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!
- 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 Hotel Banff
- Banff Caribou Lodge And Spa
- Caribou Banff
- Caribou Lodge Banff