Winter Starts in Banff

The 2011/12 ski season is in full swing in the Canadian Rockies with three of the resorts around Banff (Sunshine, Lake Louise and Norquay) all open for those wanting early season turns. With snow falling and local skiers heading to the mountains, I did a quick trip into Banff to get ready for the winter.

For those who haven’t been to Banff, winter in Banff is a postcard come to life. Set in the middle of one of Canada’s most renowned National Parks (Banff National Park), the town of Banff is the ideal base camp for a Canadian winter ski vacation. For this trip, I was lucky enough to stay at the Caribou Lodge and Spa. I know the Caribou Lodge well as it is home to The Keg, a warm and cozy steak restaurant complete with trail maps and ski signs decorating the walls. This was my first time staying at the Caribou Lodge & Spa and I have to say I highly recommend it. The hotel has a huge tub and Spa facility, perfect for warming up after an epic day on the slopes or getting your sore legs back in shape for another day on the mountains. One of the toughest parts of planning a vacation to Banff is deciding where to stay! Another one of my new favorites is The Fox, a very stylish hotel that has what is best described as a “grotto” that is complete with a stone indoor/outdoor hot tub! Very cool.

If you are thinking of Banff – the best tip is to plan an extra day or two for taking in the town of Banff and surrounding areas. The skiing is awesome and so are the sights. Must sees are the Chateau Lake Louise and ice skating or snowshoeing on the lake, wandering the impressive halls of the iconic Banff Springs Hotel and taking in a wild western music night at Wild Bill’s nightclub.

Next up for Banff, the men’s and women’s World Cup first downhill’s of the season www.alpinecanada.org/winterstart. Of course I will be there, cheering on Bode Miller! Hope to see you on the slopes!

- Tish Mouritzen, Destination Expert

 

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