This "Castle in the Rockies" was our home for 2 nights while in Banff, Alberta.
It is a huge old hotel designed in the Late Victorian style by architect Bruce Price of NY in 1887. It was the dream of William Van Horne, the manager of Canadian Pacific Railway. His philosophy was, "Since we can't export the scenery, we'll have to import the tourists." It was completed in 1888. It burnt down in 1926 and was rebuilt in 1928 and it has been extended and refurbished many times since. It had its heyday before the war attracting royalty and celebrities. It closed during the war and when it reopened in 1945 it struggled to keep the usual guests. However, it now thrives on tourist groups arriving by coach or train.
The reception area and a cafe/deli at the end.
Our room was big and comfortable but it had a tiny window, with part of the building blocking the view over the Bow River and golf course.
That didn't matter because there were so many public areas to enjoy. This was our favourite place to "hang out." It was a bar and lounge and if you walked outside there was .........
...a terrace restaurant (one of many). It was too cold for us to eat out there but others were and in fact the waitress was waiting to sit people at this table which we had borrowed to take a photo.
We joined a free tour of the "castle" and were told the history and shown some fantastic rooms and spaces. Every window was a picture.
One of the ballrooms.
Our tour guide suggested we should get lost in the hotel as you discover surprising places, well we did that too but not intentionally. It is so huge. We were on the ninth floor but in the wrong wing. Hee hee it was fun. The next day we had a Free Choice Activity....rubber rafting down the Bow River.