Located amid the jaw-dropping Rockies, Banff is Canada’s oldest national park. It is famed for its dramatic beauty, with rippling turquoise tarns backdropped by snow-capped alpine meadows, and gorgeous hues created by effervescent colours popping through the winter haze.
Whether you spend your time hiking along a snow-dusted ridgeline or canoeing across a placid glacial lake, or skiing in some of the world’s most eye-catching scenery, a trip to Banff is sure to leave you lost for words.
Millions of adventure-seekers stay in Banff’s mesmerising hotels year upon year to delight in the picture-perfect activities on offer. From backcountry boutiques to awe-inspiring mountain lodges, here are the best cool and unusual hotels in Banff, Canada (in no particular order)...
1. Buffalo Mountain Lodge – a beautiful, trendy and Instagrammable mountain retreat perfect for partying Millenials and Gen Zs
This peaceful retreat is set amid beautiful tall pines, situated on Tunnel Mountain. A unique mountain-style architecture houses the Buffalo Mountain Lodge, which boasts cosy fireplaces to kick back and relax after an invigorating hike or ski.
The lodge features 108 guestrooms, as well as an outdoor stainless steel hot tub, and several dining options which compound to make an ideal haven for a weekend getaway, wedding, or corporate retreat.
The rooms have fieldstone wood-burning fireplaces, plush bedding, LCD TVs, and Blu-ray players, while some feature balconies with sweeping mountain vistas. Each room has been exquisitely decorated to reflect the mountain lifestyle in Banff.
- To book, check prices or availability for Buffalo Mountain Lodge
2. Storm Mountain Lodge & Cabins – a rustic-chic cabin perfect for a romantic stay
Situated directly between Banff and Lake Louise, these private cabins at Storm Mountain offer unparalleled beauty in one of Canada’s most spectacular National Parks.
Originally constructed in 1922, the recent influx of visitors has seen brand new accommodations added to construct an idyllic hub for a romantic getaway, weekend retreat, or family vacation.
The lodge honours its connection to the natural surroundings through eco-conscious principals, and is self-sufficient for water whilst generating its own power.
A visit to Storm Mountain Lodge is to take a step away from the stresses of the city, and retreat to a simpler way of life without compromising on quality.
- To book, check prices or availability for Storm Mountain Lodge & Cabins
3. Royal Canadian Lodge – one of the most Instagrammable hotels in Banff
Upon entrance to this luxury resort, you will be greeted by a beautiful stone fireplace and an amiable staff presence. This intimate Banff boutique hotel boasts 99 thoughtfully appointed guestrooms, which feature contemporary mountain-themed décor, and offer the comforts of home with a few extras that will turn you into a repeat guest in no time.
Situated less than a five-minute walk from downtown Banff, yet amid the grand surroundings of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Royal Canadian Lodge is true alpine opulence at its finest.
The on-site Evergreen Restaurant is one of Banff’s best-kept secrets, and serves exceptional Canadian cuisine with an emphasis on regional and locally sourced ingredients.
To complete the day, the Grotto Spa invites you to unwind accompanied by the soothing sounds of water flowing peacefully over a rundle rock waterfall.
- To book, check prices or availability for Royal Canadian Lodge
4. Mount Royal Hotel – a hip, upscale and elegant place to stay in Banff
This reimagined Banff boutique seamlessly blends a heritage mountain influence with a contemporary interior design, and an intimate involvement in the life of the town and region.
Surrounded by the graceful cafés and nightlife of Banff Avenue, here you will enjoy effortless access to world-class natural attractions and year-round adventure activities.
A mountain-chic style approach to luxury is promised to elevate your Rockies experience, and you can return from your adventures to a blissful soak in a rooftop hot tub, graced by majestic views.
The Cascade Lounge welcomes you to a new way to après, where you can share stories with like-minded adventurists complemented by hand-crafted cocktails, craft beers, and shareable plates.
- To book, check prices or availability for Mount Royal Hotel
5. Canalta Lodge – a cool and casual hotel that offers an on-site coffee shop
Bringing the very best of Banff to your doorstep, this ‘home away from home’ is set at the base of Canada’s most majestic backcountry, offering an authentic taste of mountain life.
Providing a courtyard with hot tubs offering soul-replenishing vibes, a stay here will welcome you to feel at the heart of the action, supported by first-rate personalized service.
The guestrooms boast state-of-the-art amenities to ensure your stay is as comfortable as it is inspiring. If you are in the mood to immerse yourself in emerald lakes, soaring mountains, or simply a little more downtime, the lodge’s local experts can help chart your epic adventure.
- To book, check prices or availability for Canalta Lodge
6. Peaks Hotel and Suites – a trendy, quirky-chic hotel close to local attractions
A peaceful reprieve from inner city life, Peaks Hotel’s prime location offers a unique balance of serene comfort and quaint ambiance.
A newfound connection to both the outdoors and each other can be found at this all-encompassing getaway, situated amid the exciting artery of one of Banff’s most renowned pedestrian-friendly streets.
An exclusive collection of rooms offers you a distinct Banff experience – You can choose between four levels of luxury, ranging from standard and junior suites to loft and summit floor suites.
All boast glorious mountain views that will steer you away from the stresses of everyday life as you become totally engrossed in the thrill of adventure.
- To book, check prices or availability for Peaks Hotel and Suites
7. Holiday Lodge Bed and Breakfast – a cute and cozy B&B located in a heart of Banff
An excellent choice for the adventure seeker in pursuit of a quiet spot of requiescence, a harmonious combination of trendsetting amenities and a charming environment is perfectly nurtured at this vibrant Banff getaway.
Here, guests can take advantage of high-end barbeque facilities, as well as free parking. Bespoke in-room embellishments add a historic flair to the sleeping arrangements, where guests are welcomed to develop a deep connection with the surrounding area.
The rooms are dotted with striking artwork paying homage to some of the beautiful animals which have graced the surrounding area, and an old-fashioned yet trendy dining area is provided to echo a cabin-like ambiance.
- To book, check prices or availability for Holiday Lodge Bed and Breakfast
8. Moose Hotel and Suites – a stylish and modern hotel surrounded by majestic mountain views
Designed with alpine elegance in mind, Moose Hotel is comprised of warm & rich natural materials, with on-site amenities which include the Meadow Spa and hot tubs with mountain views.
The hotel’s exceptional collection of indoor and outdoor swimming pools brings the majesty of the glorious Rockies right to you, as you kick back and soak up the natural landscape.
Boasting a combination of one-, and two-bedroom suites, a blissful night’s sleep will be complemented by plush bedding and quaint, unfussy décor. Guests can come together for a delicious feast at Pacini Italian Restaurant, which serves authentic flavours amid a warm, friendly ambiance.
- To book, check prices or availability for Moose Hotel and Suites
9. Beaujolais Boutique B&B at Thea’s House – a unique and polished B&B great for a relaxing break
Dive right into the heart of an authentic and dynamic community at Thea’s House, where a distinctive old-world charm is blended with the luxury and amenities of an enchanting boutique haven.
Pine vaulted ceilings, fir flooring, and antique furniture ornate this intimate accommodation experience, where all rooms offer striking décor and balconies with mountain panoramas.
Your in-room comfort will be elevated by the gentle dancing of fireplace flames, and sumptuous bedding. The guest lounge boasts 25ft floor-to-ceiling windows with awe-inspiring views of Mount Norquay, where guests can congregate and help themselves to complimentary tea and coffee.
Beaujolais Boutique B&B at Thea’s House is a spot which truly celebrates heritage, and lives and breathes mountain culture.
- To book, check prices or availability for Beaujolais Boutique B&B at Thea’s House
10. Sunshine Mountain Lodge – a unique boutique hotel that features multiple restaurants and an outdoor hot pool
Nestled within the majestic peaks of Banff National Park, Sunshine Mountain Lodge is your luxury base camp for both summer and winter adventures.
The high alpine meadows engross you in uninterrupted mountain fascination, while the effortless access to the slopes provides an air of unmatched convenience.
Ranging from affordable, intimate rooms to spectacular, sprawling suites, all of the guestrooms are decorated in a rustic mountain theme, and are enhanced with luxury touches to ensure an optimum pampering experience.
Your sleep will be graced with gorgeous views of a sky full of stars, while your overall experience will be enhanced by access to the region’s largest hot tub.
- To book, check prices or availability for Sunshine Mountain Lodge
11. Rimrock Resort Hotel – a cool and trendy hotel where guests can appreciate stunning views of the Canadian Rockies
Embodying a genuine desire to put a smile on your face, the dedicated team at Rimrock Resort Hotel is bound by a great passion for the Canadian Rockies.
In the guestrooms, a radiant contrast between the light tones of the walls and the dark wood flooring adds a stylish flair, enhanced by quirky, old-fashioned bed frames.
Opulent seating areas feature in certain suites, offering a soothing lavishness framed by snow-peaked Mountains and lush greenery.
A luxury spa and fine dining experiences provide a touch of class to this grand property, and an unparalleled location steps from the Banff gondola means you are constantly at the heart of the action.
- To book, check prices or availability for Rimrock Resort Hotel
12. The Juniper Hotel & Bistro – a scenic and charming hotel that is travel sustainable
Surrounded by sweeping views of the Bow Valley, warm hospitality and naturally uplifting experiences welcome you at The Juniper Hotel & Bistro.
The stunning hotel is independently owned and operated, striving to do its bit for the planet. Bright, comfortable guestrooms await you after a day of adventuring in the fresh landscape of Banff National Park.
You can choose from a cosy standard room oriented to the deep greens of the forest, or a deluxe room where you will be encapsulated by memorable valley views.
Further options include cabin rooms which are designed to put you in the heart of nature. You can join other adventurists in the on-site lounge, where unparalleled vistas of soaring peaks and shimmering lakes provide the perfect backdrop to your delicious dining and drinking experiences.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Juniper Hotel & Bistro
13. Fairmont Banff Springs – a historic 19th-century hotel that features Scottish Baronial castle style
A year-round luxury lodge, Fairmont Banff Springs offers all the amenities of a world-class resort, and the blissful surroundings of one of the world’s most cherished National Parks.
Standing as a landmark in the picturesque alpine town of Banff, the legendary hospitality and optimum access to the slopes attract returning visitors year upon year.
Its 745 guestrooms evoke an unrivalled sense of splendour, with sweeping Alberta Mountain views and trendsetting amenities complemented by attentive, personalized service.
Here, you can enjoy the excitement of a championship golf course, the European-style Willow Stream Spa, and authentic dining experiences across 12 acclaimed restaurants.
- To book, check prices or availability for Fairmont Banff Springs
14. Fox Hotel and Suites – a modern and laid-back hotel where pets are welcome
Girdled by breathtaking scenery and situated in close proximity to a number of Banff’s alluring sites, the cosy guestrooms of Fox Hotel sport a myriad of amenities to offer comfort and convenience.
Signature bedding equipped with pillow-top mattresses, and high-tech in-room entertainment solutions go hand in hand in the brightly coloured, minimalist accommodations, which evoke an air of luxury.
A casual bar and lounge offers a great melting pot of cultures, where visitors from around the world come to share stories and explorative tips.
A top-notch health club and soothing spa tub, as well as a welcoming lobby replete with a crackling fireplace, further enhance the hospitality experience at this graceful, cabin-like property.
- To book, check prices or availability for Fox Hotel and Suites
15. The Poplar Inn – a historical inn that offers a tennis court to guests
This elegant Victorian-style house has nurtured a unique atmosphere through generations of family ownership. Situated in the heart of Banff, The Poplar Inn is a peaceful spot of respite where guests can rest blissfully after a memorable day on some of the world’s greatest slopes.
The inn boasts two elegant rooms, both with king-size beds and en-suite bathrooms, and a delicious full-course breakfast is served every morning.
Some light-hearted touches make this property a popular choice amongst returning Banff visitors, such as complimentary coffee and tea in the lounge area and a graceful backyard manicured to perfection.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Poplar Inn
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Gary is an award winning full time professional photographer and videographer with too much wanderlust for his own good. Fuelled by strong coffee, you’ll often find him wandering well off hiking trails in search of interesting photographic subjects or scenery to video. Self taught and with the use of pioneering digital techniques, he quickly built up a strong client base and has worked with many prestigious organisations, including GQ, BBC, London Fashion Week, Grazia, Sky, Metro, Vogue Italia. He specialising in evocative images of people, places and cinematic videography and his goal is to make the viewer look twice and engage. As well as a penchant for good design, the ketogenic diet and Hungarian Vizslas, he also has a huge affection for Chicago, Bucharest, Scandinavia, Croatia and absolutely everywhere in Italy. Find him on Instagram @garynansome, Twitter @garynansome and his website https://garynunn.co.uk/