Where to Stay in Banff | 12 Awesome Hotels around Banff National Park

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Banff National Park is the tourism hub for the province of Alberta, Canada. Because of this, there is no shortage of hotels, condos, and short-term rental apartments in the area. Whether you are looking for a budget hostel, a mid-budget hotel, or a luxury mountain lodge, you’ll find hotels in Banff for all types of travelers and budgets. If you’re wondering where to stay in Banff National Park, there are three towns where most of the hotels and accommodations are concentrated: Banff, Lake Louise, and Canmore.

This guide to where to stay in Banff National Park includes 12 unique lodging options and highlights some of the best hotels in Banff, Lake Louise, and Canmore.

Wondering where to stay in Banff, this image shows a mountain view from the Post Hotel in Lake Louise
Wondering where to stay in Banff? You’ll find plenty of hotels with majestic mountain views like this one.

Where to stay in Banff, Canada – our personal experience 

While it may be a splurge, we typically stay in higher-end, luxury accommodations in Banff and the surrounding area. After a long day or outdoor activities in the national park, be it skiing in winter or hiking in summer, we like to come back to our hotel and feel pampered and relaxed. So if you’re like us, and are trying to determine where to stay in Banff, we recommend giving yourself a decent lodging budget and splurging on an awesome, family-friendly, luxury hotel. However, if you are trying to save money or just prefer something less extravagant, we have included several Banff hotels that are more budget-friendly.

The best family-friendly accommodations for travelers wondering where to stay in Banff

There are some wonderful options for family-friendly lodging in Banff National Park and in nearby Canmore, just outside of the national park. We have stayed in the towns of Banff, Lake Louise, and Canmore and have loved each of the hotels where we have stayed. This list of hotels in Banff, Lake Louise, and Canmore provides recommendations on the best places to stay in Banff and the surrounding area.

A standard room at one of the best hotels in Banff, the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.
A standard room at one of the best hotels in Banff, the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.

Hotels in Banff Town

Staying in the town of Banff, as opposed to Lake Louise or Canmore, offers you the convenience of having nearby shopping and a wide variety of restaurants. There are hot springs, hiking trails, and plenty of great outdoor activities nearby. The town of Banff is a convenient place to stay for first-time visitors to the national park and is the most popular base city for travelers to the area.

Depending on your plans, many of the best things to do in Banff with kids are within a short drive from the town of Banff. However, it is about a 30-45 minute drive away from the Lake Louise ski resort and the widely popular and beautiful turquoise waters found at Moraine Lake and Lake Louise.

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

Fairmont Banff Springs is perhaps the most popular luxury hotel in the entire national park, and especially in Banff. The majestic hotel practically screams ‘luxury’ the minute you drive up to it.

The exterior of the Fairmont Banff Springs, one of the best places to stay in Banff, which looks like a castle nestled at the base of a mountain.
The Fairmont Banff Springs, one of the best places to stay in Banff, resembles a castle nestled at the base of a mountain. Photo by Kieran Taylor from Unsplash

If you are planning to stay in the town of Banff, the Fairmont Banff Springs offers the finest luxury and unmatched service. It is a bit of a splurge, but we’d highly recommend it. The hotel makes a perfect backdrop for a romantic getaway or a family vacation. The hotel itself is more than 125 years old, and resembles a castle perched up on a mountainside.

Fairmont Banff Springs at a glance
  • Location: Banff 
  • Type of accommodations: Luxury Hotel
  • Check Pricing

Fox Hotel and Suites

The Fox Hotel and Suites is a cozy yet luxurious lodge right off the main road in Banff. Upon arrival, you can park your vehicle for free and take advantage of the in-house Chili’s Grill & Bar menu. Following dinner, relax in the spacious and fantastical hot tub: a large pool inside a rock cave, with a perfect view of the sky via a large hole carved into the ceiling. With stone pillars and walls separating the numerous wings of the hot pool, it’s easy for parents to find some space to relax while still keeping an eye on their little ones.

The indoor hot pool set inside a rock cave at Fox Hotel and Suites.
The indoor hot pool set inside a rock cave at Fox Hotel and Suites. Photo by Natasha Karcz from Planes, trains and Karcz

After a delicious complimentary breakfast, take a stroll down the renowned Banff Avenue to visit amongst the local shops and cafes. It is here, at the south end of the street, that you’ll find the Banff National Park Administrative Building, a large stone architectural marvel where you are welcome to roam about the grounds and admire the surrounding Cascade Gardens (a must-see!).

If you wish to venture further, ask hotel reception for the Banff Roam bus pass that is included in your stay, and take advantage of one of Banff’s best hikes or make a day trip to neighboring Canmore for an unparalleled meal at The Iron Goat, one of the finest restaurants in Southern Alberta.

Recommended by Natasha Karcz from Planes, Trains and Karcz

Fox Hotel at a glance
  • Location: Banff 
  • Type of accommodations: Mountain Lodge and Hotel
  • Check Pricing

Elk + Avenue Hotel 

Located right on the main drag in Banff, the Elk + Avenue Hotel is one of the most well-situated hotels in Banff, Canada.  A stay here in the middle of town ensures an easy walk to all of the unique shops, museums and restaurants in Banff.

The suites at the Elk + Avenue are spacious and decorated in an Alpine Scandi Chic aesthetic style that suits the modern lines of this hotel property. The suites feature family-sized rooms that can sleep up to six people in comfort, as well as several pet-friendly rooms. 

A standard double room at Elk + Avenue Hotel, a convenient place to stay in Banff.
A standard double room at Elk + Avenue Hotel, a convenient place to stay in Banff. Photo by Elk + Avenue

Elk + Avenue Hotel is home to a sauna and hot tub, perfect for relaxing sore muscles are a day spent skiing on SkiBig3 slopes in winter or hiking trails in summer. Pick up a morning cup of tea or coffee at the hotel’s Good Earth Coffeehouse, and enjoy wood-fired fare at the in-house restaurant, Farm & Fire, open for brunch, après adventure cocktails and hearty family-style suppers.

Recommended by Claudia Laroye from Claudia Travels

Elk + Avenue Hotel at a glance

Juniper Hotel

Stay at the Juniper Hotel for one of the best panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains. Located just outside the town of Banff, it’s a serene spot that offers mountain views right from your window. If you stay on the ground floor level, your hotel room opens up to a grassy area where you can suntan or sit at one of the picnic tables to admire the view.

The Juniper Hotel also has one of the top-rated restaurants in Banff. Juniper Bistro serves modern Canadian cuisine and focuses on using handcrafted ingredients and local produce. Start your day with a delicious eggs benedict before heading off into the mountains to explore.

The mountain view at Juniper Hotel in Banff
The mountain view at Juniper Hotel. Photo by Cecily from Groovy Mashed Potatoes

The Juniper is a great place to add to your Banff itinerary if you’re looking for a hotel with good value. Rooms are suitable for couples or families. One thing to consider however, is its location to the center of town. Since it’s located across the highway, it’s a five minute drive away. 

Recommended by Cecily from Groovy Mashed Potatoes

Juniper Hotel at a glance
  • Where: just outside Banff
  • Type of accommodations: good value hotel
  • Check Pricing

Moose Hotel Banff 

Moose Hotel is a great option if you’re wondering where to stay in Banff because of its convenient location. The hotel is located on Banff Avenue in the Banff town center, within walking distance to the shopping area, and attractions like Banff Park Museum, Whyte Museum of Canadian Rockies, and Banff Visitor Center. It’s proximity to so many attractions makes it an ideal place to stay if you plan to explore Banff National Park.

Secondly, it’s a luxurious lodge with a warm and rich environment, adorned with natural materials. 

Te exterior of Moose Hotel in Banff, a great option if you're wondering where to stay in Banff
The Moose Hotel in Banff Town Center. Photo by Kenny Chow from Knycx Journeying

It feels like home staying in Moose Hotel, as hotel guests enter the lobby with a fireplace and comfortable couch. The majority of the air-conditioned guest rooms feature a balcony with a view of the nearby areas and the far beyond Canadian Rocky Mountains. 

The hotel is pet-friendly and offers free WiFi. The highlights of the hotel are a bright indoor swimming pool and two roof-top thermal spa pools that are perfect for family visitors, even in winter. It is a great experience to have a soak in the pool with family while enjoying the magnificent view. For dining, an Italian restaurant is located on the second floor with authentic dishes and a welcoming ambiance.  

Recommended by Kenny Chow from Knycx Journeying

Moose Hotel at a glance
  • Location: Banff 
  • Type of accommodations: Luxury Hotel 
  • Check Pricing

Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa

This mountain lodge, nestled in the heart of Banff city center, is perfect for couples and family trips to the Rockies. It is located very close to the heart of the mountain town with shops and restaurants, just minutes from the property!

The hotel provides free passes for Banff’s transit system and free WiFi. It offers guests a flat-screen TV, mini-fridge, and in-room safe in each room and suite. Select suites even offer a hot tub and a fireplace!

A standard double room at Banff Caribou Lodge
A standard double room at Banff Caribou Lodge. Photo by Mayuri from Canada Crossroads

The Keg Steakhouse and Bar is located on-site and serves dinner and drinks. Banff Caribou Lodge also features Red Earth Spa, a full-service spa with 6 treatment rooms – this is great for a relaxing getaway! Spa-goers also have complete access to the hotel’s hot pool, steam room, and exercise facilities. 

The property also welcomes guests for Banff Christmas getaways with special packages for locals and visitors alike!

Recommended by Mayuri from Canada Crossroads

Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa at a glance
  • Location: Town Center of Banff
  • Type of accommodations: Mountain Lodge
  • Check Pricing

Hotels in Lake Louise

Lake Louise is in the far west portion of Banff National Park. This area, home to less than 700 residents, is best known for the turquoise lake that gives it its name. It is also home to one of the most popular mountain ski resorts in Alberta, which is called Lake Louise Mountain Resort. 

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is the epitome of luxury in Banff National Park. The grand, old hotel has been welcoming guests through its doors since the late 1800s and continues to be the standard-bearer when it comes to comfort and extravagance.

The hotel sits directly on the shores of Lake Louise, one of the best places to visit in the Canadian Rockies, and is the perfect place to stay during your visit to Banff National Park.

Fairmont Chateau as seen from across Lake Louise
Wondering where to stay in Banff closer to the park’s brilliant blue lakes? The Fairmont Chateau on Lake Louise is one of the most popular places to stay in Banff National Park or simply to visit. Photo by jmj2362 from Pixabay

In the summer months, guests at the hotel have exclusive access to canoeing on the famous glacial lake. While in the winter, the hotel boasts easy access to snowshoe and cross-country skiing trails, as well as a free shuttle to Lake Louise Ski Resort. 

The hotel is also home to a year-round kids’ camp program, making the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise a brilliant place for families to stay in Banff National Park if you prefer a lake view over a mountain view.

Recommended by Ben from Ticket 4 Two Please

Fairmont Chateau at a glance
  • Location: Lake Louise
  • Type of accommodation: Luxury Hotel
  • Check Pricing

The Post Hotel and Spa

The Post Hotel and Spa, in the village of Lake Louise offers great views of the mountains and is surrounded by nature. When determining where to stay in Banff National Park, The Post Hotel is perfect for families.

Another great example of lodging in Banff National Park - Lake Louise The Post
The Post Hotel in Lake Louise is another great example of rustic, luxury lodging in Banff National Park

The hotel offers traditional hotel rooms as well as private cabins for families or larger parties. The rooms are nice and the bedding is very comfortable. Small touches, like turn down service with a complimentary gourmet chocolate left on each pillow, make staying at The Post Hotel a sweet treat. The hotel grounds are charming and rustic.

A babbling creek runs right next to the property, making for quite a picturesque setting. There are also train tracks that run in front of the hotel, but the trains do not blow their horns, so while you do hear them throughout the day and night, it is actually a peaceful, muted, and relaxing rumble.

A quaint log cabin at the Post Hotel in Lake Louise
A quaint log cabin at the Post Hotel in Lake Louise

The accommodating staff coupled with the comforting rooms and idyllic setting makes the Post Hot one of the best family-friendly lodging in Banff National Park. But it isn’t just for families with children. This would be a great option for couples looking for a romantic getaway, as well.

The Post Hotel and Spa at a glance
  • Location: Lake Louise
  • Type of accommodation: Luxury hotel and cabins
  • Check Pricing

HI Lake Louise Alpine Centre

HI Lake Louise Alpine Centre is easily one of the best budget-friendly places to stay in Banff National Park. First of all, it is located right in the heart of Lake Louise Village, within walking distance to shops, cafes, and restaurants. From the hostel, you can easily drive up to the lakefront in only a few minutes as well as visit the popular Moraine Lake. 

HI Lake Louise Alpine Centre is a hostel because they offer dorm rooms as well as communal areas including a huge kitchen. But what most people don’t know is that you can also book private rooms here for cheap! For families, a private room is a great option if you want to stay in a hostel with kids. It’s one of the most affordable places to stay in Banff. The hostel is kept clean and the staff are friendly, so it really does offer good value for money. 

The building is huge and spacious, and you can enjoy mountain views from practically every window. If cooking your own meals in the kitchen isn’t your thing, there is an onsite restaurant, Bill Peyto’s, that is actually one of the best restaurants in Lake Louise serving hearty meals at an affordable price. 

Recommended by Bailey from Destinationless Travel

The HI Lake Louise Alpine Centre at a glance
  • Location: Lake Louise
  • Type of accommodation: budget hostel
  • Check Pricing

Hotels in Canmore

Canmore is the gateway town to Banff National Park if driving west from Calgary. The town of about 14,000 residents is a popular base town for those who want to explore the national park without paying the extra fees to stay within it. Canmore is about a 10 minute drive from the entrance to Banff National Park and roughly 30 minutes from the town of Banff.

Also read: Canmore vs. Banff – which is the better base area?

Pocaterra Inn 

The Pocaterra Inn is a family-friendly hotel perfect for budget-minded travel. Not only is the hotel in close proximity to the main town site, but the inn features both a hot tub and an awesome pool with a waterslide, which is perfect for the kids.

The Pocaterra Inn is located just off the Trans-Canada Highway, and about 5 minutes to Canmore’s main street. It is close to a grocery store, gas station, a ton of restaurants, as well as hiking trails and a museum.

Exterior of Pocaterra Inn in Canmore, a popular lodging in Banff option for families
If you are wondering where to stay in Banff with kids, the Pocaterra Inn in Canmore is known for it’s incredible indoor waterslide! Photo by Marianne from The Journeying Giordanos

Inside, the rooms are well-appointed and perfect for a family. With 2 queen beds, a pull-out sofa, seating area, fireplace, and small kitchenette with microwave, fridge, and coffee maker, it’s everything a family needs for a comfortable stay. The bathrooms are also on the large side and modern.

Another perk to staying at the Pocaterra Inn is their included hot breakfast. With a pretty good selection of both hot and cold items, even the pickiest of eaters will find something they like.

But one of the best surprises is that the Pocaterra Inn also serves cookies and hot chocolate in the lobby. This will definitely be a hit with the kids!

There is also plenty of free parking located on the property.

Recommended by Marianne from The Journeying Giordanos

Pocoterra Inn at a glance
  • Location: Canmore
  • Type of accommodations: budget-friendly hotel
  • Check Pricing

Solara Resort and Spa

Solara Resort and Spa offers rooms that are more like small apartments or condos, with a full kitchen, living area, separate bedroom, and a porch.

Solar Resort in Canmore is another great option for those wondering Where to stay in Banff Canada
Solara Resort in Canmore

Staying in apartment-style accommodations makes life so much easier when traveling with kids. Although there are a lot of great restaurants in Banff, staying at Solara allows you the option to cook and avoid the extra expense of eating out every meal. For families on a trip with kids, the extra space lets you stay up and enjoy a glass of wine after the children go to bed, which is ideal after a day of exploring.

accomodations-in-Banff-Solara-Canmore
Solara Resort has condo-style accommodations that are perfect for families or those who are planning an extended stay in Banff

The bedding is comfortable, the bathroom has both a shower and separate tub (another great hotel amenity when traveling with kids), and the cozy home-like atmosphere is much appreciated and perfect for families.

Solara Resort and Spa at a glance
  • Location: Canmore
  • Type of accommodations: Luxury Suites 
  • Check Pricing

Falcon Crest Lodge by CLIQUE 

The Falcon Crest Lodge is an amazing property for a stay in Canmore. It is located about 16 miles (26 km) away from Banff, and offers great views without any park fees! 

You can book a room with mountain views and enjoy the hot tubs on the property, making it the perfect place to relax and enjoy the Rocky Mountains. 

Falcon Crest Lodge in Canmore
Falcon Crest Lodge in Canmore. Photo by Mayuri from ToSomePlaceNew

All the rooms are equipped with a kitchenette and fireplace, and free WiFi is included. This is perfect for long-term stays like work-from-home, or remote work situations! There is a patio or balcony in each room, as well as a barbecue grill. A flat-screen TV is included in all rooms.

The Falcon Crest Lodge also offers a fitness center, as well as heated underground parking. Select suites also have a separate living room and washer and dryer. 

There are no restaurants nearby, but walking trails and views from the property are excellent to enjoy at any time of day!

Recommended by Mayuri from ToSomePlaceNew

Falcon Crest Lodge at a glance

Final thoughts on where to stay in Banff

While we tend to stay in more luxurious hotels when we travel to Banff, there are plenty of places to stay in Banff that won’t break the bank. You can find everything from hostels to budget-friendly family lodging options. Regardless of where you stay in Banff, your travels to the Canadian Rockies with kids will be memorable for the entire family.

Have a question about where to stay in Banff? We’d love to hear from you. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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This post on where to stay in Banff was originally written in February 2016 and was updated in February 2022 for accuracy and current information.

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