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“The Trains are Great”

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Castle Mountain Chalets
Ranked #6 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Banff
Certificate of Excellence
North Wales, UK
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“The Trains are Great”
Reviewed October 10, 2008

We stayed 3 nights in late September, a large chalet for a pricey $275 a night. This was a return visit after staying in June 2000 (small chalet). This was the best of 4 chalets we stayed in Canada on this trip - large, good equipment, big fireplace with free logs, great views. The CP main line runs behind the site and is to my mind a splendid added feature - giant freight trains rushing past every hour or so, climbing Kicking Horse Pass. Friendly store and admin. Some building work going on. Better than saying in Banff/Lake Louise. Not as much wildlife in the area as we expected. Weather cold and wet, hence we enjoyed the log fire!

  • Liked — Space, fire
  • Disliked — Twin beds not available
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mavuradonha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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217 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2008

This place is in a wonderful location - 20 minutes from Banff and 20 minutes from Lake Louise. Nestled in the mountains near the Bow River and close to Johnston Canyon. Beautiful there. There is a little grocery store on premises which has a little bit of everything.

We stayed in #9 which is one of the largest cabins - huge living room, very comfy, huge kitchen and huge bathroom. The bedroom was relatively small. Very comfortable, homey place. HIghly recommend this more expensive cabin for couples or families. Has a sleeper soft and can bring in extra beds.

  • Liked — The location and scenic beauty
  • Disliked — having to drive to Lake Louise and Banff (but just 20 minutes)
  • Stayed July 2004, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank jennysw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2007

I always specifically call and ask if the location is quite as I am a light sleeper.
I was assured by who ever answered the phone that this location was. Beautiful place but unfortunately less than 100 yards from a busy train track. The train blows its horn several times when coming to the street crossing.
The train came by no less than 9 times between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
I couldn't sleep at all. I went to the office the next morning and asked for the manager who was still sleeping.
He tried to tell me that the train was just part of the natural surroundings. I said a wolf howling is natural, not a train and I checked out. I told my credit card company not to let them charge me for any more nights.
How ridiculous for $230.00 per night.

  • Liked — Scenery
  • Disliked — Noise
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Wilburtexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Wales
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 26, 2007

We stayed at Cabin number 23 which looked like a garden shed from the outside (complete with perished mangle outside!)
I must say, that when I phoned to make a reservation - in fairness to the receptionist - he suggested that I may want to see the accommodation before I went ahead and booked it - he said "You may want to see it as it may not be what you're expecting!"

As newlyweds, we looked at the cabin and its location and thought there was something quite romantic about it(!) but once we got in there it actually felt and looked quite dirty and had a funny musty/smoky smell inside. 'Rustic' is definitely a word I would use! Neither of us sat on the settee or the armchair as they looked so grubby, and it was quite cold in there.
There was however a wood-burning stove (logs supplied) which made it much more comfortable.

We too sampled the sounds of the train on many occasions throughout the night. We actually saw one of the trains the next day, and it was pulling 98 containers (like lorries) - we estimated it was about a mile long!! It was quite funny in the end, but can imagine it could get very annoying if you were to stay there for more than one night.

Although there was a kitchenette - I wouldn't have used it before giving everything a good clean first.
On a plus point, although the shower looked really feeble, it was a very pleasant surprise. We paid £70 for one night (no breakfast - but go 6km down the road to Johnson Canyon for a Canyon burger!)

  • Liked — The woodburning stove!
  • Disliked — Dated and dirty decor
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank CymroaCymraes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, BC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed August 21, 2007

We wanted to stay here, because they allow dogs. The charge for dogs is $25 per night (steep, considering we paid over $250 per night for the cabin). We stayed for 3 nights.
It was a very small log cabin. It was kinda cute, but inside was very rustic. The double bed we had was too small for my husband and I. He could not take a shower because the bathroom was on a slope and he would not be able to stand up fully in the tub. I had vertigo when I was in the bathroom. We felt that the room was very dirty. We even found someone elses leftover underwear under the bed!!!! (we didn't touch it mind you!) but it was very unpleasant knowing it was there.
The train does come quite often, but after a while we could tune it out. We did enjoy the hikes in the nearby areas.
The general store is very expensive and there is no where good to eat, unless you drive into Banff. We had dinner at the restaurant in Johnson Canyon and was highly disappointed. For dinner, it was suppose to be "fine dining". The service was absolutely appauling and the food was below average.
I will not stay again at Castle Mountain Chalet, nor will I dine again at Johnson Canyon restaurant.

  • Liked — they allowed dogs
  • Disliked — dirty and unkept
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank totallyhip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2007

We stayed two nights in the one-room Pine Chalet, with a king-sized bed and full kitchen. The location is beautiful. Right in the middle of the forest in the middle of the mountains. 1/2 hour drive to either Banff or Lake Louise. The room was very clean and very roomy. Yes, the trains go by every few hours blowing their horns which may wake you at night. If you go when it is cold, the furnice is also noisy, but the wood stove gives off mega-heat. I would reccomend this place to anyone. The train horns only last a few seconds, but the scenery is memorable forever.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — trains
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank memajajo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
High River, Alberta
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 15, 2007

This was the most perfect place to rest and relax for a week! The delux one bedroom log chalet was beautiful. Jacuzzi tub with a sky light over it and walk in shower for two in the bathroom, two other sky lights, one over the kithcen area and the other over the living room to let in the beautiful Rocky Mountain scenery from above as well as from the large windows along one side of the chalet. A separate bedroom with french doors and a large wood burning fire place in the living room. The kitchen was fully equiped, just like home! The location was perfect for day trips to Johnson's Canyon, Banff, Lake Louise, and Morraine Lake. It was about 20 minutes to one half hour to all of those spectacular places. We would spend the day site seeing, shopping, hiking up the canyon, or going for a helicopter tour of the mountains and then come back to the seclusion, peace and quiet of our private chalet, sit on our private deck and watch the elk or deer walk by. I actually enjoyed cooking dinner for two and having a cozy meal by the crackling fire set in the beautiful stone fireplace! The staff were fantastic. All reservation staff and housekeeping and maintenance staff were friendly, cheerful, and helpful. Every day the fireplace was cleaned out and the wood supply was replenished and full housekeeping service was available. There are also out door barbecues available as well as a small general store and gas station. Awesome place to stay.

  • Liked — the log chalet
  • Disliked — the matress was slightly uncomfortable
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Super8HRGM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Castle Mountain Chalets

Property: Castle Mountain Chalets
Address: Castle Junction1A & Hwy 93 South, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1B5, Canada
Location: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Banff National Park > Banff
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Banff
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Castle Mountain Chalets 3.5*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Midway between Banff and Lake Louise, in the heart of Banff National Park, you'll find a breathtaking location and the perfect getaway resort - Castle Mountain Chalets. Beautifully designed and furnished individual chalets are where you will relax in this nature lover's paradise. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Castle Mountain Chalets Hotel Banff

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