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“The longer we stayed, the less we liked it” 2 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 #7 of 33 hotels in Banff
Piedmont, California
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
134 helpful votes 134 helpful votes
“The longer we stayed, the less we liked it”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

This seemed like a charming place when we first checked in, but as our 4 days in Banff progressed, we found less and less to like about the hotel, or at least the room they gave us.

The room had at least two fatal flaws. First, it was too small. It seemed decent sized at first, but as we settled in, we realized it was really quite cramped. A large part of the reason is that we were on the top floor and the the window was a dormer style. This meant it was a small window that jutted out from the roof, and the rest of the outside wall was canted inward along the roof line. This isn't meant to be a comment on design - it really affects the usefulness of the room because the inward sloping wall cuts off use of most of the space on one side of the bed. We couldn't walk there because the ceiling was too low (and we are short people); it was even difficult to set a suitcase on a rack there because opening the lid of the suitcase was impeded by the low ceiling.

The second problem with the room was ventilation. The small dormer window didn't allow much air to move around in the room. This was early June when the temperatures were very cool in Banff -- 50s during the day and 40s at night. Yet the room was always stiflingly hot even with the heat off (there was no air conditioning in the room). The hotel provided us with portable fans that we had to run all night with the window open just to bring in barely enough cool air to keep us comfortable while we slept. I should add that there is no view from this tiny window - just another wall of the hotel so that from the room you would not know you were in one of Canada's most beautiful settings.

A third problem with the hotel is the restaurant, which we never ate at because the prices were high, even for a popular place like Banff.

So to conclude, after 4 days we were more than done with the hotel and were happy to move on. We cannot recommend it after our experience.

Room Tip: Make sure the hotel does NOT give you a room on the top floor.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
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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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Wiltshire
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

Had travelled several hours by coach from Calgary to Banff. No delay in booking us in. Room spacious, a bit disappointed that we looked out on road but could still see sulphur mountains. We were given a free bus pass to use on buses which came by hotel every 15 minutes, we found this very useful. Took about 20 minutes to walk into Banff village. When we arrived we had meal in restaurant, although a bit expensive was very good. Breakfast was buffet style, continental was ok but cooked breakfast still not hot enough for my husband. We did find that the restaurant did not offer just sandwiches. Banff was so clean and we wished we had been able to do more sightseeing but we were booked to go to Lake Louise on our 1st full day and then on our 2nd day we left Banff to go on Rocky Mountaineer Train. Banff was a lovely place to visit and we were happy with hotel. Would recommend.

Room Tip: A room looking out on the mountains.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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Caddington, Beds
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

Was assigned to the Caribou Lodge by my Travel Agent as part of a wider package including the Rocky Mountaineer and Alaska Cruise. I had not expected to enjoy a facility of this class. Really lovely property on the edge of the town centre, shops a pleasant 15 minutes walk away, very well appointed rooms. All staff we encountered were well presented, polite and endlessly helpful. We had some difficulty confirming one of our road tours and the desk staff just took over and sorted it all out for us.

Used the attached restaurant for excellent breakfasts, dinners and an afternoon snack.

The whole experience was extremely positive. Only wish I had thought to pack my swimmers then I could have used the spa but never really thought of it when packing for a trip in the mountains and then Alaska.

  • Stayed June 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

After our superb journey on the Rocky Mountaineer we felt very let down by the standard of accommodation At Caribou Lodge. We stayed there for an extra 3 nights assuming it would be.a reasonable standard if used by The Rocky Mountaineer for its passengers. We were wrong! Our room was dark, and shabby and the housekeeping was poor. The only redeeming feature was the excellent bar/restaurant. I would not stay there again and would recommend that the Rocky Mountaineer find somewhere else for their Silver Leaf passengers.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 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.
Port Charlotte, Florida
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

On our way through the Canadian Rockies we decided to spend a few days in Banff. Last minute we called the Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa. This time of year is right before busy season, so we were able to get a room for two nights. Warm and cozy best describes this hotel. Room was average in size, but very comfortable. Coffee, tea, fridge, nice bathroom. Hotel is in walking distance to downtown Banff. Free parking on street and garage. Free bus pass which takes you to many of the parks attractions. Keg restaurant has nice bar, cold drinks. Good steak dinner and breakfast. Staff were very helpful and friendly.

Room Tip: No A/C but windows open and there is a fan.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

We stayed all weekend and had the chance to enjoy the spa, the restaurant, and many if the off site attractions. It's only a 15 minute walk to the heart of downtown. The room was clean and cozy with a comfortable king size bed. The spa was great, hot pool adequate, with a Keg restaurant attached. It's rustic feel and friendly staff were both appreciated. Overall, a little pricey but a relatively decent price when compared to other hotels of similar quality. Would stay again, even if its just to see the elk out front!!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Peterborough, England
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

We stayed here for 4 nights in late May when it was wet and cold (the weather not the hotel) and the hotel’s hot pool was extremely welcome. Bring your swimming costumes.
We liked the hotel very much. The staff were friendly and helpful., the room was nice with a comfortable king-size bed and a really nice bathroom, and everything was really clean. It was also very quiet. I don’t know if the rooms either side were occupied but if they were the walls are solid because we didn’t hear a thing.
We liked the location too. It’s easy to find, just on the left as you enter Banff from the Calgary direction. It’s a 10 minute stroll (or 2 minute walk) into town but we were glad we weren’t more central, especially Saturday night when the centre was quite noisy. The hotel has a free underground car-park and, very conveniently, there’s lift access directly from the car-park to your floor.
We didn’t eat in the restaurant but did have a drink and a light meal in the bar. We had veggie flatbreads (ok) and scallops with bacon (lovely) with a mega glass of a nice dry white plus a couple of excellent local beers.
Overall, very good experience.

  • Stayed May 2013, 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
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 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 ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Banff
#5 Romantic Hotel in Banff
#7 Family Hotel in Banff
#7 Business Hotel in Banff
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa 3*
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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