First-time visitors are always struck by the sheer vibrancy of Banff’s colours – notably the vibrant lakes – and if you visit in the winter months (and you’re lucky) you may even see the Aurora Borealis. The Canadian settlement dates back to the 1880s and is built within the majestic Rocky Mountains UNESCO World Heritage Site, forming a National Parkland. Visitors come to the Albertan town to hike, bike, ski, kayak, canoe and spot wildlife. And while some like to camp in the wilderness, those of us preferring a pampering break can stay in a fine hotel.
Fairmont Banff Springs
Over a century old, this Grande Dame looks out from its perch among the snowcapped trees. Its architect was inspired by Scottish baronial castles and the building has since become a National Historic Site. The enormous resort accommodates 757 rooms, including one, two and three-bedroom suites, a championship golf course, tennis courts, shops, the Willow Stream Spa, a fitness and aquatic centre, a bowling alley, an outward bounds kids’ club, multiple restaurants, two bars and a Biergarten. The lavish establishment is pet-friendly, has a ski school and runs a shuttle to the slopes during the winter months.