If you are lucky enough to take a trip to Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada you will be doubly lucky if your visit includes a stay at the Chateau Lake Louise. This splendid hotel sits regally on the shore of the milky blue lake, the perfect match for the towering Canadian Rockies which hold court on the opposite shore. I was lucky to visit at the young age of the young age of 13, but the grandeur of the location and facilities made their permanent mark. This could be one of the coolest hotels I’ve ever stayed at.
Chateau Lake Loise is a perfect blend of old world charm and modern amenities. The hotel has eight different dining options from fine dining to a saloon with pub food and pool tables to proper afternoon tea in the Tea Room. It’s fun just exploring the different cuisines.
But the rooms…the rooms, especially if you have a view of the lake are breathtaking (so make sure you get a room with a view!). There are a variety of one and two bedroom luxury suites with attention to all the details you want - from lavish bathrooms, soft duvets, sitting rooms and rooms with canopied beds (I really love canopy beds, so this was a bit of a fairytale come true).
While the hotel has cozy rooms and great dining, the big show here is the spectacular view of Lake Louise, the Rockies and Victoria Glacier. From first glimpse at daybreak till after the sun sets, you will never tire of this gift of nature. One of the must-do local activities includes hiking in this great wilderness, which my family and I did while there. I highly recommend the Agnes Tea House trail (approximately 6 km) which has many switchbacks and views of two other lakes as you traverse the mountainside. While enduring this rather arduous hike, I was tricked by another hiker into believing there were root beer floats at our final destination atop the mountain. As my quest for a root beer floats did carry me onward and upward, I was, alas, quite disappointed to find that ice cream is not one of the common staples at the peak of this mountain. There was instead a rustic tea house that served tea, lemonade, cookies and scones to refuel you for the hike back. Plus the views from the Tea House are so incredible you can’t really hold a grudge.
Hiking is but one activity. Canoeing, rafting, horseback riding in the summer and of course world class skiing, skating and horse drawn sleigh rides in winter will make for lasting memories. Horseback riding is a fond memory from our time there too, especially in the summer when the area is lush and green.
Only Drawback: This is a tourist destination and therefore tour buses do roll in a couple of times a day and unload travelers trying glimpse this magnificent view.
Chateau Lake Louise is a stunning hotel set on an even more stunning piece of Canadian land. Ask for a room with a view of the blue green water of Lake Louise, you won’t be disappointed.