“The mountains are calling, and I must go” – I think Salil and I followed this calling way TOO many times and made our way to Banff National Park, probably 23456789 times in the past 7 years. Because we live only 3 hours away from Banff, it is our go to place to unwind and relax and do a little stay-cation every now and then. We have always stayed in hotels and in different ones, in different seasons (and yes sometimes availability, price and booking time did play a role in selecting the hotels). So we have created this best places to stay in Banff quick guide. This – Where to stay in Banff post – with our favorite hotels and area tips, will help you choose the right hotel in Banff (and for the right reasons).
Where to stay in Banff National Park, with Best Places to stay in Banff
Banff Hotel Tips – Things to keep in mind
- Busy seasons in Banff – June to late August are the best months to visit Banff. Warmer months also brings in a lot of tourists.
- Off seasons in Banff – September to March are slow months. Late November to January, could be slightly busy but not as busy as the summer months.
- In either seasons, book your rooms ahead of time, preferably as soon as you know you will be vacationing here.
- Other then hotels, Banff has 2 hostels, you can probably find an airBnB in Banff and around, but the variety of hotels (including cabin style hotel) will outnumber the reasons and options available in other accommodation segments. Camping is also an option in the summer months in Banff (but they fill out fast)
How to use this Banff Hotels Guide?
We have listed 6 areas that are located close proximity to Banff National Park.
- Pros and Cons of each area
- Our top Hotel Recommendations – Hotels covered here include the best stays for couples (stay-cation or honeymoon), families, groups, pet-friendly or long term accommodation.
|Banff To||Travel Time|
|Lake Louise||50 min|
|Cochrane||1 hr 9 min|
|Calgary||1 hr 25 min|
|Golden, BC||1 hr 40 min|
Best Places to stay in Banff – Our Favorite hotels + Area Guide
Banff Avenue | Banff Town | Banff National Park
If you are heading to Banff, obviously this is your FIRST area of choice. There are quite a few GREAT options to stay on the Banff Avenue, which is the downtown area of Banff.
You will find something that fits your budget – bed and breakfast to luxurious, with heated outdoor pools, fireplace, on site restaurants, spa and more. There are definitely tons of pros to staying in Banff.
Activities: Banff town, history, northern lights (near Lake Minnewanka), food and night life, shopping, hiking, adventure tours, sulphur caves, Banff Gondola, ice skating, wildlife, Cascade gardens, romantic stay-cation, wedding, kayaking, seasonal festivals, spa.
- Great location. Access to dining, shopping, tours and other activities in Banff
- Summer/Spring time – It is great for a quick stroll to downtown for a coffee or drink in the evening.
- Major activities and festivals happen at the Banff avenue like the Christmas Parade (in November), Canada Day parade (July), Banff Yoga Festival (May), Epic Culinary Event (Fairmont Banff Springs in April)
- Roam buses, parking and public toilets are located close by.
- Oh! Forgot to add – AMAZING MOUNTAIN VIEWS.
- Rooms get filled out FAST, so book them in advance and on line.
Here are our favourites – Banff Hotel recommendations
- Fairmont Banff Springs – The MOST stunning hotel in Banff is the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel. It is the top rated hotel here for a reason. The Fairmont hotel is like a royal castle of sorts, with the beautiful Canadian Rockies backdrop and a huge complex with restaurants, conference hall, stores, short trails and many more. Fairmont also conducts many culinary fests and winter festivals in their hotel. It is also a perfect wedding venue, honeymoon vacation and a luxurious stay-cation idea. Their on-site restaurant is ONE of the finest in Banff.
- Rooms – 764
- Great hospitality, awesome mountain view rooms includes studio or deluxe rooms
- Features – Luxury stay, great for individuals or couples (Willow Stream Spa – packages for couples available), Banff Bed and Breakfast packages (hotel stay with a la carte breakfast)
- Book your stay at the Fairmont Banff Springs
- Rooms – 764
- Rimrock Hotel – Another fine Banff hotel – the Rimrock offers amazing views of the Canadian Rockies with fine dining options and a spa. Dining options include 2 restaurants and 2 lounges, with a coffee shop. Rimrock also has a royalty program and offers various accommodation packages, including wedding venues and conferences.
- Rooms – 343
- Rooms come with great views, modern in-suite amenities. Rooms range from standard, grand to in-suite options. Fireplaces, wooden furniture, big windows for mountain views.
- Features – 4 star hotel. Airport transfer – Banff Airporter provides frequent departures from Calgary to Rimrock Hotel
- Book your stay here Rimrock Hotel
- Rooms – 343
- Elk + Avenue Hotel – Awesome hotel with all the required amenities and more. Cool downtown location, room rates are reasonable, access to shopping centers, restaurants and Banff town activities. At the hotel, there is free heated parking (which is a plus in the downtown area), onsite dining options and hot tub.
- Rooms – 162
- Standard beautiful and spacious rooms (with pretty red detailing). Modern decor and amenities. Good for groups and families.
- Features – 3 star hotel. Mid range. Family stay. Offers ski storage. Access to Banff downtown just a few steps away.
- Book your stay here at the Elk + Avenue Hotel
- Rooms – 162
Located only 20 minutes away from Banff, Canmore is a GREAT alternative to staying in Banff town. Canmore is less commercialized then Banff, but still has access to modern amenities, restaurants, and AMAZING views. Views of Three Sisters was our favorite. It is one place, which truly bleeds “good things in life are free” – no park fees and lovely views everywhere, whether a grocery store, coffee shop or your hotel balcony.
Activities: Hiking, slow travel, rock climbing (indoors), seasonal festivals, spa, food. More on Canmore here
- No park fees.
- Only 20 minutes away from Banff, closest that you can get to Banff
- Great views everywhere
- Activities, festivals (UnCorked), all modern amenities available
- In summer months, room rates could be high, just like Banff. Book early to secure a good price and availability
Here are our Canmore hotel favorites
- Falcon Crest – We love staying at the Falcon Crest Lodge. This is the number #1 hotel in Canmore and offers stunning views, 2 outdoor hot tubs, kitchenette, fireplace, individual patio or balcony and free parking. It is a 3 star hotel, with a great value (price, views and amenities). Falcon Crest hotel is only minutes away from main street in Canmore – access to restaurants, shopping and activities.
- Rooms: 108
- Rooms have living and bedroom area, with fireplace, kitchenette, balcony and GREAT views.
- Features: 3 star hotel. Mid budget hotel (prices could be high during peak seasons). Perfect for groups and family. Long stay.
- Book your stay at the Falcon Crest
- Rooms: 108
- Solara Bellstar Resort & Spa – An upscale 4 star resort hotel, the Solara Bellstar offers elegant in-suites with modern amenities, laundry fireplace and kitchenette. It is located close to the downtown/main area of Canmore. Has indoor pool and a spa.
- Accommodation in 1-3 bedroom suites.
- Features: 4 star hotel. Great option for family and couples stay. They offer weekly rates for long stays.
- Book your stay at Solara Bellstar Resort & Spa –
- Base Camp Resorts – Newly opened Base Camp Resorts offer stunning views of the Canadian Rockies at your door step (or window). Situated in a great location, this hotel offers rooftop hot tub, in-suite kitchenette, laundry and dining space and of course spacious rooms.
- Rooms: 42 (apartments)
- Apartment style rooms with comfortable bed, kitchenette, dining area.
- Features: Perfect home away from home, pet friendly and great for groups and family. Recommended for long stays.
- Book your stay at Base Camp Resorts
- Rooms: 42 (apartments)
- Canadian Rockies Chalet – I wanted to mention about the Canadian Rockies Chalet, which is a 2 star hotel. It is worth considering this place for the views, location and chalet like accommodation. They are actually called “vacation rentals” rather then a hotel, as they like apartment suite style. Rooms have the basic amenities and at most times of the year, they offer great deals on hotel sites, so definitely worth the look.
- Standard room amenities. 2 & 3 bedroom accommodation stay. Depending on the maximum number of occupants and the view, they are different packages available. Most rooms can fit up to 8 occupants, with 2 bathrooms.
- Features: Budget accommodation. Great for long term stays, groups and families.
- Book your stay at the Canadian Rockies Chalet
Kananaskis is one of the upcoming and popular areas located close to the Banff National Park. You will find a few hotels here, but they offer a budget range for every traveler. Kananaskis Country actually consists of 5 provincial parks and several recreational areas, 4 wild land parks and one ecological reserve.
We stayed in one of the hotels in Kananaskis about 3 years ago. This hotel – Stoney Nakoda Resort & Casino – was located in the middle of nowhere. The hotel property has a casino and was a perfect place to do a little stay-cation and watch the night skies.
These days, Kananaskis is gaining popularity due to the Nordic Spa – at Lodge Kananaskis. It is like a piece of Iceland in our little Canada town! (More on that below).
Activities: Hiking, Nordic Provincial Park, skiing, snowboarding, golfing, nature stay
- Located 35 minutes outside of Banff, at the foothills and front ranges of the Canadian Rockies
- Which means AWESOME views again
- Less touristy, less crowds (for now)
- In the lap of nature, but close to the highway.
- Only a handful of hotels to choose from
- Not many restaurants or cafes in and around town
Here are our favorites – Hotels in Kananaskis County
- Kananaskis Mountain Lodge – Okay, this is the place I was referring to. The hotel room rates are similar to any 4 star hotel in the Canadian Rockies, but the spa steals the show. Whether you stay here or not, visit the Kananaskis Nordic spa and pretend like you are in Iceland. This luxurious hotel also offers a ballroom, family-friendly facilities (with services for families of all sizes, plus babysitting/child services and a playground) and wholesome breakfast and dining options.
- Rooms: 247
- Beautiful spacious rooms. The rooms are stunning and has modern decor with mountain views.
- Features: Mid to high rang hotel. Kananaskis Nordic spa, family friendly, restaurant on site
- Book your stay at the Kananaskis Mountain Lodge
- They also have additional guest rooms at 2 other hotel properties – Mount Kidd Manor at Kananaskis and Crosswaters Resort
- Rooms: 247
- Stoney Nakoda Resort & Casino– This hotel is located, literally like in no man’s land. That’s now it feels like – in the lap of nature with trees, mountains and tranquility. We stayed here actually a couple of years ago and it was perfect stay-cation during Christmas. They had a festive lobby with dinner specials and a casinos on site. The uninterrupted views of the skies was amazing – it was like sleeping under the stars and the next day’s sunrise was beautiful and bright. The hotel property has lots of parking space, is close to the highway (and a heli-pad) and the Nordic Provincial Centre. Rooms were spacious and clean.
- Rooms: 110
- Standard and deluxe rooms, access to great views.
- Features: Great value hotel with casino and restaurant on site. Peaceful, natural setting location.
- Book your stay at the Stoney Nakoda Resort & Casino
- Rooms: 110
Lake Louise is the second most visited place in the Canadian Rockies. It is located about 40 minutes away from Banff town, in the hamlet of Lake Louise. The blue turquoise waters look heavenly in the summer time and is ideal for kayaking. And in the winter time, there are ice festivals held on the frozen lake and beyond.
Activities: Kayaking, canoeing, ice skating, ice (sculpture) festivals, hiking (Lake Agnes), photography, honeymoon
- Only 40 minutes away from Banff, beautiful stretch of drive
- Small hamlet, but all modern amenities available
- Actually, can’t think of any
Our Lake Louise Accommodation Favorites
- Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise -This is a stunning chateau hotel over-looking the beautiful Lake Louise. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a dream in concrete with modern amenities, yet engulfed in by-gone era decor and elegance. Perfect for dream weddings, honeymoon or stay-cation with luxurious interiors and hospitality. There is a spa and restaurant on site. During winters, you can skate or ski in the nearby lake and in the summer time – relax with a romantic walk, by the lake side. Shuttle services are available for Lake Louise Village and Ski resort.
- Rooms: 552
- Rooms include 2 twin, one king or (1-2) queen beds, with Lake Louise and Victoria Glacier views. Can accommodate up to 4 people depending on bed type. Modern amenities TV, wifi, in room safe, coffee maker
- Features: Luxury stay, perfect for individuals and couples. Honeymoon and wedding packages available.
- Book your stay at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
- Rooms: 552
- Lake Louise Inn – This beautiful (and mid budget) hotel/inn is located very close to Lake Louise and is surrounded by mesmerizing views of the Canadian Rockies. Perfect place for families and groups. Lake Louise Inn offers spacious rooms, has a swimming pool, restaurant and gym on site. Good access to public transit, also provides shuttle to ski resorts.
- Rooms: 247 (includes 70 suites)
- Rooms style include studio and 2-3 bedrooms, which can accommodate up to 5-7 people. 5 Lodges with 10 guest room set ups. Guest rooms have a fridge, TV, Jacuzzi tub, balconies
- Features: Mid budget, good for families and groups, pet friendly, restaurant and swimming pool on site
- Book your stay at the Lake Louise Inn
- Rooms: 247 (includes 70 suites)
Cochrane is located an hour away from Banff. This Alberta town is surrounded by Rocky View County. This town has a very western vibe to it – with its art, stores and coffee and ice-cream parlours. During summers, get ready to absorb the golden hues and experience a quaint lifestyle. In the winters, indulge in ice and snow activities on the frozen lakes.
Cochrane has tons of accommodation options including cabin style hotels. Definitely cheaper rates as compared to Banff. The drive from Calgary to Cochrane along Highway 1A is actually very stunning. Ghost Lake is a popular ice fishing destination along that route. We have taken this route many a times in winter (to beat traffic from the faster, busier Trans-Canada highway). You can enjoy pit stops on the way from Cochrane to Canmore and finally Banff. Cochrane to Banff is about 1 hour 9 minutes drive.
Activities: Ice fishing, hiking, skating, picnic, slow travel
- A scenic alternate route to Banff National Park via Canmore
- Not commercialized, quaint and perfect for small town living
- Quick access to hiking, fishing activities
- Great value hotels
- No luxurious hotels or resorts
Here are our recommendations for Cochrane Hotels
- The Cochrane Rocky View Hotel – A themed inn (wild wild west) with rustic furniture and decor, but clean and beautiful rooms – the Cochrane Rocky View Hotel is an interesting place to stay in. Has a restaurant and bar on-site (Texas Gate Bar). Lot of history and vintage details can be found at the hotel property. Good Location, great for families, awesome breakfast. Events and shows are conducted here as well.
- Standard rooms, might look dated, but are clean. If you like spooky things, this hotel is said to have experienced paranormal activity and guests are invited for investigations as part of their stay. The hotel was built in 1904 and has witnessed gambling and immense action.
- Features: Budget Hotel. Good for families.
- Book your stay at the Cochrane Rocky View Hotel
- Days Inn and Suites by Wyndham Cochrane – Bed and breakfast hotel with an indoor pool and free parking, wifi and breakfast. Days Inn and Suites by Wyndham Coachrane is located only a few minutes away from the Mitford Park, Cochrane Ranch and 11-km drive from Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park.
- Rooms: 61
- Standard, basic rooms
- Features: Budget Hotel. Good value for money
- Book your stay at the Days Inn and Suites
- Rooms: 61
If you are flying to visit Banff National Park, then most likely you will be arriving in Calgary first. Calgary is the commercial capital of Alberta and is the getaway to the Canadian Rockies. It is a GREAT idea if you spend a day or two in Calgary before visiting the National Park.
Activities: City and night life, shopping, museums, history, Stampede. Our Calgary quick guide here
- Lots of hotel options – budget to luxurious.
- Even in peak months, you can find affordable places to stay in Calgary (with free parking)
- Big city, so festivals, restaurants, shopping, night life – they have it all
- Oh, river valley as well!
- It takes 1.25 hours to reach Banff, one way.
- Driving conditions at different times of the year – Summer time, the driving conditions are fine. But winter driving everyday might be a issue, with snow and road conditions.
Here are our favorite Calgary Hotels
You can get our full hotels guide in Calgary here, with neighborhood details. But here are our top 3
- Fairmont Palliser Hotel – Fairmont hotels are special for a reason. Their vintage and luxurious feel are second to none. The Fairmont Palliser Hotel is located in downtown Calgary. It offers honeymoon and romantic packages for couples and also has an on-site spa and dining options. The location is hard to beat – you get amazing views of the Calgary tower and quick access to other downtown sightseeing spots, restaurants and fests.
- Rooms: 407
- Beautiful and luxurious rooms. Comfortable beds, views from top floors.
- Features: Luxury stay. Couple and individual stay. Historic Hotel opened in 1914, amazing rooms, hospitality and a prime downtown location.
- Book your stay here at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel
- Rooms: 407
- Sheratan Eau Claire – Located in Calgary downtown by the Eau Claire market and park area, Hotel Sheratan Eau Claire is like a home away from home. Their hospitality is amazing, rooms are warm and very spacious. Lot of restaurant options nearby too.
- Rooms: 323
- Beautiful rooms with contemporary decor. If you stay on the 5th or the 6th floor, the views of downtown are stunning from there.
- Features: Only 4 Diamond hotel in downtown Calgary, great location and quick access to shopping area and sightseeing in Calgary
- Book your stay at the Sheraton Calgary Eau Claire
- Rooms: 323
- Hampton Inn by Hilton – The Hampton Inn, located in Calgary airport area is one of our favorite hotels. Clean, spacious rooms, free breakfast and parking and most importantly AIRPORT views! They have accessible guest rooms and allow service animals. This is a 3 star hotel-but love the value!
- Rooms: 135
- Clean spacious rooms with airport views.
- Features: 3 star mid range hotel. Close to the airport, free parking & breakfast. Also include 24 hour airport shuttle
- Book your stay at the Hampton Inn by Hilton Calgary Airport North
- Rooms: 135
Golden (British Columbia)
Golden BC – this option might be a little stretch, but I think it deserves good mention. Golden is located in the province of British Columbia. It is about 1 hour 40 minutes drive away from Banff. Golden offers stunning views and tons of activities in the mountains.
Golden is a magical place where historic rivers meet and all the mountain ranges welcome you. From here, you can view the 3 mountain ranges, namely Canadian Rockies, Selkirk and Purcell. It is also can ideal location to access all the 6 national parks at a close proximity. (National Parks include – Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, Yoho National Park, Glacier, Mount Revelstoke and Kootenay). There are ski resorts located here that pull tourists during the colder months.
Activities: Ice-skating, skiing, hiking, snowboarding, slow travel, white water rafting, canoeing, kayaking, paddling, fishing, sky diving, mountain biking
- Convenient location to access the National Parks in the Alberta and British Columbia border and making the most of your stay
- Winter activities are quite popular here, due to the mountain ranges
- Fun activities include sky diving, mountain biking. Glamping is an option.
- Affordable places to stay
- If Banff is your area of interest, diving to and from Golden will take up a lot of time.
Recommendations for Golden BC Accommodation
- Le Beausoleil Bed and Breakfast – Located on the outskirts of Golden BC is this cabin style, upgraded living at Le Beausoleil Bed and Breakfast is a perfect stay-cation spot in the lap of nature. It is located only a few minutes away from the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
- Rooms: 4
- 3-4 spacious and comfortable guest rooms. Has a guest lounge and library with a large screen TV, a guest dining area with refrigerator, microwave and dishwasher and a large hot tub to relax in.
- Features: Luxurious stay. Close to the airport. Offers airport shuttle, free breakfast and is kid friendly
- Book your stay at the Le Beausoleil Bed and Breakfast
- Rooms: 4
- Best Western Mountainview Inn Golden BC – Standard 3 star hotel, with basic amenities for a comfortable stay. Best Western Golden BC is one of the best hotel properties in town with free wifi, parking and breakfast. The hotel property is located about 17 minutes from Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and only a few minutes away from the Kicking Horse pedestrian bridge.
- Rooms: 126
- The rooms are spacious and deluxe family rooms.
- Features: Budget hotel. Indoor pool, family friendly, pet friendly, offers airport transfer.
- Book your stay at Best Western Mountainview Inn
- Rooms: 126
Hope you enjoyed our hotels guide and tips for finding the BEST accommodation in Banff National Park.
Last Update: March 30 2019
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