I stayed here three days for a conference. The Banff Centre complex is a series of separate buildings hugging the side of Tunnel Mountain, probably a mile or so outside the town centre.
I arrived with a colleague in the dark after a long flight from London and the 2hr drive up from Calgary. My colleague was booked in to the accommodation above reception in the Professional Development building. I found I was assigned a room in the Lloyd Hall building. I have never before been offered a hotel shuttle from reception to my room! Turned out a reasonable suggestion as Lloyd Hall is probably 100 yards up a steep service road, and too far to drag a suitcase after a full day's travelling.
Once inside my room on the 3rd floor everything was fine.
The accommodation was spacious, being a lounge, kitchen area (cooker and fridge), bedroom with large double bed, and bath/shower room. Plenty of storage in bedroom and corridor.Everything spotlessly clean. Coffee maker.
Another colleague, who was staying at the Fairmont Banff Springs, could not believe the size of my room compared to his, which was costing almost 3 times my (conference) rate!
One of my constant bugbears and potential mark downers is the provision of Wi-Fi.
Top marks here. Free Wi-Fi easily accessible right across the complex without password.
Exploration next morning reveals a maze of buildings which in daylight are easier to get to ,via walkways, than the site map suggests. No need for the shuttle again!
Breakfast (part of the package on one of the days) in the Vistas Dining Room was an excellent comprehensive buffet. Not sure what it would have cost but if I had been there on the other days I would have definitely spent my own dollar.
Did not use the main dining facilities however the Bistro Bar was a good, and the special buffet provided for delegates on the last evening was fine.
All of the bar/dining facilities have superb views out across the valley below to the mountains, and most have outside balconies with tables/chairs for when the weather allows ( we had three days of sun and mid twenties temperatures so made full use!).
I did not use the gym or the pool, but my colleague did and had no adverse comments.
A taxi from the main shops in Banff Ave was circa CAD 10 with tip. Most cabs take you via the main road adjacent to Bow River and on to Tunnel Mountain Drive.
Walking in to Banff this way will probably take 30-45 minutes, probably much longer coming back due to the gradient, but there is an alternative.
A footpath from the west entrance of the Banff Centre drops down in to Town, taking me 15 minutes. It is called the Madsen Trail, and cuts down streets called Grizzly, Wolverine, Muskrat and Buffalo! Did not see any of those,only many charming residences. Walking back this way takes a bit longer as there are a couple of steeper bits with steps. I am no spring chicken but managed it by being sensible. If you get out of breath or have health issues, take the cab.
Perhaps the best option is walk down via the Trail, and cab back?
All of the staff were very friendly and helpful.
The two conferences I attended there went off without any hitches. If the Centre arranged the take out food for our coach field visit then hats off for this as well.
The Banff Centre was not really what I was expecting (although I was not sure what I was expecting!). I am so pleased I had the opportunity to stay here rather than one of the many ordinary hotels which line Banff Ave -which whilst I am sure are perfectly good choices just do not have the "wow" factor. This is not a venue I will forget.
The Professional Development Centre is probably more convenient, however the Lloyd Hall building is...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
September 16, 2013
Thank you very much for your thoughtful and thorough review of The Banff Centre - you have provided some great tips for our future visitors. The Ken Madsen Path is a favourite of our staff as well for a quick walk downtown or as the starting point of a lunch hour circuit walk along the Bow River trail which heads back up Tunnel Mountain towards the Centre, and offers amazing views from Surprise Corner just above the Bow Falls. And here at the Centre, there are incredible views from many of our dining and meeting spaces - a few favourites being the Kinnear Centre including Maclab Bistro, as well as Vistas Dining Room and Three Ravens Restaurant located on the top floor of the Sally Borden Building. Our location is certainly a major motivation for organizations to choose to meet here. We hope that your travels may lead you back to Banff again.
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The Banff Centre
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