If you're weary of the relative sameness of most of the hotels in the park, Storm Mountain Lodge is a welcome respite. Built in 1922 by the CPR as one of 8 bungalow camps to encourage tourism, the lodge doesn't just feign elegant rusticity -- it is rustic. The main building, a log structure lined with windows and a lovely outdoor veranda, is open and cozy with its thick wood walls; most of the accommodation is in a collection of log cabins on the property, all of them with big stone fireplaces and large, comfy tubs. It is peaceful, private, and beautiful, with magnificent views of nearby Storm and Castle Mountains. The excellent restaurant on site features naturally raised Alberta meat and fish, including bison, wild salmon, rack of lamb, and free-range chicken. All of the breads, desserts, and breakfast pastries are baked right here. If there's any drawback, it's that the lodge is a good 20 minutes from either Banff or Lake Louise (it sits halfway in between); but after a few days of busy Banff, that may not be a drawback at all. Plus, you're that much closer to hiking and wildlife; if you've come here to experience the wilderness, it's right outside your door.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Highly Recommended 2010