Nestled in Canada’s first national park in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, Banff attracts 4 million visitors annually. Majestic peaks and alpine lakes surround this UNESCO World Heritage Site at an elevation of 4,500 feet (the highest town in Canada), making it a spectacular backdrop for high-end retreats and incentives. Take a look at five swanky spots to stay and meet in Banff, Alberta.
Known as the “Castle in the Rockies,” this splurge-worthy baronial-style mountain property built in 1888 (shown top of page) has sweeping panoramic views and is the largest conference resort in Canada, accommodating up to 1,200 attendees. Willow Stream Spa is the brand’s second-largest, and the elite Fairmont Gold floor features two exquisite lounges and high-end service, including private check-in, huge breakfast buffets and afternoon hors d’oeuvres.
Rooms: 671 Suites: 93
Meeting space: 76,000 square feet
This horseshoe-shaped hotel, built in 1993 down the side of Sulphur Mountain, works for groups of up to 300. Light-filled boardrooms and breakout rooms feature spectacular mountain views, as does restaurant Eden’s intimate Bordeaux Room, ideal for VIP dinners for up to 12. The funky Diva’s Lounge, with decor celebrating Hollywood’s leading ladies, does buyouts for groups of up to 80 for mixology classes or executive hospitality functions.
Rooms: 322 Suites: 21
Meeting space: 18,000 square feet
Located minutes from downtown and steps from the glacier-fed Bow River, this full-service resort and conference center rests in a peaceful location with three on-site restaurants and an intimate, relaxing, eucalyptus-infused steam room.
Rooms: 200 Suites: 11
Meeting space: 18,900 square feet
With its towering, open-beam ceiling and a focal-point antler chandelier, this Tunnel Mountain property (shown top of page) is packed with rustic charm, natural light and glorious views. Rooms have fieldstone wood-burning fireplaces, and many have balconies or patios. The cozy property, surrounded by 9 acres of forest, accommodates groups of up to 100. Guests can relax in the outdoor stainless steel hot tub and possibly spot deer and elk.
Rooms: 60 Suites: 48
Meeting space: 5,000 square feet
Opened in June 2016, this bright, upscale mountain lodge is the first new hotel within Banff National Park since 2007. The downtown property’s courtyard has a quirky surprise: It’s built around a 1913 wood-frame house that was the home of legendary Banff musician and outdoorsman Leonard Leacock. The cottage was moved from its original site nearby and is being restored to host small functions. The Moose employs rich natural materials and woodwork throughout, with furnishings from local craftspeople. A 2,000-sq.-ft. meeting room, the Darch Suite and the Pacini Restaurant was added in April.
Rooms: 89 Suites: 85
Meeting space: 2,000 square feet