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Bow View Lodge Banff

Bow View Lodge Banff is a 3 star hotel in Banff, Alberta, Canada 228 Bow Avenue, Banff, AB, Canada
Estimated Price
$176
CAD
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Guest Reviews
Amenities
Booking Information

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Older, budget-friendly option near the downtown core

Pros
  • Free parking, free bike and ski storage
  • Guests liked being within walking distance of downtown and the Bow River walkway
  • Friendly and helpful staff, according to guests
  • Many guests reported that the hotel was clean
  • Many guests enjoyed the river view from their rooms
  • Many guests felt that the hotel provided a budget-friendly option in an otherwise expensive hotel market
Cons
  • Some guests thought the hotel was dated and lacking amenities
  • A few guests complained of noise from nearby rooms and trains passing by
  • Mixed reviews concerning beds (some finding them too hard)
  • Extra charges for Wi-Fi ($5/day) were disappointing to some guests
  • No air conditioning (except for River Suite)
  • Pool and exercise facilities are off site

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Editor's Analysis
Updated on Nov 28, 2012
Overview
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.
The Good
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.

The Bad
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.
TripAdvisor.com 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.
Editor's Analysis by Scott B.
Analyzed by Scott B.
With a keen interest in the flow of information and an eye for communication optimization, Scott is always looking for ways to finish this sentence...


Guest Reviews
7.9
Good
Guest Rating Explained
Rating: 7.9 / 10 Details

No. of guest reviews: 286
Guest Recommended: Yes
Guest Ranking Explained

Bow View Lodge Banff is #17 out of 42 hotels in Banff ranked by the ratings provided by guests.
Guest Recommendations and Comments
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Eugene from St. Paul, MN US rated Bow View Lodge Banff 8 out of 10 on May 23, 2013 Verified Guest Hotel Review
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Kal from Carvel, AB CA rated Bow View Lodge Banff 5 out of 10 on January 04, 2013 Verified Guest Hotel Review

"eeeeeghh"
"The hotel is old, not much in house amenities. The carpet in this place is spooky - don't take your shoes off."
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Mehak from Prince Albert, SK CA rated Bow View Lodge Banff 9 out of 10 on September 24, 2012 Verified Guest Hotel Review

"great location n a clean place to stay.."
"i really like the location. the rooms were clean n well maintained. the staff was friendly. the only thing i would like to recommend is to add microwaves to the rooms. everything else was awesome n had a great time."
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Verified Guest from Burnaby, BC CA rated Bow View Lodge Banff 10 out of 10 on September 03, 2011 Verified Guest Hotel Review
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Carla from Maple Ridge, BC CA rated Bow View Lodge Banff 7 out of 10 on August 02, 2011 Verified Guest Hotel Review

"I was only here overnight but everything was very satisfactory and the staff very helpful."
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Verified Guest from Fort Mcmurray, AB CA rated Bow View Lodge Banff 10 out of 10 on August 02, 2011 Verified Guest Hotel Review
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Verified Guest from Thornhill, ON CA rated Bow View Lodge Banff 7 out of 10 on June 30, 2011 Verified Guest Hotel Review
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Akshay from Lloydminster, AB CA rated Bow View Lodge Banff 9 out of 10 on June 02, 2011 Verified Guest Hotel Review
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Verified Guest from Red Deer, AB CA rated Bow View Lodge Banff 10 out of 10 on November 14, 2010 Verified Guest Hotel Review
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Verified Guest from Salmon Arm, BC CA rated Bow View Lodge Banff 10 out of 10 on August 04, 2010 Verified Guest Hotel Review
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Verified Guest from Tauranga, NZ rated Bow View Lodge Banff 8 out of 10 on April 09, 2010 Verified Guest Hotel Review

"Good Banff accomodation"
"Close to centre, nice views of river, nice and quiet room, helpful reception."
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Lawrence from Bendigo, VI AU rated Bow View Lodge Banff 9 out of 10 on February 09, 2010 Verified Guest Hotel Review

"Inexcusable to have a TV which was unwatchable."
Show older reviews
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Verified Guest from Windermere, BC CA rated Bow View Lodge Banff 8 out of 10 on November 08, 2009 Verified Guest Hotel Review

"Nothing fancy but clean and quiet. However the outside security lighting shines directly into the large windows at night obscuring the view of the river."

Map
Hotel Address: 228 Bow Avenue, Banff, AB, Canada
This Hotel is in...
Downtown Banff
Nearby cities...
Harvie Heights (14.6 km)
Canmore (19.0 km)
Castle Junction (25.5 km)
Dead Mans Flats (27.0 km)
Morley (41.3 km)
This Hotel is Near...
Banff Centre (1.3 km)
Peyto Lake (87.5 km)
Sunshine Village (14.6 km)

Amenities

  • 24 Hour Reception
  • Cable / Satellite TV
  • Coffee / Tea Maker
  • TV
  • Golf Course (nearby)
  • Bowling Alley
  • En suite
  • Private Bathroom
  • Family Room

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7.9
Good

#17 out of 42 hotels in Banff city based on 286 guest reviews

Other hotel options in Banff:
More Frequently Booked
8.5 Very Good
Rimrock Resort Hotel
C$359
Higher Rated By Guests
7.9 Good
Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
C$244
Sometimes Less Expensive
6.5 Fair
Driftwood Inn Banff
C$173


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