The Hotel Guru is pretty upscale but fun to look at. Marcie Ellers.
Search the best hotels in Banff
Banff Town exists as a tranquil 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. Undoubtedly, whilst many of the best places to stay in Banff have stunning views of the park, 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 dramatic and thrilling 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 are even hot springs - they're 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 region 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.
However, Banff is not soley about the great outdoors and the town boasts several museums, most of them born to educate visitors about the area. 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 to further provide a unique historical perspective on the town.
What Not To Miss:
- Take a tour of the majestic Icefields and Glaciers - described as "one of the greatest mountain drives in the world".
- Soar up Sulphur Mountain to 2281m on the Banff Gondola providing breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain ranges and even enjoy a scenic meal at the summit restaurant.
- Cruise along the Bow Valley Parkway and witness jaw-dropping scenery scattered with Canadian wildlife including bears, moose and elk in their natural habitat.
- Visit the fascinating Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies and learn about the cultural significance of the mountains through exhibitions and events.
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!
The Best Places to Stay in Banff
The Best Hotel Views in Banff
- 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.
Prefer a chalet or apartment?
- If you’d prefer your own space and would like to stay in an apartment or chalet, we recommend you visit our online partner, Booking.com
- Calgary International Airport is approximately 140km from Banff and provides connections to North America, Europe and the UK.
- The Banff Airporter provides a frequent service between Calgary International Airport and Banff taking approximately 2 hours.
- Banff is well served by the Rocky Mountaineer railway service which provides a luxurious and memorable journey through the spectacular Canadian Rockies
- If you would like to hire a car to explore the dramatic scenery, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars
- The best times to visit Banff are June-August and December-March with the summer weather providing opportunities for nature lovers to explore the park and the winter offering exceptional snowsport.
Still not sure which is the best place to stay in Banff for you?
Best Hotels in Banff
The Juniper Hotel 52 rooms from £74Banff
A striking hotel resting at the foothills of the Rockies, just minutes from Banff. Sleek modern interiors beautifully offset the spectacular vistas visible through the floor to ceiling windows. The on site restaurant serves modern Canadian cuisine with a local seasonal emphasis. Charming.Families - With large suites and plenty of local activities this is the ideal spot to keep the family entertainedHotel Entertainment - Relax after a long day on the slopes with a glass of wine and a soak in the all weather hot tubOther Activities - Immerse yourself in the local culture with a blessing or smudging ceremony from a local ElderHills & mountains - This magical spot gives guests a chance to explore the Rocky Mountains in all their glory
High Country Inn 70 rooms from £71Banff (Box 700,)
A family run hotel in the Canadian Rockies. The rooms are comfortable and offer exceptional views of the mountains beyond Banff. Enjoy meals in the in house restaurant, or make the most of the amenities with hot tubs, pools and saunas. The friendly staff make this a warm and welcoming hotel.Hotel Entertainment - Unwind after a long days activites with a refeshing soak in the hot tub followed by a steam in the cedar wood saunaActive Holiday - Ideally located for the active guest, with skiing, mountain biking, guided walking trails and horse trekkingRiding - Ask at the reception about pony trekking through the mountains, a unqiue way to soak up the sceneryBirdwatching - The nearby mountains are teaming with birds, head out on the trails and see what you can spot
Buffalo Mountain Lodge 108 rooms from £106Banff (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.
Rimrock Resort Hotel 346 rooms from £130Banff (P.O. Box 1110,)
A fantastic hotel in the most spectacular position, carved into the side of Mt. Sulphur, in the Canadian Rockies. Comfortable and contemporary rooms offer spine chilling views of the picturesque town of Banff and the mountains beyond. The restaurant, Eden, offers fine French cuisine. Totally unique.Active Holiday - You are ideally placed to make the most of the Canadian Rockies- from winter to summer there is never a shortage of activitesOther Activities - The hotel spa offers an incredible range of treatments to poke and prod you into health after a long day on the slopesTotal relaxation - This incredible self contained hotel offers pampering spa treatments, excellent food and spectacular viewsSights nearby - Literally every window you glance at exhibits a jaw dropping scene of light on the mountain sideRecommended by - Tablet
Buffaloberry Bed and Breakfast 5 rooms from £260Banff
A charming family run B&B in Banff National Park. The cosy rooms have been lovingly decorated and offer fabulous views over the mountains. The breakfast is a hearty affair that will fuel you through the morning and well into the afternoon. A great spot from which to enjoy the mountains.Golf - Choose between the Stanley Thompson course at the Fairmont Banff Springs, or the Silvertip and Stewart Creek courses in CanmoreBack to Nature - Retreat to nature in this Banff National Park B&B- hiking, biking, skiing as well as nature trails and birdwatchingGreat walks - Take a drive to Lake Louise and spend the day hiking through the forests along the shoreOther Activities - Recharge your batteries with a dip in the mineral spring’s pool on Sulphur Mountain
Fairmont Banff Springs 764 rooms from £237Banff
Styled after a Scottish Baronial Castle, this elegant retreat is situated in stunning mountain scenery, surrounded by pine trees, mountains, and lakes. Enjoy many outdoor activities from skiing to horse riding; relax after an active day in the spa, and feast on the wide selection of cuisines.Skiing - Many ski locations just minutes away; offers an on-site snow school; also offers ski passes, storage, and rentalSwimming Pool - Indoor and outdoor poolsSecluded setting - For escaping.Back to Nature