Rustic Lodge Amid Stunning Canadian Rocky Mountain Views
The Brewster family's roots run deep in Banff: since their first ancestors settled in the area in the 19th century, the following generations served as dairy farmers, outdoor adventure outfitters, and ranch owners. One Brewster became an entrepreneur and was close friends with Louis St. Laurent, Canada's prime minister in the 1950s. The family planted their presence further when a few family members realized their dream of owning a hotel in the area, which opened in 1996. Today, handcrafted, custom-made log furnishings, western accents, and cowboy art define the interior of the lodge, paying homage to the first Brewsters to set foot in picturesque Banff, which sits amid the scenic Canadian Rockies.
The rustic décor carries over to the standard rooms, where timber headboards hang above the two queen-size beds covered in tribal-inspired duvets and woolen blankets. Historical photos of Banff—borrowed from the archives of a founding family—adorn lemon-hued walls, and a three-piece granite bathroom rounds out the amenities. Each morning in the Birds' Nest Breakfast Room, lodgers can seize the day by picking from a spread of continental breakfast fare and by punching a page-a-day calendar.
Greek dishes such as succulent lamb souvlaki ($27 CAN) or spanakopita ($9 CAN) highlight the menu at nearby Balkan restaurant. Over at Banff Avenue Brewing Company, the beer connoisseurs tap into pure Rocky Mountain glacier water to craft their suds. Guests can sip on varieties such as the flagship, hoppy Head Smashed IPA and the sweet Stubble Jumper Saskatoon Berry Ale.
Banff: Alpine Town in the Heart of the Canadian Rockies
The quaint town of Banff is nestled within the heart of Banff National Park, the first park of its kind in Canada, where sweeping alpine meadows, crystal-clear glacial lakes, and snow-capped mountains spread out over roughly 2,500 square miles. The roughly 140-mile Icefields Parkway wends through the towering, majestic peaks of the Canadian Rockies; along the way, wildlife including grizzly bear, moose, and caribou occasionally makes an appearance alongside turquoise-colored glacial lakes such as Peyto Lake and Lake Louise. Several groomed cross-country ski trails criss-cross the Lake Louise area, and some of the park's summer hiking trails transform into snowshoe trails come winter, both around the town of Banff and throughout the national park.
A 15-minute drive away from downtown Banff, Sunshine Village opens its 3,300 skiable acres for the winter season on November 10, weather permitting. Snowbirds of all skill levels can hop on twelve lifts to hit the powder at 107 named runs that span across the resort's three mountain faces: Goat's Eye, Lookout, and Standish. A 15-acre terrain park, which typically opens mid-December, invites snowboarders to shred the gnar.