Even though this resort sits all alone, a bit off the beaten track just outside of town, that may be an advantage rather than a detriment. It's quiet, serene, and peaceful, and being up on the hillside provides great views of the mountains. It takes only ten or fifteen minutes to drive into town (Canmore) and there is a lot to see and do there, and just about twenty minutes to drive to Banff. Having our own private chalet was a treat also; we really enjoyed that. We stayed there the last week of April ... light snow some mornings, but mostly sunny and a bit chilly.
The units are spacious and comfortable. It was just my wife and I and we slept on the larger bed upstairs -- it was VERY comfortable with a variety of pillow types which was appreciated. The bathroom upstairs has a jacuzzi tub, again very nice. Good, well-equipped kitchen, and the main room on the ground floor is large, open, with high ceiling which we also liked. The big picture windows give you a good view, and there is a sliding glass door leading to a large outdoor deck. Yes, the furniture and decor are a bit dated -- this place was built in the 80's -- but we didn't consider that a problem ... it's still in good shape.
They have a great game room in the main lodge, with pool and snooker tables, ping pong table, arcade games, and lots of puzzles and board games. They also have a decent-sized indoor pool with changing rooms and an indoor hot tub (an outdoor hot tub also but it is currently closed, to be repaired I guess, and we were advised of that in advance). There is also a coin-operated laundry on premises; we didn't need to use it so can't comment on it. They have movies (DVD/VHS) available to check out, but the selection was pretty dismal -- we couldn't find a single title that we were interested in watching, other than a few good flicks that we've already seen. The front desk staff people were friendly and helpful, if a little young and only somewhat knowledgable.
My one big criticism is that I think that management could spend a relatively small amount of money to upgrade several LITTLE things, that would make a BIG difference. Examples: why the low-flow cheap showerhead? I'm sure that area is in no danger of a drought. Replace that thing that brings forth barely a trickle with a hand-held unit with adjustable settings ... you can get those for under fifty bucks. Get some new TV's -- bigger and higher quality (and do something to improve the reception or signal if possible). The BBQ grill out on the deck? -- couldn't even use it; I opened it up and the inside looked like something that just came out of an old shipwreck. Make some minor improvements like that and the entire experience would be much better.
But again, overall we really enjoyed our stay and there is so much to do and see in that area. The scenery is spectacular. It's a photographer's paradise ... I took over 800 photos. Skiing was good at Sunshine Village. We did the Banff gondola, well worth it -- do the little outdoor walk over to the Cosmic Ray Station from the main building. Make sure to go on a clear day and go early before the tour buses arrive so it's less crowded. Restaurants we enjoyed: World of Burgers (awesome milkshakes), Patrino's (beef dip), and Georgetown Inn, in Canmore; Balkan and The Grizzly (fondue) in Banff.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Banff Gate Mountain Resort is an outdoor playground for all ages where mountain activities and rustic amenities meet. It is nestled in the majestic pines of Pigeon Mountain at the foot of the Lougheed and Windtower Mountains. Our 46 fully appointed chalets are surrounded by Lake Louise and the adventures of the Banff National Park. Activities include water rafting, hiking, skiing, mountain biking, dog sledding, golf and more. For those preferring more peace and quiet, the picturesque grounds of the resort provide the perfect retreat. Children’s play areas are intertwined by hiking trails that sprawl throughout the resort connecting to the surrounding wilderness. Local wildlife often wanders unhindered throughout the area and across the property. An indoor heated pool, hot tubs and a family clubhouse provide a well-rounded travel destination for families and adventurers alike. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Banff Gate Mountain Hotel Dead Man`s Flats
- Banff Gate Mountain Resort Canmore/Dead Man's Flats, Alberta