Travel: Fairmont’s Castle Just Below The Clouds.
Nov 12, 2012
This weekend, with the temperature dipping in Alberta and the grass quickly being buried underneath several early snow storms, I thought it would be fantastic time to stay at one of my favourite hotels, The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Known as one of the country’s nicest hotels in one of the most beautiful locals, this place never ceases to amaze me…or my camera.
If you’re brave enough to venture on the roads, where the weather seems to change every few minutes or so, Lake Louise rewards your courage with stunning views, incredible interiors and what I’ve always felt was instant relaxation.
The past few days, we were treated to a seemingly never ending show put on my mother nature. We didn’t know it at the time, but thanks to the rapidly dipping thermometer, we were also treated to the last gasps of fresh mountain air that the lake would experience, before being covered over by ice for the next few chilly months. To see the transition from water to ice, is something I likely won’t forget for a long time.
As beautiful as the resort might be, for many, its price is definitely the touchy issue when it comes to staying at the Chateau. In every sense, you get what you pay for, because staying there is definitely an unforgettable experience. However rooms often tend to be more expensive than a usual weekend getaway might cost. Typically rooms run from the high $200 to the four digit range. But if you look for them, the deals are what make the trip to the Chateau easier than you might think. This weekend, the hotel’s Facebook page offered a fantastic deal for only $145/room.
When it comes to eating and dining, depending on your budget, the hotel might really hit your wallet. We decided to splurge on one meal and then try to be economical for the rest of the weekend. (No matter who you are, you should never feel like you’re too cool to have a granola bar, juice box and in-room coffee for breakfast.) If you’re going to spend some money, then The Walliser Stube is far and away one of my favourite restaurants ever. The Swiss-inspired restaurant is known for its fondue experience that starts off with a Black Truffle Cheese Fondue, then a delicious fondue main course with your choice of beef tenderloin or bison (or both.) The meal’s piece de resistance is undoubtedly the chocolate fondue course, that offers your choice of dark choclate, hazlenut or peppermint. In the past, they’ve offered toblerone too. At $89 a person, it’s not something you can do every day, but to me, it’s worth it.
This passed weekend, the temperature dropped down to an extremely cold -22. So if you do go to the lake, make sure you look ahead and dress for the weather. Making sure that you are warm, means that you’ll get to enjoy the beautiful walk around the lake, where it seemingly looks different with every step you take. It’s flat, busy and easy to navigate. Missing out on it would be a shame. A lesser known hike is the Fairview Look Out Point, that shoots you up among the tall trees for 1.5kms and ends with a fantastic look out of the lake, the hotel and in the background, the famous Lake Louise ski hill. While the hotel itself might be beautiful, it’s surroundings have it beat every time.
Living in Canada, we often imagine what it would be like to be royalty. Little do most people know, it’s just a few hours away.