If you ever find yourself driving from Calgary Stampede to Whistler, or you're just looking for an excuse to visit a beautiful Canadian national park, look no further than the Jasper Fairmont in the Jasper National Park. Travel writer Cathy Fedoruk shares her take from a recent trip.
The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is a 700-acre, 4-season, 445 room/cabin, UNESCO world heritage property in the heart of Jasper National Park. It has breathtaking Rocky Mountain views and is approximately 90 minutes from the Athabasca Glacier and Columbia Icefield, and 250 miles from Calgary.
The main lodge overlooks Lac Beauvert and Whistlers Mountain with three restaurants to choose from: one for steak lovers, one for Italian fiends, and one for sushi cravings. There's also the Emerald Lounge, A Fitzhugh's To Go Deli, spa with heated outdoor pool, fitness center, hair salon, kid’s club, teen game room, art gallery and souvenir shop.
And the Fairmont Jasper offers plenty of perks: free parking, valet storage, mini fridge, coffee & tea in every room, nature hikes, tennis, yoga, and a complimentary shuttle service into town. Kids under 5 eat free at restuarants and everyone, no matter what age, can enjoy the evening campfires with s'mores. And this is one hotel where you don't have to leave your furry friends at home--they're pet friendly!
For a family of four, the best economical choice is the Deluxe Room, with two double beds and a cabin view room. However, if you're sans-kids or they're a bit older, get yourself a suite. They offer more amenities like bathrobes, a separate soaker tub, wood-burning fireplace, balconies, and sofa beds.
And don't worry if you want that extra bit of luxury. There are 10 specialty cabin/cottages which offer 1-8 bedrooms with a range of modern to rustic design and mountain, lake or woodland views.
Location, location, location! There is no shortage of seasonal on-site outdoor activities including horseback riding, canoeing, biking, hiking, ice-skating, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
And once you've exhausted yourself during the day, spend your night in the largest Dark Sky Preserve in Canada, for high quality stargazing.
For the golf aficionados, there's the #1 public golf course designed by Stanley Thompson at your fingertips. It includes a driving range, putting green, rental/golf shop and licensed Snack Shack.
Though the buts can hardly overcome the bests, there are a few things worth mentioning. Some rooms need renovation so request in advance a renovated room/cabin and don’t be fooled by the view options available – lakeside and lakeview rooms are different. (I was!)
The Wi-Fi service is on the poor side, although it is free to President Club Members. Finally for the family travelers out there, suites don't necessarily have doors that divide the bedroom to the sofa bed or rollaway area--they are sliding screens. But, adjoining rooms are available!
And thus concludes our review (read: rave) of the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.