Alberta may be known for its stunning Canadian Rockies scenery, but the province’s ultra-luxe resorts can easily steal the spotlight. From a regal mountaintop castle to a romantic riverside inn, these are the seven coolest stays in Alberta.
Delta Hotels Kananaskis Lodge
Fresh off a two-year, $33 million top-to-toe renovation, the Delta Hotels Kananaskis Lodge breathes new life into this laid-back village an hour outside Calgary. The sprawling property recently reopened its world-class golf course and has slated a June debut of its three-story Nordic Spa, featuring a saltwater pool, exfoliation room, and heated outdoor hammocks that zip into toasty cocoons. While it’s decidedly family- and pet-friendly, each suite feels like its own swanky private apartment, most of which have jacuzzi tubs, wood-burning fireplaces, and full bars stocked with local spirits. The hotel also highlights its over-the-top experiences, such as fat biking, dog sledding, and cave diving in Canmore. It even has its own helicopter pad so you can splurge on a scenic aerial tour of the area.
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a legend. The grand dame in Banff National Park looks straight out of a fairytale, with grand staircases, oil paintings, and shimmering chandeliers. In fact, royalty and starlets—from Queen Elizabeth II to Marilyn Monroe—have vacationed here. Founded by a Canadian Pacific Railway magnate, the chalet has a rich history dating back to 1899, when Swiss mountain guides were hired to train Canadian climbers to summit the area’s peaks. In a nod to its European roots, the resort features a decadent fondue experience at its Walliser Stube restaurant and a Mountain Heritage Program—where a group of on-site alpine adventure guides lead year-round activities, such as cross-country skiing, hiking to the historic Lake Agnes Tea House, exploring in a voyageur canoe, and snowshoeing under the stars.
Kensington Riverside Inn, Calgary
This striking waterfront inn offers the best of both worlds—it’s just across Bow River from bustling downtown Calgary, yet feels far away in the charming Kensington Village. The Greek Revival stunner has style in spades (think: handsome charcoal-colored interiors done up with contemporary art and rich leather furniture). Meanwhile, the guest rooms offer a relaxing respite from the city. All have deep soaking tubs, cozy gas fireplaces, and in-room massage services courtesy of RnR Wellness. When hunger strikes, head down to Oxbow restaurant, a new open-kitchen concept that debuted last year, where you’ll tuck into seasonal dishes like brandied cherry-glazed duck breast and Saskatchewan steelhead trout with bacon and mushroom ragout.
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
Glamping is one thing — but the ultra-luxe log cabins at the 700-acre Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge take the term to a whole new level. These rustic chalets border the crystalline Lac Beauvert in the heart of Jasper National Park, and all have floor-to-ceiling windows that frame Whistlers Mountain. Outdoorsy types will love skiing at Marmot Basin, horseback riding through the towering forests, ice walking through canyons, and star-gazing with astronomy experts in the dark sky preserve (there’s also the indoor, on-site Jasper Planetarium for those who don’t want to brave the cold). In the evening, pick a table by the roaring fire in the lodge for hearty, meat-focused meals, then rest those weary muscles in the outdoor hot tub and heated pool.
Post Hotel and Spa, Banff
The red-roofed log cabins at the Post Hotel & Spa shine the limelight on the landscape. Each abode flanks the Pipestone River in a bucolic valley of Banff National Park and come complete with pine furniture, a wood-burning fireplace, and in some, a wrap-around porch with rocking chairs—the perfect place to watch the sunset over the snow-capped peaks. After a day out exploring, treat yourself to some time in the Temple Mountain Spa’s indoor saltwater pool or with a rose clay body wrap and aromatherapy massage. Just make sure to save room for the food—there’s daily afternoon tea, a fondue eatery, an English-style pub, and a fireside lounge with live piano music on the weekends. The main dining room and award-winning restaurant is known for its impressive 25,500-bottle wine cellar, one of the largest in Canada. The sommelier can help pick a vintage to pair with the farm-to-fork plates, such as the pan-seared Québec foie gras with white port wine poached apples.
Fairmont Banff Springs
It’s not hard to see why this landmark hotel is called Canada’s Castle in the Rockies. Opened in 1888, the Fairmont Banff Springs looks like a fortress in the Alps thanks to its stone turreted exterior and alpine setting, tucked deep into the lush forest. The property also has its own equestrian stables, championship golf course, and blacklight bowling alley. The opulent interiors are fit for a king as well, with 800 chandeliered rooms, 11 dining areas—including high tea service and a fondue restaurant in a Bavarian cottage—and the most extravagant spa in the region. Splurge for a day of pampering with a dip in the mineral pool, a soak in the waterfall-fed hot tubs, or a decadent treatment, such as the hot stone massage used with basalt river stones and lavender, ginger, eucalyptus oil.
Crash Hotel, Edmonton
Edmonton’s Crash Hotel is a playful stay that knows how to party. On the outside, not much has changed from the original 1904 hotel except for the name, but inside, it has been given some modern, quirky touches—such as graffiti statement walls in the guestrooms or, in one suite, vintage speakers, an antique stereo, and a phonograph player. In place of a lobby is a speakeasy-style cocktail and martini bar, plus there’s an on-site liquor store and retro arcade bar, which hosts live bands every weekend. But don’t worry, it your night gets too rowdy, each room is stocked with ear plugs and Sunrocks hangover pills so you’ll be sure to wake up refreshed and ready for round two.