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“Cool architecture, awesome views, and sky high prices!” 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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Ranked #1 of 31 Hotels in Banff
GreenLeadersSilver level
Union, NJ
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Cool architecture, awesome views, and sky high prices!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2010

This past September I attended a 3 day business conference at The Fairmont Banff Springs. Due to limited direct flights from NJ, I had to take fly in a day early. From the Calgary airport, I took the Banff Airporter shuttle to the resort (a 2 hr ride). It was a clean and comfortable ride.

When the bus reached the entrance of the Banff National Park, I felt like I was entering a little corner of Switzerland! The snow dusted mountain peaks and the tall pines and quaint little villiage shops were unlike any that I've ever seen before. We made a few stops on the way to drop off other passengers at their hotels and I was the last one on the bus. Ironically, the bus driver actually was from Switzerland and he agreed with my perception of the area!

When I arrived at the hotel, I entered the lobby and wasn't immediately sure which way I should go (there seemed to be 2 sets of reception desks). I took my chances, proceeded to the right, and took my place on line. The woman who greeted me behind the desk was very nice and she warned me to keep my resort map handy at all times because it was quite easy to get lost.

I was given a room on the 2nd floor, but it wasn't that easy to find it because it was quite a distance from the elevators. Then the hallway split at a T intersection. I didn't realize it at first, but all ODD numbered rooms were in one section and all EVEN numbered rooms were in the other. My room was at the very end of the hall and was oddly shaped. There were 2 closets - one was extremely small and triangular in shape. It was totally useless for storing a suitcase, but if I had a duffle bag, it probably would have been fine. The other was suitable (also on the small side) and there was even a small safe inside. The bathroom was suitable and looked like it was refurbished within the last year. There was a queen sized bed and a medium sized TV cabinet that sat on the right side of it. Oddly, the TV (old style) was only able to be viewed at a side angle. Since there were no dressers in the room in which to put my small clothing items, I had to live out of my suitcase.

The view from my room was awesome. Seemed like I was much higher up than on the 2nd floor. The mountains were very grand and the surrounding pine trees were so picturesque. Reminded me of paintings by Bob Ross!!

I was in a quandry about trying the spa b/c of all the reviews I read. Some wrote it was the very best and others said it's way overpriced. Since I had no concept of how far away the other resorts were, I decided to book my appt at The Fairmont.

I arrived early enough to take advantage of their famous "pools" and "waterfalls", but I found them to be a bit overwhelming rather than relaxing (the 3 waterfall pools are about the size of a jacuzzi and are set to a single temperature - one is approx 75 deg F, one is 90F, and the other is something like 101F) . The noise volume caused by the falling water was also not a soothing experience for me. The center pool was much larger and supposedly had mineral salts mixed into it. I didn't find it to be anything special.

There was no segregation of pool facilities between men and women, so that was a bit strange to me (since the spa I go to in Mexico is strictly segregated). There were several "lounge" areas that were not near the pool. One was a ladies lounge, one for men, and one co-ed. It all seemed like being in someone's house rather than at a spa facility as evidenced by the carpeted spiral staircase leading downstairs to the "treatment" rooms. The room that I had for my massage was EXTREMELY tiny. The therapist was barely able to walk around the table. I decided on only a 60 min session because of the price. It was ok, but would've been better if I didn't feel so much like I was in a closet.

Finding a place for dinner at a reasonable price was a challenge at The Fairmont, so I decided to take a walk downtown to Banff. It was farther than I expected, but not overwhelming. It was also getting dark, so I was unsure of how I would return to the hotel after dinner. While I was walking around downtown, I saw the city buses (#1 and #2) and checked the map on one of the lamp posts. Fortunately one of them went directly to the Fairmont, so I was in luck. Only $2 CAD for a 1 way trip too -- such a deal!

The next morning I had breakfast in the hotel at the Bow Valley Grill. It was a large restauant on one of the Mezzanine levels of the hotel (a strange concept for me). The food was served buffet style and it was quite extensive. I thought the food quality was quite good, but I found it difficult to digest at the price of $28 CAD.

My conference was held across the courtyard near the Business Center in one of the meeting rooms. Food and room were of good quality, so no complaints. Fortunately the cost was part of my conference registration fee.

During the free time I had, I enjoyed exploring the architecture and grounds of the hotel and tI ook lots of pictures. I'll post them soon!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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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 8, 2010
Thank you for taking the time to write such a thorough review of your recent visit to The Fairmont Banff Springs. We value the candor and the content! Please know that we have shared all of the content with every department leader in the hotel for consideration and we thank you again!
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3,260 reviews from our community

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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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Saskatoon, Canada
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2010

What a gorgeous hotel and location. You cannot argue with the view and history of this site.

I enjoyed my stay and only had a few issues. These issues may not even be worth mentioning except at the price being charged, the standard for criticism is higher

The guest room I was in (and others I saw) were really outdated. Yes, some of the furnishings are "classic" to the hotel, but ugly bedspreads and 19" CRT TV's are not up to par in a 4 star resort destination.

The bathrooms were lovely, but tiny. The bed I had was not a King as advertised, but two twins pushed together - bound only by a foam topper and sheets. One of the beds was soft and the other was hard. I thought I was on a "Sleep Number" bed the first night until I arose to find that it was separating down the middle.

The glassware in the rooms is not sanitized in a dishwasher, the maids wash the glasses/cups in the sink. I took time to look and can report that no maid carts I saw had clean or dirty glassware on them. What are they drying the cups with? dirty towels? Dusters?

It appears that the hotel does not put their profits back into the rooms.

View - 10/10
Pools - 10/10
Meeting Space - 8/10
Public areas - 10/10
Guest rooms - 4/10
Hotel staff - 9/10
Banquet Food - 10/10

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 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.
Calgary, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2010

Two night in the Banff Springs for a Christmas party for a Calgary company.

Pros: Great mattress, lobby service (including porters/front desk) is excellent, all tips are included in your price so you don't have to mess around with cash. Meeting rooms are very nice, beautifully decorated for the season. Setting is obviously spectacular.

Cons: In-room amenities are very dated (e.g. black old-age marks all over bathtub, kettle, TV, desk, linens even feel old). Shower temperature is not consistent, flipping from cold to too hot repeatedly. Took over an hour and 15 minutes (and 4 follow-up phone calls) for the "Royal Service" to get me an iron that worked, making me late for my Christmas party. Tried to get a hold of the "Royal Service" and Concierge - I just sat on hold for 20 minutes each. Everything costs money - we wanted to go for a quick pre-dinner run in the fitness centre, and it was going to cost us $32 for two people. Parking is at least $25 per night, and not even heated. Wireless not included, in a Fairmont? Yeesh.

Overall: Great meeting/dining/public rooms, but try to stay somewhere else (especially because the public can wander the Banff Springs and even get a tour on some days). The rooms are very disappointing.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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, December 1, 2010
Thank you for your recent review of your experience at The Fairmont Banff Springs. We value the feedback our guests provide. In the matter of your comments, we will celebrate the good and use the poor contructively as we always do. We recognize our heritage property has some limitations, and we do our utmost to impact those areas in each renovation project if we can. We can certainly work on any service deficiency immediately and we thank you for your candor.
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Macomb, Illinois
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2010

My husband and I were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary with a hiking trip to the Canadian Rockies and Banff Springs Fairmont Hotel was our first stop. We spent two nights at the hotel and it was fabulous. We had a room with a beautiful view and everything about our stay there was perfect. The staff was wonderful! The food was great! And the location was perfect for walking into town or taking a hike on one of the many trails leading from the hotel. It was a wonderful start to our time in the Rockies!

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2010

We drove to Banff from Whistler incredible drive, we got a great rate through the presidents club, the hotel is just amazing. Service was very good, especially as we were travelling with 2 cats. The rooms and grounds are beautiful, rooms a bit smaller than newer hotels but made up for by the historic nature of the place. The pool was great, even the outdoor pool at -5 was an experience. Only improvement would be a free shuttle into town as its a bit far to walk.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 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.
Kenora, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2010

An absolutely beautiful place, but when I booked no-one from the hotel told us that the particular time that we were booking would be off-season, and still were charged peak season rates. Half of the stores, and the main restaurant were closed. Upon arrival we got up to our room, again beautiful, to find an old stale sandwich in the mini fridge and cigarette ashes on the window sill, so housekeeping is a little off. The hotel staff were great, the scenery spectacular, the food was wonderful (we will eat elsewhere from now on as it is very pricey) and the hotel was very historic. The spa was AMAZING!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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 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 23, 2010
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay on Trip Advisor. There are some service deficiencies mentioned here that are below our standard and very disappointing. We will attempt to contact you privately to discuss. I am truly sorry to read your concerns and hope to speak with you soon.

Angela Jacobson
Executive Office
The Fairmont Banff Springs
angela.jacobson@fairmont.com
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Mumbai
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2010

Simply Excellent! What a magnificient Structure! Delightful Room though quite expensive.however staying in such hotel is an experience in itself.
Staff is good and helpful.Facilities are great!!
Worth staying and worth its high price!!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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
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

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