“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, probably 23456789 times in the past 12+ years. Over the years, we have experienced different hotel stays and services. So we have created this post – Where to stay in Banff National Park – with our favorite hotels and areas with tips.
This guide has recommendations on the best places to stay in Banff which will help you choose the right accommodation (and for the right reasons).
Where to stay in Banff National Park, with Best Places to stay in Banff
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Because we live only 4 hours away from Banff, it is our go-to place to unwind and relax and do a little staycation every now and then. We have always stayed in hotels and in different ones, and in different seasons (and yes sometimes availability, price, and booking time did play a role in selecting the hotels).
We will go over the various options below, but here are our top picks from each area
Top Banff Hotels
Banff Hotel Tips – Things to Keep in Mind
Here are some of the things to keep in mind when booking your accommodation in Banff National Park,
Busy seasons in Banff – June to late August are the popular months to visit Banff due to the warm weather and availability of activities. Keep in mind, warmer months also bring in a lot of tourists, and accommodation prices usually skyrocket!
Fall is our favorite time to visit, especially right after the long weekend in September as kids have gone to school and rooms are cheaper again (and fewer crowds)!
Tip: In either season, book your rooms ahead of time, preferably as soon as you know you will be vacationing here. Typically booking 1-3 months in advance is always suggested to find a place of your choice and budget in the busy season.
Other than hotels, Banff has 2 hostels. You can probably find an Airbnb in Banff and around, but the variety of hotels (including cabin-style lodges) will outnumber the options available in other accommodation segments.
Camping is also an option in the summer months in Banff (but the spots fill out fast, so reserve early).
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
|Distance from Banff to||Travel Time|
|Lake Louise||50 minutes|
|Cochrane||1 hour 10 minutes|
|Calgary||1 hour 25 minutes|
|Golden, BC||1 hour 40 minutes|
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 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 nightlife, shopping, hiking, adventure tours, sulphur caves, Banff Gondola, ice skating, wildlife, Cascade gardens, romantic staycation, wedding, kayaking, seasonal festivals, spa.
- ✅ Great location. Access to dining, shopping, tours, and other activities in Banff such as Cave & Basin National Historic Site
- ✅ Summer/Springtime – It is great for a quick stroll downtown for a coffee or drink in the evening.
- ✅ Major activities and festivals happen at 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 online.
Here are our favorites – Downtown 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, a 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 luxurious stay-cation idea. Their on-site restaurant is ONE of the finest in Banff.
- Rooms – 764
- Great hospitality, awesome mountain view rooms including 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
- Moose Hotel & Suites: Located in the heart of Banff town, this 4-star property offers beautiful views of the mountain town.
- Walking distance to restaurants, cafes, and other amenities
- Each suite has a patio or balcony
- Has a spa center, and an indoor and outdoor pool
- Features – 4-star hotel. Free parking, paid breakfast, balcony/patio for each booking
- Check availability Moose Hotel & Suites
- Rimrock Resort 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 loyalty program and offers various accommodation packages, including wedding venues and conferences.
- Rooms – 343
- Rooms come with great views and 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
- 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 a 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 is just a few steps away.
- Book your stay here at the Elk + Avenue Hotel
Beyond the Banff downtown area
Beyond the Banff downtown area, you can choose resorts or cabin-style living. Such properties are usually spacious, have a rustic flair, offer free parking and many also have a gym, pool, or a restaurant on-site.
Sunshine Village Ski Area and the Tunnel Mountain Way are great options for sightseeing and access to downtown.
Here are some of our favorites:
- Sunshine Village Mountain Lodge: Located at the foot of the Canadian Rockies, this is the only ski-in/ski-out hotel in Banff National Park. Distance about Banff town is only a 20-minute drive
- This is a 3-star hotel, with modern amenities. Plus upgraded rooms have balconies as well
- Parking is free, and there’s a fine-dining restaurant, as well as several casual restaurants and a sports bar onsite
- Features: Best for skiing and snowboarding activities, and vacations with family
- Check availability at the Sunshine Mountain Lodge here
- Buffalo Mountain Lodge: Stay at this no-frills Banff hotel with free parking, and within walking distance of Banff Avenue
- Rooms are cozy with a rustic flair, and each of them comes equipped with a wood fireplace, cable TV, coffee maker, and ironing facilities
- Meeting rooms and gym facilities are available onsite
- Features: Free parking, cozy stay with mountain views, hot tub, restaurant
- Check availability here
- Tunnel Mountain Resort: Stay at this 3-star Banff hotel that offers free parking, and mountain views. The resort is great for family vacations!
- Rooms: 105
- You can book a chalet or a suite (many with a fireplace)
- Rooms also have a balcony or a patio
- The resort has outdoor BBQs and a children’s playground
- Features: Free parking, family rooms are available, indoor pool
- Check availability here
Located only 20 minutes away from Banff, Canmore is a GREAT alternative to staying in Banff town. Canmore is less commercialized than 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, the closest that you can get to Banff
- ✅ Great views everywhere
- ✅ Activities, festivals (such as UnCorked), and 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, a kitchenette, a fireplace, an individual patio or balcony, and heated underground parking. It is a 3-star hotel, with great value (price, views, and amenities).
- Falcon Crest Hotel is only minutes away from the main street in Canmore – access to restaurants, shopping, and activities.
- Rooms: 108. Rooms have a living and bedroom area, with a fireplace, kitchenette, balcony, and GREAT views.
- Features: 3-star hotel. Mid-budget hotel (prices could be high during peak seasons). Perfect for groups and families. Long stay. Free parking
- Book your stay at the Falcon Crest
- Solara Bellstar Resort & Spa – An upscale 4-star resort hotel, the Solara Bellstar offers elegant in-suites with modern amenities, a laundry fireplace, and a kitchenette. It is located close to the downtown/main area of Canmore. It has an indoor pool and a spa.
- Rooms: Accommodation in 1-3 bedroom suites.
- Features: 4-star hotel. A 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 doorstep (or window).
- Situated in a great location, this hotel offers a rooftop hot tub, in-suite kitchenette, laundry, dining space, and of course spacious rooms.
- Rooms: 42 (apartments) – Apartment-style rooms with a comfortable bed, kitchenette, and dining area.
- Features: Perfect home away from home, pet-friendly, and great for groups and families. Recommended for long stays.
- Book your stay at Base Camp-Resorts
- Canadian Rockies Chalet – I wanted to mention 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 than 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.
- Rooms: 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 including the Bow Valley Park, several recreational areas, 4 wildland 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 staycation 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, fewer 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 Country
- 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 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 have modern decor with mountain views.
- Features: Mid to high-range hotel. Kananaskis Nordic Spa is family-friendly, and a 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
- Stoney Nakoda Resort & Casino– This hotel is located, literally in no man’s land. That’s how 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 a perfect stay-cation during Christmas.
- They had a festive lobby with dinner specials and casinos on site. The uninterrupted views of the skies were 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 spaces and is close to the highway (and a helipad) and the Nordic Provincial Centre. The 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
Lake Louise is the second most visited place in the Canadian Rockies. It is located about 50 minutes away from Banff town, in the hamlet of Lake Louise.
The blue turquoise waters look heavenly in the summertime and are ideal for kayaking. And in the wintertime, there are ice festivals held on the frozen lake and beyond.
Activities: Kayaking, canoeing, ice skating, ice (sculpture) festivals, hiking (Lake Agnes), photography, honeymoon, afternoon tea
- ✅ Only 40 minutes away from Banff, a beautiful stretch of drive
- ✅A small hamlet, but all modern amenities are available
- ✅ By staying in Lake Louise you can hit the Icefields Parkway attractions and back. Or wake up early to visit Moraine Lake
- Actually, can’t think of any
Our Lake Louise Accommodation Favorites | Lake Louise Hotels
- Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise -This is a stunning chateau hotel overlooking the beautiful Lake Louise. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a dream in concrete with modern amenities, yet engulfed in bygone era decor and elegance.
- Perfect for dream weddings, honeymoons, or stay-cation with luxurious interiors and hospitality. There is a spa and a restaurant on site
- During winters, you can skate or ski in the nearby lake and in the summertime – relax with a romantic walk, by the lakeside. 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. It 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 are available.
- Book your stay at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
- 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 and has a swimming pool, restaurant, and gym on-site. Good access to public transit also provides a shuttle to ski resorts.
- Rooms: 247 (includes 70 suites)
- Rooms style includes a studio and 2-3 bedrooms, which can accommodate up to 5-7 people. 5 Lodges with 10 guest room setups. 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
- Storm Mountain Lodge: This hotel is perfectly located between Banff town and Lake Louise
- Rooms are spacious with ample seating area, and modern amenities
- Parking is free, and there’s a restaurant on site
- Features: Free parking, cozy stay, and quick access to both Banff town, Johnston Canyon, Lake Louise, and Moraine Lake
- Check availability here
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 parlors.
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 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 to Banff. Cochrane to Banff is about a 1 hour and 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 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)
- A 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
- Rooms: 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 Cochrane is located only a few minutes away from Mitford Park, Cochrane Ranch, and an 11 km (6.8 miles) 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
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 nightlife, 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, nightlife – 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 – In summertime, the driving conditions are fine. But winter driving every day might be an issue, with snow and road conditions. Get the guide to traveling from Calgary to Banff
Here are our favorite Calgary Hotels
You can get our full hotel 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. Couples and individuals stay. Historic Hotel opened in 1914, amazing rooms, hospitality, and a prime downtown location
- Book your stay here at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel
- 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, the rooms are warm and very spacious. A 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: The 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
- Hampton Inn by Hilton – The Hampton Inn, located in the 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, includes a 24-hour airport shuttle
- Book your stay at the Hampton Inn by Hilton Calgary Airport North
Golden (British Columbia)
Golden BC – this option might be a little stretch, but I think it deserves a 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 the Canadian Rockies, Selkirk, and Purcell.
It is also an ideal location to access all 6 national parks in 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 on the Alberta and British Columbia border and make the most of your stay
- ✅ Winter activities are quite popular here, due to the mountain ranges
- ✅Fun activities include skydiving and 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
- The Prestige Inn Golden: This hotel is located near the Trans-Canada Highway, and minutes away from the Golden Skybridge.
- Rooms: 91
- The guest rooms are soundproofed (and many have gorgeous mountain views)
- Each room is equipped with modern amenities and eco-friendly bath products
- Features: Free parking, restaurant, indoor pool, and hot tub on site
- Click to check availability and book at the Prestige Inn
- 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. It 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 an airport shuttle, and free breakfast and is kid-friendly
- Book your stay at the Le Beausoleil Bed and Breakfast
- 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. The indoor pool, family-friendly, pet-friendly, offers airport transfer.
- Book your stay at Best Western Mountainview Inn
We hope you enjoyed our hotel’s guide and tips for finding the BEST accommodation in Banff National Park. Read some of our other Banff travel guides below,
- Banff Winter Guide: Get our Winter Activities Guide to Banff here
- Canadian Rockies road trip itinerary: 7 day Canadian Rockies trip
- Banff Itinerary: Our recommended all-season itinerary for Banff National Park
- Banff Food Guide: Best places to eat in Banff
- Canadian Rockies Tours: BEST Tours to take in the Canadian Rockies
- Banff travel tips: Get our Travel Tips for Banff
- Photo guide: Guide to best photo spots in Banff