Located within a 5-minute walk of the shops and restaurants of downtown Banff, this hotel is in the lower price range for Banff hotels and caters to guests looking for a budget option while visiting the town of Banff.
The 100% smoke-free and pet-free hotel has 29 standard rooms, 25 river-view rooms, 3 family rooms and one suite (called the River Suite). All guestrooms come with a coffeemaker, a mini-fridge, cable TV, a dining table with two chairs, and a hair dryer. Ironing boards, irons and kettles are available on request. Family rooms have two adjoining bedrooms plus a sofabed and come with an extra TV and a microwave. The River Suite has two queen beds, a walk-in shower, additional seating area with plasma TVs, a large refrigerator, a coffeemaker with built-in grinder, and air conditioning.
Each room has individual climate control for heating only as no air-conditioning is available in the hotel (except for the River Suite). The hotel does provide fans in the rooms during the summer months to assist with air flow and cooling. Rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors all have balconies, and some rooms on the 1st floor have walk-out patios.
Local calls are $1.00 extra and Wi-Fi costs $5.00 for 24 hours. An internet kiosk or coin-operated computer is available on-site. The hotel provides free parking as well as free ski, snowboard and bike storage.
Access to the pool, hot tub, steam room and exercise room is available only through Banff Park Lodge (a sister hotel) directly behind the Bow View Lodge. The Banff Park Lodge also features two restaurants, The Chinook Family Restaurant and the Terrace Dining Room and Lounge. A breakfast buffet is served daily from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. for $18.50 plus tax.
The Banff Park Museum is a 2-minute drive away, and both the Banff Springs Golf Club and the Banff Upper Hot Springs are under 10 minutes away by car. The ski shuttle to the area's major ski resorts can be accessed at Banff Park Lodge, a 4-minute walk away (confirmed with 2012-2013 schedule). (All travel time estimates: Google Maps.)
Verified by a front desk agent on August 8, 2012: there is no air-conditioning in the public areas and hotel rooms (except for the River Suite), the internet kiosk is a coin-operated computer and there is no return airport transportation provided by the hotel.
This hotel received high marks for its friendly staff and location. In recent online reviews used for this analysis, guests seemed to find the staff pleasant, consistently friendly and helpful.
Guests appreciated the hotel's location in a scenic and quiet spot away from the main street, while still being only a short walk to downtown Banff. A few guests said they enjoyed walking along the trail just outside of the hotel along the Bow River.
Guests were thankful for the included amenities such as free parking, the mini-fridges in each room, and the pool and restaurants next door. Some guests enjoyed the river view from their rooms and thought it was worth the higher price. Other guests mentioned that the balconies were a great place to have tea and enjoy the scenery with wildlife occasionally coming right up to the hotel's grassy area to graze.
The rooms were considered to be basic, yet comfortable, and many reported them to be clean, though there were some complaints regarding the rooms. Many considered the hotel to be a good value for the resort town of Banff, an otherwise expensive hotel market.
Although some guests considered this hotel a good budget option in Banff, others were upset with the prices charged when compared to the lack of amenities and age of the rooms.
The most common complaint by guest reviewers was that the hotel was dated and needed a face-lift.
Although many guest reviewers said the rooms were clean, there were some who pointed out dirty carpets. Also, some guests thought that the rooms were small.
The beds received mixed reviews as well. Some guests found them to be too hard while others said they were comfortable.
More than one guest had trouble regulating the water temperature in their shower and complained of experiencing scalding hot water followed by freezing cold in rapid intervals.
A few guests complained of noise from neighbouring rooms or from trains passing by in the area.
A couple of guests were disappointed about the extra charge for Wi-Fi ($5/day), and there were other occasional complaints about the pool being off-site and the hotel not being air conditioned.
ranked the hotel #14 out of 33 properties in Banff. Guest ratings averaged 4 points out of 5 from 139 reviews.
Booking.com guest ratings averaged 8.1 points out of 10 from 161 guest reviews.
Priceline.com ranked the hotel #21 out of 35 properties in Banff with a guest rating average of 7.4 points out of 10 from 9 reviews.
Verified by a front desk agent on August 8, 2012: there is no air-conditioning in the public areas and hotel rooms (except for the River Suite), the "internet kiosk" is a coin-operated computer, and there is no return airport transportation provided by the hotel.