Staying near Sunshine Village

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Throughout my life I have been fortunate enough to experience many of Alberta and British Columbia’s ski resorts and stay right on the mountain. I love the accommodations and the terrain at both Panorama, BC and Big Mountain in Whitefish, Montana. So, when my boyfriend and I decided to sneak away for a three-day weekend, we chose the mountain resort that was nearest to our home in Saskatchewan. That meant we would have two days of skiing at Sunshine Village, near Banff, Alberta. We also thought it would be very convenient to stay on the hill.

We left for our getaway Friday after work, and since we faced a 7 hour drive, we decided to save money and book budget accommodations for Friday night. We booked at the Banff International Hotel. I have nothing bad to say about this hotel. It was a great price, they have recently undergone renovations in the hotel rooms, and will be continuing to do renovations and updates in the future. You can’t beat the location, it is less than a block away from the main shopping areas on Banff Avenue. The friendly staff and location made the stay. If you are looking for a clean and semi-modern hotel at a good price, stay here.

On Saturday morning we headed to Sunshine village, which was about a 20 minute drive. We had two nights accommodation booked at Sunshine Mountain Lodge. Although it did include the cost of our lift tickets, I would consider this resort “luxury” based on the price.

We booked the “waterfall suite” thinking we would have a luxury room for a romantic weekend. We weren’t too sure why we were promised a room with a waterfall view. It was either a joke because the ski run outside the window was called waterfall, or if there actually was a waterfall, it must only be visible when there is no snow.

We were pleased with the service at the bottom of the mountain for our check in and baggage drop off. All staff was friendly, cheerful, and helpful.

We got into our room around 3:00 which was an hour before the actual check-in time. It was quite small and very cold, although luckily included a fireplace which was extremely welcome after a chilly day on the hill.

Our suite was very compact, although it did include a king-sized bed. Other than the fire-place, nothing seemed very luxurious. The resort was, however, quite lovely and you can never beat the mountain views when staying on a skill hill. There is a large outdoor hot tub, a restaurant right in the hotel, and you can’t get any closer to a chair lift than the front door of this resort does!
The deal breaker of this resort for us was this though-during check in we found out that you cannot leave the mountain after the gondola closes at 5:30. So much for evenings out including shopping, supper, and pubs in Banff! At that time, we decided to cancel our second night stay so that we could spend the next night in Banff instead. There was no trouble canceling the second night as it was still 24 hours before.

After our second day of skiing we drove back into Banff, where we booked a room at Fox Hotel and Suites, which we had admired both online and then in person upon arriving in Banff. We had booked online and when we arrived we paid a small price to upgrade to the suite, which was double the size and included a king bed, and a kitchen, dining, and living room area.
We were pleased with the service upon check-in, the underground parking, and the hot pools located in the basement but with an open-air ceiling opening up to the courtyard.

The walk to the downtown area was a little further than we expected, but was completely doable.

We had the complementary breakfast the next morning which was nice as we were seated beside the wood fireplace. It was a very typical complimentary breakfast, but we weren’t complaining.

The rooms were clean, well kept, and nicely decorated. The lobby is beautiful and we were excited to get to see the Christmas tree and other festive decorations.

We loved it here and didn’t want to leave! Now we know where we will stay on our next visit to Banff.

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