Stayed here 6 nights, which appears to be a longer stay than most. My husband is a "skier" (first chair, last chair kind of guy)....me not so much. So we usually try to stay ski-in ski-out to give me the option of as much or as little skiing as desired. Obviously this is the only hotel with ski-in ski-out in this area. We arrived shortly after 5pm after skiing Lake Louise in the morning, since the gondola closes at 5:30pm. I had read other reviewers suggesting taking your own bags up the gondola as the luggage service can be slow. However we were told "2 hours" at most and had 2 large suitcases and a double ski bag as well as carry-ons so we figured it would be just as easy to let them transfer suitcases, while we enjoyed our gondola ride up with just our carryons and some essentials, ate dinner up top and had a look around. Sure enough, it took nearly 4 1/2 hours for the luggage to be delivered (after they called our room and asked if we were sure the luggage was not there...hee). Actually the skis made it to the ski locker but the 2 large cases were missing (apparently put in the wrong room down at the base, so never really sure how they finally located and transferred) The front desk and manager did make amends with lots of apologies, a half bottle of wine, and offered dinner on them the next night which we very much enjoyed at the Eagles Nest (the formal restaurant). Considering the inconvenience (we finally went to bed before the luggage arrived), the situation was well handled by management. I would advise if you are checking in during the AM, it would be fine to send your luggage up with the staff, then you could take advantage of skiing right off the gondola. Upon checking out, indeed we brought our own bags down the gondola, they were very helpful with a sled across the slopes to get the bags to the gondola and though our cases were big, it is an 8 person gondola so we had enough room. Rest of the stay and our experience with the staff was lovely. Yes, lots of young staff here working from around the world, mostly Aussie's in their 20's...but very nice. Hotel was NOT busy at all, ordered room service several times and took only 13-20 min to be delivered. We though prices for Service for dinner at the Eagles Nest was very attentive (though I realize they were trying to make amends). Menu via room service, formal restaurant, and bar restaurant all very similar apps, dishes, desserts, but we are not picky so were able to change it up enough to not be entirely bored of the food by the end of the 6 days. Must go to Trappers for the ambience...original day lodge, now a bar, though odd hours as kitchen closes at 4pm, bar closes 6pm, then re-opens 8-midnight, presumably mostly for the workers. Front desk has free DVD's to watch in your room with fairly recent titles. There is a game room with table hockey and pool, though never saw anyone utilizing, probably because you had to pay for each game....would be nice if no additional cost for guests as there is certainly limited things to do once gondola closes. First night checked into room 103 which is not a true ski-in ski-out as the balcony hangs close to the hot tub. There was also a boisterous group in the hot tub that first night, but seemed to be an isolated incident, and hot tub closed at 10pm?so that limited their disruption. Upon checking in, we requested a true ski-in ski-out room but were told not available until next day, but we were willing to move after first night. Transferred to room 114 so could walk off porch onto slope. Probably only last 4 rooms on first floor have this feature (115 thru maybe 112), and these are the NON-loft, queen/queen rooms. 114 was a little more worn around the edges but I would probably not have noticed if we had not seen 103 first. Heated tile floor, nice tub shower but relatively small bathroom area and counter space. Limited shelves, storage, hanging areas for clothes, so we mostly kept clothes in the suitcases. Unfortunately, no in room safe. At night, "turndown" service would close blinds and remake bed, but not restock towels. Daily housekeeping was variable in timing, pretty sure they didn't sweep vacuum or actually change sheets daily but did restock towels, coffee, and take out trash. Had to call once in the afternoon as they had not serviced room by nearly 1pm though they did come up quickly. Their website states wifi is additional ?9$/day but front desk told us they changed policy this year and free to guests with access code, but wifi was EXTREMELY slow, so glad it was at least free. Long review, but since we had a long visit, I feel we experienced most of what they had to offer, though didn't utilize any spa services, which appeared to be in one of 2 rooms in the gym area, and locker room very basic. Difficult to go down into Banff or other areas for touring if not skiing (20 min gondola ride each way, 10 min drive out of canyon each way), have to be back before gondola closes. But if skiing is a priority, this place certainly is complete for what if offers. As long as you realize this place does not bill itself as a 5 star, you will be pleased as we were overall.
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