No Need to “Rough it” in the Rockies

Finding Luxury in the Canadian Rockies pin
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The Canadian Rocky Mountains should be on any travel bucket list. Blue glacial lakes, snow-capped mountains, and an abundance of wildlife stretch across five national parks. The Rockies truly are that beautiful, and you’ll find Instagram-worthy vistas around every corner!

While visiting the area you can experience a whole range of activities, during all four seasons, and for all ages and skill levels. But the best part of visiting the Rockies is getting to enjoy true luxury and relaxation in such a breath-taking natural setting. 

Banff

One of the most popular parks, Banff is about a two-hour drive from Calgary and makes an excellent home-base for a week in the Rockies.

Enjoy the view of huge snow-capped mountains and lush evergreen forest when you hikethe Canadian Rockies

Banff offers some of the best hiking trails (leading to awe-inspiring views), beautiful forests, and waterfalls.

[Photo Credit: Chris Rees via Unsplash]

You can paddle on the Bow River or Lake Minnewanka in your kayak, canoe, or stand-up-paddle board. Go stargazing, take a boat cruise, or a gondola ride up to a spectacular panoramic observation deck, cafe, and restaurant.

after climbing up the rock face you can sit back an enjoy the stunning view of the Canadian Rockies

Whether you enjoy an easy stroll, a round of golf with a mountainous backdrop or scaling the side of a cliff, Banff has adventures for all levels.

[Photo Credit: Fairmont Hotels]

And when you return from your outdoor adventures each evening? Kick off your boots, enjoy a hot soak and a gourmet meal in the “Castle of the Rockies”: The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.  Built in 1888 and modeled after a Scottish Castle, the Banff Springs Hotel is a destination in itself that combines luxury and history!

the Banff Springs Hotel of the Canadian Rockies in summer
[Photo Credit: Fairmont Hotels]
a bed with a view at the Banff Springs Hotel in the Canadian Rockies

Under the eaves of this impressive building, you’ll have picture-perfect views when you wake up in your luxurious bed.  Head out for an easy morning hike to the roaring waterfalls. Return to Banff for your choice from dozens of restaurants, each with delicious, locally inspired menus.

[Photo Credit: Fairmont Hotels]

Take the rest of the day to relax in their spa, or head to the concierge to look through their 26-page activities book! End your day chilling out on their front terrace, with the light cutting across the crevices of the huge mountains and dancing across the tops of the trees as you breathe the wonderfully fresh, crisp mountain air. 

Lake Louise

an areal view of Chateau Lake Louise Hotel and it's stunningly blue lake in the Canadian Rockies
[Photo Credit: Wenhao Ji via Unsplash]

If a lake view is more your idea of bliss, we recommend heading a bit further north to Lake Louise. And what better way to enjoy the lake than with a view from your balcony? The luxurious Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a grand hotel situated right on the lake. It has been a luxury vacation destination since its opening in the 1890’s. Paddle on the stunning blue waters surrounded by mountain peaks or go ice skating in the winter!

a horse-drawn sliegh ride set in the white fluffy snow, towering mountains and evergreen forest of the Canadian Rockies

In winter, you can also enjoy dog sled tours, sleigh rides, and skiing in the quintessential winter wonderland. Soft fluffy snow, evergreen trees, and hot chocolate by the fire waiting for you when you return.

[Photo Credit: Fairmont Hotels]

horseback riding along the lake with a beautiful mountainous backdrop in the Canadian Rockies

Summer and Fall at Lake Louise are equally enticing. You can enjoy a variety of hiking and biking trails, horseback riding alongside the lake, and white water rafting.

[Photo Credit: Fairmont Hotels]

Wherever you look, amazing views and pampering service await your stay at Lake Louise. Staying here at the Fairmont saves you the hassle of trying to find lake-side parking, or even worse, having to park a few miles away!

a dining room table with a view of the stunning blue waters and huge snow-capped mountains at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies

Their many restaurants offer table-side views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. The interior is elegant and polished, calm and inviting. Picnic on the dock, or enjoy a glass of wine on the expansive verandas that the Fairmont offers.

This is taking your classic lake vacation to the next level of scenery and luxury.

[Photo Credit: Fairmont Hotels]

Getting There

While flying into Victoria or Calgary and renting a car to drive yourself up to the Rockies is always an option, one of the best ways to get to the Canadian Rockies is to take the train! Any of the two or three-day routes from Victoria into the mountains are the perfect way to fully enjoy the views and learn about the local wildlife without having to worry about car rentals or traffic.

the Rocky Mountaineer train winding its way next to a blue lake in the Canadian Rockies
[Photo Credit: Rocky Mountaineer]

The Rocky Mountaineer offers 360-degree views on your journey through lush forests, over deep river gorges, through mountain tunnels, and alongside blue lakes. You can travel from Victoria to Banff, Lake Louise or Jasper (with a stop or two along the way), then stay a few days in the destination before flying home. Or, consider making it a round-trip train extravaganza!

the interior of the Rocky Mountaineer train with domed glass giving passengers a 360 degree view of the Canadian Rockies

Any seat on the Rocky Mountaineer has stunning views, overhead windows, and access to an outdoor viewing platform. Splurging a little extra for their Goldleaf seats will give you complete 360-degree rounded domes so you don’t miss a thing. Both levels (silver and gold) have hosts to answers questions, tell you stories about the landscape, and point out the wildlife. 

[Photo Credit: Rocky Mountaineer]

The Rocky Mountaineer doesn’t travel at night so you won’t miss a single moment of the beautiful scenery. Instead, included in your trip, are stays in lovely hotels along the way. Taking the train ensures luxury throughout the journey — not just at the final destination. 


You shouldn’t have to choose between incredible outdoorsy experiences and luxurious relaxation. The Rocky Mountains offer the best of all worlds, bringing luxury into your journey, your stay, and your surroundings. While we can’t yet travel to Canada from the US (due to current COVID restrictions) advance planning for a bucket list trip like this is always recommended!

Let us know if you were inspired by this post when you plan with us and we can offer special perks at both of the Fairmont properties — such as extended check in/out hours, a room upgrade if available; $100 CAD food and beverage credit (Banff) OR a professional portrait taken during stay with souvenir photo frame (Lake Louise)! We’re excited to help plan your ‘escape’ to the Canadian Rockies!

A Pacific Northwest Adventure

A good honeymoon should reflect the bride and groom’s shared passions and interests. A great honeymoon should be so completely tailored to the specific couple that you literally can’t imagine anyone else taking the same trip. That’s definitely the case with Corkie and Kyle’s honeymoon adventures in Canada and the Pacific Northwest!

Hey Ann!

Thank you for reaching out! We are certainly happy to tell you about our trip!

Delta flight out to Calgary — not my favorite airline in terms of snacks they provide and lack of flight entertainment but when it’s the most cost effective, it’s fine.

Rental Car in Canada — good experience!

Fairmont Banff Springs — Beautiful place, wonderful and friendly staff. We used the valet service which was really nice and cost $35 a day. We didn’t get a room upgrade but we did utilize the free breakfast buffet every morning which retails for two at $70 plus tip. The breakfast was nice, with lots to choose from. One downside of our stay was we had construction going on right outside our window which woke us up at 8 am with men out on a loud metal ladder. We talked to the front desk and they discounted us $100 and said it would probably stop in a day or so, but it didn’t and by Thursday I went down and they discounted us a little more and gave us a room change which was nice because we didn’t get woken up again. Their spa is amazing! They have multiple hot tubs and a mineral pool, which we got access to for the day when we had our massages, which were great. We went horseback riding, played tennis, used the fitness facility and pool and hot tub at the Fairmont and they were all great! As a side note they have a Fairmont President’s Club which we registered for for free and it automatically saved us 10% at the spa, access to the tennis courts and free wifi in the rooms! We also ate at their nice restaurant, Castello. It was really nice! They are only open three hours a night so we made a reservation!

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Banff sightseeing – we did the gondola, a boat tour of Minnewanka, Johnson Canyon (was our favorite), Lake Louise (the wait to eat lunch at the Fairmont there would have been an hour so we left ) we ate at Saltlick, Bear Street Tavern, The Maple Leaf, & The Bison to name a few of the higher-end restaurants. We agreed that the week in Banff was wonderful and relaxing but that we probably would have been happy to stay there for four days and go to a different part of Canada because a week was a long time.

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Flight to Seattle — Nice flight nothing to report.. We did have a moment at the airport of “how should we get to the hotel?” and we were cranky. We opted for a cab.

Olive 8 hotel in Seattle — Really nice, we weren’t able to get an upgrade but our room was nice. The shower has no door and there is a very modern design to the place. You actually need a room key to keep the lights on — very green! They also have a very nice gym. I did get a pedicure at their spa and it was relaxing. We also used their hot tub. We had their included breakfast every day we were there and it was delicious.

Seattle sightseeing — we walked a ton, Pike Place Market was really fun. There were a ton of homeless people, panhandlers and drug addicts near the market and our hotel so we didn’t walk around too much at night. We went to the Experience Music Project and it was fantastic. We actually bought a CityPass and it was a great deal to do the Space Needle, EMP, Aquarium and a ferry ride (we didn’t do that). The Space Needle and the Aquarium were okay. We are glad we did them, and we think they would be fun for kids. We did the Big Ferris Wheel as well — also kind of pricey and touristy. We ate a lot of great food and we went to Capital Hill and saw some great boutiques and local shops, which we loved.

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We stopped in Portland on our way to Cannon Beach and we had an awesome time. Great food and great stores to look at. We did have to Google where to go because it’s hard to find the cool spots if you start out where we did (at VooDoo Donuts). VooDoo Donuts was such a disappointment — touristy and not worth waiting on line, as famous as it is. We stayed in Portland until about 8pm and then checked in late at the Stephanie Inn.

Rental Car to Portland — there was an issue: We were unaware that there was a 9am pick up time and we showed up two hours late we almost didn’t get a car — they didn’t contact us or anything so we are glad we got their last car.

Stephanie Inn in Cannon Beach — was our favorite place. Tempurpedic bed and fireplace in the room, with an incredible view. They had fresh baked cookies in the lobby           that Kyle couldn’t stop eating. We preferred that it was smaller than the Fairmont, but just as fancy, which made it more special. We walked on the beach.  We loved going into town — so many cool stores. We took a surf lesson which we booked with Lauren at Seaside Surf Shop and it was amazing!  She took us to “shorties” which is a local surf spot and then we went on our own surfing at Indian Beach. Awesome!

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We then stopped back in Portland hours before our flight and ate more food and saw more cool shops and got to the airport a few hours before our flight.

It was a really wonderful trip! If you have any specific questions lets us know!!!

– Corkie

You provided excellent guidance for us. I appreciated that you really had us think about what was most important to us when we were selecting the right cruise – and not to totally focus on what other people had to say. THANK YOU for helping to make this a memorable trip for our family! It really was a trip of a lifetime!

Clare and Mark (family cruise to Alaska)

The level of service we experienced was out of this world (and we did NOT make it easy on Ann). We weren’t quite sure where we wanted to go, when we would be able to go, or what “vibe” we were going for. After asking us some key questions (what we liked, didn’t like, why, etc.) Ann helped us narrow down our trip details and planned the honeymoon of our dreams. She helped book some of our excursions, answered some emergency questions while abroad and was always available/willing to help. I think it’s safe to say we won’t be using anyone else for future travel planning – Ann is a rockstar!

Carli (Italy and Spain)