A stay in the charming town of Banff is a must if you are wanting to explore Banff National Park. It is located within the Rocky Mountains on Alberta’s western border. It is the gateway to adventure… stunning mountains, turquoise lakes and amazing hiking trails await you. This was the perfect location after our visit to the city of Vancouver.
When to Visit Banff Town?
We visited Banff and the surrounding areas in August and let me tell you it was busy! But don’t let that put you off, we still had a great time. It depends what you want from a trip to Banff, knowing this will help you to decide when to visit. If you want to see the turquoise lakes in all their glory then July and August are your months. If you want to swerve the crowds then mid-September to October will be a better choice. Remember the rocky mountains are often still covered in snow until mid-April, great if you’re after snow activities like skiing but not so good if you wanted to hike as understandably the trails are closed. The lakes are usually frozen until mid-April too so if you’re after that instagramable turquoise blue photo keep this in mind.
Would I visit Banff again in August?
Yes! We had a really great time and although it was busy this didn’t hamper our experience.
How long should you stay?
This obviously depends on what you want to do. Are you using Banff as a base to explore the surrounding areas too? To just soak up Banff town and local hikes I think 2-3 nights is ample. If you want to go 40 minutes out to the Lake Louise area etc then you will need longer. We had one night in Banff at the most amazing lodge (which I share below) and I felt robbed of experiencing it fully. We then went on to stay near Lake Louise for a few nights. This was a great way of doing it but I wish I had had 2 nights, 3 days in Banff.
Banff town is simply stunning…
It encompasses all that you would want from a town located in the mountains. A stunning backdrop of majestic mountains, beautiful buildings, plenty of eateries, shops catering to all your hiking needs and plenty of places to buy your souvenirs. There’s a tourist information centre too.
The Buffalo Mountain Lodge
We stayed at the Buffalo Mountain Lodge and I can highly recommend it. It is located on tunnel mountain and is a short 3 minute drive or if you prefer 15 minute walk into the downtown area where everything is located.
Right from the moment, we drove into the pine and fir tree forested area I knew we had made a good choice. At the reception, the staff were oh so welcoming and happy to answer any questions about Banff town and the area in general. The reception area and lounge instantly made an impact with its exposed wood architecture and complete with a lit roaring fire.
The lodges themselves encompass all you want from a stay in the mountains. The room had an authentic feel to it with a big comfy bed and you guessed it, a real fire. I couldn’t wait to sit and chill in front of it but not before a soak in the roll-top tub!
We sat in front of the roaring fire (yes even in August! it is cold in the mountains… okay so we didn’t need it on but it was still cool enough for us to enjoy it. Glass of red in hand with the door open to our balcony, listen to the sounds of nature.
Speaking of the balcony just look at the view… peaking through the fir trees at the mountains, total bliss.
Buffalo Mountain Lodge Reviews…
I have to admit I had a wobble after we initially booked the Buffalo Mountain Lodge as the reviews were so varied online but as you can tell we were not disappointed. We found it authentically charming, where others referred to it as old and dated. It depends on what you want from a hotel… if you want modern then this is not for you. I can say it was clean throughout though and the only thing I could say is the carpet was a little marked in places. The breakfast we really enjoyed too although a little pricey, but again the super friendly staff made us so welcomed.
Other hotel options…
I would say The Buffalo Mountain Lodge is a low to mid-range hotel. Here are a few other hotel options we looked at and you might want to check out!
Fairmount Springs – 5* luxury option and it looks AMAZING!
Moose Hotel & Suites – 4* mid to higher range and has great amenities
Banff Inn – 3* lower range but is centrally located and has good reviews
Banff… we will be back!
Our stay in Banff town may have only been brief but we certainly enjoyed our little look around and our stay at Buffalo Mountain Lodge. One day I hope to return to the area to explore some more. I hope this has given you a little insight into the area before you go.
Would you like to visit the Canadian Rockies? or have you been? I am so excited to bring you my next post… so stay tuned! But for now, if you want more Canada posts Stanley Park and Granville Island in the city of Vancouver were both awesome.
Rachael 🙂 x