During the last week of January, we stayed at the Fox Hotel & Suites for 7 nights while on a large group ski trip to Banff. It worked out very well. I was hesitant at first to stay here since it was not ski-in, ski-out accommodations. But the shuttle service was easy to use and the route so scenic that I surprisingly enjoyed the drive each day! Typically, there was only 1 or 2 stops along the route.
We booked a suite, which had a king bed, two closets, a living area with kitchen nook and two TVs . The suite was up-to-date, clean and comfortable. The kitchenette proved to be quite useful and had a small fridge, microwave, coffee maker, toaster and kettle along with plates, utensils and a can opener. While the bathroom was a little small, this room type was the perfect size for 2 people with ski gear. Our room was quiet and we did not hear our neighbors or road noise.
Note: Rooms have an outside entrance so you have to go outside to get to the lobby, hot tub or Chili's restaurant. Also, there is first-come, first-serve ski storage in the basement garage (with locks provided by the hotel), but we did not find it to be any more convenient than keeping our skis in our room.
A continental breakfast at Chili's, located on the first floor, was included with our stay. The staff was wonderful and very accommodating. While the restaurant was supposed to open at 7 am, the staff allowed us to sit down and begin eating 15-20 minutes earlier. The breakfast included 3 cereals (no oatmeal), hard-boiled eggs, pastries/muffins, toast, yogurt, fruit and waffles. The food was filling and good (particularly the waffles) but a bit heavy on the carbs. However, because we were staying there for 7 nights, the breakfast became a bit monotonous later in the week and more variety would be an improvement.
Conveniently located right on the main street, it is an easy 10 minute walk to charming downtown Banff with its abundant restaurants and shops. The hotel also will provide you with a free ROAM pass, if you ask for it, that entitles you to free shuttle service into town. We never used that option since the walk into town was easy. In town, there is a Safeway grocery store along with a more local food store (whose name escapes me now). There is also a nice little park in town. A friend had an elk come right up to here in the park!
Unique Grotto Hot Tub:
Very nice, large, clean and underground. I would have preferred for the water to be a little hotter, but it still felt great after skiing. One end is jetted, the other end is not. There is also a sauna. Towels can be obtained in the adjacent changing rooms (replete with shower). Note: There is also a very small exercise room down there (with maybe one treadmill and one bike).
A suite at the Fox Hotel & Suites worked out perfectly for us during a weeklong ski trip to Banff. There is easy access to town and convenient shuttle service to the ski resorts.
The remainder of this write-up is about using the Fox Hotel as a base for skiing. I am providing info that I would have found useful in preparation for my trip.
There are 3 ski resorts in Banff: Norquay, Sunshine and Lake Louise. We skied at the latter two. Your lift ticket entitles you to free shuttle service to the ski resorts. Each ski resort has its own unique shuttle service (which is a different bus service than the ROAM shuttle that takes you to downtown Banff.) The ski shuttles stop at the hotel (Banff Inn) right next door to the Fox Hotel. It took us about a minute to walk from our room on the 3rd floor to the shuttle stop.
Norquay is closet (maybe a 10 minute bus ride, 300 skiable acres with steep runs). Sunshine is a 20 min shuttle ride and has 3,000+ skiable acres. It has some wide open ski areas. Lake Louise is a 45 min shuttle ride with 4,200 skiable acres. It has the longest runs. We skied 2 days at Sunshine and 3 days at Lake Louise. While I liked both ski resorts equally, most everyone on our ski trip like Lake Louise best. Most people wore their ski boots on the shuttle buses, but we got lockesr (which were credit card operated and ran $7 per day for a medium size one). At Lake Louise, there are racks for storing gear out in the open if you don't want to pay for a locker. At Sunshine, I never saw such racks.
In the morning, the shuttles ran every 60 or 90 minutes from the hotel to the varous ski resorts (starting at 7:30 am with lifts opening at 9 am) and then in the afternoon, the shuttles started running back every hour or so from the ski resorts in the 2 pm - 5:30 pm time period. The front desk has a little shuttle schedule that you can carry with you. I found using the shuttles to be very easy. The drive along the highway with the expansive Canadian Rockies as a backdrop is spectacular and I never got tired of the views.
Lake Louise/Fairmont Chateau:
It was incredibly cold one day while we were skiing at Lake Louise (minus 8 F), so we hopped over to the actual Lake Louise, which is about 15 minutes from the Lake Louise ski resort. You can take the Fairmont Chateau's small shuttle bus to the hotel situated on the lake. The Chateau is a grand, historic hotel but not at all stuffy. It looks like a wonderful place to stay, with plenty of activities for any season. We caught the 11:30 shuttte, ate lunch there, viewed the ice sculptures and then caught the 1 pm shuttle back to the ski resort.
Johnston Ice Canyon Walk:
On our off day from skiing, we signed up for the ice walk with Banff Discover tours. It was a short (maybe 2 hr walk) up to the base of the upper falls. The canyon looked beautiful draped in ice.
Recommend a suite (with kitchenette) over hotel room if you have ski gear with you. Hotel rooms see...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.