piping hottub at the end of the day?

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Mark B, Manager at Sunshine Mountain Lodge, responded to this review, February 19, 2013
Karen K

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. We are delighted to read that you enjoyed your stay and look forward to having you again visit us and make a few powder turns soon.

Best wishes,

Mark Bell, Hotel Manager, Sunshine Mountain Lodge
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013 via mobile

We spent the weekend here for my birthday. I have always wanted to stay on the hill for skiing so I bought a Travelzoo coupon with a 2 night 2 days lift tickets deal. Must say the view and room were amazing! Comfortable beds and amenities and service. The food was great and reasonably priced ! Only a couple things need improving. Just they forgot to clean our room our first day.
On checkout they added an extra nights charge but promptly adjusted this. The staff are quite inexperienced in the hospitality area as far as greeting and informing on the surroundings and details to make your stay more predictable and comfortable. More orientation training for them would be beneficial.
Otherwise a great place and we will be back!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Mark B, Manager at Sunshine Mountain Lodge, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Sharon C

Thank you for taking the time to post a review of our hotel. I am glad we were able to make your birthday weekend an enjoyable one. I have personally passed along your feedback to our hotel staff which is incredibly helpful, as we strive to continually elevate the guest experience.
Thanks again for your valuable input and we hope you will visit us again soon.

Sincerely,

Mark Bell, Hotel Manager, Sunshine Mountain Lodge
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Pas, Canada
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

The staff is amazing, very cheerful and helpful. There seemed to be a lot of luggage lost, etc (I carried mine), so I assume they have a lot of communication problems to work out. I didn't find the restaurants overpriced, considering when on the hill they're the only option. The hot tub is awesome, and you can get booze at the cafe off the lobby, or room service.
I guess if it's really expensive I would stay in Banff. I got a good deal online, and considering lift tickets for two are around $160, it was actually very cheap.

Room Tip: If you'll spend any time in the room, get one with a view, not the "waterfall deluxe".
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Mark B, Manager at Sunshine Mountain Lodge, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
M Smith

Thank-you so much for the complimentary review following your stay at our hotel. It is great to hear about the exceptional customer service you received, and I have personally passed along your feedback to our team. We hope to see you in the lodge and on the slopes again soon.

Best wishes,

Mark Bell, Hotel Manager, Sunshine Mountain Lodge
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saskatoon, Canada
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
67 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

We have been staying at this property for 44 years and this visit was definitely the worst.
Our family had 3 rooms, 2 were the top category "suites" ( a king bed with a couch, the size of a standard room in any other hotel) and one was a "deluxe" waterfall room ( nothing deluxe about it). These rooms were vastly overpriced for the standard of accommodation and service we received. One day one suite had no housekeeping and the another day we only got our rooms made up after we called following lunch. Clean towels had to be routinely requested. To be fair, one morning our suite was done properly in the morning after I found the housekeepers and begged them as I was staying in the room.They did replace our dirty glasses but not in the other rooms. In our bathroom 2 out of 4 lights were burnt out, when we called maintenance they were replaced but the bathtub was left dirty following their work ( our job to clean it up?)
All meals were substandard particularly in the Eagle dining room.
Service everywhere is inefficient, the staff are friendly but untrained. One exception was Stuart at the front desk
As hotel guests we had to wait more than 1/2 hour in line for lunch. Service at breakfast was appalling.
On the coldest day there was no hot water for showers in any of our rooms, we were told they had run out at our end.

Room Tip: The tiny rooms in the back are probably the quietest
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark B, Manager at Sunshine Mountain Lodge, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Baltzan

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with feedback on your stay. We are sad to hear about your experience and we would like to apologize for not providing the service we are usually known for and you expected. We hope you will be giving us another chance and return to Sunshine Mountain Lodge, as we would love to have you back as a guest.

All the best,

Mark Bell, Hotel Manager, Sunshine Mountain Lodge
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

We spent 4 nights at Sunshine Mountain Lodge mid-December. The transfer to the hotel was described in the booking materials - so plan for this. By the time we had a quick test of the snow and put the gear in the locker and had a beer at the saloon our bags were in the room. Due to the feedback on this site - we actually upgraded the room to the larger Deluxe ones in the West Wing. Do this if you can!! They are comfortable, great views and quiet. We are glad we did. The powder was great; the front staff attentive and helpful, the hot tube good. While some reviewers say the food choices are limited we didn't find this overly impactful: in room dining, plus the smarter one for our final night. Everything was great. We planned for the departure time-wise and everything worked just fine. I would return to Sunshine Lodge for sure!

Room Tip: A decision to pay for the larger West Wing rooms would not be a bad one . . .
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark B, Manager at Sunshine Mountain Lodge, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Olivinglife1

We are so pleased to hear about your experience during your stay. We are glad you enjoyed the new West Wing room and appreciate the positive feedback on our front desk staff.

We look forward to having you return to experience our slopeside accommodations again soon.

Sincerely,

Mark Bell, Hotel Manager, Sunshine Mountain Lodge
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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 Sunshine Mountain Lodge

Address: One Sunshine Access Road, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1J5, Canada (Formerly Sunshine Village Resort)
Location: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Banff National Park > Banff
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Banff
#11 Family Hotel in Banff
#12 Romantic Hotel in Banff
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sunshine Mountain Lodge 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled high in the Canadian Rockies in Canada’s oldest and most famous national park, this eco-boutique hotel delivers extraordinary luxury surrounded by breathtaking scenery. It is place unlike anything you have ever experienced.World-famous dining. Opulent rooms . Friendly, courteous staff. Outside, a sky so full of stars you won’t believe your eyes. And some of the best skiing you’ll ever find, just footsteps from your room. The Sunshine Mountain Lodge is the ONLY ski-in, ski-out hotel in the Mountain National Parks. It offers casual and fine dining, the area’s largest hot tub, spa services and family friendly activities. Our new West Wing offers rooms with in-floor heating, jetted tubs, large-screen LCD TVs, all in a rustic mountain theme.It’s the vacation you and your family will never forget. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sunshine Mountain Hotel Banff
Sunshine Mountain Resort
Sunshine Village Inn

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