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.
- 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