At Castle Junction, 32 kilometers (20 miles) northwest of Banff, is Castle Mountain Chalets (403/762-3868 or 877/762-2281, www.decorehotels.com, $255–335 s or d). Set on 1.5 hectares (four acres), this resort is home to a collection of magnificent log chalets. Each has high ceilings, beautifully handcrafted log interiors, at least two beds, a stone fireplace, a full kitchen with dishwasher, a bathroom with hot tub, and satellite TV. Part of the complex is a grocery store, barbecue area, and the only gas station between Banff and Lake Louise.
Continuing along the Bow Valley Parkway toward Lake Louise is Baker Creek Chalets (403/522-3761, www.bakercreek.com, $290–365 s or d), 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of Banff. Each of the log chalets has a kitchenette, loft, fireplace, and outside deck (complete with cute woodcarvings of bears climbing over the railings). The Trapper’s Cabin is a huge space with a log bed, antler chandelier, wood-burning fireplace, double-jetted tub, and cooking facilities. A lodge wing has eight luxurious suites, each with richly accented log work, a deck, a microwave and fridge, and a deluxe bathroom. The restaurant here is highly recommended.
The best rooms along Banff’s motel strip are at Delta Banff Royal Canadian Lodge (459 Banff Ave., 403/762-3307 or 888/778-5050, www.deltahotels.com, from $290 s or d). It features 99 luxuriously appointed rooms, heated underground parking, a lounge, a dining room where upscale Canadian specialties are the highlight, a large spa/pool complex, and a landscaped courtyard.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition