After a most exhilarating day travelling the Icefields Parkway from Jasper, we were finally at Lake Louise at Banff National Park by late afternoon.
Some tours bring their passengers to Lake Louise only for a short photo stop. However, our package with the Rocky Mountaineer entails at least a one-night stay at the luxurious Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, which we extended into 2 nights because we really wanted to explore Lake Louise thoroughly.
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise was the most luxurious hotel we had stayed in throughout our tour of the Canadian Rockies. In fact, the Fairmont group of hotels was the constant feature for those travelling in the Gold Leaf class. However, at Lake Louise, the only hotel that was available for both Gold and Silver Leaf passengers was the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. It was a wise move to arrange it as so, because you will be missing out on a lot if you do not experience the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise for yourself.
In any case, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise was the only hotel that is right next to Lake Louise, the other nearest options being the inns and lodges in the small village of Lake Louise downhill, which was a 12 mins drive away, or 45 mins on foot.
Fast and Efficient Check-In Service
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Check-in was fast despite the fact that a big group of us had just aligned from the Brewster bus and were headed to the check-in counter all at the same time. The queues moved very fast, and the service was impeccable. We were off to locate our allocated room in a jiffy.
Fairmont Lakeview Room
We were assigned a room at the second storey, which was very low because the highest floor was the eighth.
But we were not complaining, because we found that we had been allocated a Fairmont Lakeview Room, which means that we will be overlooking the post-card perfect Lake Louise and the majestic Victoria Glacier! There are a few classes of rooms available, but the Lakeview Rooms are the best whether they are the deluxe or the standard versions of rooms. The rest of the rooms either overlooks the Chateau grounds or hillside, or the Bow Valley Mountain and Lake Louise ski resort.
The view from our window. I could just stand here for hours and never get tired of this heaven-like scene.
The room here at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise looks a little tired and worn-out, just as the rest of the common areas are. But that was to be expected, because we are talking about a piece of architecture that had more than a hundred years of history.
The room was also a lot smaller than expected and it makes manoeuvring around for 2 people a little difficult. That’s the view of the room from the windows side.
Amenities-wise, we were pretty satisfied. There was nothing we lacked, and there was also complimentary in-room internet connection which worked fine most of the time.
We were unfortunately more than a little disappointed with the standard of house-keeping – we found a used toothpick on the floor. For a hotel of this standing, it was totally unacceptable to find a previous guests’ used personal hygiene item waiting for us when we checked-in.
Just as with the rest of the room, the stay could have been a lot more comfortable if the bathroom was a little bigger.
The toiletries supplied were however top-notch, and I really enjoyed these rose-scented shampoos and conditioners that leaves me feeling fresh and nice-smelling. These are available in larger sizes in the hotel’s souvenir shops, but it’s pretty expensive stuff.
My favourite has got to be this high-end rose bar soap. Best of the lot.
What really distinguishes the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise from most other hotels in the Canadian Rockies is the fact that it has a beautiful ethereal-looking backyard in the form of Lake Louise.
At this time of the year, Lake Louise was still mostly frozen over, but come summer, the lake will melt into a most beautiful emerald hue. Funnily enough, when we were there, the ice on the lake was starting to melt until it looked like a patch of swimming pool had formed near its shore.
There are also walking trails around Lake Louise. This is one of my favourite shots of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise on one of the many viewing points around Lake Louise.
The Chateau and the Lake. That’s why I said Lake Louise is the Chauteu’s backyard.
Just like living in a castle…..
The Activities and Facilities
On top of the walking trails along Lake Louise, there’s plenty of other outdoor recreational activities at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, and never for a moment would you feel bored. The activities varies by seasons, but at winter, you can expect some skiing and snowboarding. In summer, the best thing to do would be to rent a canoe and row it on Lake Louise itself.
Complimentary shuttle buses from the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise to the ski slopes.
The indoor entertainment……shopping!
Shopping here at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a god-send. I could spend hours and hours here browsing without the need to walk out of the Chateau. There’s even a basement shopping area to explore.
For the fitness-enthusiast, there are also the standard pool and gym facilities.
The Common Areas
We love the cosy Victorian-style surroundings here at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
The Chateau can get quite maddeningly crowded even when it was the low peak season. However, the fireside lounge area always tend to be under-utilised and makes for a cozy place for a chat or a reading session.
The lift lobby at the ground floor tend to be a little worn out and needs a bit of refurbishment.
The upper floors are a little better.
The Dining Options
Breakfast at the basement-level Poppy Brasserie which has bay windows offering a view of the beautiful Lake Louise.
Dinner was at any restaurant of our choice in the Chateau. Each meal was a positive experience which we will review in another post.
The Glacier Saloon was one of those dining options.
The Lakeview Lounge offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience surrounded by architectural and natural beauty and is a nice place for some wine and snacks.
For the budget-conscious guest, there’s the Chateau Deli which is open 24-hrs which offers a variety of tasty hot meals, home-made soup, fresh salads, sandwiches, baked goods and desserts to sit and enjoy or take-out. There’s also premium coffee available.
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
111 Lake Louise Drive,
Banff National Park,
Alberta T0L 1E0, Canada
Join us next as we explore the dining options in Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.