I don’t know about you, but when I go on holiday I like my creature comforts. Part of the break for me is not having to cook, clean, make beds etc., I like to get away from it all. So before we book anywhere there is a lot of research involved, and our trip to Canada was no exception. To be honest it was even more detailed than normal because it was Christmas and we wanted it to feel special. After weeks of research we settled on The Rimrock Resort Hotel in Banff, and we weren’t disappointed. Our first visit here was Christmas 2013 and because we loved it so much, we returned for Christmas 2014.
The Rimrock is approximately 4km out of Banff town, but don’t let this put you off. There is a regular bus service that stops right outside the hotel and takes about 5 minutes to get into town. As a guest of the hotel you get a complimentary bus pass so there is no cost involved in the travel. If you are a skier, by prior arrangement, the hotel arranges transport for you and your skis to the necessary pick-up points. We found it no problem at all getting around.
Looking at the front gives you the impression that it’s a medium sized hotel with an amazing backdrop of mountains.
However venture around the back and you will notice that the hotel sweeps down the mountain side into the beautiful forests that surround it. I can tell you it’s very peaceful.
The hotel is a stones throw away from the Banff Gondola, and the day that we ventured up Sulphur Mountain, I took this shot of the hotel. It certainly gives perspective about the amazing scenery that surrounds you.
Before we go inside though there is a little ice rink around the back, obviously I just had to test it out 🙂 You can hire skates from the hotel. At night, it’s all lit up and is quite magical; even more so when it’s snowing 🙂
The hotel inside is beautiful, there is a sense of Art Deco style with a modern twist, it feels very cozy. What we particularly liked about the hotel is that it’s not too large that you get lost or forgotten about which was evident when we returned in 2014. It was nice to be recognised by some of the staff we had the pleasure of getting to know on our 2013 visit, it was like being welcomed home.
When you walk through the grand entrance, you are instantly in the reception area. In 2013, the hotel chefs had created this amazing Gingerbread House which greeted you when you walked through the doors. As far as I am aware it was edible as I watched one of the chefs repairing the icing one day, but there were baskets of candy canes inside for everyone to help themselves. It was certainly tested by plenty of children; and adults 😉
Next to the reception is the relaxing Larkspur Lounge, with a large chimney in the middle which had a roaring fire every day. The large windows look out onto the mountains, and is an amazing back drop to enjoy while you relax. We enjoyed a tipple or two sat by this fire, listening to the piano player.
There is also another bar in the hotel called ‘Divas’ and is a favourite little place of mine. The walls are covered with fantastic black and white photographs of glamourous Hollywood stars. I found myself dreaming of bygone eras while I sat back sipping on a cocktail. Sadly this was closed quite a few evenings we were there as it was being used for private functions. But I managed to enjoy it when I could 🙂
At this festive time of the year there are numerous beautifully decorated Christmas trees everywhere in the hotel, I wish mine at home looked like this.
As for rooms, we booked a Premium Preview Room, which was very spacious with two queen sized beds, and had amazing views over Banff (as shown in my previous posting). I loved sitting in the comfy chairs next to the window at the end of the day; admiring the scenery, it was so relaxing and mesmerising. One day I was sat there watching two deer wander through the forest below us, going about their own business, totally oblivious to the hotel (I wasn’t quick enough with my camera though) I’m sure during the summer there is plenty of wildlife to look out for.
With regards to the staff; they were so sincerely friendly and helpful, it didn’t feel forced in any way (unlike some places I’ve stayed in). They seemed genuinely interested in what we were doing during our stay. However be patient, they can get really busy, and it’s not always possible to engage in general chit-chat, but I definitely recommend when they are less rushed to get to know them a bit better.
I must say a big thankyou to one of the Doormen, Jeff Glowatsky, who’s local knowlege on places to eat, drink and visit was a great help. He also recommended some lovely walks to get some fresh air and work that pudding off 😉 which also enabled us to explore more of Banff away from the main tourist spots. The Concierge team were brilliant and were always at hand if we needed anything. To be honest I mainly dealt with Thomas McIntyre on the team who was exceptional. We originally met him in 2013 during our first visit. My husband had been emailing him before we arrived asking loads of questions, of which Thomas promptly replied and gave us some very helpful advice. On our return visit it was great to see a familiar friendly face and as before; however big or small our request was, he endeavoured to make it happen for us. I also have to commend the cleaning staff, as we could leave our room messy on some days when we were in a rush, but on our return it was always so clean and tidy.
I’m sure you are wandering if there are any bad points about the hotel; well I can honestly say that I didn’t find any. If anything it would have been nice to have an outside viewing area to take some photographs instead of through glass, (I did actually ask if there was one, sadly no) but we can’t have everything 😉 My husband and I had an absolute ball, and apart from the curse of jet lag, I slept soundly every night.
In all the places I’ve stayed around the world, The Rimrock is one of my top 3 and I hope to be returning soon.