(Photo via Mount Engadine Lodge)
Whether it’s the frost on your windows or the amount of layers you have to wear just to check the mail, there’s no denying that winter is finally here. For some, winter means snuggling in for the season and catching up on all the shows you’ve been dying to watch.
But for many, winter in Alberta means it’s the perfect time to explore the province, and more importantly, stay in some really great hotels. Because while it’s no secret that Alberta has some great places to stay, when they are surrounded by white snow and big starry skies, they really are some of the best places you’ll ever stay.
So as you start planning what your winter 2017 will look like, whether it’s a wintery romantic getaway, or a backcountry adventure, here are some of my favourite places to stay.
(Photo via Mount Engadine Lodge)
I’m not sure this is how they would bill it, but I call Mount Engadine Lodge the backcountry lodge that you can drive to. Tucked deep into the mountains behind Canmore, drive up to the Nordic Centre and keep driving for about 45 minutes. You’ve probably driven by it a million times and not realized that Mount Engadine Lodge is right there waiting for you. I’ve stayed there both in the summer and winter and it’s always fantastic. It’s like a backcountry lodge because it’s remote and rustic, but it’s not like a backcountry lodge because it has wifi and private ensuite bathrooms. The lodge is a great place to stay for people looking to snowshoe or cross country ski, because you’re situated right in the middle of the rockies. Take your packed lunch with you and get an early start. Or, do what I do, and wait for all the guests to leave and spend the morning snuggled up to a good book and warm up by the fireplace. You’ll love it here, trust me.
(Photo via Facebook)
If I’m writing about hotels in Alberta, you better believe that I’m writing about the Prairie Creek Inn. Now, I’ve never stayed here in the winter time, but I can picture it and I bet it’s amazing. Located an hour west of Red Deer, this a luxury hotel where you’d least expect it. Which is good because the prices aren’t luxury prices. And don’t be scared off by it being called an bed and breakfast, because it’s barely that. Unlike most b+bs, you’re not forced to eat breakfast with strangers, the last thing I want to do in the morning is have breakfast with strangers. No, the Prairie Creek Inn has it’s own standalone restaurant, where dinner and breakfast are served. The rooms are like mini log cabins complete with fireplaces, or you can book your own cabin. If you’re looking for a surprising getaway, close to the mountains, definitely check this place out.
(Photo via Delta Hotels)
A true winter wonderland, The Delta Lodge at Kananaskis is very much like a little village. You can park your car there for your entire stay and never feel like you have to go anywhere And while the hotel has been around since the ’88 olympics, it’s recently been renovated to the tune of a $25 million upgrade. I’ve stayed here a few times with my family and it’s always great. The rooms are big, some even have two-story lofts, working real fireplaces and lots of things for everyone to do. I’d argue it’s the most family-friendly hotel in the rockies. The fact that a ski hill is just a minute or two away, is just icing on the cake.
When you think of winter in the rockies, you obviously think about the Chateau Lake Louise, and with good reason. It’s basically the castle from Frozen. On one side, you have the most gorgeous skating rink in Canada, on the other, some of the best skiing in the world. But it’s inside, it’s inside where there’s fondue. And believe me, when I say that Walliser Stube is one of the most romantic dining experiences you’ll ever have in Alberta.
(Photo via Storm Mountain Lodge)
Another hotel that you’ve probably driven by a million times, but never thought about staying there. I’ve only stayed here this past summer, but if I was to picture what it looked like in the winter time, it’s probably the most perfect winter postcard ever. Small cabins, fireplaces, no TVs, but an amazing main lodge with unforgettable food. If you want to really get away from it all, I can’t think of a better place to do so.
(Photo via Buffalo Mountain Lodge)
If I was to describe Christmas by relating it to a hotel, it would be Buffalo Mountain Lodge. I’ve stayed here a few times, both by myself, with a loved one and my mom and all those experiences have been fantastic. Nestled near the top of Tunnel Mountain, Buffalo Mountain Lodge features a variety of rooms at different prices. If you can splurge for the room with the fireplace, do so. It comes with heated floors and all but guarantees the most peaceful sleep you’ll ever have.