The Lake O'Hara Lodge is not for everyone (and not just because of its great expense). It offers unprecedented access to some of the most beautiful alpine trails in the Canadian Rockies. I can't imagine going there and not hiking, although I suppose some people do. It is fairly small--only about 60 guests at a time. That's partly why it's difficult to get a reservation (keep trying and be flexible in your dates). It is a back country lodge, not a commercial resort. It caters to those who enjoy nature and want a quiet, low key retreat. It makes a heroic effort to be as green as possible--no mean feat given its isolation--and that costs money, as do the four meals a day included in the price of your stay. We met people there who were on their 5th, 10th, even 40th visit to the Lodge. Stay once and you'll understand why.
This was our second visit and we enjoyed our lakeside cabin both times: rustic, but with a very comfortable bed, separate thermostat for the bathroom, so you could dry damp clothes, front porch facing the lake. We found the food to be uniformly excellent--inventive menus for breakfast and dinner, delicious sandwich choices and accompaniments for the trail lunches, wonderful sweets for the afternoon tea (we made sure we were back for that each day of our stay). The staff was cheerful, efficient, and helpful. We particularly appreciated the extra distance they went to get us our lost luggage as quickly as possible (they had to make a special trip to Lake Louise to pick it up once the airline finally found and delivered it). And we were able to rummage through their considerable collection of cast-off gear to get temporary replacements for our own.
The Lodge is a special-occasion venue for us--we've now celebrated our 20th and 25th wedding anniversaries there. It's an indulgence, but considering all you get in terms of location, comfort, food, and service, it delivers good value for the expense if a back country lodge experience is what you're looking for.
- Also Known As:
- Lake o`Hara Hotel Field
- Lake o Hara Lodge