After experiencing Bear and Bison for six days, I am convinced that when you pick the right B&B, it can be truly special and a real treat. (I once stayed in a B&B on Toronto Island and was so put off by the lack of professionalism and cleanliness, I have been wary since). With the Bear and Bison, even the website doesn't quite capture the charm and quaintness of this place, which I could feel was made with love and care by the owners at first sight. And, it is managed and run with real people aiming to make other people happy. All staff I have encountered have been so friendly and genuine: Jacob, Jessica, Marc, Dave, Charlotte. Thank you all!
This visit to Bear and Bison has been relaxing, non intrusive and comfortable, exactly what any vacation 'home' should be like. And, it reflects western hospitality that is sincere, personal and unpretentious. Come in your jeans, hiking boots and fleece, and just chill ... or come here to get married, or to celebrate some other occasion. I noticed a token of appreciation from a former guest who must have been so blown away by the service and her memories here that she had a crystal plaque made for the staff and owners to express appreciation.
As for pricing, this is a great value when compared to what other Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise accommodations have to offer. Pricing is even more incredible when compared to that of city hotels, for what you are getting: a very comfortable room, a great breakfast, extremely personalized service and a view that constantly takes your breath away. And, compared to similar mountainous places in Australia, New Zealand, Switerland, China and so on, this place would be at least $500/night without breakfast! I have no doubt that once internationally traveled tourists find out about Canmore's Bear and Bison, demand will go up, and the prices will catch up - so enjoy this place while it is still reasonably priced!
Location: The Inn is located inside Canmore beside a road, which was a surprise to me based on the website photo, however, there are no other accommodations that I have seen in Canmore that would be any quieter than at Bear and Bison, unless you go camping in the woods. These are the mountains; building is restricted to the town site from what I have seen. Bear and Bison is in a quieter corner of town just at the entrance to a newer subdivision of about 50 houses. All traffic would be from people going to and from work, not tourist traffic like downtown or along the main highway strips. If you are from a rural area, the traffic will seem like much. If you are from the city, you wouldn't notice the traffic as anything unusual. There is almost no traffic noise between 10 pm and 6 am which I would imagine is peak time for sleeping.
Accessability: Driving is required to take in the numerous hikes unless you have time to travel the big expansive distances in the mountains. Canmore is so much quieter and less crowded than Banff of Lake Louise. And Kananaskis Country during shoulder season is like having a massive playground almost all to yourself.
Facility: Of course, it is not a hotel and will not be laid out like a hotel where everything is predictable. I stayed in room 1 on the top level with a nice view of the Three Sisters mountain range. Bear and Bison is full of surprises and ways to mix things up a bit, including the location of the jacuzzi tub in the main bedroom and the various decorative items such as a wooden rocking horse next to giant semi-truck model which is across from a reclining Buddha, complete with hand made wooden frames, fireplace, drawers and bed. The designer has obviously traveled to Asia and you will find various Asian elements mixed in with country style goodness. Given the small size of the property and limited number of rooms, each room is different and can be better understood if you review the website and study the different features of each, BEFORE booking. European showers aren't for everyone (unless you are from Europe I guess), so be informed when you book. The different pricing reflects the different features. All of the photos make the rooms look bigger than they are, but the small cosy size of the rooms add to their charm. The toilet and sink are enclosed with a set of drawers inside, which is quirky but workable. Love the use of old railroad track spikes as the towel hooks. There is a piano on the second level landing accompanied by books, a bison's head and a bearskin draped over the railings to add to the charm. The hot tub is adjacent the road, but sufficiently enclosed with a fence so that when you are sitting in it, you can still gaze out at the Three Sisters. Comfortable bed too. Fireplace very comforting when chilled from the outdoors.
Breakfast: every meal is different and with some element of surprise. I didn't ever think to use balsamic vinegar in the way they use it here! I consider myself a big eater and I have been satisfied with the serving sizes and variety of flavors, along with the nutritional value of each meal as a whole. The breakfast dining area is small and bright. You also have the option of having breakfast delivered to your room if you prefer.
Overall, a special stay in a special place. I plan to return and bring friends and relatives!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Surrounded by mountains this Bed & Breakfast style Inn is owner operated since 2002 by professional chef Lonny. All guest rooms have been designed for your comfort. 4 poster beds and jacuzzi tubs with views of the rocky mountains from either your balcony or patio. The Inn serves a 3 course breakfast with its B&B rates, you will not want to miss the food. Specialising in small group weddings (2 to 60 persons), the Inn has won awards for service and hospitality and local landscaping. Set below Lady Macdonald mountain in Canmore Alberta you can access hiking trail, mountain biking, cross country and downhill skiing within minutes. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- a Bear And Bison Canadian Country Hotel Canmore
- Country Inn Canmore
- Canmore Country Inn
- A Bear And Bison Canadian Country Inn Canmore, Alberta