Perched on the shores and the emerald waters of Lake Louise, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is an iconic property and lives up to its reputation as a destination hotel built for outdoor enthusiasts. My favourite moment of visiting the hotel, was walking through the lobby and turning the corner to catch the first glimpse of the lake through the huge arched windows that frame the most breathtaking view – it’s unforgettable.
You may think the main attractions of the hotel all lie outside in the surrounding national park and while there is definitely plenty to do out and about (more on that shortly), the interiors of the hotel are just as impressive. Every element from the grand lobby adorned with chandeliers depicting four Swiss guides, to the Lakeview Lounge and even the shopping gallery, exude elegant charm and sophistication – you feel special here, but definitely not in a stuffy way, it’s very relaxed and welcoming. The guest rooms are a perfect space to retreat too after a busy day exploring. There are rooms on both sides of the hotel offering a mountain view or a lake view – after viewing them both I would highly recommend spending just a little more to wake up to the stunning views of the lake each morning. I also got to see a range of room types on my visit from a ‘standard’ Fairmont Room (which is anything but standard) to a Fairmont Gold Room, which has the added benefit of a dedicated floor with private check in and exclusive lounge; through to both a one-bedroom and two-bedroom suite – these really are beautiful and although I didn’t stay in one I can imagine you’d never want to leave. There’s plenty of dining options within the hotel too, from casual and relaxed fayre at Alpine Social, to fine dining at the newest restaurant, Fairview Bar and Restaurant. I enjoyed lunch at the Lakeside Lounge which not only had an amazing menu but afforded one of the best views to gaze upon over lunch.
I could go on and on about the hotel itself, it really is fantastic, but when staying here you need to get outdoors and enjoy the wonders of Banff National Park. I have visited Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in both summer (Sept 2015) and winter (May 2022) and no matter the season there are activities galore to keep you busy! In the nicer weather get out and explore the hiking trials directly from the hotel – my favourite is the three-hour roundtrip to Lake Agnes Tea House – not an easy hike but well worth it! An easier trail is the path to Fairview Lookout which boasts lovely views of the lake back to the impressive castle-style hotel. You can even take to the waters of Lake Louise with canoes and kayaking. In the winter when the lake is frozen it becomes a winter wonderland. There’s ice-skating, skiing (three of western Canada’s top rated ski resorts are within easy reach), snowshoeing and husky rides, and in the evening, you can relax around a campfire, get a drink from the ice bar and huddle under a blanket as the stars twinkle above. It’s magical!!
A final thought and closing note must go to the incredible staff who make an already special hotel exceed every expectation. Every encounter I had with staff was personable and friendly, the staff really go the extra mile to ensure you have everything you need, and the service feels incredibly natural and not forced at all – everyone is there just to make your stay perfect – and it really was!