Banff: Buffalo Mountain Lodge Review

Our road trip across Canada was beyond epic up to now and we were so excited to reach our next destination for five days, before it was time to head home to good old blighty. Banff was the place that initially attracted me to Canada as it kept appearing on Pinterest, proudly showing off glassy blue lakes, bears, forests and mountains, that even in picture form took my breath away.

My screen saver was a picture of the glacial, jewel-like Moraine Lake for a good few years and I couldn’t wait to get there and see it for myself. So when we started planning a trip to see some friends and then drive across Canada, I knew that the entire trip had to culminate in Banff, which would be the beautiful cherry on the already a pretty delicious cake.

We left Revelstoke first thing in the morning full of trepidation and set off on the long journey that would take us across some the most breathtaking scenery of the Canadian Rockies. At first there were pine forests as far as the eye could see, which are a haven for wildlife, so I eagerly scanned the horizon for more bears, wolves and eagles.

On we drove through impressive mountain highways and roads with hair raising switchbacks with sheer drops below them until the landscape became altogether more Spartan, less trees and more rocky mountains. At times the whites of my knuckles were visible for gripping onto the car seat, such were the vertical drops at the side of us.

We stopped for fuel for us and the car in a small hick town and it really did feel like the back of beyond and authentically north American.

After a long drive, feeling that combination of tiredness and itchy restlessness, we finally reached Banff national park, where we were greeted by signs telling us to watch our for grizzlies and other wild animals.

Eventually we arrived at what was to be our home for the week and pulled up at a beautiful rustic reception, replete with stags heads and a blazing open fire.


Feeling immediately reassured we would be right at home here, we checked in and were shown to our lodgings

Up the hill, away from the main complex and nestled in among the trees, our lodge had its own parking. Grabbing our bags, we made our way up to the second floor and in through the door to find a modern room but in keeping with its surroundings.

The big squishy bed and the claw foot freestanding bath beckoned us in, inviting us to stay a while and get comfy. Tempted as we were to flop right there, we wanted to get out and explore our new base and the outdoor hot tub was calling our names.
After a lovely hot dip, looking out over Buffalo Mountain, we felt reinvigorated enough to satisfy our next desire, food. Buffalo Mountain Lodge provide a fantastic free shuttle service down the mountain and into the town for those nights when you want to leave the car and the walk is just too much. After doing a lot of driving over the trip, we were glad to not have to take the car out to dinner.

We enjoyed a glass of red by the fire whilst we waited for our driver before heading into Banff downtown. It was completely different to Revelstoke and Whistler before it, which we enjoyed, as it had a distinct character of its own. It was far busier, however, and we had been warned making your way through the crowds could get a little tiresome. We didn’t find it too much of a problem but I bet at peak time of year it can get a little overpowering.
After a hearty dinner at the awesome Grizzly Bear House, which still has phones at each table from its days as a 70’s dating mecca, should you spot a cutie and want to get in touch. I bet it’s a lot of fun with a big group of friends but not being one to miss out, I couldn’t resist calling the Carnivore from the bathroom, resulting in a good old giggle.
The order of the day here is cheese fondue (yum), and any number of dipping implements, ranging from meat like elk and buffalo, which the Carnivore delighted in trying, and breads, vegetables etc for the Herbivore (i.e. me).

Stuffed to the brim, we finished our meal and made our way out in the night, where the temperature had plummeted and it was now not far off freezing.  Right on cue, our shuttle taxi was waiting to ferry us away, back into the clouds, at the top of the mountain, where we collapsed into bed and slept like babes next to our toasty fire.
Have you visited Banff? Buffalo Mountain Lodge was the perfect retreat for us and we loved Grizzly Bear House. What are your top places to visit?

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