Top Canadian Destination is a North American Icon
Dubbed the “Castle in the Rockies,” luxurious Fairmont Banff Springs has been an icon of hospitality and guest services since the 1880s when railroad pioneer William Cornelius Van Horne opened the wilds of Alberta, Canada, to intrepid travelers and adventurers.
Central to this landmark property is, without question, golf. The 127-year-old Banff Springs Hotel is anchored by 27 holes of golf that include a stunning 18 by Stanley Thompson. Don’t be surprised to let elk, deer, foxes and bears play through.
Banff Springs is central to so much more, including:
1. World-class amenities: As a flagship property for luxury brand Fairmont, travelers can expect the very best in accommodations, services, cuisine, recreation and kids’ programs. Don’t miss the Willow Stream Spa, rated one of the top five spas in Canada by Condé Nast Traveler; or the new family friendly Bowling & Entertainment Centre.
2. Astonishing natural splendor: Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is 2,564 square miles of pristine natural beauty that shelters snowcapped mountains, fertile valleys, indigo-blue rivers and lakes, white glaciers, verdant forests and riotous rivers that are havens for hiking, camping, backpacking, fishing, boating and biking.
3. Superlative major sporting events: Three calendar toppers include the prestigious Banff Marathon (June 21), the only marathon in North America to be held within the confines of a national park; the Fourth Annual RBC GranFondo Banff (Aug. 22), an 88-mile cycling event staged in and around Banff; and the IRONMAN-sanctioned Subaru Banff Triathlon (Sept. 12), which starts in chilly Two Jack Lake and finishes with a heated flourish in Banff’s festive mountain village.
4. Amazing festivals and celebrations: Plan on attending Performance in the Park (June 19-20), one of Alberta’s more stellar outdoor music festivals; and at least one of the 100-count special events scheduled at The Banff Centre, among them The Beatles’ Abbey Road by Art of Time Ensemble (June 27).
5. Scrapbook-able attractions and tours: Must-sees include half-day forays to the Edith Cavelle, Athabasca and Columbia Icefield glaciers; photographing the mirror-like waters of Moraine Lake and Lake Louise; riding the Banff Gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain; hiring a guided fly-fishing float on the Bow River; and top-down driving the Icefields Parkway, rated by National Geographic as one of the world’s great scenic highways.
On May 24, 2015, the exchange rate for one U.S. dollar was 1.23 Canadian dollars, giving American travelers significantly more purchasing power than in recent years. For more about Alberta travel, click here.
Chris Duthie is a contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.