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“A Great Place to Stay”

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Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets
Ranked #27 of 33 Hotels in Banff
Winnipeg
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A Great Place to Stay”
Reviewed March 3, 2007

My wife, son and I stayed at the Douglas Fir Resort during the second week of Feburary, 2007. Our one bedroom condo was clean, and well appointed. The staff were very friendly and helpful. The ski shuttle bus picks across the street, it is only a 10 minute walk downtown, if you find the stairs to Banff Ave. I recommend this place and will stay there again.

Stayed February 2007
Helpful?
1 Thank Ben H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
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Calgary, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
86 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2007

We stayed at Douglas Fir Resort for two nights in early February 2007.

When I reserved the room, I knew that we would likely arrive in Banff at around 2 p.m., so I requested an early check-in. (Check-in time is 4 p.m.) The reservations clerk said that she couldn't guarantee that, but she would make a note and try to accommodate us. Sure enough, when we arrived at 2:30, our one-room condo unit was ready for us. We received our card keys, a resort map, a quick briefing on the amenities, and were sent off to our unit.

Douglas Fir Resort is made up of several buildings. The lobby is in the "lodge" building, which has about 50 studio units, as well as the pools, waterslide, indoor playground, and underground parking. There are sixteen separate two-storey, 4-unit condos, with assigned parking just outside; we stayed in one of these. And finally, there are seven stand-alone chalets.

We were a little surprised when we opened the door to our unit to find a full flight of stairs going down from the parking area. But rather than leading to the equivalent of a basement apartment, we discovered a large window which opened onto a balcony off of the living room-kitchen area. The balcony had two resin patio chairs and a small resin table. The living room area also had a wood fireplace, a three-seater sofa, and a double-sized pull-down (Murphy) bed. A small kitchen table with four chairs, and a kitchenette were at the far end of the living room.

The kitchenette was equipped with a sink, dishwasher, North American full-size fridge (with freezer and ice cube trays), microwave, toaster, and small coffeemaker. Also supplied were six place settings of dishes, bowls, and mugs in sturdy restaurant china (but, oddly, only three wine glasses, three tumblers, and three juice glasses), teapot, plastic cutting board, teakettle, various pots and pans, bowls, grater, colander, and cooking utensils. I would have liked to see nonstick frying pans, instead of plain aluminum ones, and a cookie sheet would probably be much more useful than the loaf pan, but overall it looked pretty good. (See photos.)

The bathroom was compact, with a short bathtub, more suited to bathing children or showering than long soaks. (Not a problem for us.) There was a ski storage area inside the suite, at the bottom of the stairs. The bedroom was small, but had a dresser, two side tables, and a double bed. A row of sturdy clothes pegs on the wall on each side of the bed was a very practical touch. The bed was comfortable, neither too firm nor too soft. The pull-down bed in the living room was a little softer, but not saggy.

Noise was a bit of a problem in the condo building. Although we couldn't hear our upstairs neighbours' footsteps, we could occasionally hear voices from adjoining units, which made us very happy that none of our neighbours were late-night partiers. Also, the interior stairs leading from the exterior door down to the unit were quite noisy! No matter how lightly we tried to step, it always sounded like we were running heavily up and down the stairs. I wonder what that must have sounded like to the folks above us.

There was a distinct smell of cigarette smoke in our unit when we first arrived, which was strange, because the Douglas Fir Resort is all non-smoking, Unlike other non-smoking hotels that I've stayed at, we were *not* warned at check-in that we would receive a stiff cleaning bill if we smoked in our room, so I suppose there is no disincentive for smokers. On the second day of our stay, we again had a strong smell of cigarette smoke coming from one of the other three units in our little condo.

Although the housekeeping staff was visibly active in the area around our unit on the second day of our stay, we had to request maid service.

The Douglas Fir Resort does have a large number of amenities for its guests. Two huge waterslides (one slide is three storeys high, the other is only slightly shorter) are open to the public for a fee; guests get free access, and are loaned towels to use at the pool. (Although checkout is 11 a.m., guests can continue to use the waterslide for free on the day that they check out; ask the front desk clerk for details.) The waterslide area also has a large hot pool; I could barely stand to have my feet in the water, but other folks were happily soaking. There is also a small tot pool, with a tiny waterslide, and a steam room. In a separate area, directly below the lobby, there is a guests-only pool for folks who are interested in some peace and quiet while they float. This pool is too small for serious swimming, but the pool at the bottom of the waterslide is not for swimming at all; there is a sign there telling people to get out of the pool immediately, for safety reasons. (In practice, however, parents usually can find a safe spot at the far end of the splash pool to wait for their kids, unless the waterslide is very busy.) There is also a large indoor play area, for kids 12 and under, a small outdoor play area, and two areas with barbecues for guests' use.

There is a tiny grocery store, minuscule liquor store, and a coin laundry in the Douglas Fir Resort. None of them are operated by the resort. The grocery store's prices include a premium for the convenient location of the store. If you want to stock up on groceries, go to Safeway or Keller Foods in Banff's downtown. However, if you're just out of milk, or need an ice cream cone on a hot summer day, it's nice to have Chalet Grocery close by.

There is no restaurant at the Douglas Fir Resort. Across the street, Buffalo Mountain Lodge has a very posh dining room with a menu featuring game dishes. The cozy Cilantro's Mountain Café is located in a log cabin on the grounds of Buffalo Mountain Lodge; its menu (pastas, entrees, and wood-fired pizza) is slightly less expensive (but still not cheap). The food was excellent, and the ambiance was much more casual than the Buffalo Mountain Lodge's dining room. Cilantro's was a happy discovery for us.

Although our stay was satisfactory, and the amenities were good, our concerns about noise and cigarette smoke make us hesitant to return.


  • Liked — Pleasant room, great waterslide
  • Disliked — Smoking, noise concerns
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
12 Thank Country_Wife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch, NZ
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2007

We travelled for a month in Canada, my wife and I and two children (12) and (9).

The Douglas Fir is one of the few properties in or around Banff that offer Two Bedroom suites/chalets. As such, it appears to be very popular with families.

We stayed in a One Bedroom Loft Condo, which is essentially a Two Bedroom unit. The unit was of average size, with a small kitchen, but adequate living/dining area. The appliances were a little dated (coffee maker leaked, toaster plug was broken etc), and the firewood provided was wet and would not light.

The service was only barely acceptable (we arrived at 3.00pm to be told our room would be ready within the next 10 minutes. When we returned around 4.30pm, it was still not ready and we were asked to wait further) and the whole approach just seemed a little “cheap”.

What this property does offer however, is superb facilities for the children. It has a large playzone for younger ones, featuring climbing cubes, slides and tunnels etc, and a fantastic waterslide and pool facility for the older ones. The waterslides are also available to the public (at a charge), and therefore it does tend to get quite busy.

Would we stay there again? Possibly, although we’d be attracted by the waterslides etc as opposed to the units themselves.

  • Liked — The pool area etc
  • Disliked — Staff and service, was all a little bit cheap.
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank KiwiCanuckNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malta
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2006

Douglas Firs is ok, but nothing special for the price. Clean accommodation, ok setting and ok staff. They have an indoor pool with slides but we weren't impressed.

  • Liked — Clean room
  • Disliked — price
  • Tips/Secrets — ok if you expect average at quite an expensive price
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank maltesetraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 28, 2006

We stayed at the Douglas Fir for three nights in October, in a Bachelor's suite. The room was clean, and fairly spacious, and had a full kitchen. (With a full fridge, not just a mini one like most other places we stayed at.) The resort is only about a 5 minute (if that) drive into town, and at the end of our stay we discovered a path leading in to town that would have avoided the main roads. We didn't mind being out of the center of town at all...the drive into town usually took us past elk feeding on someone's lawn! Besides, during the peak season, I think I'd want to stay as far away from Banff Avenue as possible.

Overall, this was a clean, and spacious hotel, with a balcony and a view of the mountains, (Mount Rundle I believe), and we got it for about 100/night. Well worth it.

  • Stayed October 2006
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank prairiedawn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2006

My partner and I spent 3 nights at the Douglas Fir in a one bedroom cabin and really enjoyed our stay. As mentioned by a number of other reviewers this is not the place for a luxury holiday but for a convenient, practical, clean and spacious room you will have difficulty beating this place. The cabin was large and although the decor was a bit old fashioned it was clean and everything worked as it should do. The cabin had a galley style kitchen, dining space, a seperate bedroom, bathroom, a sitting room with an open log fire and a small patio with outdoor seating.

We found the best room deal was by booking directly with the hotel and the rate was very reasonable. We booked a 'bed and cook your own breakfast' package which was only a couple of dollars more than the bed only price. We arrived to find the room fridge stocked with eggs, bacon, cereals, bread, milk, cream and orange juice which was perfect for cooking up before a days hiking.

Location wise, the hotel is a mile or so out of Banff town (up a steep hill) - we tended to walk down it in the evenings, which took about 25 minutes and then ride back in a taxi which cost around $7. I'm not sure it is worth paying the extra for a hotel in the centre which tended to be quite crowded a noisy.

I would recommend this place.

  • Liked — Location, spaciouness
  • Disliked — The decor was a little old fashioned
  • Tips/Secrets — Book the 'Cook your own breakfast package'
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Helen&Richard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norfolk
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2006

During our recent trip to the Canadian Rockies, we stayed at Patricia Lake resort near Jasper (the Grove efficiencies are fantastic!) & Douglas Fir Resort in Banff. Both were the same price and offered the same amenities...on paper. Douglas Fir looks like as if it has had no upgrades since the 1980s. Old carpet and furniture, old bathroom. The cleaning service was poor - obvious dirt from boots left scattered on floor, trash bin unemptied. Firewood provided would not light. Frontdesk help had little knowledge of the area. Overall, I would avoid staying here until fully rennovated and staff improved.

Stayed September 2006
Helpful?
6 Thank Abiomed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets

Property: Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets
Address: 525 Tunnel Mountain Drive, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1B2, Canada
Location: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Banff National Park > Banff
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #27 of 33 Hotels in Banff
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets 3*
Number of rooms: 130
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Banff’s Finest Family Accommodation, located on peaceful Tunnel Mountain. All units have full kitchen, air-conditioning, fireplace (most are wood-burning) and flat-screen TVs, DVD players and Plug n’Play panels (families can now bring their electronic gaming systems). Amenities include 2 Giant indoor waterslides, swimming pool, kiddie pool,outdoor hot tub, games room, multilevel indoor playzone, saunas, whirlpools, steam room, fitness room, barbecue stations and FREE/UNLIMITED use of the Town of Banff shuttle bus. Freeinternet kiosk, free local calls and free parking. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets Hotel Banff
Douglas Fir Resort And Chalets
Douglas Fir Hotel Chalets
Douglas Fir Banff

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