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“Good base in Banff”

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Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa
Ranked #13 of 33 Hotels in Banff
Leeds
Level 6 Contributor
60 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
“Good base in Banff”
Reviewed July 30, 2006

We stayed here for four nights as part of a self drive holiday in the Rockies.

The hotel is located on Banff Avenue - but a fair way from Downtown - about a 20/30 minute stroll (or 15 minutes brisk walk). It's a good location to drive in and out of as you don't have to go through downtown if you take the right exit off the Highway.

Rooms were fine - clean and comfortable with coffee/tea making equipment and an iron/ironing board.
We were upgraded (on request) to a Superior room. The difference from Standard is that your window faces outward and not into the courtyard. There was quite a bit of noise from the street and railway line so maybe the standard room would have been better :-) Also, the ice machine was right outside our door - and that was pretty noisy too.

The hotel has a laundry service charging $15 for a bag. You drop it off at 9am and the laundry is back at 5pm. It had been dried and folded well and so most things didn't even need ironing. This was really useful to us as we had been on the road for a while and needed some stuff washing.

We didn't use the Spa. The hotel's lobby is very nice. They have free coffee in there every morning - which is handy if you want to take a cup with you if you're having an early start.

Downsides: they charged us for parking. Only $4 a night, but hey - they have ample underground parking and it should be free for guests.
Aircon in room was not working - this was in the middle of a heatwave - so we had to sleep with a noisy fan on all night. At least it drowned out the sounds of trains blowing their whistles.
Restaurant - we ate here for breakfast once. It was hot, busy and the service was awful. Even our waitress told us she didn't expect a tip!! We were in there over an hour for just pancakes and eggs benedict. The bacon was like processed meat. Horrible! If you do eat there for breakfast, I suggest the buffet option - at least you'll get some fresh fruit and cereal/toast. We went for a la carte breakfast and wish we hadn't bothered.
Also, one evening we decided last minute to have dinner in the restaurant as we were tired and didn't fancy a walk downtown. We arrived just after 8.30pm and were told there would be at least a 30 minute wait for a table. We walked downtown!

Banff itself is lovely - plenty of choice for eating out, and loads of shops to wander round (open until 11pm when we were there in July). We were there on 1st July and really enjoyed the Canada Day parade.

We ate at le Beaujolais for our 1st wedding anniversary, and whilst expensive, it was really very good. I'd say it was worth it though. We also ate at the Elk and Oarsman (lovely rooftop patio and good burgers), the Rose & Crown (ok, for pub grub) and Melissas (great value and good food). Melissas was also good for breakfast - the swiss apple pancake was wonderful!
For breakfasts on days when we headed west, we would stop off at the Largan Bakery at the "mall" near Lake Louise and buy coffee/buns to take away and eat somewhere nice.

All in all, I loved Banff. The Caribou Lodge was a good base, but if I went to Banff again I would try to stay somewhere a bit closer to downtown.

  • Liked — Clean and comfortable rooms
  • Disliked — Distance from Downtown
  • Tips/Secrets — Book dinner if you want to eat in the restaurant!
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank rosieh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Coventry, UK
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2006

This hotel was the best we stayed in whilst in Canada. We stayed in 5 other hotels (including the Fairmont Palliser in Calgary) and this was by far the best when you took everything into consideration. OK, the old style ambiance in the Palliser is great but the the Caribou Lodge just outshone it in every other way. We were upgraded when we arrived and had a room with 2 King sized beds which was extremely clean and bright. The spa was a bit expensive but offered a good range of treatments and the hot tub was excellent, very clean, warm and huge! The Keg restaurant attached to the hotel has excellent lobster and the service was second to none. If you are in Banff try the walk up Sulphur Mountain - it took us 2 hours 25 minutes - I am sure you will be able to beat that!

Helpful?
9 Thank tomnvivi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bad Friedrichshall, Germany
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed June 26, 2006

We stayed at Banff Caribou Lodge in May 2006 with two friends for two nights. Check In was very friendly, the superior rooms are large and very cosy. The Caribou Lodge is a large hotel with many bus tourists. But so are most of the other hotels in Banff. The lobby is rustic and comfortable, the underground parking very convenient. The lodge is situated on the outskirts of Banff, a walk to Banff Avenue and the downtown shops lasts 10 minutes. There is a free hotel shuttle to downtown every half hour, but why does it start as late as 4:00 pm? We visited the restaurant "Keg Steakhouse" just for breakfast, it was okay but there are also nice breakfast locations in the downtown. The new "Red Earth Spa" is very nice and relaxing with a large, hot pool and a steambath. To sum up, the Banff Caribou Lodge is a good choice for travellers to Banff, there are hotels in better locations, like Brewster's Mountain Lodge or the Banff Ptarmigan Inn, but who knows if the service there is as good and the rooms were as comfortable than at the Caribou Lodge?

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Markus_Germany
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yorkshire
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2006

This is a pleasant hotel, situated in a quiet location.

The rooms are reasonable and are clean and the beds are comfortable.As in all of Canada there is a problem with lighting and the rooms are dimly lit even with all lamps on. There is no central light fitting.

Hotel offer an excellent laundry service and a local launderette collect and deliver your laundry for just a few dollars. Without doubt the cheapest I saw as I travelled east to west coast accross Canada.

The restaurant was ok, food ok, but can get busy and once ordered food can take in excess of one hour to reach you. I saw this happen several times. Staff are friendly but under pressure and orders are often deliverd incorrectly.

I hurt my ankle on a metal bar sticking out at the side of the spare bed and hidden by the valance. Unfortunatily the staff thought this was not a major problem and gave the impression that this was not a problem, even though I was unable to go on two pre booked trips. The customer care and service certainly needs improving. As a point of interest, this same thing happened to another member of my group and she encountered the same as myself.

The hotel is good on most points and at a push i would probably stay again.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank annie11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2006

This was a very nice hotel with a pleasant lobby. The standard rooms are small but nicely decorated and very clean. The jacuzzi was very interesting because it was very large and odd shaped and large enough for more than 15 people. The staff was very freindly and the resturant was a great place to have breakfast in the morning. We picked from the menu but they have a large buffet.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SFTravelGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2006

I read a lot of tripadvisor reviews before booking my family's stay at the Banff Caribou Lodge. This was our first trip to Banff, and we loved every moment here. The Banff Caribou Lodge is set in a beautiful building and has nice rooms. We booked the loft suite, which gave us a 2-floor, 2-room, 1.5-bath setting, and everything we needed. (A refrigerator would have been a nice addition.)

Service was friendly and helpful. Housekeeping was very efficient. The hotel is located at the far end of the commercial part of Banff Ave, so it's about a 10-15 minute walk to the main shopping/dining areas. Not a big deal when the weather's nice and you want to walk off dinner. They offer a shuttle service in the evenings, and that's convenient too.

This is a not a luxury hotel, but there's plenty of style and amenities here to warrant 4 stars in my book.

By the way, it's not cheap here. But nothing in Banff is cheap.

Helpful?
8 Thank tvchip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cheltenham
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2006

This hotel was undoubtedly comfortable. The bed was comfy and the room was clean. The location was good, a very short walk to downtown, about 10 minutes, they also had a free shuttle if you couldnt manage the walk! The Spa pool was nice and relaxing after a days shopping/sightseeing. The only things wrong with this place were the smoke alarm had a green light that was quite bright when it was dark outside and on two mornings we put the *do not disturb* sign up and on both occasions the housekeeping staff knocked on our door and called housekeeping, so we had to send them away!

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank borris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa

Property: Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa
Address: 521 Banff Avenue | Box 1070, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1H8, Canada
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 Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in Banff
#7 Business Hotel in Banff
#10 Romantic Hotel in Banff
#11 Family Hotel in Banff
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 190
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Banff Caribou Lodge is centrally located on Banff Avenue, Banff's main street. It offers the Keg Restaurant, Red Earth Spa (a full service spa), free underground parking, free wifi, fitness room, hot pool and steam room. This lodge type accommodation has a large and inviting lobby to greet you to Banff. Enjoy your stay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Banff Caribou Hotel Banff
Banff Caribou Lodge And Spa
Caribou Banff
Caribou Lodge Banff

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