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“You gotta try it once” 4 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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FREE SKI PASSES
Ranked #1 of 31 Hotels in Banff
GreenLeadersSilver level
calgary, Alberta
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“You gotta try it once”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

The Banff Springs really is a historical landmark - people from all over the world come to gawk at it and take pictures. But what's it like to stay there you ask? Well - it's pretty good - it won't blow your mind but it's not disappointing either.

The first thing people will tell you is that the rooms are small - this is true, but they're very clean, pretty and comfortable. The beds are comfortable and the linens are really nice. The washrooms are tiny and there isn't much space to spread out your stuff - so make sure you bring a toiletries bag with a hook you can hang up. The shower head has nice water pressure (a big plus on my list) and plenty of hot water. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful, the pool & changerooms were clean & well maintained. On a Saturday night the hallways were very noisy with returning party-goers until about 4am - I wished I had brought earplugs. Other than that I found the hotel quiet and never heard anything from the rooms beside or above me (it was pretty full that week too).

The room service is pricey but so is everything in the Banff Springs - including snacks in the Castle Pantry. I found the little convenience store across the street in the Conference centre a better choice (they really have everything too). I ate at the Rundle Lounge several times and found the food to be so-so (I ordered the steak salad and the greens were long past expired and have mushy-sticky bits on it - I did get a mediocre caesar salad for free about 20 minutes later).

One tip I will give: join the Fairmont Presidents Club - its free and you get lots of little perks when you stay - free wifi, free gym access (usually pretty pricey), a newspaper every morning, upgrades after so many nights etc.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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, December 4, 2012
We appreciate your Trip Advisor review and are pleased that many aspects of your stay were very pleasant. We will be sharing your review with our executive level team for follow up where applicable and needed. Guest feedback like yours is truly important and it will be constructively used.

The Fairmont Banff Springs
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3,247 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (805)
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English first
Saanen, Switzerland
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

Like all the great Canadian Pacific Hotels across Canada, the Banff Springs opened up the country to foreign visitors when it was built. As various owners (CP, CN, private individuals and pension funds) passed it on from one Canadian owner/operator to another, it grew less-and-less the national icon it once was and more-and-more out of Canadian ownership/operator hands.

Now managed by Fairmont (owned by Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal bin Saud) who has never visited any of the Canadian Fairmont flagships, (or if he has - he would have noticed that everything has slid into a morass of corporate bungling and low life service). There are few Canadians working in the Rocky Mountain resorts, mainly Aussies and Philippinos. The Aussies could care a stuffing for their clients and show it all too well.

But the worst experience is feeling like a corporate dummy being forced to pay ridiculous over-the-top prices ($4 for a bottle of water) where the connection between guest and service provider is a fraction of the value. A $165 massage in the Banff Springs Spa ends up as only $50 in the hands of the therapist after the owner/managers rip off their fees from the money that should have gone to poor guy/gal doing the massage.

Gone are the kilts, the Canadian bell boys and waitresses who remember your name and don't have their hand out every five seconds. It has turned into a rip off soup kitchen for overpriced everything. The fake smiles and over-arching cheerfulness are simply a cover for "I'm going to rip you off in every direction you turn. The gift shops sell "Made in China" overpriced garments costing ten times their value. Nothing is made in Canada anymore.

The Banff Main Street is just as bad with mainly owned/operated by Korean and Japanese junk shops. it feels about as Canadian as Florida. Little wonder that Parks Canada have lost their Canadian audience and pander only to the foreign tourists.

Canadians go to Canmore, Hinton, and especially new destinations like Valemount, Sky Peaks, Revelstoke, and Blue River giving the National Parks a drive through and a very wide miss.

Shame, shame, shame.

Where is any overnight accommodation in Maligne Lake? This is the most beautiful and photographed Lake in the world with no overnight accommodation. Shame on Parks Canada!

Mr. Horne would be rolling in his grave if he knew a Saudi Prince was stealing all the profits from tourists in his Rocky Mountain Hotels. The value for money was ZERO. The feeling that this resort is located in Canada would be lost and forgotten on any visitor today.

Room Tip: Avoid the Banff Springs Hotel and look for a log cabin Lodge in Maligne Lake, some day.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
143 reviews 143 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 69 cities Reviews in 69 cities
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

How could one not rate this 5 stars, almost regardless of the personal experience! One of Canada's iconic hotels, so full of the history of by-gone eras. Don't miss the tour of the hotel. I was lucky in one way to have a room at the end of the corridor, with a window to the majestic Rocky Mountains. Was very cruel and sent my wife a picture! Downside of the room location was the end of the hot water pipes. Shower was fine, not the sink. No big deal, and worth the view.
You could wander around this hotel for hours, exploring every nook and cranny, the variety of lounges - just to "lounge", not necessarily drink.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Saint Pete Beach, Florida
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

I stayed last week for US Thanksgiving week ski holiday with wife and 6 year old daughter with Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel after a few nights in condo property....and decided to treat ourselves to a special stay with the premium priced Gold floor room accommodations as I usually tend to pay for upgraded accommodations for special occasions like this. Having stayed on a lot of "executive" or "club" floor accomodations for many chains with varied inconsistencies to put it nicely, had such a excellent experience staying on Gold floor with Fairmont few years ago at Chateau Laurier in Ottawa knew Fairmont's Gold usually was a cut above the others. In this case, one of, if not the finest examples of customer service I have ever experienced anywhere in the world and considering I travel 100+ nights on average in hotels on business around the world, hope this puts it in proper perspective,

In this case, well, simply put...absolute excellence in guest service, rarely found....from the moment of arrival to our farewell departure, we were made to feel like home - in a marvellous castle. Yes, one can talk about the storied history and grandeur of the hotel, but to have the level of personalized and truly professional, yet never overbearing service from, well, every staff member we encountered was equally exceptional in combination with stunning hotel.

I will write the hotel GM a formal note recognizing all the Gold Floor staff in particular in a separate letter, but for those who want truly what a 5 star experience in amazing facilities/locale are - look no further. Thanks, to all the great Gold Floor staff in particular who made our stay truly a memory of a lifetime. See you next year...same time....my daughter insists!

I really recommend for families in particular the fun/quirky, yet challenging "Scavenger Hunt" - which is really great way to get to see the hotel shortly after arrival on own pace and learn a lot about the amazing history....to familiarize one with the layout and incredible expanse of this magnificent hotel. The views...Christmas decorations througout the property tastefully and thoughtfully done, staff, food and beverage quality - everything truly to say 5 star in every aspect. Thanks...for making our holiday there exceptional.

Room Tip: Mountain view is really worth the premium price...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Fairmont_Banff_Mgmt, Manager at The Fairmont Banff Springs, responded to this review, November 28, 2012
What a pleasure to read your review and our colleagues will enjoy it so much. To know how much your family enjoyed your time here with us, and that you will return, is what motivates us.
We hope to see you again soon.

The Fairmont Banff Springs
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Brisbane, Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

There is very few hotels in the world that can rival the majesty of the "Castle in the Rockies". The building is beautiful and dripping with history; just the type of place that I love. The nooks, crannies and stories set this hotel apart. What lets the hotel down, is the standard and size of its rooms. The rooms are well kept, very clean and very comfortable but probably of 3.5 star standard. If you come expecting to have a 5 star experience throughout, you will be a little disappointed. I'm a travel agent and recommend the Fairmont without hesitation but I do send clients armed with the knowledge of the room standard. For a bit of fun, ask the staff if they'll show you the ghost room :-p

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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, November 28, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay. We do appreciate you promoting our property very much. Many of our guestrooms are smaller by modern standards especially in the original building given the age we are (we are celebrating 125th anniversary next year!) but with such a grand castle, there are many room types available that our guests can ask about.

The Fairmont Banff Springs
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northern italy
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

Have been ther some years ago and I remind it as one of the most memorable stays of my life.
Great and original architecture, pool with underground music, outdoor jacuzzi with fantastic view
to the mountains. Would certainly return !

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Fairmont_Banff_Mgmt, Manager at The Fairmont Banff Springs, responded to this review, November 28, 2012
Thank you for your review! We do hope you can return some day soon!
The Fairmont Banff Springs
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Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

It was on my bucket list, glad we stayed but nothing too special. It was all good, a little pricey like a downtown hotel because we were charged a lot for every item. I gave it only a three because of the pricing. I was not on a budget while there but was surprised at the end cost of our two day stay. We then went to Canmore and were presently surprised at room and food costs.
Budget minded travelers , go to Canmore for less then half the price and all the same ammentities

Stayed November 2012
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, November 28, 2012
Thank you for your review. We are sorry that your bucket list stay was not all you had hoped and we are disappointed to learn that. We have shared your review with our team. We would like to know more about you, and a representative will contact you personally.

The Fairmont Banff Springs
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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 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 Family Hotel in Banff
#1 Green Hotel in Banff
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Banff
#1 Romantic Hotel in Banff
#1 Spa 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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