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Dated Banff resort with kitchens, indoor pool, waterslide, outdoor hot tub & play zone 

Pros
  • Free amenities: Wi-Fi, parking, local calls, firewood, Roam Bus passes
  • Outdoor hot tub, play zone and waterslides a hit with guests
  • Location well liked away from the crowds at Banff townsite, near hiking trails and an easy ride to town
  • Some felt the rooms were clean, although dated and appreciated kitchens, balconies and views
  • Wood-burning fireplaces a hit with guests
Cons
  • Resort was overpriced according to some
  • Guests found rooms dated and in need of new furniture and renos
  • Wi-Fi was very intermittent and slow according to guests
  • Some had trouble regulating the heat and cooling in their rooms
  • Staff were not that service oriented said guests
  • Noise a problem on occasion in rooms above parking garage from guests chopping wood
Freebies
Free Wi-Fi
Free Parking
Editor's Analysis
Updated Jul 31, 2016
Overview
This older resort offers a family-friendly stay a 4-minute drive or 22-minute walk from downtown Banff. 

The smoke-free resort offers 130 units--condos, suites and chalets. Amenities common to all units include free Wi-Fi, free local calls, a flat screen TV with cable, a DVD player, a Plug n' Play panel (for use with wii, Xbox PS2 etc. with guest's own connector cables), free coffee with coffeemaker, a full kitchen, a safe, a fireplace (wood-burning, gas or electric), an iron and ironing board, a hair dryer, central air conditioning and a balcony or patio.

Units sleep from 2 to 10 people and are furnished with 2 double beds, 1-4 queen beds, 1 king bed, a sofabed and a pull-down bed. Units may be studio style, have a loft bedroom or 1 to 3 bedrooms and 1 to 4 bathrooms. Some units come with extras such as a double jacuzzi, a balcony and a patio.

Free outdoor and underground (for main lodge) parking is available on site. Free Roam Bus passes are also provided to guests.  

Pets (2 dogs) are welcome for $25 each, per night in certain condos and are provided with food and water bowls, treats, waste bags and trail maps. Please call the hotel directly to arrange a pet stay.

Hotel amenities include an indoor pool, 2 indoor waterslides, a kiddie pool, an indoor and outdoor hot tub, 2 saunas, a steam room, an indoor multi-level play zone, a 24-hour fitness centre, a games room, BBQs, an elevator (main lodge) and guest computers. An independently-owned grocery store, liquor store and coin laundry are also on site.

The Banff Centre is a 5-minute drive away while Banff Gondola and Banff Upper Hot Springs can be reached in 11 minutes by car. Mount Norquay is a 14-minute drive away. The Trans-Canada Highway is a 5-minute drive from the resort and Calgary International Airport (YYC) can be reached in 1.5 hours by car. (All travel times: Google Maps)


Confirmed with the front desk on July 30, 2016: all units have a full kitchen and a fireplace 
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The Good
Guests often enjoyed their stay at this older resort in Banff, but opinions varied.

In high season when prices jumped up guests found the units overpriced, but during low season guests (especially families) usually found value in having a larger room with several beds, a full kitchen and family-friendly amenities on site.

Although there were complaints about the indoor kiddie pool and landing pool for the waterslide being too cold at times, guests were usually pleased with these amenities and of course the children loved them. The play zone structure was always a hit with the younger kids and many guests really liked the outdoor hot tub, which some considered the best thing about this resort.

Guests mentioned that some staff members were considerate and helpful, but this was not a universally-held opinion for all staff.

Opinions varied about the rooms. Some guests found them rustic, clean and although dated, comfortable. The wood-burning fireplaces with free wood were very well liked along with patios and balconies.

Guests liked the more remote location and views. They appreciated getting free Roam Bus passes to town, the well stocked on-site grocery store that was priced similarly to those in town (not cheap), being near to trails and with some very picturesque views of mountains and trees. They especially enjoyed visits from deer and elk.

For families on a budget at the right time of year when the prices were not too high, this was a very workable place to stay.

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The Bad
Guests who didn’t like the resort were less numerous, judging from the scores and reviews read.

For these guests, the resort was just too old and not well enough maintained or brought up to date to be comfortable. They pointed to beat up cupboards, old. worn and uncomfortable sofabeds, hard beds, no ability to control the in-room temperature, fridges and freezer compartments without shelves, cramped rooms, worn and dirty carpets and older bed linens.

Another big disappointment in this property was the poor Wi-Fi. Guests said that it was not just slow but disconnected and stopped working regularly and some considered it non-existent.

Because guests did not have their own BBQ, but communal ones, it was sometimes hard to get to a BBQ when it was time to cook.

Guests sometimes found the front desk staff disinterested and not overly helpful. There was also no attendant at the waterslides and some guests felt unsafe with no one to rein in the unruly guests using it. Another sore spot was very dirty change rooms at the pool area.

Some found noise disturbances. They mentioned that rooms above the parking garage were noisy due to guests chopping wood there, a noisy fridge and dishwasher, and children in nearby rooms.

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Show Sources
Sources
TripAdvisor.com ranked this hotel #26 out of 32 hotels and rated it 4 out of 5, based on 886 guest reviews.

Booking.com
rated this hotel 7.9 out of 10 based on 295 guest reviews.

Expedia.ca
rated this hotel 4.2 out of 5 based on 756 guest reviews.
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
8.2
Very Good
#
11 / out of 41
hotels in Banff

Rated 8.2/10 based on 1950 reviews

Ranked #11 out of 41 hotels in Banff

1950
Map Marker Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets
525 Tunnel Mountain Road, Banff, AB