We just returned from our first trip to Banff.
After extensive research, we elected to stay at Hidden Ridge, as opposed to the better known Fairmonts in Banff or Lake Louise, and based primarily on the reviews we read here. Although the Fairmonts are supposedly the more 'upscale' hotels, we felt the ambiance at Hidden Ridge seemed better suited our personalities, and we were definitely not disappointed.
While in Banff, we also had the occasion to see two of the other properties operated by Banff Lodging Company, the Fox and the Caribou, and we thought they were both extremely nice as well, but are both located on the main drag in Banff, which we didn't really care for. We wanted to be a bit more isolated, as this was a romantic getaway for us.
As it turned out, the choice was perfect!
We stayed in one of the Premier Jacuzzi suites, which are located directly above the lobby. We were a bit concerned about the noise level, being there, and so close to the hot pools, but we needn't have been. The rooms are adequately soundproofed, and the staff is quite good about shooing guests out of the pools when they close at 10 p.m.
When we arrived, there was a minor mixup about which of the suites we had reserved, but the staff was wonderful, and it was resolved quickly, and completely to our satisfaction. Additionally, Filip from the front desk arrived at our room not long after we checked in with a bottle of wine and a hand-written letter of apology, expressing concern over our difficulty, and making sure everything was OK with us. Talk about customer service! We were suitably impressed.
The room itself was excellent: clean and neat, with excellent amenities. Downstairs is the living area, with a small kitchenette, dining area and living room with fireplace, and a balcony with a 4-person sized hot tub. The king sized bed is located in the upstairs loft, and the bed itself was incredibly comfie, which is one of my pet peeves when traveling...uncomfortable hotel beds. Not so here. We both slept like babies the entire week. The toiletries were a pleasant surprise as well, being locally made from a little bath shop in town, The Rocky Mountain Soap Company. (I bought a lot of their stuff to bring home, I liked it so much!)
The hot tub was absolutely worth the extra money for the room. At night, we would come in from skiing, and relax in it with a glass of wine or an Irish coffee, and look down at Banff, or up at the stars...total romance!
While we didn't take advantage of the hot pools...THIS time...they looked like a blast, and there seemed to be an eclectic crowd gathered in them every night. There is also a very nice sauna adjacent to the pools, and when we go back, I will definitely be roasting in it some.
Overall, we felt the service to be top notch. Requests for firewood (free) was delivered promptly, and any requests to housekeeping for extra towels or whatnot was handle just as quickly and efficiently. The front desk is happy to arrange excursions or offer suggestions, or just plain help out.
At this point, I'd like to recommend one of the services they offer...use of the facilities at the other Banff Lodging Company hotels: the Caribou Ski School in particular. We got the services of Traci for three days, and were completely blown away. We think she's the best ski instructor we've seen. She is patient, funny, personable and just an excellent teacher. She can take a total novice from zero to zooming down green runs in just three days. We HIGHLY recommend her. Just ask the front desk to set you up. They can also get you discounted lift tickets, and arrange for equipment rental.
We also can recommend the Red Earth Spa, located in the Caribou, and reservations can be made via the front desk as well. The spa was uncrowded, the ambiance was excellent, very tranquil and soothing, and the massage therapists were wonderful.
About the only thing we can think of that we didn't like about the room was the complete lack of drawer or clothing storage, although we worked around that by using the shelves, and our suitcases creatively.
Otherwise, we absolutely loved Hidden Ridge, and were simply tickled to death by our stay. We will most definitely be back again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tucked away on Tunnel Mountain, Hidden Ridge Resort is quiet and secluded with some of the most spectacular views in Banff and the Canadian Rockies. The modern condos feature wood burning fireplaces, full kitchens and patios or balconies. Take a stroll along one of the many hiking trails around Tunnel Mountain that start outside your door. The tranquil and secluded setting makes it one of Banff's best-kept secrets. Only a mile from downtown area. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hidden Ridge Hotel Banff
- Hidden Ridge Resort Banff
- Hidden Ridge Banff