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Banff Town exists purely as a gateway and comfort stop for exploring the Banff National Park. Sure, it has high quality restaurants, boutique shops and even a nightclub, and some people do come for those things, but for most people it’s the spectacularly mountainous scenery of the National Park which draws them. The best places to stay in Banff are arguably those with the best views of the park. But our Guru’s recommendations for the best places to stay in Banff take in a lot more considerations beside - like comfort and service etc., so it’s not all vast untended wilderness up here.
Banff is a bit of a wonderland for active folk. Its mountains and valleys range high and low, crafting a pretty dramatic course for skiers and mountain bikers, while the serene unsullied mountain lakes are ripe for boating, kayaking, canoeing etc..
The dense forests are home to elk, wolves and bears, and in spring, the alpine meadows are lush with flowers. There’s even hot springs, which is actually the reason the whole park became a protected area. Discovered in 1883, during the hey-day in popularity of thermal bathing, it looked as if the whole area would be swamped by private businesses trying to ‘sell’ the new springs. But the government of the time stepped in and made the whole area a national park - Canada’s first and only the third in the world.
Banff is also home to several museums, most of them born to educate visitors about the area. The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies is a great museum cum gallery with some amazing art painted of and in the region, plus an informative section on the early settlers of Banff. The Buffalo National Luxton Museum focusses on the story of this region's Aboriginal people, and the Banff Park Museum occupies an old Canadian Pacific Railway building.
Banff’s old cemetery is also worth a visit if you’re interested in the history of this fascinating town.
Don't forget to book well ahead if you want to bag a bed in one of the best places to stay in Banff in either summer or winter....it's a very popular destination in both seasons!
For the views
- The Buffalo Mountain Lodge is the perfect place for an active break in summer or winter. There’s a range of accommodation, but most options come with fireplaces and private balconies with spectacular views. There’s an Italian restaurant, but they also have an option serving more local style cuisine.
Still not sure which is the best place to stay in Banff for you? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Banff, expand your search to include all our Alberta recommendations, or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice.
Best Hotels in Banff
Buffalo Mountain Lodge 108 rooms from $130Banff (Alberta)
Snow or sun, this brilliant located lodge is the perfect for active families to set-up camp. Fireplaces, private balconies and comfortable beds make the rooms hard to leave but we promise the great outdoors and views are worth it. Cilantro is Italian cuisine, or try Sleeping Buffalo's local cuisine.Foodies - 40 people can be sat in the Wapiti Longhouse wine cellar on site, a great place to indulge in the local cuisine and fine wines.Romantic Break - Make the most of the enchanting and romantic views with the outdoor hot tub and private balconies.Kayaking - Leisure canoeing on Emerald Lake or Lake Louise is the perfect outing, especially with a picnic from the lodge.Lively - Hip and happening.