Guests should be aware that air conditioning comes at a premium in Banff and many hotel rooms in this city don't have it, even in the more expensive hotels, which seem to reserve air conditioning for their full suites and most expensive rooms. Usually the summer nights are cooler in the mountains, but recently there have been some issues with hot nights and no air conditioning for guests in Banff.
Expect to hear train noise from most places in Banff as the trains blow their whistles at the following road crossings even at night: Banff Avenue just south of the Trans-Canada interchange (about 275m from Banff airport); Compound Road, between Banff Ave and Hawk Ave; and Mount Norquay Road, just north of Railway Avenue (near Rocky Mountaineer Banff Train Station and Banff Mineral Springs Hospital). Hotel rooms facing these road crossings will be louder. The hotels closest to these road crossings are: Brewsters Shadow Lake Lodge, Banff Rocky Mountain Resort and Bow View Lodge. If you are booking at these hotels and a light sleeper, it may be advisable to bring ear plugs with you.
Our Editor's Top 4 Picks
It’s a popular and well-reviewed accommodation which offers condos with full kitchens, and suites with separated bedrooms, some which feature air conditioning, steam showers, wood burning fireplaces and private jacuzzis. Guests really enjoy the scenic views from their rooms and balconies which can include an occasional visit from a curious deer.
There are fitness facilities, hot tubs, steam room, sauna and indoor pool for guests’ relaxation and recreation. There are affordable bike rentals available to take advantage of nearby trails, free Wi-Fi and free parking also available on site.
It’s about a 10-minute walk to the town centre along Banff Avenue, or guests can use a free Roam bus pass for that purpose. Other spots of interest along the buses’ route include the Upper Hot Springs and Banff Springs Hotel. Guests can also dine in at Chili’s Grill and unwind with a drink at their lively bar.
Guests can enjoy luxury linens with down duvets and feather mattress toppers in their one- and two-bedroom suites with ensuite bathroom, kitchenette, balcony, or loft suites with additional fireplace. All suites have an air conditioned living room. The hotel provides free breakfast, free Wi-Fi and free heated underground parking. Ski shuttles to the areas three major ski resorts can be caught a short walk from the hotel.
As a sister property to the more upscale Banff Park Lodge across the street, guests receive free passes to the leisure facilities which include gym, indoor pool, hot plunge pool, hot tub and eucalyptus-infused steam room (a must try!). There is a choice of dining and lounge facilities there also with well-liked breakfast buffets. The ski shuttle for the area’s 3 ski resorts picks up at Banff Park Lodge too, with convenient last-on, first-off timing.
Guests say the best part of this hotel is the staff who are genuinely friendly and helpful. Guests should note that this small inn has 3 storeys, but no elevator on site and is also one of many Banff hotels without air conditioning. There is an internet kiosk on site and Wi-Fi is an extra $5 per day. Rooms offer convenient mini-fridges and the hotel provides free parking and free ski and snowboard storage.
Their smoke-free rooms are very clean and spacious and well equipped with extras like microwave and mini-fridge and modern flat screen TVs. Some offer balconies which guests like to use for winding down and enjoying the vistas. The hotel has a business centre for guests to catch up on email or work, and is conveniently located adjacent to the bus stop for the downtown shuttle service. Wi-Fi is an extra $3.10 per stay, but parking is free for all guests. There's no air conditioning, which is typical for Banff, but the hotel offers fans. Bumpers Inn is also pet friendly and charges only $10 per pet, per day.
The 6 Most Popular Hotels in Banff
Choosing A Hotel in Banff
Quick Summary of Most Popular Areas
Downtown Banff: where the majority of the hotels are located, most along Banff Avenue
When to visit Banff
If you are under the impression that Banff is a one-season resort town, you'd be wrong. Banff is a beautiful place to visit all year around. The summer provides comfortable weather to check out the numerous hiking and biking trails and take in the beautiful mountain scenery. The fall gives visitors a chance to witness the beauty of the leaves changing colours across Banff National Park. The winter, Banff's bread and butter, gives skiers and winter-sport enthusiasts a snow-covered playground. If you are looking to visit during a quiet time, try October and November. Typically this is the off season for the city as it is too cold for hiking trails and not yet ready for downhill skiing.
Where to stay in Banff
Downtown Banff is the place to be. The majority of Banff hotels are found in the downtown core, however there are some accommodations away from the town centre and tucked away in scenic pockets. The majority of the hotels are situated along Banff Avenue, just minutes from the Trans Canada Highway.
What to do in Banff
There is no shortage of things to do in Banff. Situated in the Canadian Rockies, Banff is home to breathtaking mountain views and endless trails to explore. This city is a hot spot in both the summer and winter. Banff National Park is over 6000 square kilometres of wilderness and home to Mt. Forbes, at 3612m it is Banff's highest mountain. The three main ski resorts in Banff are Banff Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village and the Lake Louise Mountain Resort.
From Banff, it is only a 45 minute drive up the Trans Canada Highway to the beautiful and scenic Lake Louise. This is a trip definitely worth making if you are visiting Banff.