No point in repeating all the positives noted in the previous reviews - they are all accurate as far as I'm concerned. Stayed in Room 800, which includes free valet parking, wifi, sparkling wine and choc. strawberries (on arrival** see below), and a 15% restaurant discount (not huge concessions, but it's something; one expects some frills when booking a room like that). There is no better view from a hotel room in Banff, period. Large room with wood burning fireplace, oversized jetted tub, separate shower in a tiled bathroom overlooking yet another amazing view - hard to beat. Almost wall to wall windows, virtually none of which can be peered into by guests in other rooms - unlike the vast majority of the rooms in this hotel. This means privacy and a sense of openness and opulence, as you can keep all the windows open, day or night, and enjoy the views without worrying if other folks are watching. ;)
The spa was not as nice as the Willow Stream at the Banff Springs, nor does it offer the variety of treatments; but how bad can it be?
Divas was only open Fri and Sat nights during our stay, which was disappointing.
I would have given this hotel a 5/5 rating if not for the following:
- on arrival, room was not stocked with firewood as I had requested and confirmed via email.
- on arrival, complimentary bottle and strawberries were not in the room; had to call room service.
- on check in was advised that 15% discount would automatically be applied to restaurant checks as soon as we charged to room #; and if paying by another means that showing our room key would have the same result. This was not the case, had to ask for the discount 3 out of 4 times after the bill was presented and the wait staff had left the table. This meant having to wait to get their attention again (not always easy), asking for the discount (a bit embarassing...) and waiting for the new bill to be done up. Minor things overall, but like I said, a bit more effort would have netted a 5/5! I expect top notch treatment and service at a hotel like this, and it was close....
- In this room the windows stretch nearly from wall to wall, floor to ceiling. But they've decided to put a 25 inch TV in an enormous wardrobe sized cabinet right at the foot of the bed, blocking a significant part of the view out the windows from that location. This is just poor planning/design, and could be rectified by either using something like a low-rise cabinet from which the TV could pop-up (and remain hidden from view when not in use), or by mounting it up above the window line on the wall. Either solution would open up that area of windows for views.
- Also, there is another nook-type area of windows off to one side of the room, which would be perfect for a small table and 2-3 chairs for guests to enjoy a meal while taking in what is undeniably the best view in the house. But all that's there is a side-board that serves as a stand for the ice bucket. :/ Not cool. This leaves one with the impression that management wants to get you into the restaurants, where you're more likely to spend more money, rather than ordering room service.
- Noisy A/C fan, and the temperature/fan control only worked when it felt like it.
Overall this is an excellent hotel, spectacular in so many ways but a few little tweaks would go a long way imho.