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“End of the Rocky Mountain Train Ride” 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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Ranked #1 of 33 hotels in Banff
GreenLeadersSilver level
West Chester, PA
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“End of the Rocky Mountain Train Ride”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

The hotel is very nice, but not cheap by any standards. Found the staff very nice and helpfull and really enjoyed Banff itself. Seems they figured out that it's not the place for those with multiple homes that sometimes visit. If you don't have a job there, you don't have a home.
The stores in town are a mix of what you would hope for and expect in a nice area, and what you have come to find is the norm in resort areas but it's easy enough to walk past them.
I like the old rail road hotels in Canada, and while this may have slipped some from the good old days, I found it well worth the stay.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 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
    • 4 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, December 4, 2012
Thank you for your review and we truly hope you enjoyed the rail experience through the Rockies. We are pleased that you experienced good service while here with us and we do hope you will return.

The Fairmont Banff Springs
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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 (655)
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English first
Calgary, AB
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

Our visit to this hotel was for a Holiday Christmas Party - my husband's employer graciously provided our rooms and an evening of entertainment for both the adults and children. This hotel provides holiday parties, where different companies can share in a large Christmas Party for both staff and their kids. It is a great idea and has economy of scale written all over it.

However, with all things this large there are opportunities for people to fall through the cracks and on this occasion those people were my children. While all of us were registered, names of children provided etc to the hotel well in advance, when we showed up to drop off our kids at their holiday party, for which they had built up much excitement, we were told they were not on the list. Then we were told by a very condescending and rude Children's Party reception guy that they could likely "accommodate us" since they were not fully booked that night. This of course implied that had they been fully book the hotel's error would have resulted in my kids spending the night in their room rather than having fun with other kids. As you can imagined this made me and my husband’s boss furious.

Well over an hour later, with failed attempts to secure details from the hotel employees, as of course all of the conference staff had long since gone home, we were finally "accommodated" and the kids did end up having fun, likely because they did not have to deal any longer with the reception guy.

While there were other hiccups in the party booking, for us that was the big issue, this mix up by the hotel staff caused not only my kids, my husband and me and his boss to be upset for the first few hours of our evening, it left a bad taste over the entire booking.

Now, of course this hotel is beautiful and most of the staff we talked to were very nice but the difference is in the details - and they fell short on this visit.

We will stick to the Rimrock - our tried and true hotel of choice for Banff. I suggest others do the same!

Room Tip: As is the case with all Fairmont properties, do not book a regular room, anything lower than deluxe...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 6
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
Thank you for your candid review. We do appreciate the opportunity to learn from your feedback and to reach out to you. A full investigation will take place and a hotel representative will contact you as your loyalty is important. Respecting that you do have options as a consumer, we would hope your first choice would be Fairmont. We hope that our care and concern for your experience will show our good faith.

The Fairmont Banff Springs
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calgary, Alberta
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
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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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
122 reviews 122 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
68 helpful votes 68 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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 Spa Hotel in Banff
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Banff
#1 Romantic Hotel in Banff
#1 Green 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*
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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