Compiled by the Road Trip Alberta team
Updated on April 22 2021
From endless mountain vistas to countless brilliant blue lakes, Banff is home to some of the most breathtaking views in the world. With all of the sights, hikes, and great restaurants, there’s just too much to experience in a single day-trip to Banff. Fortunately, spending the night is far from a chore, as there are many stellar accommodations in Banff to choose from.
Plan a longer trip to Banff!
Make your trip to Banff a multi-day event, especially if the intent of your visit is to capture the best photo spots in Banff. Because, who doesn’t want to extend their stay in a quaint and bustling mountain town?
(Well, perhaps the Grinch wouldn’t. But Banff isn’t Whoville. Moving on!)
Places to Stay in Banff
Planning for an extended stay in Banff calls for some quality lodging. To help you find the right hotel, hostel, or campground, we’ve gathered a list of our favourite places to stay in the townsite and wider Banff National Park.
Hotels in Banff
There are plenty of choices for Banff hotels to select from– but sometimes the more choices of places to stay, the more difficult it is to make a decision.
You Google something such as ‘the best hotels in Banff’, and not shockingly you’re flooded with a list of Banff hotels – each more beautiful than the last. But which ones are using some creative photo-shop skills? Or snapping pictures of that one, newly renovated room that almost no one gets to stay in?
Good news: we’ve been to Banff a lot, so we can speak from experience. We know the best Banff hotels, the best banff cabins and B&B’s, and the best Banff campgrounds to stay at.
Here’s our list of where to stay in Banff, according to budget:
Fairmont Banff Springs (Luxury)
Banff’s fairy tale castle – the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel – will take your breath away with its luxury suites and old-world charm. It’s “the” hotel in Banff that comes to mind when thinking of a place to stay. There are highly-rated restaurants located on-site (including, 1888 Chophouse, The Vermillion Room and Castello Italiana), as well as gorgeous views, a phenomenal spa, and a wealth of history to absorb just by being there. Staying at the Banff Springs Hotel is, without doubt, one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that all the cool kids talk about.
Rimrock Resort Hotel (Luxury)
The Rimrock Resort Hotel highlights the best feature of Banff National Park: the view. However, it’s also classified luxury for a reason. Guests have access to two restaurants, two lounges, a swimming pool and hot tub, fitness center and a stellar on-site spa (go for the facial!). The hotel is located next to the Banff Gondola and Banff Upper Hot Springs pools. By staying at the Rimrock Resort hotel there’s more to experience here than just this hotel’s epic mountain vistas.
Canalta Lodge (Mid-Range)
Canalta Lodge is the newest hotel on this list, boasting a mountain-lodge casual charm that is very family friendly. It’s one of our favourite Banff hotels because of the four-season patio, complete with hot tub(s) and fire pits. The scene creates a picturesque backdrop as you spend time with friends and family. And, with its close proximity to downtown Banff, dining out on the town is the ideal choice.
Moose Hotel Banff (Mid-Range)
Smack dab in the middle of all the action, Moose Hotel and Suites is just a jaunt (a one to two-minute walk) from downtown Banff, making getting around town simple. After a day meandering Banff Ave, those tootsies will be craving some TLC – and the Moose Hotel has you covered. Unwind at the spa, or head to the rooftop for some ‘next-level’ relaxation, where two outdoor hot tub pools await to unravel those achy muscles. It’s a ‘Moose-do’ activity!
Banff High Country Inn (Budget)
Comfortable, clean, pet friendly and close to downtown, the Banff High Country Inn is one of our recommended places to stay offering easy access to everything Banff has to offer – without the high price tag. This budget-option hotel has lots of good amenities including free-wifi, free parking and it’s perfect for those looking to save their money for more activities in and around the mountain town – perhaps like skiing!
Banff Bed and Breakfasts
The only thing cozier than a bed and breakfast is one that is nestled deep in the Canadian Rockies. With a more personal touch and a home-style breakfast versus a hotel in Banff, a good bed and breakfast makes you feel at home. There are a few B&B options in the Banff townsite.
So go ahead – enjoy good company and great food at these charming Bed and Breakfasts in the town of Banff! (Note that Airbnb’s in Banff are not permitted but there are options nearby and just outside the town.)
Mountain View Bed and Breakfast
Tucked away at the edge of town, choose between a room at the carriage house, or one in the main house at this quaint B&B. A quick walk from both downtown and to the Lower Tunnel Mountain Trailhead, Mountain View offers activities for hikers and townies alike. This Bed and Breakfast offers a hearty breakfast, free wifi and ample of free parking.
Beaujolais Boutique B&B at Thea’s House
Heavy on the second ‘B’ The Beaujolais Boutique offers guests both breakfast and brunch (maybe we should call it a B&B&B?). From home-made jams and locally roasted coffee, to fresh cheese and charcuterie, Beaujolais Boutique offers an enjoyable spread – as well as some hearty hot breakfast options!
Hostels in Banff
From the weary backpacker, to those looking for a simple place to crash after dominating the slopes, the hostels in Banff are the perfect answer to staying in the village without breaking the bank.
HI Banff Alpine Centre
Located on the outskirts of town, HI Banff is a twenty-minute hike from downtown Banff’s bustling energy, but only a few minutes walk to the deep woods and serenity of nature. Choose to bunk with some friends-to-be, or get a room of your own (and even a bathroom of your own) and enjoy this charming Banff hostel.
Banff International Hostel
A five-minute amble to downtown, the Banff International Hostel is a hive of energy, and likewise, a perfect place to meet new friends. Choose from private group rooms, or bunk up with travellers from across the world. Whatever you choose, you’re sure to make some great new connections.
Cabins in Banff
Looking to live your #bestmountainlife?
There are few places you’ll find more rustic than a rugged old cabin cuddled deep into the Canadian Rockies. Add in a crackling fireplace, some authentic log furniture, and of course, incredible mountain views, and your stay in Banff is sure to embrace your inner lumberjack.
Banff Log Cabin Guesthouse
The classic Banff Log Cabin Guesthouse is cozier than a mother bear in her den (and almost every Banff hotel). Situated in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the cabin is quiet, with quick drives to both hiking trails and downtown activities. However, with a hearty home-made breakfast delivered daily to your (quaint pine) door, you may never want to leave. Fair enough.
Storm Mountain Lodge
Is ‘rustic’ your middle name? Then Storm Mountain Lodge is for you. Roughly half-way between Lake Louise and the Banff town-site, this cabin is nestled in amongst trees and mountains, with little else around to break nature’s spell. With an on-site lounge and restaurant, along with a deli in the summer for packing your own hiking lunches, the Storm Mountain Lodge has everything you need, without hustle or bustle.
Camping in Banff
Sometimes all you need is a tent and a yearning for adventure. For those who want to experience Banff National Park without walls, there are plenty of beautiful campsites in Banff that eschew the hustle and bustle of a Banff hotel in favour of the wild, rugged beauty of the Rocky Mountains.
We don’t always camp in Banff, but when we do, it’s at one of the following campgrounds:
Tunnel Mountain Campground
On the outskirts of town, Tunnel Mountain Campground offers easier access to hiking (a couple minutes walk to the Tunnel Mountain Trailhead) than it does to the restaurants and bars downtown (a ten-minute drive). With plenty of sites available for both tenting and RV campers, this campground features indoor washrooms (with showers), fire pits, and plenty of trees for privacy.
Two Jack Lake Campground
Just across the road from Two Jack Lake, this campground puts you smack dab in the middle of nature. A popular year-round destination, with fishing and hiking in the summer, and skating and viewing frozen gas bubbles in the ice during winter, Two Jack lake offers plenty to do – with enough peace and quiet for all campers to enjoy.
Practical Information for your Banff Trip
Getting to Banff is quite easy, no matter which direction you are traveling from. But if you want to make the most of your mountain drive, we’ve got tips on what to see along the way:
We’ve also done a lot of groundwork to make sure that your stay in the area is the best it can be, click through to read our articles on the top things to do in Banff, and the best Banff restaurants to eat at!
Don’t leave home without our FREE Road Trip Alberta bingo cards! They add fun to every trip.