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“Fun experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Fairmont Banff Springs

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The Fairmont Banff Springs
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   405 Spray Avenue | P.O. Box 960, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1J4, Canada   |  
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40% OFF SPRING BREAK
Ranked #1 of 31 Hotels in Banff
Certificate of Excellence 2014
GreenLeadersSilver level
Glen Ellen, California
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Fun experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

My wife and I stayed here for two nights with a very good senior discount and we found it to be a fun experience. The building is impressive with the feel of a European castle. We paid an additional $40 per night for an upgraded view and had a nice room on the 6th. Which we were told was newly refurbished. The restaurants are costly, as we expected, and quality varied. We enjoyed the German restaurant which is in a separate building. it was fun and awfully busy so two nights was enough for us. Our reservation was not found upon check in but it was resolved.

Room Tip: View upgrades may not be worth the cost since windows are small. Ask for recently upgraded rooms.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Fairmont_Banff_Mgmt, Manager at The Fairmont Banff Springs, responded to this review, October 10, 2012
Thank you for your positive review on Trip Advisor. We are really pleased to learn that you enjoyed the ambiance in the hotel and the Waldhaus, our German restaurant nestled in the woods. We do hope you will come again!

The Fairmont Banff Springs
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (889)
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English first
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

We are in Banff for our 30th anniversary as I write this. We planned to stay at both Fairmont properties;Banff Springs and the chateau lake Louise. This hotel is not a good choice to stay at. We spent one night out of 5 and I was so upset and disgusted with the place. Our non smoking room was filled with the remnants of smokers...absolutely gross. We could not get another room as they were booked. The furniture was beaten up, the carpet was worn etc. in a 5 star resort usually there Are bottles of water in the room for purchase (even two star hotels do this). Nothing! Watch out for fees at this hotel. First our suite was 800 dollars a night Plus resort fee, Internet fee, fitness room fee, parking etc, horrible nickel and diming at this hotel. We had two meals and they were epically bad. We left after the first day and moved to the RimRock which is as amazing as this place is bad. I was impressed that they did refund our night stay. They were shocked we were checking out and said " this doesn't usually happen". Go to look around. Don't waste your money staying.

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairmont_Banff_Mgmt, Manager at The Fairmont Banff Springs, responded to this review, October 10, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write on Trip Advisor. We are certainly very sorry to learn that you departed our company prematurely due to disappointments. We recognize an anniversary is truly special and to learn that you chose another location over ours is certainly a loss. A hotel representative will be in touch very soon to connect more personally with you.

The Fairmont Banff Springs
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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

The hotel is absolutely gorgeous but more of a tourist attraction than a luxury hotel. I'd recommend going for a day and walking around the grounds, having afternoon tea / lunch, taking pictures, checking out the shops etc but I wouldn't suggest booking in for a stay.

I stayed for 2 nights and although it was ok it wasn't what I was expecting. Check in takes FOREVER! Stood in a queue for about 15 minutes with 2 people behind reception. The staff were nice enough, but just really busy and not enough of them. Got up to my room and after a slight hiccup with my key not working I managed to get the cleaning staff to let me in rather than having to go back down to reception.

The room itself was clean, nice view of the mountains, comfy bed, old fashioned bathroom, quite small overall if you were spending any length of time in your room.

I had lunch at the bar and it was ok, but again took forever to get served, hard to get a table, lots of tourists and conference attendees. I couldn't get a table for afternoon tea as it was packed with tourists.

There's a good selection of shops both in the main building and across at the conference section. A small supermarket and wine shop made it easy to stock up on provisions.

I opted for valet parking and that was very efficient.

The grounds of the hotel were beautiful and there's lots of photo opportunities. The location is great for exploring by car, but a long walk into Banff.

Everything costs extra and the rooms are already very pricey so it was disappointing that various things weren't included - wifi, fitness centre etc.

Overall it felt a bit like a disney land attraction rather than a luxury retreat - go for a day to see it but don't expect a relaxing luxury stay.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairmont_Banff_Mgmt, Manager at The Fairmont Banff Springs, responded to this review, October 10, 2012
Thank you for your review. Each review is read and shared with our team so we can improve where necessary. We always take our guest feedback to heart, as we do strive to build relationships, and create memorable experiences. We are sorry that you felt personal connections were not made with you on this visit, as it is our intent to do.

The Fairmont Banff Springs
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Orange, California
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
123 helpful votes 123 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

I did not have a long stay at the Fairmont in Banff and that worked out just fine. It is a stunning property as it resembles a giant castle tucked into the glorious mountains of Banff. The Banff landscape is incredibly beautiful and stunning - it takes a lot to stand out and the Fairmont most definitely stands out! I went in the winter and, no surprise, it was extremely cold. The Fairmont is a very large property with a vacuous castle feel. As such, in the cold of winter - I much prefer a warmer theme. I may have enjoyed this hotel much more in the summer so I cannot blame the Fairmont for this observation though different interior design and lighting could subdue the dark, dank castle feel. It was dark in many of the common areas which lent itself to feeling more like a cold, dark castle rather than a very expensive luxury resort. My companion and I kept joking that we would stumble upon a dungeon if we ventured to the lower floors.

Moreover, everything had an extra cost. When you are paying these types of room rates, it's tacky to nickel and dime your guests for that extra $1-$5. The wifi was ridiculously expensive considering most hotels provide complimentary wifi and it costs hotels virtually nothing to provide wifi service. The staff was very young and though polite, did not live up to our expectations of Fairmont service.

The hotel is beautiful but I would prefer a cozier environment and better value. To some, the mere prestige of staying at a "Fairmont" goes for miles but I expect the requisite service and value that gave Fairmont its illustrious reputation in the first place.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairmont_Banff_Mgmt, Manager at The Fairmont Banff Springs, responded to this review, October 10, 2012
Thank you for your review. We appreciate every piece of guest feedback we receive and we use it constructively. While we do want to maintain the historical feel of this UNESCO World Heritage site, we of course want our guests to feel comfortable. We are sorry that your experience did not create positive memories and that warm and engaging interactions are not what you are reflecting on now. Our management team will discuss your review for future considerations in our design and ambiance.

The Fairmont Banff Springs
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Houston, Texas
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012

It is with considerable pain that I write this review, as I am a Fairmont fan and have had excellent stays in other establishments. Not so this time, partly because of highly unfavourable first impressions. I arrived in a rental car from Calgary for a business conference for 2 nights. I had not appreciated the complexity and cost of parking, or even reaching the main front door. After a couple of laps I parked in the multi-storey carpark and walked back to reception. I was assigned to a room in the Stanley Thompson wing. My receptionist indicated that my room would be overlooking the golf course, and it was likely that the elk might be performing their rutting rituals for my viewing pleasure. So far, so good. It was suggested I leave the main building and walk outside to the annex. There I was confronted by large numbers of guests, and a Penske Van whose driver had discharged his load of guest luggage all over the sidewalk and roadway, in a way which meant that basically I had to navigate over it all to force my passage to a very unassuming door which had evidently previously been a Hertz rental office from the faded area over the door where the sign had once been. Seriously, don't they care enough to bother to touch up the "main entrance" to the annex properly? So then begins the adventure of solving the maze of passageways, stairs and deviations to find elevators etc to reach the room. This revealed a fair level of shabbiness and tiredness of decor - little things, elevator doors which are scuffed, etc etc. So on to the room - which overlooks the mountain to the east and the trees shielding the view of the golf course, with parked buses in the foreground - Oh well!. Then on to explore the building. The lower level seems to house the HR Department, with other offices occupying space on an exit route I found trying to reach an exit heading back to the car park (to put the parking sticker on the windshield). I seem to be in the bowels of the place. Lots of housekeeping staff with trolleys on the lower levels - are they there to service the rooms or waiting for HR issues? I did not stop to find out.. How about the outside then - so off I go to look over the south-eastern facing parapet of the external retaining wall outside the lounge area, to admire the view - of the broken furniture maintenance or discard area. At that point the damage to reputation is done, and I reach the conclusion that in trying hard to make such an old property viable, the combination of catering to high-turnover tour operators, and dealing with what has to be a high maintenance and unwieldy property with is not user friendly to either guests or property managers has stretched the resources too thin. The high end experience I was expecting was completely shattered. Everywhere I turned was below average, particularly in the Stanley Thompson wing. I regretted staying there. The stories of the elegance of former times was not the reality I saw in that annex. In fairness though, the next day, when I found the meeting facilities on the mezzanine levels of the main building, some of my initial expectations which had been based on other grandiose Fairmont properties was redeemed, but my overriding and lasting impression is one of great disappointment

Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairmont_Banff_Mgmt, Manager at The Fairmont Banff Springs, responded to this review, October 10, 2012
A hotel representative has contacted you privately to discuss your disappointment. We want to connect with you personally and learn more about your experience.

The Fairmont Banff Springs
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012

We stayed here on our honeymoon road trip from Vancouver to Calgary. Booked in for four nights but we checked out early. Very disappointing unfortunately.

It started well, the nice receptionist checking us in gave us complimentary parking after we had paid for one night, a nice touch considering it is $25 per night.

The room was in the main hotel but was dated, and I am sure we booked a view but that was not what we got. The bathroom looked ancient, some mould in the mastic, the carpet had pulls in it and the bed valance had black marks.

The hotel is very busy with bus tours and conferences. It has a very rambling layout, it is not apparent where everything is. We did take a walk right to the back of the hotel to get to the Waldhaus restaurant, I would feel sorry for anyone staying that far from the main areas.

The first night's sleep was ok, we left the hotel before 6.30am so were not aware of what was to come. On the second night we were awoken by banging and squeaking doors. It turns out we were adjacent to a service area. Noise from housekeeping staff increased over the next hour. I spoke to a girl on reception who took a rather argumentative approach, not typical of Fairmont service, she said it would be sorted - funny that when we returned to the hotel later our room keys had been disabled. By this time we had already decided to leave and booked a hotel in Calgary for the last night of our trip. The noise from the housekeeping started later the next morning but was still as prevalent.

On check out another nice receptionist on the President's club desk appeared genuinely concerned we were checking out early and insisted we speak to a manager. He wanted to put things right to his credit, offering an upgrade or sorting out the Fairmont in Calgary, but we had already booked and paid for the Le Germain in Calgary. Our dinner bill from the Waldhaus and breakfast from the cafe were wiped from our bill, it is a shame the same service ethic was not adopted when we first had a problem.

Sorry Fairmont, I won't be back.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairmont_Banff_Mgmt, Manager at The Fairmont Banff Springs, responded to this review, October 10, 2012
Thank you for your review. Although disappointing to have read, we welcome all feedback and are committed to using it to our benefit to improve our operation. We are also thankful to have the opportunity to reach our guests personally when there has been a shortfall. To that end, a hotel representative will be in touch shortly.

The Fairmont Banff Springs
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Steilacoom, WA
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

Based on the price and advertising we thought this would really be worth the extra money. A big disappointment. Parking is and extra $25-35(valet) per night. Everything is extra, wi-fi, the fitness center, vending machine prices were $1 more than other , ans nice hotels. Seems we were paying because this is a big name hotel. I would say save the $$ and spend more on othere things. The dinner we had there was also not very good.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Fairmont_Banff_Mgmt, Manager at The Fairmont Banff Springs, responded to this review, October 10, 2012
Thank you for your review. A hotel representative has contacted you privately to discuss your concerns for which we are truly sorry.

The Fairmont Banff Springs
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Fairmont Banff Springs

Address: 405 Spray Avenue | P.O. Box 960, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1J4, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Banff National Park > Banff
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Banff
#1 Green Hotel in Banff
#1 Romantic Hotel in Banff
#1 Spa Hotel in Banff
#1 Family Hotel in Banff
#2 Business Hotel in Banff
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Fairmont Banff Springs 4*
Number of rooms: 770
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the world famous Fairmont Banff Springs resort stands as a landmark in the picturesque alpine town of Banff. This year round luxury resort is styled after a Scottish baronial castle and offers guests spectacular mountain and valley views, a championship golf course during the summer, unparalleled skiing in the winter, and an award-winning European-style spa, the Willow Steam Spa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel Banff
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
The Fairmont Banff Springs Banff
Fairmont Banff Hotel
Fairmont Hotel Banff
Banff Fairmont

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