Old 26-07-08, 05:34 PM   #1
 
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Where to get accomodation in Banff?

Hi,
My husband and I are planning on spending this season 08/09 skiing in Canada. Woohoo! Anyway, we're thinking about Banff but having difficulty finding any informatin on where is good to stay for a season and how we go about finding accomodation? We aren't planning on working which means we aren't going to arrive until December or so, so would really like to try and have accomodation lined up before we get there. I've heard stories of people spending the entire season in hotels, which we can't afford. Ideally we would like a share house, but a studio flat or anything really will do.
We're also trying to figure out what shuttles are available from the various towns to each of the ski resorts... if anyone has any info on that it would be appreciated.
Many thanks,
Ellen.
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Old 17-08-08, 03:27 PM   #2
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Hello Ellen,

If your Banff search comes up dry. Banff is very expensive BTW, try Canmore, Alberta or Field B.C. to be close to the resorts. Calgary is also an option. Each resort offers buses that run routinely to whichever resorts you chose to ski that day from Banff and Calgary.

These links may help

Canmore

Field British Columbia

Hope this helps.
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Old 19-09-08, 06:24 PM   #3
 
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Hi Snobeach,
I am planning to spend end of December in the area. Sunshine village seems to have a reasonable lodging/ski tickets rates. Is Lake Louise worth paying the premium? My wife and I can't decide where to ski in my five days there.
Also, how can we find a local guide to show us trees/backcountry? Thanks.
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Old 21-09-08, 12:59 AM   #4
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Hi Snobeach,
I am planning to spend end of December in the area. Sunshine village seems to have a reasonable lodging/ski tickets rates. Is Lake Louise worth paying the premium? My wife and I can't decide where to ski in my five days there.
Also, how can we find a local guide to show us trees/backcountry? Thanks.
Hello!

My suggestion and IMO the best of both worlds is to stay in either Banff or Canmore.

Why?

Sunshine Village is within 15 minutes of downtown Banff, 20 from Canmore. Lake Louise is 30/40 minutes respectively. Kicking Horse, in Golden BC, is about an 1 hr +/- 15 minutes from Banff/Canmore.

Sunshine is all natural snow and traditionally offers the best snow conditions. Lake Louise is the jewel in crown as it offers 4 mountain faces to ski. Kicking Horse is powder and fall line skiing and panoramic heaven.

Then there's Norquay, you can see this ski resort from the town of Banff. note: this isn't a beginner hill.

Wait there's more. East of Banff/Canmore is Nakiska, it's about a 45 minute drive there and located in Kananaskis Provincial Park. If you remember the 1988 Olympics you'll remember Nakiska. Nakiska is home to a number of Jr. racing teams and they make their own snow combined with whatever falls naturally.

I'll add the following caveat. This is depends on the snow conditions and I wish I could predict that.

Accomodations (again just my opinion)

Sunshine has on hill accommodation and when I say on hill that's exactly it. If you wish to explore Banff or area, you would need to preset your schedule as the hotel is isolated on the mountain.

Lake Louise has a few more hotels and a small village. It can be extremely relaxing and the silence is amazing.

If you're thinking you might want to kick up your heels a night or two then Banff is the place to stay. Plenty of restaurants, pubs, bars, clubs and shopping. As you mentioned you were thinking of being there during the Christmas season, there is little, more beautiful than walking down Banff Ave during the evening after dinner as the snow falls around past the twinkle lights.

Regarding the touring/backcountry guide info, I'll have to get back to you. There are companies that operate out of Calgary, Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise and Field but I have no specific information at the moment.

I see I've posted a short novel...
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Old 22-09-08, 03:22 PM   #5
 
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Thanks for the insider's view, snobeach. I did not realize there are so many options. I wish I had more time to explore them all. Which resorts are less crowded and have shortest lift lines?
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Old 22-09-08, 03:55 PM   #6
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Thanks for the insider's view, snobeach. I did not realize there are so many options. I wish I had more time to explore them all. Which resorts are less crowded and have shortest lift lines?
You're welcome.

Shortest lift lines etc. Truthfully with the addition of high speed quads and gondolas you're not going to wait more than 8-10 minutes at peak time.

Sunshine does require that you take a gondola from the parking lot up to the resort. That line can be tedious if you don't get an early start. Once you arrive at the resort the lines are never that bad. One of the many cool things about Sunshine is that you actually ski across the continental divide. A little geographic note of interest for you.

Lake Louise has a gondola and a high speed quad at the base. The gondola gets you from bottom to top in 8 minutes, plenty of time for pictures and getting acquainted with the map. If you happen to decide Lake Louise is the place to be, look for the ski hosts in the yellow jackets, they'll have tons of information for you. You might even end up talking to me

Nakiska and Kicking Horse also have high speed quads and/or gondolas.

No matter where you go, remember it's Christmas break and a lot of people are going to be there for the holidays. Kids off school and then the ever popular New Year's parties. Christmas Day and New Year's Day easily two of the quietest days to ski.

Hope this helps.
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Old 15-12-08, 09:17 PM   #7
 
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Snobeach or anyone with knowlege of Lake Louise: we are coming over X-mas. Do you know of any good local places to eat in Lake Louise? And considering snow coverage now, should I bring powder skis now? Thanks.
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Old 17-12-08, 01:43 PM   #8
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Snobeach or anyone with knowlege of Lake Louise: we are coming over X-mas. Do you know of any good local places to eat in Lake Louise? And considering snow coverage now, should I bring powder skis now? Thanks.
valdskius, a couple of places in the village of Lake Louise that are quite nice are: The Outpost at the Post Hotel. It's a pub atmosphere however the food is more than standard pub grub. Good menu and reasonably priced. The Post Hotel also has an excellent brunch, a little higher price but exceptional service and food.

Though I haven't tried it, the Hostel has a restaurant and many of our friends have raved about the food there. As well, at the Lake Louise Inn, they have an Italian restaurant that doesn't disappoint.

Finally, The Chateau and Deer Lodge both are highly recommended.

Being a village the number of restaurants are a bit limited as the greater selection is in Banff.

Since we've had nothing but snow in the region over the last two weeks, I would bring your powder skiis, especially if you are planning on skiing at Sunshine, the backside of Louise or Kicking Horse. Pretty much everything else will be groomed or packed powder. If you can bring both sets of skiis you won't be disappointed.

When at Louise, look for the folks in the yellow jackets, they can direct you to the best places to ski on the hill.

Hope you enjoy your trip.

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