Sunday, April 19, 2015

Banff Springs Hotel

Oh, the mountains!  Given a choice between living in the mountains or the sea side, I'd be hard pressed to decide.  When I'm there, the Rockies are an imposing force in the landscape.  They take my breath away.  I love it!  But....   I think I am really an ocean, seaside kind of girl at heart.  That being said, I had a spectacular visit out west recently and I just had to share the beauty with you all.

After the hustle and bustle of the boating drama (selling our boat of 15 years and saying goodbye to the cruising lifestyle), we were ripe for the luxurious pampering the Banff Springs Hotel offered us.  The staff were unfailingly courteous and kind, helpful and knowledgable.  At one point, I was surprised to rise my head from putting the dog in his den in the backseat of the rental car, to find a sweet young man holding the front door of the car open for me to get in.  Chivalry is not dead!  This resort/hotel is ranked #1 out of 31 hotels in Banff.

The Banff Springs Resort is part of the worldwide Fairmont Chain.  We gladly signed up for the President's rewards program.  Who knows...maybe our bucket list could have all the Fairmonts in the world on it.  Wouldn't that be nice.

Of course our room had a view.  Where isn't there a view in the Rockies????

The buffet breakfasts spoil one for choice.  For a person who really doesn't LIKE breakfast, it was a special treat.

The hotel was opened June 1888 when the Canadian Pacific Railroad had made it West.  Renovations and additions started in 1911 and seem to be ongoing.  The original portions of the edifice resemble a castle in the mountains.

There are stories of ghosts, particularly a bride who fell on the stairs and broke her neck on her wedding night, but we missed her this trip.

The views from every window are breathtaking!  Even the windows themselves have a certain charm.

The aura of bygone years peeks out at every turn.

With nearly two dozen restaurants and lounges on site, one is hard pressed to choose just one.  

The dress code is resort casual, but being from fashion-forward Ontario, I just HAD TO have dresses for my two evenings out.  Hubby sort of sprung this treat on me on our way from the airport.  All I had were mountain cabin things.  You know, the mountain cabin with no water or electricity, kind of clothes????  

-How about two days in the Banff Springs Hotel?  Do you think they have pet-friendly rooms?
-Not likely, I thought. phone call later,
-Why yes, all our rooms are pet-friendly!

We made reservations at the Waldhaus Alpine Restaurant for our first night.
I also snaffued a nice shirt and tie for my man.

Hubby loved his meal, but unfortunately, I turned mine back.  The Weiner schnitzel was pounded so thin, it resembled a potato chip!!!  The white wine was delicious, and as we had devoured hors d'heurves in our room before hand, I didn't go hungry.  (Apologies for the spelling.  Even the computer doesn't know how to spell it.)

The next morning dawned in a brilliant display of pinks and golds.  Nelson was up for a hike and we were happy to oblige him.  The Bow River Falls trailhead started a short walk from the hotel. 

The wild life know no bounds in Banff.  Elk and long horned sheep are everywhere.  I could hardly resist reaching out to feel the soft velvet of this Buck's new antlers.  I remained on my side of the fence, but later, people told me how easily he could have jumped over and attacked me if he had felt threatened.  Thank goodness for zoom lenses.

My heart thrilled to see our Canadian Flag, vibrant against the backdrop of the snowy mountains.

My second new dress from the delightful Four Dangerous Dolls dress shop.  It can be worn either forward or backward.  The uneven hemline is jazzy.  A great, draping fabric that will travel well and is sooooo fun to wear.  The shoes on the other hand, a cheapie deal from the consignment store in Canmore, nearly killed me!  The price we pay for glamour.

We were fortunate to get reservations at Three Ravens Restaurant in the Banff Centre on our second night.  My meal was INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!  Their world-class chef outdid himself.  I was in gourmet heaven.

Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, life post-boat goes on.  The pictures, the stories continue.  While there is life, there is hope.   Life's challenges (believe it or not, I don't tell you everything) never fail to give us grief, but remaining Steadfast in faith, love and adventure, we will greet each new day with anticipation and joy. Do leave comments to let me know you are reading and hopefully enjoying the blog.  I enjoy recounting the fun.

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