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“Batty Policies, An Obstacle Course to Your Room, But At Least It's Big” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Banff Boundary Lodge

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Banff Boundary Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Rochester, NY
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Batty Policies, An Obstacle Course to Your Room, But At Least It's Big”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2007

We stayed for a week in the Banff Boundary Lodge during some of the hottest weather Alberta has seen in several years. Like many non-chain hotels in the Canmore/Banff region, the Banff Boundary Lodge does not have air conditioning, but thankfully in this part of Alberta, the nighttime temperatures provide for comfortable sleeping weather most of the time.

The Lodge offers condo-style accomodations, which in our case included a single floor room with two large bedrooms, one bath, a dining area, kitchen, and small living room. It's as large as many apartments, making this a good choice for groups who want share rooms or families.

An on-site gas grill lets you prepare meals on-site, which can be a real savings off the tourist trap prices for things in nearby Banff and Canmore. The hot tub got some use by several of our friends who also had no complaints either.

The Banff Boundary Lodge is located literally down the street from the entrance of Banff National Park, but as another reviewer noted, that may be misleading to some because the town of Banff is a 20 minute drive down Hwy 1 inside the park (with an extremely steep entrance fee I might add - nearly $9.00 PER PERSON per 14 hour visit!). It's not located near the town of Banff at all. Canmore is a five minute drive down a service road - the Banff Boundary Lodge is located in the Hamlet of Harvie Heights, which is basically a tiny neighborhood with some homes up in the hills and a bunch of hotels clustered along Hwy 1.

Most bemusing to me were the daffy policies this hotel has when it comes to dealing with amenities. This is not a full service hotel by any means. Maid service carries an additional fee of $50 per day (although their website claims it's less.) If you want fresh towels, you take your dirty ones to the front office and they exchange them one to one. If you want matches to start the grill, they hand you ONE match (sometimes two if you're lucky). If you want soap or shampoo, walk down to the office and get it yourself. In fact, your first trip after arriving here will probably be to the Canmore Safeway to buy tissues, surface cleaner, paper towels, and a variety of similar cleaning and personal care products because none are available from the Lodge.

The staff always accomodated our requests, but it became a nuisance very quickly.

Review the manual and policies for the hotel carefully. There are many rules and regulations and penalty fees for violating them. They even count the Corelle dishes here, so if you party with folks from other units, make sure your dishes and flatware go back to your own unit, or at least let them know where the stuff might be located when you check out.

Wildlife does enter the property, especially at night. We encountered a mountain sheep rumaging out by the grill one night. The hotel insists on guests putting their trash in the bear-proof bins for good reasons - bears have visited the Lodge before looking for casually tossed food.

The showers are connected to a domestic-quality water supply system. Our unit had a very slow draining shower, a toilet that frequently ran constantly, and changes in water temperature and pressure. These were very minor inconveniences and did not seriously impact on our stay.

The furniture and decor were tasteful, although I don't recommend the pull-out beds for comfort. The bedroom accomodations were lower end. Hospital-quality sheets and pillows are the fare here, although the bedspread was nicer. The beds were reasonably comfortable.

On site laundry for guests is rudimentary - two washers and two dryers which do basic laundry for $2 and $1.50 respectfully. The dryer on the far right does a poor drying job however so avoid it. One load of laundry soap is provided free.

Additionally, access to your room is via a bizarre, very uneven narrow asphalt pathway which connects the units. Great care must be taken as there are endless dips, small hills, cracks, and ruts in the asphalt. It is very easy to lose your footing if you are not watching, especially down the middle corridor between units headed towards the office.

Noise levels in the back of the complex are far lower than those in the front, but it's a trade off. The Banff Boundary Lodge is yet another property that claims to have wireless Internet access, but the full story emerges after you arrive. Units in the back typically cannot receive any signal from the wireless router located in the office, so if Internet is important to you, stay elsewhere because even when access is available, it is non guaranteed to be consistently available. Things are better in the front units, but then noise is greater there.

Hotels need to get with the program that Internet access is no longer a fancy extra. It's becoming as important as having a telephone (and speaking of which, if you want to make a long distance call here, you need to use the payphone in the office or bring your cell phone - room phones do not support toll calls).

Overall, I'd say this is an acceptable place to stay for an active vacation where you won't be stuck in the room all day (they get quite hot during the summer months) or if you want to get away from technology. If you expect amenities and maid service when you are in a hotel, I'd recommend avoiding this hotel and choosing a full service establishment in Canmore.

  • Liked — Large units, great mountain views, easy access to outdoors
  • Disliked — Amenities and services which are basically do-it-yourself.
  • Stayed July 2007
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank dampier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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217 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (59)
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English first
Kelowna, Canada
Level Contributor
65 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2007

My husband, 14 yr old son and I stayed at the lodge for 2 nights in a 2 bedroom king suite. The accomodation was average but clean. The towels were a bit frayed around the edges and the furnishing were plain. The couch in the living room was not comfortable to watch TV on at night but we managed anyways.

The second bedroom's bed was comfortable but the"king" suite was nothing but 2 twin beds pushed together and this was annoying as the ridge running down the middle of the "bed" made "visiting" the other side a bit uncomfortable.

Our particular room was right on the highway and right across from the railway tracks. I had to shut the window on the 2nd night or was not going to get any sleep and this made the room stuffy.

There is a hot tub, they rent movies for $2 a pop and there are laundry facilities. The kitchens in the units are fully stocked with all the amenities necessary.

When booking accomodation, request a room away from the highway and there shouldn't be a problem.

It was a plain accomodation, but despite all, we would probably stay there again as the price was right ($184.00 for the 2bdrm king suite)

  • Liked — The price
  • Disliked — noise from the highway and railroad track
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mrs. Richardson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2006

We stayed there for only one night...wish we could stay longer but then we had to move on. The place was clean, the staff were very courteous, the rooms were big enough to accommodate us(there were 4 of us adults and 2 kids). All the necessities were available in the unit.
We will definitely recommend this place to our not-so-picky friends and relatives, and will definitely stay here again should we visit western Alberta again.

  • Liked — big rooms
  • Disliked — carpets could be changed
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank jmasiglat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indiana, USA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2006

The rooms were nice and the staff friendly but we had trouble with postcards we left at the front desk to be mailed. When our family in the States received their postcards, they were covered with extremely vulgar statements and pictures. We are convinced someone working at the front desk either did this or allowed someone else access to our mail.

Stayed June 2006
Helpful?
4 Thank doesanyonecare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2006

We stayed at the Banff Boundary Lodge from 6/26/06 to 6/28/06. We had a wonderful time and the hotel was great. The only complaint that we had was there is no air conditioning. It was pretty hot while we were there and the entire suite was hot and it never really cooled down all night, even with all the windows open. I think we were there during an especially hot time and I'm sure that there aren't many days during the year when ac would really be needed.

Other than the temp the hotel was great. The suite was on two levels. The main level has a full kitchen and dining area, a family room with TV and fireplace and a half bath. The upstairs has a full bath, a bedroom with a King bed and a bedroom with a Queen bed. The family room also has a couch bed. It was very large and very clean with wonderfull views out all the windows. It is right on the freeway and has been mentioned before, the freeway noise is quite loud. I am a heavy sleeper and wasn't bothered by it but I can understand how it could be a problem for some. For the price, I don't think you will find a better place to stay in the Banff area, especially with a large family or group. We loved it.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Yzz_guy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 14, 2006

I have stayed at Banff Boundary Lodge two times this year. It is under new management and the rooms are very clean. The staff were helpful. Great value - booked a 2 bedroom condo with 1.5 bathrooms - spacious, full kitchen, living rooom etc. I would recommend this place!

  • Stayed May 2006
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 16, 2006

We recently stayed at the Banff Boundary Lodge and I was very dissapointed with the hotel, especially the service at the front desk. When booking the hotel we clarified all the conditions and fee's but this was not accepted when we arrived. In fact it was clearly entered into our reservation file, but they would not honour that price. They were very unreasonable to deal with and even rude.

Also for anyone thinking of staying here, the hotel claims to be on the "Gate of Banff" but for those of you who don't know Banff, once you are in the gate, you still have to drive a long way before you are in the actual town of Banff. That's why they are listed as a hotel in Canmore not Banff. In fact this hotel is not even in the town of Canmore, it's outside the town so if you want to go out of the hotel for anything, you definitely have to drive.

Regardless, I will not stay here again mainly because the customer service is so unreasonable.

  • Stayed April 2006
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Banff Boundary Lodge

Property: Banff Boundary Lodge
Address: 1000 Harvie Heights Rd, Harvie Heights, Banff National Park, Alberta T1W 2W2, Canada
Location: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Banff National Park > Harvie Heights
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Harvie Heights
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Banff Boundary Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Banff Boundary Lodge offers the discerning traveller all the comforts of a private condo suite with the incredible amenities of Canmore and Banff right at the doorstep. Located just metres from the Banff National Park gates and minutes to world-class skiing, golfing, dining, shopping and hiking, Banff Boundary Lodge gives guests unparalleled access to all the activities the Canadian Rocky Mountains have to offer. The lodge features two bedroom, fully stocked, self-catering kitchen suites with gas fireplaces, an on-site conference room, outdoor hot tub and free Wi-Fi. The lodge also offers a selection of pet-friendly rooms making it the perfect vacation accommodations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Banff Boundary Hotel Harvie Heights
Banff Boundary Canmore
Banff Boundary Lodge Harvie Heights, Alberta

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