In praise of the Banff Springs Hotel . . . .


And so we arrived at the Banff Springs Hotel.

Yes, there are other contenders. But for me, this
is it: the flagship of Canada’s fleet of historical railway hotels. From our
window, we can see a statue of William Cornelius Van Horne, the visionary who
built both the CPR and, not incidentally, this extravagant hotel. The four black-and-white
photographs that adorn the walls of our room memorialize the 1939 visit of King
George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

But whole books have been written about the
Fairmont Banff Springs, as it is properly called, detailing its history, its
celebrities, its amenities. I will mention only the 32-metre pool, the
attendant outdoor pool, which is heated, and finally the hot pool. These
brought back memories that need not detain us.

However, I must put in a word for the
gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain. It’s pricey, $35 a head, but when
you reach the top, you discover marvelous views of Banff and surrounding
mountain ranges, and you get to hike a splendid boardwalk to the Eagle’s Eyrie, a
stone-built weather observatory built in 1903. It’s like walking into your own IMAX movie, complete with 3D mountain goats, and you’re live.


  1. Chris Wiseman on February 1, 2022 at 5:18 pm

    Andy McDowell in the pool, Ken? No wonder you like The Old Lady!

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