We booked this hotel for our final destination for our travels of Canada. When we got here by a very expensive bus (we later found out there were much cheaper and friendlier ways of getting into Banff!!!) we looked at the hotel and realised Banff is one big ski resort. We don't ski.
So anyway, the hotel was nice, we got given a double queen room as the room we had on the 2nd floor was smaller and a couple who wanted a view asked if we could swap. So we did, the room was huge. It was split in two so we basically had two rooms for the price of one!! The view from our window was of the tree with christmas lights and a mountain, not bad I thought!
The only down fall was, as it was on the ground floor it looked like anyone could walk in and we couldn't keep the net curtains undrawn as everyone could see in. But in the mornings you could see animal footprints on your window doorstep which were really cool!
Our room was right as the back, so we had to walk by the hot pools while people were in them which was a bit uncomfortable, and we had to walk into the cold back into another building to go for breakfast, it's not really connected, make sure you wrap up warm!
Breakfast was okay, museli, breads, eggs, fruits. The only downfall about breakfast was the staff topping up the fruit, but just pouring fresh fruit on top of the old fruit, so when you got down to the end, the fruit at the bottom and the juice was sour.
We got really nice butters, jams and breads though. I was slightly surprised at the porridge as it was salted, they didn't give you a choice so my friend had a bit of a surprise when she had a mouthful of porridge to find out it wasn't plain porridge but just salty.
The location was okay, Banff is just one road, there's lots of the same shops, stocking the same stuff. Minus the odd ski shop, Roots & Quiksilver shops.
Sulphur Mountain is aorund a 20minute walk up the hill, or a 10minute bus journey it was a $1 each way I think!
Lake Louise is around a 45minute bus ride, we caught a ski bus for $15 return outside the partamagon hotel. The bus drops you off at the Lake Louise ski slopes and there's a free bus which takes you to the chataeux and the actual lake. Becareful because if you're not used to gap year students or immature behavour the kids on the bus can really annoy you, espechcially when they start talking about innaproriate things, but the bus was just full of students so we were out numbered. But it's cheaper than getting the brewster we were told and you lose them after the slopes so that's okay :)
If you don't ski, people look at you strangly. They look at you like you have the plague. Well the gap year students do, which were like 95% of the people we met. Most people, including the hotel staff couldn't believe we didn't ski and we wern't there to ski.
The locals understood that not everyone skis and were really lovley to talk too, they spoke to us in the street if they saw us the next day or days afterwards and told us about little places and walks we could do to see the beauty of Banff.
The staff were friendly at our hotel, always smiling and always willing to advise where the nearest supermarkets were (there's a kwik save which sells everything you'd ever need!!) & where to find information and even helping you work out how to use thier washing machines.
They sell washing powder at the reception for $2 a bag, we got quite a bit so I'm guessing it would have lasted for about 3 washes. They also have a dryer too, so it was nice to wash & dry our clothes after living out of a suitcase for a while!
The beds were really comfy, and I had a really good sleep while I was there at night time, to get me ready for the long days ahead!
Just remember to bring your swimwear as there is the hot springs and the hotel have their own heated swimming pools which we couldn't use as I forgot my swimswuit and the shops were selling them at $100!!!!
I noticed that the hotel also has a print out of how much snow has fallen each night, the tempreture highs and lows and where it is best to ski.