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“LOVED the Hot Tub after a Day of Hiking!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa

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Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   521 Banff Avenue | Box 1070, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1H8, Canada   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 33 Hotels in Banff
Jasper, Canada
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
215 helpful votes 215 helpful votes
“LOVED the Hot Tub after a Day of Hiking!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2011

We visited Banff for a couple of days on a little "get-away"; We didn't book in advance, but I had noticed on the Banff tourism website that the Caribou Lodge (along with some other hotels) were offering a good off-season special rate, and that the hotel is well-ranked here on TripAdviso. So upon arrival in Banff, we pulled up to the Caribou Lodge. We were also considering The Fox Hotel, which is located a block or two closer to downtown, but it was The Keg Restaurant onsite at the Caribou that decided it for us.

The front desk clerk on duty, a young French-Canadian man (judging by his slight accent), was very friendly and helpful, and upgraded us to a "superior" room with a king-size bed and a small balcony. The room was a bit on the small side, but nicely and recently renovated, and very clean. Besides the king-size bed, the room had a sofabed, a small table and two chairs, a large dresser/TV stand with flat screen TV, a nightstand with alarm clock and IPOD dock, a small fridge, a kettle, and a coffee-maker. A small closet was equipped with a safe, as well as the usual bar for hanging clothing, and several small cubby holes and shelves for shoes and other belongings.

The bathroom had a large counter, as well as a small shelf along the mirror where you can line up your bathroom toiletries. Another nice touch for storage is a set of coat hooks on the wall by the entry, which we found very handy for jackets, packs etc. Presumably, with the hide-a-bed, four people could be accommodated in this room... it would be rather "cosy", shall we say - but because some thought has been put into providing so much storage and counter space, it would be definitely "do-able". For just the two of us, it was great.

Parking is provided in an underground parkade beneath the hotel. There were several luggage carts provided near the elevator, so getting our belongings up to our room on the third floor could not have been easier.

Complimentary WiFi is provided in the rooms - it seemed a little slow our first evening, with the internet connection getting "dropped" a few times, but it was better the second evening and at other times of the day.

When we checked in, the heat was set for 22C in our room, which is too warm for us (me especially, as a woman "of a certain age"), so we turned it down, However, the room really didn't cool off much. I was uncomfortably warm through the night - at home, we keep our bedroom cool, usually about 15 or 16C. The second night, I turned the heat off completely, and was more comfortable, but even with the heat off, our room was still 20C. I could have gotten up and opened up the balcony door but didn't want to disturb my husband, who tends to be a very light sleeper.

After a day of hiking, we really enjoyed the hot tub and steam room. Change rooms and towels are provided, so you don't have to trek through the hotel in your bathing suit or use the towels from your room. The hot tub is quite large (holds 28 people, if I recall correctly) and is in a beautiful room with rock walls accented with downlighting. The steam room has two layers of seating (but I had it all to myself!) The whole area was impeccably clean... I was so impressed with this because many hotel pool/hot tub areas leave a lot to be desired in this regard. We did not use any of the paid spa services.

We ate our first night's dinner at The Keg and it was wonderful - but I will leave the details about that for a review of the restaurant. On our second evening, we walked downtown for dinner and drinks. The Caribou is a few blocks away from downtown; we didn't mind the walk at all, and were glad not to have any noise from late-night revellers (especially as we were there over Hallowe'en).

So here is my only "complaint", if you can call it that - and I am mentioning it here specifically in the hopes that management will see it. The Caribou Lodge, like many hotels nowadays, has a card hanging on the bathroom towel rack espousing their "green" principles, and encouraging guests to hang up their towels for re-use. It states explicitely that if guests who are staying over want their towels replaced, they should put them in the bathtub, but that if the towels are hung up, they will not be replaced. We normally re-use our towels at home and don't expect new ones every day when staying in hotels. Our room was provided with towels for four people, and we had only used two, so we still had fresh ones we could use if we wanted. However, even though we'd hung them up, our used towels were replaced by housekeeping staff. The Caribou is not alone in this... I have noticed this at many hotels, not just the Caribou Lodge, and it makes me wonder why they pay "lip service" to more environmentally friendly practices such as this, but then do not follow through on it. Our room at the Caribou was also equipped with a blue box for recycling - I do hope that the paper and bottles we left in it were recycled, and not just tossed into the garbage!

Check-out was efficient (although perhaps a little subdued... perhaps the clerk had participated in a bit too much Hallowe'en revelry? LOL) and I would wholeheartedly recommend the Caribou Lodge, especially at off-season rates!

Room Tip: Rooms at the back of the hotel face out over residential areas, so less noise than the ones on the f...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
hotelgmBanff, General Manager at Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, November 18, 2011
Thank you for the thorough and helpful review. I did receive your comment regarding the towel replacement program and have brought the issue to our Executive Housekeeper for retraining. Thanks for the great comments and feedback - we hope to see you back.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
San Diego, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2011

I was traveling alone and was taking a side trip to Banff National Park. I read other reviews and decided to stay here. The room was very cute and the price was reasonable. I asked the guy at the front desk on places to see in the area and he recommended a great hike up to the summit. The only thing that I would have made the hotel better is if it was a little closer to the main downtown area. Other than that I highly recommend it.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Calgary
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2011

We arrived at banff 2 hours ahead of check-in but our room was ready so we checked in early and headed out. check-in staff were really helpful, explaining the bus services, where restaurants were etc. The hotel hallways do look a little dated but it didn't bother us. The hot tub was excellent and was part of the reason why we elected to stay. The Keg looked inviting and we did try breakfast there, but felt the hot breakfast buffet was not worth the price we paid. For an evening meal I'd highly recommend the Meatballs and Spaghetti at the Ptarmigan Inn, part of the same Banff Lodging Company, which is about 10 mins walk towards downtown Banff from the caribou lodge. Our room was excellent (king bedroom) and we would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
hotelgmBanff, General Manager at Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, November 18, 2011
We're glad to see you enjoyed your stay with us! Our hallways will be undergoing a carpet replacement this December and January to complete a thorough refurbishment.. We hope you have a chance to see the finished product. Thank you for the review.
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Fort McMurray, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2011

My husband and I decided to elope in Banff and were having the worst luck with our plans. The wedding was suppose to take place outside and it was raining and cold, and our witnesses weren't able to attend. So we decided to perform the ceremony on the deck of our room and asked the hotel staff if any of them would be willing to witness the wedding for us. The staff was more than willing to do us this favor as well as take our wedding photos for us. Our marriage couldn't have been anymore perfect, we were so happy with everything they had done for us. The mountain view on the deck was wonderful, and the Lodge also sent us a bottle of champagne as congratulations. The room was very clean and well kept, as well as beautifully renovated. We will for sure be staying here on every visit back to Banff. :)

Room Tip: Choose a room with a deck if you can at all help it. There is nothing better than waking up and sitt...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Calgary, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2011

I stayed in this hotel for thanksgiving weekend. The hotel is close to downtown. The staff is super friendly and helpful. The room is nice and clean, and the bed is warm and comfortable. I love the wood fireplace in the lobby. I couldn't help imaging sitting in front the fireplace after full day of skiing. I had dinner in the Keg restaurant, food is delicious, and price is very reasonable too.

I will definitely stay there again and I have recommended to all my friends too.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
british columbia
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2011

Great first impression of the hotel. The front desk reception was friendly and the whole check-in experience went smoothly. They even upgraded us to a nicer room as it is their slow season. I must admit the hallways need cleaning and updating as they reflected a lot of wear, but our room was wonderful with great linens, feather duvet and great bathroom amenities. Although we didn't use the hot tub/spa area, it looked very nice. Having The Keg restarurant in the hotel was a plus too. Complimentary coffee is served in the lobby in the morning as well--a nice touch. Overall it was a great experience well worth the $99.00 rate we paid.

Room Tip: King bed suites are roomy and well-appointed.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2011

Stayed there during my trip to Banff. I booked through Enjoy Banff and got a great recommendation. The location was perfect. The rooms were redone, and it was nice having the restaurant downstairs for a late night snack.

Room Tip: Not sure if all rooms have been renovated - be sure to ask for one.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa

Address: 521 Banff Avenue | Box 1070, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1H8, Canada
Location: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Banff National Park > Banff
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Banff
#6 Romantic Hotel in Banff
#6 Business Hotel in Banff
#11 Family Hotel in Banff
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 190
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Banff Caribou Lodge is centrally located on Banff Avenue, Banff's main street. It offers the Keg Restaurant, Red Earth Spa (a full service spa), free underground parking, free wifi, fitness room, hot pool and steam room. This lodge type accommodation has a large and inviting lobby to greet you to Banff. Enjoy your stay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Banff Caribou Lodge And Spa
Banff Caribou Hotel Banff
Caribou Banff
Caribou Lodge Banff

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