Our time spent in Banff was magical, to say the least. We woke on our own accord, every day, and prepared for a full day of adventuring in and around the Canadian Rockies. From snowshoeing and skiing Sunshine Village, to snowmobiling Paradise Basin, and sipping draft beers atop the Elk & Oarsman, Banff offered itself as our ticket to the great outdoors.
With hotels and bed & breakfasts situated around every corner, it’s easy to get lost in your search for lodging. I’ll be honest when saying that I put little initial consideration into where we would be staying during our trip, as I was too preoccupied with ensuring we spent as much time outdoors as possible. I stumbled upon the Banff Boutique Inn by happenstance, researching affordable places to stay in town. I believe I (shamelessly) searched up something close to, “cozy mountain cottage with fire place in Banff” and voila – the search engine gods delivered to my screen the perfect mountain getaway: The Banff Boutique Inn.
As I mentioned before, a majority of your time in Banff should (and will) be spent outside, but, nevertheless, nothing beats coming home to a cozy fireplace and a warm cup of tea after a long day in the mountains. If a home-away-from-home is what you’re looking for, than look no further. Here’s five reasons why:
The Banff Boutique Inn quickly becomes your home in the mountains. Upon arrival, we were given a full tour of the Inn, handed a complimentary map of town and guided through all the best places to explore and eat. The hostess(es) sat down with us, answered our endless questions about the town and offered several suggestions on things to do and places to go. By the end of the trip, the folks at the Inn felt more like friends than hotel staff.
Views, Views, Views
Trust me when I say that you’ll never grow old of waking up to Cascade Mountain looming outside your window. Lining Banff Avenue, most of the lodging options in Banff face west or east; however, the Banff Boutique Inn sits due north and, therefore, directly into the face of Cascade Mountain. Each morning I giddily awoke and made my way to the kitchen to prepare myself some coffee – all the while anticipating my daily greeting from the mountains. Being the early riser I am, on most days I would have this view entirely to myself. By the end of the week, these quiet mornings inside the cottage felt almost spiritual in nature. It’s not often that one can find themselves sitting in silence, alone, taking in such an inspiring view – especially when that place is as popular of a destination as Banff.
Close enough to walk into town, yet far enough to feel off the beaten path, the Banff Boutique Inn appears to have snagged the best location in all of Banff. The five-minute walk into town was a highlight of each day, rather than an inconvenience. There’s a path that takes you right along the river, up and over the bridge, and directly into the charming heart of it all. Not to mention, there’s is nothing quite as comforting as retreating into the woods after a long day of being surrounded by other travelers.
Banff isn’t the cheapest of towns so having a place that not only offers complimentary breakfast but also lets you cook your own food is hard to come by. Each day begins with a light breakfast: coffee, tea, cereal and/or oatmeal, free of charge. While we chose to stick with this breakfast our entire stay, we saw several other guests utilizing the stove top to prepare their own meals. The kitchen is completely stocked with anything and everything you would need: pots and pans, utensils and cutting boards, oven, stove top and fridge, you name it. By the end of the week we were stocking up on beers and bottles of wine to stash in the fridge and cooking up our own dinners to have a quiet night in, together. Did I mention the soaker tubs in each room?
An additional perk to staying at the Banff Boutique Inn is their ties to local restaurants. Just for staying at the Inn, you can receive 10% off your bill at places such as the Bison and Earls. You will also quickly fall in love with the tea offered at the Inn – The Banff Tea Co. – which is great news considering that all guests also receive 10% off their in-store purchases. I am not exaggerating when I say we bought five different blends of tea – it’s that good!
It’s not often that I proclaim, “I could live here,” when visiting a new town or country as often (or with as much conviction) as I did that week we spent in Banff. I’m not sure if it was the snow capped mountains or the blue bird days on Sunshine that sealed the deal, but I do know that we will, at some point, find our way back to Banff. After all, our home in the mountains will be expecting us.
KEEP BELIEVING. KEEP EXPLORING. AND, KEEP RELENTLESSLY TELLING THE UNIVERSE ALL IT IS YOU PLAN TO DO.