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“Disappointing; poor value for money”

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Buffalo Mountain Lodge
Ranked #18 of 32 Hotels in Banff
Calgary, Alberta
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Disappointing; poor value for money”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2008

We stayed at Buffalo Mountain Lodge for one night and brought foreign visitors with us, which made the experience not just disappointing but embarassing as well.

The rooms were disappointing: they were small and dark, with views of the parking lot or the busy Tunnel Mountain Road. Despite the comfortable duvets, the beds were too short (our feet were dangling off the end, and we are average height people). The hot and cold water controls were reversed in the shower. Pipes were clonking throughout the night, and we were awakened by hollering in the parking lot early in the morning.

The one bright spot was the outdoor hot tub. However, no extra towels were provided at the poolside or in the rooms, so we ended up using the same towels three times: for the pre-hot tub shower, when getting out of the tub, and when showering afterwards. Not very comfortable ...

Luckily, we only used the dining room for breakfast--the service was deplorable (although the food was fine). Despite being almost empty, we had a hard time getting the waitress' attention, and when we did, she missed a half of our order, and brought a pot of hot water when tea was ordered (and no tea bag).

When checking out, no one inquired how our stay was, and the manager's response to my letter consisted of nine lines which failed to address most of my concerns.

Our stay was definitely no worth the $309 we paid. We will not be returning.

  • Liked — Outdoor hot tub was nice
  • Disliked — High price for little value
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank Matter_of_fact_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
154 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2008

Let me preface my remarks with the statement that we made our reservations to stay at this hotel in October of 2007 - a good 9 months before we arrived. We had also stayed at other Rocky Mountain properties 3 times, supposedly making us a good, return customer. I think we would have been handled better if we'd turned up on foot, with no warning.

This hotel is tucked "out back" in Banff, around the back of Tunnel Mountain, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on your viewpoint. We were looking for quiet and views, and perhaps somewhere a bit less expensive, and thought this would be good. We were mistaken.

We stayed in 1012, which was a road-side upper end unit in a building perpendicular to Tunnel Mountain Rd. While not a highway, this road sees plenty of traffic, so it was not quiet. The room itself was very dark, even with the balcony (with its excellent view of the road.) We were lucky enough to see two coyotoes trot down the trail one evening... they, also, knew about the road, and stopped to look both ways before crossing it.

The buildings are rugged and picturesque, but a very limited number would actually provide you with a view of anything interesting, and even those would still be across the road. At over $300US (including all those lovely taxes) there surely must be a better place to stay in Banff. We've had smaller rooms, but better views for close to the same price at The Fairmont Banff Springs and enjoyed our stay much more.

The bathroom size is enormous, but mostly wasted space (which the bedroom could actually use.) The claw-foot tub people remarked on is quite attractive, but so much space is left around it that the shower (which we used) was basically the size of a hand-towel. You couldn't turn around without bumping the water control, and turning off the flow. Quite exciting, after a long day's hike! I found the frosted window which fronts onto the public walkway strange and unsettling, especially when using the bathroom at night.

We called several days before arriving, reminding them of our request for a room with a view, only to be told they were "allocated the day beforehand." So... why did I reserve one 9 months early? Basically they plunked people down as they arrived, with no thought to requests for particular rooms, something which is infuriating for those of us who plan ahead.

This property proved expensive and unsatisfactory to us, and we will not stay here again. I would imagine anyone wanting to stay in Banff could find a better location for a tiny bit more money, or a more congenial stay elsewhere, for less.

  • Liked — The buildings were very attractive from the outside.
  • Disliked — The very dark room, and lack of any view whatsoever.
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank derring_do
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CRMRMarketing, Manager at Buffalo Mountain Lodge, responded to this review, August 20, 2008
Thank you for providing us with your comments in regards to your experience at Buffalo Mountain Lodge. We do take any experience such as this seriously, and your comments are important to us. Please feel free contact me directly if you would like to speak about any of the above issues.
Buffalo Mountain Lodge Manager bmlmanager@crmr.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2008

Went to the Rockies on our honeymoon in July, and stayed at Buffalo Mountain Lodge for five nights. We arrived there after a long flight from Heathrew at 8.30 Mountain time which was about 3.30 UK time. We booked a standard room, and upgraded to a premium rooom after we arrive due to the standard room being small, very dingy tiny bathroom, and the back of the room over looked the main road. The cost of upgrade was $50 Canadian plus tax. I felt the Premium room was not any better than standard apart from having a big bathroom,. I felt the premium room was very small, very dark and walls needed to be painted as there was a lot of chip marks on the walls. I was not expecting this for a 4 four star property. We stayed in the back of the property (1000),and the scenery was breath taking. The restuarant was nice, but felt it was expensive and gave you little portions. I used the the steam room, but felt it was not that clean. I liked the area of Banff, but will think twice staying and the Buffalo Mountain lodge. I would suggest that if you stay there then book a suite which will be much bigger.

  • Liked — Scenery
  • Disliked — The room and standard of the rooms
  • Stayed July 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank scotia08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antwerp, Belgium
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2008

Banff and the Buffalo Mountain Lodge was our first stop on our recent trip to the Canadian Rockies and British Columbia.
We stayed here for two nights in a premier room.

The resort's location was perfect. Only a couple minutes by car from the town centre but very quiet at the edge of the woods.

The resort seemed well managed, the grounds and the facilities looked well maintained. The personnel was very friendly and helpful.

The room was very clean and comfortable. We did especially like the large and cosy bathroom. I also loved watching the squirels and the elk right in front of our terrace.

We had breakfast in the main lodge twice. The food as well as the service were great. For dinner, we prefered the very casual on-site Cilantro restaurant above the more formal restaurant in the main lodge. Although the Cilantro is described as a bistro, the quality of the food and the service was very high, while the prices were very reasonable.

All of this certainly gave us a very good first impression of the quality of lodging you can get in the Rockies.
I would definitely recommend this location to whoever visits Banff.

  • Liked — Location, Comfort, Cleanliness
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Koen64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2008

My husband and I stayed in this hotel for 3 nights in July, 2008. Our room, on the second floor of the 900's, had a huge bathroom with a clawfoot tub. We spent most of the time on the covered deck, where we had wonderful views of the mountains. The room itself was on the small side and was a bit dark. Although we did not use it, the room had a wood burning fireplace. Overall, the room was very comfortable and we felt it was a good value for our money. We liked the location, as it seemed less touristy than the many hotels along Banff Avenue.

The hotel is located up the hill from the town of Banff. It is about a 20 minute walk to town, but you will need to walk along a busy road. We had good luck taking the town shuttle, which stopped across the street from the hotel.

We had dinner in the restaurant off the main lobby. The menu is meat/game focused. The food was good, but very expensive.

  • Liked — The views and rustic
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank GoGoGirl36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, TN
Level Contributor
44 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2008

We held a small workshop at the Buffalo Mountain Lodge for about 40 people. They had a great conference room with a fantastic mountain view. Everyone loved the rooms. And the hot tub was great. They even let us stay a bit past "closing time" for the hot tub (though I wish closing time was a lot later). I only wish it had been a bit colder when we were there so we could have used the fireplace in our room.

To be honest, I'm kind of surprised by the negative reviews. I'll admit that the food wasn't spectacular (not bad at all, just not really worth the price). And who knows, maybe our late-night drinking at the hot tub caused some of the negative reviews about the noise; if so, I apologize to anyone who we kept up.

On the downside, it is a bit far from "downtown" Banff. The walk is along a pretty steep and pretty busy road; a bit dangerous at night after a few too many drinks. But as a place to hold our workshop it was great. And it was in Banff! The views are amazing. This would be a great base for daytrips all around the area.

  • Stayed June 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank tamjm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto
Level Contributor
29 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2008

We had a great stay about The Buffalo Mountain Lodge in Banff. It's just up the hill from the townsite, probably about a 2 minute drive. We made a fire one night and spent some time in the outdoor hottub. Very romantic stay!

  • Liked — Enjoying some wine on the balcony...
  • Disliked — Nothing...except it was a little too cool to spend too much time outside!
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jonesm99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Buffalo Mountain Lodge

Property: Buffalo Mountain Lodge
Address: 700 Tunnel Mountain Road | P.O. Box 1326, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1B3, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Banff National Park > Banff
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#5 Business Hotel in Banff
#13 Romantic Hotel in Banff
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Buffalo Mountain Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 85
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Buffalo Mountain Lodge is a peaceful retreat on Tunnel Mountain in Banff, AB. The lodge is surrounded by 9 acres of towering fir, pine, and spruce trees, yet just a 15 minute walk or 3 minute drive from the shopping, nightlife and restaurants that are on offer in downtown Banff. A favourite visitor pastime is to observe the deer and elk who frequently nibble on the lawn, right outside the lodge's windows. The lodge has 108 guest rooms, an outdoor hot tub, and several options for dining, making it the ideal location for a weekend getaway, wedding, or corporate retreat. Buffalo Mountain Lodge is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts' family of companies. Rooms at the lodge have fieldstone wood-burning fireplaces, cozy duvets, LCD televisions and Blu-ray players. Many feature patios or balconies. Each room has been carefully decorated to reflect the mountain lifestyle in Banff-the accommodation is anything but 'cookie cutter.' The outdoor stainless steel hot tub is best enjoyed after an invigorating hike, bike or ski on one of the nearby trails-or perhaps to aid digestion after a sumptuous meal in the lodge's highly acclaimed restaurant, Sleeping Buffalo. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Buffalo Mountain Hotel Banff
Buffalo Mountain Lodge Banff
Buffulo Mountain Lodge

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