Just returned from a 10 day ski trip staying at the Fox Hotel, this is our 2nd stay at this hotel and we enjoyed it as much as the first time. This time we stayed in a suite as we did find the hotel rooms a little on the small side for a 10 day break, we upgraded on arrival for $30 per night, it was well worth the upgrade as we had so much more room and it was very handy to have a fridge in the room and also a fireplace. The hotel is slightly more expensive than others in the town but you have to look at the complete package, the ski bus stop is on the opposite corner (outside the Banff Inn Hotel) to take you to Lake Louise, Sunshine or Norquay, therefore no long walk in your uncomfy ski boots, the Roam bus (which you get complimentary tickets for at the Fox) is directly outside the hotel, the complimentary breakfast (continental) has a good selection and is constantly topped up, the hotel restaurant (Chili's) offers good value food in a warm and friendly atmosphere, the hot pool (cave) is a nice feature and relaxing after a day on the slopes, so overall I think it is worth paying the little extra. We have also stayed in the Mount Royal and although that was a great location (centre of town) the Fox is a more warm and friendly hotel and the rooms are more cosy and comfortable. As some people have previously said, the bathrooms are on the small side but we managed fine for the 10 days we were there.
The hotel is just under a 10 minute walk into the town but you can use the Roam bus if preferred. There are plenty of lovely restaurants in the town, all of varied prices, we liked Earls and the Keg, which are a bit more pricey than some of the others but for value you can't beat the Spagetti Factory and worth a visit for a cheaper meal out, however it can get a little chilly in there as the air con seems to be doing overtime! If you like deserts then the Elk and Oarsman bar/restaurant do a lovely white chocolate and blueberry cheesecake!
On our non ski day we visited Sulphur Mountain, we caught the Roam bus right to the entrance of the Gondola station and it picks up for the return journey from the same point. I would recommend a visit to Sulphur Mountain, the views are spectacular and it costs around $35 per person, there is also a restaurant, coffee shop (starbucks) and gift shop on the mountain, some really good photo opportunities. We also visited the Banff Upper Hotsprings, this is a great place to relax in the hot water pool at $7 per person, again the Roam bus drops you off close by, you can hire towels and swim wear if you like, this is perfect after a days skiing and although the Fox Hotel has a hot pool, this is a natural hot spring and you are outside, so a nice change from the indoor hot pool on the odd ocassion.
The staff in the Fox Hotel are exceptionaly friendly and will do anything they can to assist you and make you stay as enjoyable as possible, Julia on front desk and Ryan at breakfast were particularly friendly and helpful during our stay.
During our stay we also had a walk around the Bow Falls area, this is near the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, again you can catch the Roam bus to near this area and then follow the signs to view point area. At present the falls are frozen but they are very pretty and makes a lovely photo opportunity.
The Rose & Crown bar is great if you like live music,they have bands on a few nights a week although they don't always start until 10.30pm so if you've had a hard days skiing you may be starting to get tired!
Overall we had a thoroughly enjoyable time and we feel that the Fox hotel is a great base and if we were to return to Banff (for a 4th time) then we would still stay at the Fox.