Best Places To Stay In Banff
When it comes to Banff, theres certainly no shortage of places to stay. As one of the most popular destinations in all of Canada, Banff has become a tourist mecca. Dont let that scare you though. Despite its immense popularity, it remains extremely beautiful and is home to so much mind-blowing scenery and outdoor adventure, that it absolutely remains a must-do in Canada.
Banff is also a convenient place to find accommodation. Due to its small size, no hotel is really in a bad location. All of them have their pros and cons and almost all hotels are within walking distance to the downtown core and the many incredible and delicious Banff restaurants.
Tunnel Mountain Resort One
$20-30/person/night : Click here to see rates
This enormous suite offers up to 4 beds and can sleep up to 8 people . The best part? Its super affordable. The rate starts at about $179 which makes it about $20-30/person/night depending on your group size. Hint: they charge $20 for each extra person who stays in the room but who says you have to tell them how many there really are?
Banff On A Budgetpriceless Beauty At Budget Prices
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
Banff prices can be scary. Here are the cheap accommodations, restaurants, and activities that let you enjoy its priceless beauty without maxing out your credit card.
Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada was first promoted by the Canadian Pacific Railroad as a vacation destination for the wealthy. It’s still a destination for the wealthy that caters quite well to their needs. After all, the castle-like magnificent Banff Springs Hotel does not target the crowd that dines from the dollar menu at fast food restaurants. Two can dine there for about $400 or about $10. Armed with knowledge gained from this website, the choice is yours.
You can enjoy Banff National Park on a limited budget and experience what it and its surrounding places have to offer — and they have much to offer. This includes Banff Townsite, and Lake Louise Townsite. The surrounding area is so magnificent that it has been designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name of Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks.
Peyto Lake Along Icefields Parkway
This Canadian vacation destination takes you to some of the most beautiful mountain scenery on the planet.
Banff can be for the frugal, prudent, economical, or cheap traveler — in other words, those on a tight budget. This is what this website is about. Here you will find the tips and resources about how to go about enjoying Banff and its fantastic mountain scenery without maxing out your credit cards.
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Stay Near Banff In A Canmore Hotel
If you are looking to save money on a hotel in Banff, try getting a hotel in Canmore, the nearest city to Banff National Park. Canmore is a small city of 15,000 residents located just minutes outside the Banff National Park gates and a 20-minute drive to the Town of Banff.
Many people like that Canmore is not as touristy as Banff and youll still enjoy world-class Rocky Mountain views from all directions. Theres plenty of great outdoor things to do in Canmore and is home to plenty of excellent restaurants and shops to explore.
Being an alternate base camp for visitors to Banff, there are lots of good quality Canmore hotels and vacation rentals to choose from. As a general rule, youll find Canmore hotels are cheaper than a comparable hotel in Banff.
Where To Stay In Banff
What neighborhood in Banff should I stay in based on why Im traveling?
Stay near the Banff Gondola, along bus route 1, if you plan to do some skiing or snowshoeing. It will make it possible for you to get on the slopes much quicker. Some hotels in Banff in this neighborhood include the Rimrock Resort Hotel and the Banff Boutique Inn. Downtown Banff is also a pickup area for many ski resorts. Therefore, downtown is another good option for skiers visiting Banff. Stay in the city center at King Edward Hotel or the Mount Royal Hotel. If you’re traveling to Banff on a budget, stay at a cheap hotel in Banff close to the Banff National Park, by the TransCanada Highway, or the Banff Heritage Trail, which runs between Bow Valley Parkway and Banff Park East Gate. Some options include the HI Banff Alpine Center or the Banff Voyager Inn.
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Canmore Coolest Neighbourhood In Town
A short twenty-minute drive outside of Banff is Canmore. This resort town is packed with great options for shopping, dining, drinking and exploring. It is well-equipped to welcome travellers any time of year and boasts panoramic views of this stunning region.
Canmore also gets our vote for the coolest neighbourhood in Banff. Despite being larger than Banff town itself, Canmore is often overlooked by travellers. This helps it maintain its authentic feel and laid-back Canadian charm, while also allowing it to stay off the beaten path. In Canmore, you can enjoy all the best bits of Banff without the throngs of tourists.
Airbnb Rent The Entire House
Airbnb is taking over as the newest preferred option for young travelers around the world. The site lets you rent directly from the owner of the property and you get your choice of shared room, private room or entire home/apt. If youre coming as a big group, this is definitely one of the cheaper options. When you book one of these properties you can potentially save a lot of money on food because they almost always come with a full kitchen that youre free to use. As far as cheap accommodation goes, this ones a pretty good option!
AirBnb isnt really allowed in the park, so you might end up finding a place in Canmore rather than Banff. Still a nice option if youre looking for somewhere cheap!
To reserve one of these properties check out www.airbnb.com.
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Banff Town Best For First
Staying in Banff is really like being in the thick of things. The main street of Banff iscalled Banff Avenue, a scenic street that leads your eye straight to Tunnel Mountain.Restaurants and outdoors shops abound, and the food here is magnificent if a tad pricy.Its the best place to stay in Banff for first-time visitors thanks to its convenientlocation, connection for tours and transit, and a great place to end the day.
Here are the pros and cons of staying in Banff.
Here are the best things about staying in Banff:
- Stunning views and mountain town vibes
- Loads of delicious places to eat
- Connection for tours and transit throughout the park
- Hotel can provide you with parking
The cons are more or less the expensive price, and the fact that restaurants in Banffcan charge quite a bit. But from an experience perspective, this is probably where you want to be.
Best hotels in Banff
Here are the best mid-range hotels in terms of cost with the most enthusiastic reviews in Banff:
Mount Engadine In Kananaskis
Mount Engadine is not in Banff National Park, but its one of the most unique places to stay in the Canadian Rockies so I had to mention it. Set in the heart of the Spray Valley near popular hikes like Tent Ridge and Smutwood this is a fantastic place to stay.
There are four main styles of lodging you can book at Mount Engadine Lodge. Starting with lodge rooms connected to the main lodge. There are also wood cabins and a yurt! We stayed in their newer glamping tents that felt like a home away from home. There are five glamping tents in total with private decks overlooking the valley. Inside youll find a comfortable king-size bed, full ensuite bathroom, and a gas fireplace to keep warm at night!
- Full Review: An Ideal Stay at Mount Engadine
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Best Hostel In Banff: Banff International Hostel
Thanks to its fantastic location on Banff Avenue, this is a great hostel in Banff. It is a short distance from the mountains, as well as bars, shops and restaurants. Youll enjoy comfortable rooms, a cosy common area and a book exchange. Each reservation also includes a continental breakfast and tea and coffee.
Plan Your Trip To The Canadian Rockies
Cameron Seagle is a resident of Canmore, Alberta. After traveling the world for six years, he settled down in the beautiful Bow Valley with Natasha. He has been featured as a travel expert with numerous publications worldwide and has spoken on several occasions about the power of travel. He has a passion for all things in the Canadian Rockies and loves to spend his time snowboarding, scrambling, camping, biking, and trail running. Conservation is a deep fundamental in his life, and he aims to inspire others to care about our natural world. You can learn more on the about us page.
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Finding Cheap Accommodation In Banff
Like any other vacation destination, it has a reputation for being pricey but there are ways to find cheap accommodation in Banff without breaking the bank. Banff revolves around the tourism industry and that means youll find a lot of hotels, restaurants and shops to suit your needs. Saving money on accommodation allows you to enjoy other activities and gives you more options when youre traveling.
Here are our top options:
Best Hotel In Banff: Canalta Lodge
This charming and rustic hotel is well situated for exploring the region. It is within close proximity to restaurants, cafes and bars. This hotel offers a myriad of great amenities including a Jacuzzi, an outdoor pool, and a relaxing sauna. Enjoy spacious rooms and stunning features at this three-star lodge.
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Visit Banff On A Group Tour
Another excellent strategy for those looking to visit Banff on a budget is to join an organized group tour with an adventure travel company such as G Adventures. We have traveled extensively with G Adventures and have always felt we got excellent value for our money.
The Canadian Rockies National Parks tour by G Adventures is an awesome 14 day tour between Calgary and Vancouver, with stops in some of our favorite destinations in Western Canada, such as Banff, Jasper, Whistler, Tofino and Victoria. This amazing budget Banff tour only costs roughly $200 -$225 per day depending on season.
There are several other Banff tours by G Adventures with a higher level of service which are a bit more expensive. But, even the most expensive tour through Banff is well below the average daily cost to visit Banff.
Its important to read each tour description carefully as inclusions and amenities can vary from trip-to-trip.
Visit Banff Without A Rental Car
The third biggest component of the cost of a trip to Banff is transportation. On average, visitors spend 16% of their Banff travel budget on transportation.
Measuring a mind-boggling 6,641 km², Banff National Park is a vast mountain wilderness. Its tempting to think you must have a rental car to visit Banff, but in fact its easy to visit Banff without a car.
With over 4 million visitors to Banff a year, vehicle congestion and crowded parking lots are a problem, so Banff officials have put in a lot of effort to make visiting Banff and its top attractions without a car as easy and cheap as possible.
You might even prefer using the public buses or Parks Canada shuttles to get to Moraine Lake or Lake Louise to avoid the crowded parking lots, or worse, risk not getting a parking spot at all.
Theres no doubt having a rental car gives you ultimate freedom to explore Banff on your own schedule. If you are traveling to Banff on a budget, take a peek at the cost to rent a car for Banff, then read our guide to traveling to Banff without a car to get a feel for the cost / benefit of this travel expense.
If you have the flexibility to come to Banff without a car, youd be helping solve the vehicle congestion problem. These convenient Banff hotels are great for visitors coming to Banff without a car.
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Consider A Room With A Kitchenette To Save On Food Costs
Having accommodation with a small kitchenette or full kitchen can allow you to prepare at least some of your own meals and cut down costs. In the crowded and busy summer months it can be much more relaxing to come back to your own peaceful space for your evening meal. Some hotels offer BBQ areas for guests to use in the warmer months.
Many of the hotels that offer kitchens have condo or chalet style accommodations with several bedrooms that can sleep 6 or more people. If youre traveling with family or friends this can be an economical option compared to paying for several hotel rooms.
Heres a list of some of the properties offering accommodation with a kitchenette or full kitchens. In the town of Banff theres the Fox Hotel and Suites, Rundlestone Lodge, Irwins Mountain Inn, Chareltons Cedar Court. On the outskirts of town and up on Tunnel Mountain theres the Banff Rocky Mountain Resort, Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets, Buffalo Mountain Lodge, Hidden Ridge Resort and Tunnel Mountain Resort. Tunnel Mountain is just a few minutes drive from downtown Banff and close enough that you can walk. Many of the accommodations on Tunnel Mountain offer their guests complimentary bus passes.
Banff High Country Inn
Comfortable, clean, pet friendly and close to downtown, the Banff High Country Inn is one of our recommended budget friendly, accommodations in Banff while offering easy access to everything the mountain town has to offer.
This budget-option hotel has lots of good amenities including free-wifi, free parking and its perfect for those looking to save their money for more activities in and around town â perhaps like skiing!
High Country Inn Banff photo provided by Booking.com
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Inside Banff National Park
Apart from staying in main hubs of Banff, Canmore, and Lake Louise, there is also abit of accommodation available throughout Banff .One example are the Castle Mountain Chatlets, a set of small cabins locatedat Castle Junction . Depending on whether youwant to venture into Jasper, it can be more convenient to stay further north along theTrans-Canada Highway.
Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
Hidden away in a forest setting at the corner of Banff Avenue and Tunnel Mountain Road, the Banff Rocky Mountain Resort offers its guests a ton of amenities at a very affordable price.
This inexpensive Banff hotel has an indoor swimming pool, an indoor & outdoor hot tub, a health and fitness club, squash courts, tennis courts and a basketball court. Theres even a play area for the kids!
With the beautiful setting and the long list of amenities, we wouldnt blame you for spending all your time at this affordable Banff resort hotel. When its time to go into town, the Banff Rocky Mountain Resort offers a free shuttle service to town, or you can drive yourself its only 6-minutes away.
In addition to the standard hotel rooms, guests at this affordable Banff hotel can stay in a loft, or a 1-bedroom apartment or even a 2-bedroom apartment. Many of the rooms feature a full kitchen, enabling you to stretch your Banff travel budget even further by cooking a few meals.
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Lake Louise Budget Accommodation And Dining
The amount of accommodation in Lake Louise is limited and theres not much that fits into the budget category. During the summer months and early fall its expensive and books up fast. The lowest price option would be the HI Lake Louise Alpine Center. If you dont usually stay in hostels dont be so quick to dismiss this option. Its situated in an attractive log cabin style building and offers some private rooms. You might be surprised that in the summer months the cost is over $50 a night for a shared 4 to 6 bed dorm room. Private rooms for up to two people are over $150 a night and in excess of $200 a night if you want one with your own bathroom. However, this is a bargain compared to other options in Lake Louise. The Mountaineer Lodge, the Lake Louise Inn and the Deer Lodge would be the next best options. The only accommodation right at Lake Louise is the Fairmont Chateau Hotel, but its in the luxury category of pricing. Theres only a dent of dining options in Lake Louise compared to Banff. Finding low cost places to eat can be a challenge, weve covered the choices here: Cheap Eats In Lake Louise.
Cheap Hotels In Banff That Are Cozy And Comfortable
If you are looking for cheap hotels in Banff and think you are out of luck, dont fear. A decent deal can be had in Banff! However, youll have to be strategic with planning and booking to save some real money in Banff. Its a dream destination in the world and one of the most sought-after places to travel in all of Canada. With that comes high prices especially in the high season.
That being said, weve done our research to check out some nice affordable accommodation options in Banff. Lets dig into some Banff hotel deals!
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