Words cannot describe the magic that fills the air at Lake Louise, nor can they describe the unforgettable experience we had at the Fairmont Chateau there.
Lake Louise's majestic and unreal turquoise blue waters, the imposing and awe-inspiring Victoria Glacier that jets into the clouds just behind her, the curvaceous Fairview Mountain that cuts its way into the sky just south of the looming and harsh, jagged and ominous Mount Lefroy standing boastfully beside, this idyllic miracle of mother nature is something truly to behold.
And perfection doesn't reside only in the lake and the nature that abounds around it. It also has found its way into the century old lodging site that proudly stands at its eastern bank, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. This well practiced host of glacier starved tourists is ideally located at the lake's center, so perfectly placed, it's hard to imagine Lake Louise without the Chateau. Splurging to stay within its walls is worth its weight in gold, and the longer you stay, the longer both the glorious nature and the Chateau itself touches your spirit, as it did mine during our week long stay.
From reservations to check-in, to nearly every-single employee we encountered, the service and quality of this particular Fairmont property was unparalleled. And despite the vast size of the property, as the days moved on we found it less and less so, and it became more of a cozy, warm and inviting wilderness home to be enjoyed and indulged in.
We booked a one bedroom lake-view suite, and after scouring the internet to find out the particulars on which specific room to request, I stumbled on a fairly helpful hotel schematic via room77.com. After close study of the hotel's room layout on the site, we decided to request room 819, a unique corner suite on the 8th and top floor of the hotel. Upon check-in we found our wish had been granted.
Our suite had been recently renovated, and this was apparent, as the modern but classic decor in rich winter hues countered perfectly the backdrop of the lake as well as the deep grain of the polished, smooth wood floors and intricate crown molding. Out of every window was the unforgettable view of the feat of nature that is Lake Louise and her densely forested "Winterfell"-like environs.
The bedroom, with its opulently comfortable bed, was snug, warm and led to the oversized marble bath with double vanity, separate stand-up glass-enclosed shower along with large deep soak tub. Life sequestered away deep in Banff National Forest couldn't get any better.
The Fairmont's Chateau's staff was truly impeccable; they made an amazing stay become the trip of a lifetime. Cheese, chocolates and fresh spring water were sent to our room by the gracious staff, and we couldn't fill out enough of the Fairmont star employee appreciation cards by the end of our stay to demonstrate our gratitude. We were treated warmly as friends by more than one of the front desk staff; our Housekeeper was especially terrific; we were welcomed by name as was our previous day's order consistently remembered each and every time we entered the Deli cafe. Hospitable and well-informed staff gave us tours of the hotel's varied quarters, and in Walliser Stube, the German and Suisse inspired restaurant adorned in rich mahogany wood from ceiling to floor, we had one of the best wait staff experiences and fondue meals of our life. The Glacier Saloon welcomed us every night for a night cap, billiards and snacks, and we fell in love with Marcus, or Marc, the Chateau's labrador canine ambassador, even inviting him to our room for pets and breakfast.
This was truly a dream stray fully realized, so perfect, serene and beautiful, that we have vowed to retrace our steps and arrive back at the Chateau each and every year from here on out.
Thank you Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise for an incredible, unmatched experience.
This is a special place everyone should visit in their lifetime, if even only for a day.
Shortlist of must-see excursions in and around Lake Louise:
-Plain of Six-Glaciers Hike - start from the banks of the lake outside the chateau. The hike is longer than you expect but infinitely worth it.
-Lake Moraine - just 20 mins outside of Lake Louise and equally as mesmerizing.
-Yoho National Forest in B.C. - a short 30-40 drive north-west of Lake Louise.
Must see in Yoho - Takkakaw falls - Canada's second longest and - canoeing on Emerald Lake's turquoise blue waters.
- Fairmont Banff Springs - incredible 125 year old castle, you can spend days getting lost in its halls. An architectural marvel.
- Icefields Parkway - incredible drive north of Lake Louise through the Columbia Icefield and much much more.
- Athabasca Falls - beautiful, dangerous, powerful and daunting falls just south of Jasper.
- Peyto Lake - 40 minutes north of Lake Louise via the Icefields Parkway. Yet another gorgeous, must-see lake in the Banff National forest.
Stay in a Lake view room. The hotel's suites are incredible, as it seems are the rooms on the go...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.