When staying at a full service hotel like the Banff Park Lodge, it’s always great to eat at to eat at a Fining Dining Restaurant such as the Terrace, especially if its rated #5 in Trip Advisor! I was looking forward to this dinner as it was Valentine’s Day. Upon calling early, I understood that the restaurant was fully booked for Valentine’s Day, and it was Chris at the restaurant that called and said that there was room for my husband and I at 6pm. To our surprise when we arrived, the restaurant was empty except for one other table! We understood that there was a large party at 7:30 but we wondered where everybody else was! I know from the Hospitality Industry, that Open Table, allows people to make reservations, but many don’t show up or cancel.
We were seated close to the entrance of the dining room and we looked outward toward the lounge. Now the food was excellent, I ordered off the Valentine’s Day menu. I had the Fennel & Beet Salad, which was really yummy and the Alberta AAA tenderloin. My husband enjoyed his meal as well. He also ordered a house salad which was not on the menu, and with a smile and no complaints he received it. In the end we were too full to order dessert, but the chef sent out a complimentary plate of chocolates which were delicious as well! The service was wonderful!
The only thing that was lost was a bit of the ambience of fine dining. Being seated in the dining room, but facing toward the lounge, listening to people laughing, drinking and talking on their phones and ordering of the lounge menu the ambience of fine dining is lost. You don’t really feel like you are in a fine dining establishment. Not only is good food, and good service important, but the ambience too.
If you go to this restaurant I suggest requesting a seat at the far end, away from the entrance and lounge. This would give you more of the fine dining feel. I would suggest to management of finding some sort of tasteful physical division (a decorated wall) that can be rolled to different positions in the restaurant or out toward the lounge if you need to expand for larger parties. This would give you more separation of the Lounge from the restaurant, a sound barrier from the noise of the lounge and the hall/lobby, and more ambience of fine dining.