Compiled by the Road Trip Alberta team
Last updated on January 8, 2024
As you arrive at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, the grandeur and elegant surroundings transport you to another realm. With its majestic castle-like architecture, picturesque mountain setting, and luxurious amenities, a stay here certainly evokes a sense of fairytale enchantment. From the imposing stone façade and towering turrets, reminiscent of a storybook castle, the horse and buggy that frequently drops off guests and picks up others, the sweeping lawns, manicured gardens, and cascading waterfalls along with the picturesque mountain backdrop, there truly is no other place like it.
We always feel like royalty when we stay at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, and this is everything that you need to know about staying here.
History of the Fairmont Banff Springs
The Fairmont Banff Springs (also referred to as the Banff Springs Hotel, its original name) is perhaps the most historic hotel in Canada. Located at an altitude of 1,414 metres (4,639 ft) in Banff National Park, the hotel first opened in 1888 as one of Canada’s earliest grand railway hotels. The original wooden hotel featured architectural elements drawn from Scottish baronial architecture and the chateaus of the Loire Valley, which you can see mimicked in the hotel’s current design. This unique combination of architectural styles led to the distinctly Canadian Châteauesque style that you can find in most of the grand railway hotels in Canada (such as the Château Frontenac in Quebec City), as well as some government buildings around the country.
The hotel has since been rebuilt and renovated numerous times, and in 1988, one hundred years after it first opened its doors to guests, the Fairmont Banff Springs was designated a National Historic Site of Canada. Its amazing location in the Canadian Rockies makes it a bucket list hotel for many; on top of the incredible views of the picturesque alpine town and the surrounding Rocky Mountains, it also offers fantastic amenities and things to do. It’s no wonder so many people consider staying at the Fairmont Banff Springs to be a fairy tale come true!
Location and Parking at the Fairmont Banff Springs
The Fairmont Banff Springs is located at 405 Spray Avenue inside Banff National Park and just outside of the townsite. Found at the south end of Banff, it sits at the confluence of the Bow River and the Spray River. It looks out over the Bow Valley to Mount Rundle, while other mountain peaks nearby include Cascade Mountain, Mount Norquay, Stoney Squaw Mountain, and Sulphur Mountain. It is also close to Banff Upper Hot Springs and many other tourist attractions.
If you are arriving from the Calgary International Airport, the Fairmont Banff Springs is approximately 145 kilometres away, or about a 90-minute drive.
There are 415 parking spots at the Fairmont Banff Springs. Found beside the convention centre, the parkade costs $35 per night if you are self-parking or $49 per night if you are valet parking; unfortunately, parking is not included in your hotel rate. Both options allow unlimited access to the parkade. There is also complimentary charging of electric vehicles.
Cost of Staying at the Fairmont Banff Springs
The Fairmont Banff Springs is a luxury hotel, so you can expect its prices to match. Depending on the season and the room you are looking for, prices can range from approximately $600 CAD to thousands of dollars per night. There is also an additional Resort Experience Fee of $50 CAD plus taxes per room per night; this fee gives you access to the hotel’s many amenities, experiences, tours, and more. The hotel does have a best-price guarantee, meaning that if you find a lower rate than their website’s rate, they’ll match it and give you 10% off.
There are also good deals frequently posted on sites such as Booking and Expedia. Availability in the summer months is very low, and there is a much better chance of getting a deal in the shoulder and off-seasons. Check often for the best rates and deals throughout the year.
Rooms and Suites
There are 739 guest rooms and suites at the Fairmont Banff Springs, and the biggest differences between the rooms are the sizes and the views, both of which affect the rates. Each of the rooms is beautiful, with modern, Canadiana-chic decor, comfortable bedding, and windows that open (perfect for breathing in that fresh mountain air!). Choose from double, queen, or king beds, and make sure to check which view you’ll have from your room before booking.
Some of the most popular rooms at the Fairmont Banff Springs are the Turret Suites; found in the towers of the hotel, the suites feature a spiral staircase that takes you up to a bedroom and bathroom. Popular with honeymooners, you really get that feeling of being in a fairy tale!
At the Fairmont Banff Springs, there’s no shortage of amenities. Take advantage of the property amenities such as:
- concierge service
- bell staff (including portage of luggage)
- housekeeping (including a turndown service if requested)
- dry cleaning and a laundry service (at an extra fee)
- a data business centre
- childcare services (from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on select nights, with the first hour complimentary)
- dog-friendly options
- ski and bicycle storage
- numerous transportation options (such as a complimentary ROAM Transit Pass, airport shuttles, and more)
There’s also an excellent fitness centre as well as an aquatic centre which features an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, and a hot tub.
Offers and Packages
There are numerous offers and packages available at the hotel. Packages include Christmas at the Castle, Banff Golf Vacation, the Fairmont Spa Package, and more, while the Fairmont Gold Experience includes premium accommodation, access to the Fairmont Gold Lounge, a private check in, and more. Other offers include the Alberta Resident’s Rate, CAA/AAA Membership Discounts, and a Senior’s Rate.
Things to Do at the Fairmont Banff Springs
Many people stay at the Fairmont Banff Springs in order to experience the magnificent golf course. The Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course is one of the most beautiful in Alberta, if not in all of Canada; with stunning panoramic views of the mountains all around you, the course is also renowned for its challenging layout.
Choose from the world-class Stanley Thompson Course, which is 18 holes, or the shorter (yet still fantastic) Tunnel Mountain Course, which is nine holes.
Fans of tennis rejoice… there are five outdoor turf-topped courts at the Fairmont Banff Springs. Guests have complimentary access to unlimited tennis, the use of tennis rackets and balls, and weekly tennis nights. There are also private and semi-private lessons available.
Book a Spa Day
Often considered Banff’s premier spa, the Fairmont Spa Banff Springs (formerly the Willow Steam Spa) is home to 40,000 square feet of absolute bliss. With 27 treatment rooms, spa terraces, an outdoor heated pool, a fireplace relaxation lounge, an indoor mineral pool, steam rooms, whirlpools, and so much more, this day spa is one of the best in Alberta.
Also add on spa services such as a massage, facial, pedicure, or body wrap, including couples’ treatments.
There are a number of tours available through the Fairmont Banff Springs (at an extra fee). From hiking tours, to bike tours, and more, these private tours are created in order to give you the most luxurious and memorable way of exploring the Canadian Rockies.
One of the most popular tours through the hotel is the private Lake Louise and Moraine Lake tour, which includes transport, a guide, and a picnic-style breakfast. We’re also big fans of the Banff Scenic Insta Tour!
One of the benefits of staying at the Fairmont Banff Springs is being in the heart of Canada’s Rocky Mountains. Thankfully, there are plenty of amazing hikes in Banff National Park for all levels.
The hotel offers a few guided hikes as well as the opportunity to book a private guide for whatever experience you’re craving.
There are numerous shops inside the Fairmont Banff Springs, ranging from luxury items to the necessities (because we’ve all forgotten our toothbrush on a trip at least once). You’ll find clothing, footwear, souvenirs, sports equipment, jewellery, groceries, art, and so much more, including shops dedicated to selling Indigenous art and handmade items.
Some of the stores also act as rental services; for example, Chateau Mountain Sports offers e-bike, hybrid bike, and mountain bike rentals during the summer months, whereas they have a winter equipment rental shop located in the Conference Centre for all your snowy gear needs.
Dining at the Fairmont Banff Springs
There are numerous restaurants and bars to choose from at the Fairmont Banff Springs! We highly recommend making restaurant reservations whenever you can.
For an unforgettable meal, head to this Bavarian-style cottage in the woods for alpine cuisine. Enjoy soft pretzels, fondue, and schweineschnitzel, all washed down with a German pilsner.
1888 Chop House
1888 Chop House is ideal for a romantic night out. With a mouthwatering menu that includes Alberta beef, ocean wise seafood, and sustainably-sourced wild game, there’s also a fantastic wine and cocktail list to choose from.
The Vermillion Room
One of the most popular restaurants at the Fairmont Banff Springs, the Vermillion Room brings together Canadian and French cuisines for a delicious menu that includes everything from Eggs Benedict to handmade gnocchi. Make sure to stop by for Sunday brunch, as it’s one of the most famous in the province!
Enjoy simple, fresh ingredients at Castello Italiana, where you’ll find all of your favourite Italian dishes alongside beautiful wines. The Lobster Carbonara is divine!
Craving a snack or a light meal? Grapes offer charcuterie boards with some of the best artisanal meats and cheeses in the province. Enjoy freshly baked bread, housemade preserves, and a stellar wine list, too.
Live out your Scottish Baronial castle fairy tale with a spot of afternoon tea! Don’t forget the freshly baked scones with house-made preserves, finger sandwiches, and delectable pastries, too.
One of the more casual restaurants at the Fairmont Banff Springs, Stanley’s Smokehouse is for those who love barbecue and dining al fresco. Make note that it’s only open in summer!
One of the most famous bars in Banff, Rundle Bar is perfect for a cocktail, a few sharing plates, or a tasty lunch. Sink into the cozy seating by the fireplace or enjoy a spot at the bar where you can watch the experienced mixologists at work.
Head to Ramsay Bar for a relaxed vibe, where you’ll love the cocktails and warm atmosphere. It’s a popular spot for an après ski!
Unfortunately, the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel is not fully accessible. While there are some accessible rooms, other parts of the hotel are not wheelchair-friendly, including the fitness centre and swimming pool. For more details about the specific accessibility issues, contact the hotel at +1 (403)762-2211.
Service dogs are always welcome at the Fairmont Banff Springs.
Are Pets Allowed?
Service dogs are welcome at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Additionally, all pets are welcome in the hotel with a one-time cleaning fee of $50 CAD per day, up to a max of $100.00 for two pets.
Pets must be supervised at all times and be on a leash in public places, and they are not allowed in the hotel’s restaurants.
Want to make the most of your trip? Check out our guide for all the things to do while visiting Banff National Park as well as A Guide to the Best Hikes in Banff. And, if you are looking for more food suggestions, we’ve got you covered with a guide to Banff restaurants.
If you plan to be in the park for the holidays, don’t miss out on the dozens of festive things to do, all included in our post about Christmas in Banff.
ALSO, don’t forget that while you’re on the road, you can download our FREE Road Trip Alberta bingo cards, to make it just that much more fun!
Dalene Heck is a co-founder of Road Trip Alberta. She was born in Edmonton, grew up in the Peace Country, and has ventured to almost every corner of Alberta and the world (she’s travelled to 60 countries)! She is a serial blogger, the CEO of HMI Marketing, co-creator of the Trip Chaser card game, a leukemia-slayer, and cat whisperer.