Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise- Hotel Review

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise- Hotel Review

Blog FL 2In a word,  FABULOUS! This hotel absolutely ranks on my top ten list and I would say is a must do for anyone looking to experience the beauty of Banff National Park in style.

I think there is no doubt that I will be back. There are some small issues, mainly with the fact that you are in a very beautiful part of the world and there are too many people at the hotel in the day time. Here is my breakdown of the resort.
The Rooms

After going on Trip Advisor I was concerned about the rooms. I had read all sorts of negative comments and had pretty low expectations.

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Our one bedroom suite  was simply wonderful, spacious, well ventilated and very nicely appointed. The huge bathtub had spa jets that worked well and were not too noisy and the bed was very comfortable. Despite being located quite close to the elevators There was no noise at night and we slept like babies.  Despite the best attempts of  Alexander in Reservations to secure us a Lake View Room, the hotel was completely sold out. I can only imagine how amazing a lake view would have been…..perhaps next time.

The Public Areas and Restaurants

When we arrived it was raining. The lobby was packed with day tourists that had probably just arrived to view the lake. They were noisy, carrying large amounts of take out from fast food restaurants and generally being unpleasant.

Blog FL 1It was a pretty grim scene and not the first impression I had hoped for. The lobby itself is beautiful and grand and while I understood that this was probably not a normal issue,  I cant help but wonder if the hotel should implement some kind of guests only areas in the hotel.

After we checked in, we went immediately to the “Lakeview Lounge” We were told it was an hour wait for a table (no doubt due to the hordes of day tourists on a rainy day) Because we were guests of the hotel, we were put on a fast waitlist. We went up to our room to unpack and by the time we were done the pager was alerting us to the fact that our fabulous table, right at the window overlooking mind-blowing Lake Louise was ready.

The Lakeview Lounge is fabulous restaurant offering incredible views of the lake, a very nice wine selection and some absolutely great food. Chris and I ate here twice during our stay. The staff was attentive, friendly and charming. After some delicious pasta were ready for our first hike.

Here is the link to my Blog posting about the hike: http://wp.me/p3e36V-93

Lake Louise
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At the end of the day, and first thing in the morning, Lake Louise becomes even more magical.

At this time the day tourists are gone and you have the Lake almost to yourself, this alone is worth staying at the Fairmont. The picture above was taken at 7:30 AM. The lake was absolutely smooth, the reflection of the surrounding mountains was spectacular. This is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. I am stunned that I was not truly aware of how beautiful it was, despite the industry I work in.

The Chateau Lake Louise is one of those rare hotels  that offers its guests access to incredible natural beauty right outside its doors. The staff at the hotel does a very nice job making you feel pampered. While we were sitting enjoying a glass of Champagne on the veranda a thunderstorm hit. As guests ran inside to avoid the weather, they were given robes and towels to dry themselves. A very nice touch by the hotel indeed. Overall, I would give the hotel a 9/10 for my stay, its was near perfect.

To Alex, who secured my room at the very last-minute I would like to say thank-you! It is because of you that I am now a HUGE fan of the Chateau Lake Louise. I will be back for sure.

Hiking in Banff. AKA how many times can I say… “Wow! This is beautiful!”

Hiking in Banff. AKA how many times can I say… “Wow! This is beautiful!”

Blog LL 2Lucky me! I was able to visit Alberta and even more lucky I got to visit the incredible Banff National Park.

I have travelled to Calgary, YYC, on business many times but this was the first time I was able to visit the Mountains and WOW, was I ever blown away.

Here are a few pictures and tips of my two days of Hiking in Lake Louise. We stayed at the gorgeous Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, so after our first climb I was able to retreat to sheer luxury and sip champagne. (Click here for Blog Posting with Hotel review http://wp.me/p3e36V-8J )  If you are in Banff or staying in the town of Banff you should absolutely make the trip to visit Lake Louise. Even if you have just one day to visit, you have time to see the lake and climb a mountain, trust me, its worth the sweat to get to the top.

Please note! I was there in the middle of summer, temps dipped to zero at night time so if you are travelling in winter you will likely have a totally different experience. These suggestions are based on my time in August.
Lake Agnes Climb. (Time needed 4 hours)

Blog hikeBlog hike 2The Lake Agnes hike leaves from the base of Lake Louise and takes about 4 hours in total. We were told it is an easy hike, ya, easy for an Olympic hiker maybe. For us 40 year olds, lets just say it took some cardio. The hike itself is about 7 km’s and you gain 385m/1260f in elevation. On you way up you pass a waterfall, another lake called Mirror Lake and simply stunning scenery of Lake Louise. There were a few people that started the hike and then turned back because it was pretty challenging so be sure to take water with you and wear proper footwear. I wore running shoes and wished that I had hiking boots.

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At the top of the Trail is the Lake Agnes Tea house. This is a family run tea house that serves much need refreshments to weary hikers. No pop or junk food here, just water, tea and baked goods. We had a pot of tea and enjoyed the fabulous scenery. Here is a picture of us, to the right of the picture is the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. The tea house was pretty empty when we went, but we were told it can get crazy busy. make sure you bring cash, its a little pricey but what do you expect, they have to carry all the supplies up the mountain that you just climbed. I thought it was a bargain! To some people the Tea House is just a stop and then they continue to hike but for us it was time to return home.

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