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“Enjoyable but won't return” 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 #2 of 33 hotels in Banff
Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Enjoyable but won't return”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

An unusual hotel to say the least!

Stay at the Fairmont Banff Springs if, like us, you

1) Are able to book in the Gold Floor- where we had access to the Lounge, which was quiet, easily accessible (just down the hallway from the rooms), had free hot drinks and snacks...and was simply a nice place to chill out at during breaks from our activities - there is a reading room with books and computers you can use, and complimentary wifi on this floor. The bar is NOT complementary though- it works on an "Honor system" where you fill out a form to pay for what you take, and it shuts at 9PM. Without the lounge, we would have found it rather inconvenient to have to find our way around this very large hotel each time we wanted a snack/ meal/ sitting break.

2) Need easy access to a wide range of resort-type activities: We didn't rent a car, and so the shuttles available for ski trips to Sunshine Village, access to onsite bowling and ice-skating, onsite shops and mini-marts were very useful. There is a tennis court for summer, and wonderful indoor pool in the spa (with a baby pool for kids), and a kids' club (not open when we were there).

3) Are in for the experience without being too picky about the value-for-money!: For the same price in an Asian resort eg in Bali, you'd expect plush, over-the-top luxury (read: large bathrooms with loads of plush towels, great fittings etc). This is a different kind of "luxury" where the rooms are kind of bizarrely laid out (the main bathroom with the tub was in the living room by the front door, while the bathroom in the bedroom was a tiny closet we could barely fit into with only a stand up shower), but the rooms are comfortable enough for you to know you are afterall in a Fairmont. The closets were strangely built in behind the room doors so if you open the door, you'd miss the closet altogether (and can't access these tiny closets with the room doors open). Kind of spooky and strange....however we did enjoy the many trails around, the facilities, the shops, the bowling and ice skating very much.

4) You want to sit and chill with a fantastic view. Rocky mountains, lakes, trails.... all at your doorstep!

Some other pointers:

The service was good on the Gold Floor- the front desk was efficient and friendly (brought our girls princess crowns and an activity kit) and we borrowed DVDs.

Room service was rather expensive and limited (mostly Western style food offered) but I suppose most people would try out any of their numerous restaurants instead. There is a mini-mart next to the bowling alley where you can buy cheap groceries like pot noodles and chips.

The bowling alley is not accessible every night- the first night we went they were shut for a bowling league open to the town folk and we had to go away disappointed. It is also not very cheap (can't recall the details, but my daughter and I spent about CAD50 for 3 games in an hour).

There is a lobby canteen-style restaurant with simpler food you can pop into a microwave...

Definitely use the ice-skating facilities in winter! Although you have to walk to the Conference Center to rent the skates (cheaply), then tripse quite a long way and down a lot of stairs to the rink (you can't bring a stroller). There is a little hut by the rink to sit in and they even start a fire sometimes to warm you up.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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, March 5, 2013
Thank you for your candid review which we will ensure is shared with our colleagues and partners. Feedback from our guests is the best measure of our success in the areas you have mentioned and we do appreciate it.

The Fairmont Banff Springs
Proudly celebrating 125 years
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013 via mobile

We were given gift cards to the fairmont and were super excited to go and use them at the hotel cause I have heard nothing but good things. I was so disappointed in what you get for the cost of everything. You are paying for quality you are just paying for the name. Needless to say I doubt I would ever go and stay there again, there are places in banff alot nicer for way less!! Disappointed to say the least

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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, March 5, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience on Trip Advisor and giving us the chance to reach out to you. A Hotel representative has reached out to you personally via your Trip Advisor account.

The Fairmont Banff Springs
Proudly celebrating 125 years
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

First of all surroundings is beautiful, a perfect place for a ski holiday. Hotel was very nice, friendly staff, nice sized and comfortable rooms. But the bathroom was quite small comparing the bedroom. But anyway, having a small bathroom is really a minor thing when you are in Banff Springs.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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, February 26, 2013
Thank you for selecting to stay with us for your ski holiday. We are pleased you enjoyed your time spent here with us.

The Fairmont Banff Springs
Proudly celebrating 125 years of hospitality
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

The service was impeccable, and when I tried to tip hotel staff (not restaurant) I was always politely told that their tip was already included in the price. It was my birthday, and they brought a birthday cake to our room, even though we didn't request it. The hotel is very old, which is part of it's charm, but it also makes for some interesting room designs. We had a room on the 2nd from top floor. There were only 3 rooms on the floor, and it required a 2nd elevator trip to reach. All of which made it feel special. It had incredible views, and access to a deck/fire escape so we could sit out side. The room was very long and narrow, with lot's of windows. We had a large jacuzzi tub, which we put to good use. The only drawback, was that I could hear lot's of noise during the night. I believe it was the old elevator cables and pulleys screeching away behind the wall where our bad was. I put in ear plugs, and I was good to go.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 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, February 26, 2013
Thank you for your positive review. We are pleased you loved the 9th floor area of the hotel. We do hope to see you again.

The Fairmont Banff Springs
Proudly celebrating 125 years of hospitality
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

We stayed here for 3 nights between Dec 24th and 27th in a Junior suite. The property occupancy was 100%.

Firstly, don't pay for or accept a junior suite in the original part of the hotel. The "suites" are very tired and in urgent need of refurbishment. The bathroom is minuscule and an example of the 1970's . We paid well over $600 per night and were far from satisfied.

The enormity of this property shows at peak times like Christmas. Public areas were crowded and it was near impossible to get restaurant reservations. Overall the hotel felt like an overcrowded cruise ship that you just wanted to get off.

On the plus side, the staff were very service orientated and were clearly working hard to meet guest needs. But you could sense that they were overwhelmed with the intensity and demands that were being placed on them.

Also positive must have been the revenue stream for Fairmont during this time - high occupancy, high room rates, a captive group of guests paying top dollar for food and beverages. I just hope that they plough some of this revenue back into much needed refurbishments of the prehistoric rooms.

Room Tip: Don't pay a dime extra for anything other than a basic room
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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, February 26, 2013
Thank you for your review. We are sorry that your stay fell short in your eyes and a hotel representative will be contacting you soon.

The Fairmont Banff Springs
Proudly celebrating 125 years of Hospitality
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

We have stayed at many Rocky Mountain hotels; what stands out about the Banff Springs is the elevation and heritage. You feel the opulence as you drive up the hill and make the turn into the property. Every staff member is pleased to host you, and every aspect of service feels as though it has been prepared for you. We'll definitely return. Great location for business, families, and romance. A short walk to town and area attractions.

Room Tip: Ask for a view of the creek. We spotted a heard of deer moving through.
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  • Stayed October 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

I stayed for three nights. The property and building is stunning. The rooms are average size, clean and comfortable. The property itself is huge and maze like. It took a few days to get used to. I did go skiing. There is a ski desk in the main lobby. I bought my lift ticket there and rented ski equipement in the hotel. The lift ticket was aprox. $100 (inlcudes lift ticket and trasportation to and from the hills). Rentals were arpox. $60. They also rent skates, coats, boots, snow shoes ect...
The food at the hotel is wonderful. I had a buffet breakfast, overlooking the curling rink and moutnians. Both dinners were perfection. The hotel gets quiet quite early and most people head to the hotel bar, which is very comfortable with excellent service.
Be sure to walk down to the river behind the hotel, There are lovely hiking trails and an ice skating rink.
Did not like: parking was $25 per day. Guest should park for free!

  • Stayed February 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Fairmont Banff Springs

Also Known As:
The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel Banff
The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
Banff Springs Hotel
Fairmont Banff Springs
Fairmont Banff
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
The Fairmont Banff Springs Banff
Fairmont Banff Hotel
Fairmont Hotel Banff
Banff Fairmont
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Banff
#2 Business Hotel in Banff
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Banff
#4 Family 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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