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“Christmas at the Castle” 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
australia
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Christmas at the Castle”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

We spent Christmas at the Banff Springs Hotel. The hotel looks stunning against a backdrop of show covered mountains. When we arrived the hotel was extremely busy and it took a while to check in. Occassionally we felt that the service suffered a little because things were so busy and there did not appear to be enough staff on board. The christmas activites were well organised. We were a little suprised that when we tried to make some dinner reservations we were told that some restaurants were booked out and yet the next day we met people who said that they just walked into the same restaurant without a reservation.
We had Christmas night dinner in the ballroom. The ballroom was magnificently decorated for the occasion. While dinner was nice enough, it seemed a little rushed at times and the various courses were not explained as they were served. Again it appeared that there were not sufficient staff to do this. It was a Christmas to remember.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 0156. There was a separate bedroom, bathroom, luggage room and a large lounge roo...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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 3
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, January 17, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your Christmas experience. We truly do value the feedback, and it wil be taken constructively and applied where needed. We hope you will consider a return visit in the future!

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
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Maryborough, Australia
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

We had the most amazing White Christmas. Everything was fantastic! From the front desk staff on check in until check out they could not have been more helpful. We enjoyed the Christmas festivities. The most amazing thing was swimming in the outside heated pool in -25! We enjoyed the food however it was expensive. We really enjoyed the Randall Lounge for a cocktail and snack and loved the live music. We will always our Christmas in the Castle!!!

Room Tip: Get a room with a view if you can
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 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, January 17, 2013
Thank you for your positive review of your Christmas in Banff! We are delighted that you loved the activities, the pool, the entertainment in the lounge....please return again!

The Fairmont Banff Springs
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Winchester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013 via mobile

Stayed for two nights on the gold floor five as a treat. Extra service and lovely lounge. Staff were very friendly, especially valet and concierge. We had our three year old with us, they were very attentive and accommodating for her, they gave her a little crown and she felt like a princess in a castle for the three days! Very magical! They arranged our husky sled with a great company and all our other reservations and activities. Very relaxing! Would come again.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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, January 17, 2013
Thank you for your wonderful comments about Fairmont Gold, our concierge and valet teams!!
We are very happy to know you had a memorable stay and will share your feedback.

The Fairmont Banff Springs
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High River, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

Perhaps the very best of life in Alberta is the Banff Springs Hotel experience in the middle of winter. New Year's eve and dinner in the Banffshire Restaurant should be on everyone's bucket list. The outrageous 'flight of wines' and the multi-course dinner was 'over-the-top' in tastiness (and price)! But hey, you only live once, right? No better way to kick off the New Year. Two nights stay on the 7th floor in one of the larger rooms had us in an end turret overlooking the spectacular Bow Valley. Breathtaking, a winter scene of the first magnitude!
An added feature is the excellent shopping experience, right on site. Don't miss 'Snowflake' and the cozy and stylish winterwear. Join the Fairmont President's Club before you go. It is free and there are nice perks, like a separate (short) line for check-in.
So girls, if you can't think of anything for that 'man who had everything', this is the ticket for your next Christmas gift. A treat for both of you!

  • Stayed January 2013, 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, January 17, 2013
Thank you for your kind compliments about your New Year's experience, your guestroom, your enjoyment in our shops and your overall satisfaction. We will share your review appropriately with the areas mentioned and they will be most pleased!

The Fairmont Banff Springs
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Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

This hotel is a must in Banff. We had a suite(up graded) and the view from our window was incredible. We had 3 days in Banff and asbolutely loved our time there so much so my husband and I will spending Christmas there in 2014. The staff were every friendly and polite and can honestly say the Canadians are just lovely. The food was very good and plentiful, the buffet was great. We loved our walks into the town centre especially at night when the snow was falling and the city centre was all light up with fairy lights. The location of our hotel was fantastic and the long walks did us good considering the food intake.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 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, January 17, 2013
Thank you for your positive review. A hotel representative has contacted you to offer assistance with your return in 2014!

The Fairmont Banff Springs
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Edmonton
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

On a reccent trip through the rockies, we decided to stay at a couple of the Fairmont hotels along the way. I really cant complain about our stay too much. The staff are more than attentive to any need you may have. We had booked two rooms and upon arrival we we're happy to find out the rooms adjoined( no special request needed ). One of the rooms did have a strange smell. I called the front desk and while out for dinner the smell disapeared completely...Thank you! Rooms and bedding all lived up to expectations of any Fairmont. It really is a beautiful hotel and I will more than likely always continue to stay here when possible. My only complaint would be the buffet. The attempt was there but the delivery was kinda sad... especially for the price. The food in the lounge looked much better.. Next time.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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, January 17, 2013
We appreciate your candid and honest review, and will take it to heart and use it constructively.
Thank you.

The Fairmont Banff Springs
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london , england
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

We stayed here six years ago and decided it was time to return, on a similar 11 night ski break.

When we checked in the girl on reception said that as we were a long stay guest we were showing as a "VIP" arrival and disappeared to find someone to meet us, when she returned we were told the person was not available to meet us so we just went to our room anyway (we never did find out what a "VIP" arrival was).

Our bedroom was in the eaves of the hotel on the 8th floor, all bedrooms are different but no thought seemed to have gone into the fact we were staying for 11 nights since the bedroom was somewhat of an obstacle course and really not suitable for more than a 1 night stay.
The bedroom was L shape and consisted of a narrow entrance corridor containing 2 large cabinets with a small dormer window at the end, access to the rest of the room was blocked by the bed. There was a 6" gap at the end of the bed between it and the wall, it was on a wooden bedframe which stuck out even further so you kept banging your ankles, this part of the wall also had 2 sections of the sloping roof so to avoid banging your head you also had to duck.
The next morning we went to reception to ask to change rooms but as we were staying so long it was difficult for anything else to be found as the hotel was full on New Years Eve, eventually we were given a room in the conference wing adjoining the hotel.
The size and layout of our new room was much better although the decor was much more dated than the previous with a tiny 4'6" bed.
I don't know whether it was the uncomfy bed or pillows but neither of us had a good nights sleep at all during our stay, I would say it it the worst nights sleep I have ever had in a hotel.
The room has a safe, tea/coffee making, iron, bathrobes and shampoo/ showergel but no amenities kit ie, showercap, cotton buds, etc...or clothes brush

Buffet breakfast was large with a good selection and efficient service, the only negative here is that they started clearing away and setting up for lunch at 10am even though service was supposed to be until 1030.

Samurai restaurant is fabulous with sushi and sashimi as good as I have eaten anywhere, we were dissapointed to find it was closed on the last 2 nights of our stay even though it was advertised as being open.

The lounge food is good but each one of our 3 margaritas came in a different glass and made in a different way. Bar nuts/crackers are provided if you ask.

The pantry is fine for a coffee or something light to eat and open 24hrs.

We used the indoor and outdoor pool for the first three days but I developed a rash and dry skin which I can only attribute to the outdoor mineral pool which was highly chlorinated.
The outdoor pool area was also unkept with rubbish/ debris in amongst the snow, which looked like it had been there for some time.
The indoor pool is 32m long and a nice temperature for swimming, with specific 'lap' lanes.
Towels were not cleared from empty loungers even when people had left, so leaving the place a little untidy.
TIP- take flip flops with you, since the hotel does not provide guest slippers. Walking from your room in bathrobes and barefoot is not a pleasant experience since you ending walking on stones or anything else brought in on peoples shoes although there are lockers if you choose to change.

This is a big hotel but I did not feel that housekeeping standards were as good as they shoud be, our bedroom, bedrooms corridors and public areas were not hoovered daily, and general upkeep and maintenance below par.

The ski buses are convenient with normally 2 subsequent pickups in town. Lake louise 1 hour or Sunshine 25mins total.
We walked into town most of the time (15-20mins) since the town shuttle bus is only every 40minutes or so ($2 each way)

No information is provided regarding restaurant opening times/days or ski and town bus times, you have to contact concierge separately for this which is a pain. A hotel map is provided at check in which helps.

The hotel charges daily for wifi, car parking, gym and spa access, there is also no reduced rate for residents on this or on hire of ice skates, toboggans or bowling alley.

Staff in the hotel are friendly and approachable, but there seems little team work, each person goes about his/her job and not helping others out, I' m not sure whether this is gratuity related but it is a shame since guests suffer.

I don't know if standards in the hotel have slipped since our last visit or whether we are just better travelled now and therefore notice the attention to detail in a hotel of this standard which were sadly lacking.
If you only stay 1 or 2 nights you will probably love this hotel but for a long stay like this - its the little things that begin to grate on you, or maybe we are just grumpy after lots of bad nights sleep.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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 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, January 22, 2013
Thank you for your feedback. A hotel representative has made contact with you and will work with you to investigate your concerns.

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 Family Hotel in Banff
#1 Romantic Hotel in Banff
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Banff
#1 Green 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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