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“A bitter cold Narnia with fairly lazy help” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

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Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Lake Louise
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
107 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“A bitter cold Narnia with fairly lazy help”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2011

Spent New Years in Narnia! Beautiful location, second visit but first time staying at this hotel. It is an old hotel, partially renovated, but not five star quality. We were upgraded but had to wait for hours ( till 5:30PM) for the room to be ready. It had a fake fireplace (why?), nice bathroom. Sleeper sofa in the suite was terribly uncomfortable, bed in bedroom had an old piece of plywood under the mattress. Nice pillows. Service in the restaurants was fairly lacking ( and there are no options for dining really outside of the hotel) Winter activities abound, beautiful, remote castle in the woods. Teens have plenty of daytime activities, absolutely nothing but dining in the evening ( or swimming in the ugly indoor pool) Why no indoor/outdoor pool like other snow resorts? Skip the afternoon tea service. Pot full of hot water with a teabag, nice sandwiches.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank malibumomof7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2011

The hotel is legendary, and that is why we chose to stay here.

However, we experienced several disappointments during our stay. We were greeted with a $35/day parking fee, after we had already paid the valet people. Although I understand that those that use parking facilities should pitch in the cost to maintain it, paying nearly $100 for 2 days of parking is unwarranted, unless they have brain surgeons parking the cars.

Then, we were told to book reservations for dinner at the hotel (there aren't many options in the village); all the restaurants were fully booked except for the one we least desired. When we did eat, waiter was awful and the food was brought out the same time as our wine....perhaps 8 mins after ordering. The whole dining experience was less that 30 mins which indicated pre-prepared meals likely poached from the buffet.

We then called the spa to book a massage only to find out that they also were fully booked for the duration of our stay.

The rooms are small and underwhelming, the bathrooms are literally a washing closet. The pool and hot tub were also outclassed by even the most average hotels.

In the end, we did as much as we could to eat and entertain ourselves outside of the hotel.

I don't think we've ever been more disappointed. We won’t

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Zipkataloot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
53 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2011

In my mid 20's I went to Lake Louise and thought what a privilege it would be to stay there one day. 15 years on what a disappointment. With baby in tow, we arrived late afternoon and the first impressions of staff were positive. The Receptionist confirmed we had a Playpen (crib) on our booking. Upon arrival at the room it wasn't there so we had dinner and I returned to the room to find it still hadn't been delivered. A return to reception I found myself explaining to someone else that we had a cot or crib reserved for our baby & found my self debating cot or crib sir? - well it was for a baby so you do the math. An hour later my wife returned to the room it still wasn't there. Another phone call and it apparently had left 10 mins ago. My parents had a similar experience getting a second suitcase stand (they are in there 70s) delivered to their room - 3hours and 2 phone calls later it arrived. Getting a carton of milk for the fridge in your room for a baby is another area the Chateau does not deem necessary since you cannot buy it anywhere. Despite the fact I spotted no fewer than 20 other prams - no where sells a carton of milk. Even housekeeping said they did not have any. Hats off to Stu the concierge - after being turned down at the deli, General Store, Reception - Stu was able to get a vaccuumed carafe delivered to the room with a litre in it.. As far as dining goes, the Fairview and poppies were great....2 days in a row, the Glacier Saloon were a let down. 45 minutes to get a beer delivered to our table....I overheard the table next to us who had ordered wine with dinner....were almost through their dinner and did not have their drinks. The next day we popped in at about 1.30pm. My wife ordered soup, I ice cream - it appears easy....by 2.30 we were more frustreated than angry since we hadn't had anything brought to us. There were numerous other gripes, but for a hotel with such a fine history......it really appears that the Chateau has lost focussed on what customer service is and for the price you pay it has to be better.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tooheyspete
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
Level Contributor
38 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2010

These big unit (554 rooms) is only about revenue ! Be ready to pay $25 for the parking knowing you pretty much need a car to get out there.
Housekeeping is cutting costs: dirty carpet, dusty furnitures, torn linen, no plastic bag in the trash cans hence dirty cans. Whether there are 3 pax in room, you will still get the amenities for 2.
If you are bored while staying there, you could read the in room guest book and look for spelling mistakes. If you speak another language it is even more exiting!
Globally not impressed by the hotel and its massive structure that does not belong in the pristine surrounding. I'd rather try the Post Hotel and Spa next time I travel to Lake Louise but if you are looking for a high capacity hotel with all the bells and whistles while visiting the Rockies the Fairmont is for you.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank encamping
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
101 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2010

My husband and I come here at least once a year in the winter to enjoy the amazing food and service this hotel provides after a long day of skiing. The hotel is located directly on Lake Louise where one can admire the beautiful turqouise waters in the summer or skate its frozen banks in the winter.
The hotel offers superb food and the Walliser Stube is not to be missed when staying here.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DJost
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2010

We came to Lake Louise for Christmas, and it may be the most magical place in the world for the most magical holiday of the year! We had a lakeview room and were extremely reluctant to ever close the curtains. The view was magnificent -- a wall of glacier-covered mountain peaks enclosing the lake. With the light on the mountains constantly changing, it's hard to get tired of a sight like that. The large ice sculpture of the hotel and the hotel guests ice skating on the lake made it even more picturesque. All day on Christmas there were horse-drawn sleighs pulling up in front of the lake to unload one group of passengers and take on another group. It was all right out of a Christmas card.

The hotel is a lovely property, and when it's all decked out for Christmas, it positively glistens. The staff could not have been more wonderful; even though they were working on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, rather than enjoying those times with their own families, they were cheerful and helpful. On Christmas Eve there was a visit from Santa Claus in the lobby, then a complimentary reception with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres (the mini bison pot pies were outstanding), then caroling.

Guests tended to be happy and pleasant as well. There were lots of families with children decked out in their holiday best and on their best Santa-is-coming behavior. Fairmont is pet friendly, so everywhere we looked there were doggies dressed up in Christmas bows or vests.

We ate Christmas Eve dinner in the Fairview Dining Room. In retrospect, that might have been a mistake. The food was fancy and chef-y, but not necessarily more tasty than more ordinary dinners. Moreover, you pay for the fussy presentation, both in money and in time. Our three-course dinner lasted two and a quarter hours, and not because we ate slowly. The wait between courses was way too long -- 45 minutes between the main course and dessert, for instance. While that's acceptable if you're ordering souffle or if you've asked for something special, it's way too long for regular menu dishes incorporating already-made mousse, shortbread and sorbet.

Overnight, Santa came for everyone -- when we got up on Christmas Day, we found the hotel had hung a stocking on the door of each guest room. Ours included two tangerines, some cookies, a piece of stollen, two candy canes, a deck of playing cards, a slinky, and a card featuring a view of the hotel.

We had the hotel's regular breakfast buffet, then tea in the Fairview Dining Room for lunch. For Christmas dinner we had fondue in the Walliser Stube, a much better experience than the previous night's dinner in the Fairview Dining Room. The thin slices of beef and bison from the meat portion of our dinner were tender and tasty, the cheese fondue was delicious, and we were only sorry we didn't have enough room to eat every last bit of the beautiful chocolate fondue.

Hardly any hotel chain tops Fairmont for making guests feel welcome, and this was a splendid visit. Having discovered it, we can hardly wait for our next Christmas there.

  • Stayed December 2010
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dunwoody_Granny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
204 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 187 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 21, 2010

So if you tell someone in the know that you visited Lake Louise, they will typically tell you to "make sure you visit the Chateau Lake Louise..." or something to that effect. Better yet, why not stay there? Well, yes, it is expensive, but it is a worthy splurge.

I stayed there with my wife and 20-year-old son during early ski season. We used a President's Club coupon to upgrade our room to a suite, then asked for a lake view one bedroom suite (larger and more expensive), which they accommodated based on availability on check-in. Regardless, join President's Club if you are ever staying at a Fairmont to at least get the free Internet access, as well as several excellent coupons.

The suite was quite large (corner of the Glacier Wing of the hotel, left side facing Lake Louise) with an excellent view. Note that there are four different wings to the hotel. The Paynter Wing is the center of the hotel and how houses the common areas such as restaurants and some conference rooms. Barrett Wing has the oldest hotel rooms and was reconstructed in 1925 when the original Rattenbury building burned. It is located to the right as you face the lake and has the uneven floors that are characteristic of Fairmont's collection of old classic hotels. The Glacier Wing (where we stayed) was built in 1987 and the Mount Temple Wing (with no views of Lake Louise, only terretorial views) was built in 2004. See our attached pics for a view of the one-bedroom suite as well as some views out the windows.

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is quite large and looks surprisingly modern for a classic hotel. The original chalet was built in 1890, but due to a series of fires and reconstruction, what remains looks rather current. It has a beautiful location, perhaps one of the best in the world (if you like alpine lakes). Victoria Glacier is 10KM/6 miles from the hotel and easily visible.

There is a very nice pool, jacuzzi (quite large), steam room and exercise facility in the hotel. Parking is $25 a day to self-park. The only downside to self-parking is that they make you enter one level above the lobby, while the valet parking is at the lobby level in the garage, which is a flaw in my book--why not have the valets go up and down the flight of stairs rather than the hotel guests?

Overall, an excellent stay and enjoyed by everyone in our party. Definitely a memory maker.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jonvilliers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Property: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Address: 111 Lake Louise Drive, Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta T0L 1E0, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Banff National Park > Lake Louise
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Lake Louise
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise 4*
Number of rooms: 550
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Surrounded by some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise resort is nestled deep within Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enveloped by soaring mountain peaks, the majestic Victoria Glacier and a glistening emerald lake, the natural beauty of this destination permeates every nook of the historic resort - originally built as a base for outdoor enthusiasts and alpinists. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a year-round luxury resort which specializes in offering extensive Guided Mountain Heritage programs, unparalleled skiing in the winter, exceptional food and beverage experiences and a new spa, The Spa at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel Lake Louise
Chateau Lake Louise
Fairmont Lake Louise
Lake Louise Fairmont
Fairmont Hotel Lake Louise

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