We’ve had the luxury of visiting Banff on five different occasions during our travels so we know a thing or two about where to stay in Banff.
We’ve visited Banff National Park in winter and summer and have sampled many different lodges and inn during our time in Alberta.
There are many choices of accommodation in Banff. From Inns to lodges and full blown hotels in Banff, there’s something to suit every need and budget.
We’ve had the good fortune of testing out several hotels in Banff and can attest that whatever you choose in the list, you won’t be disappointed.
Best Places to Stay in Banff
Depending on what you are looking for, we’ve got you covered with accommodation choices.
In a Hurry? We’ve Got Answers to Your Questions to Banff Accommodation
Yes, you can stay in Banff National Park. Banff Town is a community within the park and there is plenty of accommodation from budget to luxury. Check out the Fairmont Banff Hot Springs.
The best place to stay in Banff in winter is Lake Louise. It is close to the ski hill, ice skating on Lake Louise, and many other winter activities. Check out the Fairmont Lake Louise.
There are hostels in Banff offering affordable accommodation including the Hi Banff Alpine Centre and Banff International Hostel in Banff Town.
Town of Banff – Where to Stay in Banff for the First Time
The Town of Banff is located directly in Banff National Park and is an excellent base for first timers. It is also the place where you can find some more budget options for hotels in Banff.
Here are our top choices for hotels in Banff town.
1. Buffalo Mountain Lodge – Town of Banff
If you want to be in the heart of the action of Banff proper Buffalo Mountain Lodge is a great choice for a hotel in Banff.
Situated just minutes from downtown, Buffalo Mountain Lodge offers free shuttles for guests to go out for dinner, drinks or downtown shopping.
We loved building a fire in our room as we overlooked our Rocky Mountain view.
Staff provides kindling, newspaper, matches, and wood to create the perfect fire for a romantic or cozy atmosphere.
The Sleeping Buffalo Dining Room is a great choice for dinner featuring local fruits, vegetable, and grains plus hormone and antibiotic-free bison and elk raised on their own game ranch.
2. Elk & Avenue – Town of Banff
Located downtown Baff, the Elk & Avenue is an excellent location to walk around the town and be close to everything.
Plus it has free parking so you can road trip all around Banff National Park and the Icelands Parkway.
It’s a basic hotel with few amenities (there’s a very uninviting hot tub in a concrete room) but for location you can’t beat it!
3. Fox Hotel and Suites – Town of Banff
Located downtown Banff, Fox Hotel and Suites is walking distance to all the main dining and hot spots.
What sets Fox Hotel and Suites apart from other hotels in Banff is the large hot pool modelled after the Cave & Basin hot pools.
The original Cave & Basin was Canada’s first national park. We had a two bedroom suite that echoed the perfect ski lodge setting.
For roadhouse dining we ate at Chilis Restaurant located in the lobby. When you’ve had a busy day of adventures in Banff, sometimes a quick meal at the hotel restaurant is in order.
4. Fairmont Banff Springs – Town of Banff
Okay, I know I said besides Banff Springs above, it’s not the like Fairmonts of Banff need advertising.
But if you want pure luxury in a historic location, The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel is the place to be!
The hotel was opened in 1888 and has undergone many renovations since. It is a massive hotel
Where to Stay in Banff for Families
5. Juniper Hotel – Mount Norquay
Our room at the Juniper Hotel was to die for with whirlpool bath, a wood-burning fireplace, and leather couch propped in front of a big-screen TV.
But its the outdoor hot tub looking at the striking Rocky Mountain view that sticks with us.
Juniper sits at the foot of Mount Norquay making it the perfect getaway for families wanting to ski nearby.
There’s a trail leading into the woods from the hotel that we took a great little hike on spying a family of deer, and the Juniper Bistro offers delicious home-cooked meals straight from the farm to table.
6. Stoneridge Mountain Resort
Stoneridge Mountain Resort is a proper resort that is about a 10 minute walk from Canmore.
All suites have kitchens so it is perfect for families. Another cool thing is it has an outdoor heat pool that can be used year round!
Looking for things to do in Banff? Check out The Best Place to go Dog Sledding in Banff National Park
Best Places to Stay in Banff for Skiing
7. Sunshine Mountain Lodge – Sunshine Village
For serious ski lovers, Sunshine Mountain Lodge is the top choice. It’s the only slopeside hotel in Banff.
This luxury hotel is located at the top of the gondola giving guests the unique opportunity of being first on the hill.
With spa service, ski and snowboard lockers, and Banff’s largest outdoor hot pool, Sunshine Mountain Lodge is a full-service winter retreat.
Their restaurant offers Albertan beef and vegetarian options, and the loft rooms overlooking the ski hill are outstanding.
We turned on the gas fire and ate fresh local cheese as we looked over the ski lifts while staff groomed the trails for our day on the hill.
Where to Stay in Lake Louise
Lake Louise is also a great places to make a base for skiing and snowboarding near Ski Louise.
There are also plenty of things to do in Lake Louise from hiking, ice skating, dogsledding and good dining options.
8. Deer Lodge – Lake Louise
The sister lodge to Buffalo Mountain Lodge, Deer Lodge is located just a short walk from Lake Louise.
If you are snowboarding or skiing at Lake Louise, this is a great nearby choice. During ski season, daily complimentary shuttles run from Deer Lodge to the ski resort.
Originally built in 1923 as a teahouse, it has grown and expanded over the years to a four-season lodge.
The accommodation is rustic yet elegant offering fine dining at one of the most noted dining rooms in the Rockies.
There is an incredible rooftop hot tub that looks out at Victoria Glacier and new traditional dry wood sauna.
Read About our snowboarding experience at Lake Louise Ski Resort
9. Fairmont Lake Louise – Lake Louise
Located directly on Lake Louise, The Fairmont Lake Louise has the best view in the entire world.
Seriously, the view of Lake Lousie will take your breath away.
By staying at The Fairmont Lake Louise, you’ll be able to enjoy Lake Louise and Moraine Lake before all the crowds arrive.
Plus being a Fairmont hotel, you can count on a chic luxurious room.
Best Wilderness and Backcountry Lodges in Banff
If you visit Banff, you really must get into the backcountry. You can ski into lodges in the winter and hike or even go horseback riding in the summer.
But there are lodges that are still in the wilderness without having to do the effort as well. To get the true feeling of Banff, you must stay in one of these lodges.
10. Sundance Lodge – Backcountry Banff
It may not be a typical hotel in Banff, but when visiting the National Park, you really need to get out to the backcountry at least once.
Sundance Lodge is a cross-country ski or snowshoe in during the winter months, or a horseback ride or hike in the summertime.
10-room log cabin is nestled on the bend of Brewster’s Creek in the valley of the Sundance Mountain Range.
Located 16km from Banff, it takes you away from it all where you can truly get away from cell service, noise and light pollution.
You are in the true Canadian wilderness but you’re not roughing it.
Your stay offers a personal chef, wood-burning fire, hot showers and solar heating. A great Rocky Mountain escape awaits.
For backcountry tours, trail rides and lodge information visit the Banff Trail Riders Website
Check out prices at Sundance Lodge at the Sundance Mountain Lodge Website
11. Storm Mountain Lodge – Banff National Park
For the truly romantic getaway in Banff, Storm Mountain Lodge is our top choice.
Guests stay in private cabins ranging in size for couples to families with a spectacular view of Storm Mountain.
The lodge was originally built as a way for the Canadian Pacific Railway to attract more tourists to the Rocky Mountains in 1922.
Eight log cabins which are still used by guests today. Storm Mountain Lodge is completely self-sufficient with water, power, and sewer creating a sustainable green environment.
Our cabin had a fireplace and sofa where we sipped wine reminiscing about our day before dining at their all Canadian menu.
It’s fine dining in a forest setting, nothing could be more superb. It’s a bit away from it all and that is exactly the way we like it.
Check out prices at The Storm Mountain Lodge on Trip Advisor
12. Num Ti Jah Lodge – Bow Lake
Num Ti Jah is closed during the winter months, but I wanted to put it in this round up because it really is one of the legendary hotels in Banff.
Surrounded by mountains with the Crowfoot Glacier towering overhead the lodge is as rustic as it is historic.
Founded by Jimmy Simpson in 1898, you really feel that time has stood still here. If you want to get away from it all, this is the place to be.
The main lodge has a cozy fireplace with simple rooms keeping with traditional virtue the simple life.
The Elkhorn dining room has many elk, bears, moose, wolverine and deer trophy’s hanging on the walls but never fear, they were hunted and killed during the early 1900s.
But that shouldn’t stop you from sampling some of the elk or bison on the menu!
Airbnb is a great option for Banff Accommodation since hotels fill up quickly.
You can find luxury accommodation at mid-tier prices like this full condo rental overlooking the town of Banff and the Rocky Mountains.
Should you stay in Banff or Canmore?
If you are visiting Banff for the first time, we suggest staying in Banff. Canmore is about 20 minutes away from Banff proper so to really experience Banff National Park. You’ll want to stay there.
But there is plenty to do in Canmore and if you want a more local and authentic feel, you want to stay in Canmore.
There are also plenty of places to eat in Canmore and a lot of outdoor activities. We love climbing in Canmore, both ice climbing and rock climbing.
Where Can you Stay Near Banff?
13. Holiday Inn – Canmore
We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Canmore during the holidays one year and it is an affordable hotel in Banff.
Located just off Highway 1, it offers easy access for driving to Banff, Jasper, Calgary, and Lake Louise.
There is a good restaurant, renovated rooms with flat screen TVs, free Internet and like most hotels in Banff, there is a hot tub!
Check out prices at Holiday Inn Canmore on TripAdvisor
14. Kananaskis Lodge – Kananaskis
Located 45 minutes outside of Banff, Pomeroy Kananaskis Lodge is an excellent choice for a luxurious escape.
It is attached to the Nordic Spa that is a popular Banff Attraction unto itself. Kananaskis is a superb place to make a home base for a couple of days to explore the area around Canmore and Banff.
It’s not too far away, but it is also relaxing enough to escape the hustle and bustle that Banff sees in the summertime and ski season.
See prices at Kananaskis Lodge Trip Advisor /Booking.com
15. Delta Hotels by Marriott – Calgary
Yes, you can visit Banff from Calgary. Banff is 100 km (60 miles) from Calgary and many people do day trips from Calgary.
We recommend staying in Banff or one of the closer towns, but Calgary can be a good option too as it is a great city with plenty of things to do!
The Delta Hotel by Mariott was a great stay that was very central to downtown Calgary sites like the Calgary Tower and Chinatown.
Our Luxurious room had a great view of the city. The newly renovated hotel has modern and chic rooms with lots of outlets for electronics. I loved the modern feel.
Check out prices at the Delta Calgary TripAdvisor
16. Hotel Arts – Calgary
We have stayed at this boutique hotel in Calgary a few times and it is outstanding. Even if you are only staying the night in Calgary before heading on to Banff, this is a great choice.
The Hotel Artis is a luxury boutique hotel that goes the extra mile. Located in the heart of Kensington Village, it has a cool and funky vibe that is great for nightlife.
Cabs to downtown ranged from $11 to $13. They offer free bike loans at the hotel and it is located along the pedestrian path running along the river.
17. Golden British Columbia
If you want to add another Canadian province to your travel bucket list, Golden BC is an hour and a half from Banff and you can head there for a day trip.
During the high season, a lot of people have a hard time finding accommodation in Banff, so this is a good option to check out. There are buses that you can take to get to Banff from Golden.
Check out prices on TripAdvisor
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Read More about Banff Alberta
- Discover Banff Canada – 24 Photos Inspire Wanderlust
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- The Rocky Mountaineer Experience – Vancouver to Banff
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- The Best place to go Dog Sledding in Banff National Park
- Ice Climbing in Banff – The Ultimate Winter Adventure
- Canoe Lake Louise and Banff National Park, Alberta
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