Alberta

Lake Louise Ski Resorts for All Budgets | Slopes, Snow and Spas

So why stay in Lake Louise? It’s scenic, quieter and more desirable than busy neighbouring Banff and boasts two standout luxury hotel options among some more budget-friendly choices.

Winter is considered off-season for Banff National Park but for any alpine enthusiast, this designation is practically unbelievable considering the dramatic craggy peaks, spectacular powdered mountains of lush evergreens and blue skies form a ski scenery which rivals that of the Alps and Chile.

Banff is considered the hub of the Ski Big 3, which includes Sunshine Village, Norquay and the Lake Louise ski resorts, but many people opt to stay in the tiny hamlet of Lake Louise, whose eponymous shimmering turquoise lake one of the most photographed spots in North America. The village is quiet– with only a handful of shops and restaurants along with a smattering of places to stay– not much of an apres-ski scene but some folks appreciate the calm, seizing the chance to hop into bed early, or over-indulge in Fondue.

The Lake Louise Ski Resort has a good variety of runs – 45 trails in total and some back bowls. The terrain varies from sunlit high-altitude slopes that wind down into the gladed forested trails a bit further down. Lookout is a perennial fav for its panoramic views and pretty snow-topped trees. They’ve got a nice area for beginners and it’s one of few resorts in the world where even the biggest newbs get to experience the thrill of riding to the top of the big mountain and skiing down safely.

More experienced skiers will likely be ready to move onto new pastures at the Sunshine Village and Norquay ski areas after a couple of days. If you’re coming for more than just a weekend, it’s worth investing in a tri-area lift pass to enliven your ski experience with a huge variety of landscapes, runs and snow quality. You also get access to some discounts at local retailers, restaurants and tours.

Old-School Luxury at a Fairytale Castle Hotel in Lake Louise

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From a distance, The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise looks wildly inaccessible, appearing to float among the snow-encrusted conifers of the Banff National Park peaks. Presiding over Lake Louise since 1890, the hotel is one of the most famous original Canadian Pacific Railway hotels.

The Chateau is not your classic “ski in, ski out” stay, however they go through great lengths to make it convenient for skiers. There is an equipment rental place directly at the hotel and they offer transportation to and from the Lake Louise Ski Resort slopes every 30 minutes. There’s also a shuttle to Sunshine Village which departs daily at 8 a.m. and returns at 3 p.m. You can also book guided ski tours with a local expert who will let you in on the best spot on the mountain, tailored to your abilities.

The Chateau’s ski package offers guests one tri-area ski pass per adult, per night and a lavish buffet breakfast every morning at the Poppy Brasserie with a minimum three-night stay.

And at the end of an arduous and cold day skiing, I can’t think of anything better than sinking a warming glass of Canadian whisky as a nightcap at the Alpine Social, surrounded by the buzz of fellow skiers, before trotting off into bed.

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The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (12551 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.5 / 10
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A Rustic Cabin Hotel in the Woods of Lake Louise

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Nestled between the towns of Lake Louise and Banff, Baker Creek Mountain Resort is the quintessential rustic lodge you would picture staying when dreaming up your Rockies ski adventure. The resort is roughly a 15-minute drive to Lake Louise Ski Resort and 40 minutes to Sunshine Village, making it ideally positioned for using the tri-area ski pass.

With views over the white-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies, the atmosphere is all the more idyllic thanks to the log cabin decor with fully wood panelled walls, stone fireplaces and buttery leather sofas which round out this mountain retreat experience. Stepping out onto the deck for some fresh air at night, you’ll be reminded just how vast and untamed the Canadian wilderness truly is when you spot a bear ambling past.

The Baker Creek Mountain self-contained cabins are perfect for families or groups on a ski holiday. They have fully equipped kitchens for cooking up huge pots of spaghetti while the wood-burning fireplace crackles and warms your ski-weary joints. With very little to no cell phone reception, no TVs and limited WiFi, prepare for a bonding experience and plenty of belly-laughs over board games in the evenings.

Baker Creek Mountain Resort

Top rated
8.9 Excellent (1560 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9 / 10
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Rub Shoulders with the Ski World Elite at Lake Louise Inn

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It’s all about proximity to the slopes for hardcore ski fanatics and the Lake Louise Inn’s free 5 minute shuttle rides gets you onto the gondola within 15 minutes of walking out the inn doors. This feature makes it a popular place to stay for international alpine ski athletes during ski competitions. These celebs of the ski world can be spotted donning lycra outfits while carbing up at breakfast alongside eager fans trying to appear nonchalant next to their heroes as they scoop enough eggs, bacon, hash and smoked salmon from the hearty breakfast spread to keep them fuelled up for the rest of the day.

There’s a variety of rooms available with different features shaping your post ski session: the covetable Jacuzzi tub rooms where you can soothe achy-beginning-of-ski-season muscles or electric fireplaces that warm up nearly frostbitten toes.

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Lake Louise Inn

7.2 Default (5675 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.6 / 10
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Alpine Luxury in a Lake Louise Hotel with a Spa

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Dying to be the envy of your fellow ski bunny friends? The Post Hotel & Spa has long been hailed not only one of the best hotels in Canada but also among the greatest ski resort lodging on the planet. The sumptuous property is owned by a pair of Swiss brothers who brought the decadent skiing lifestyle experience in the Alps into the Canadian Rockies. Doorstep to gondola is only three minutes via the free shuttle which departs to-and-fro at regular intervals. If you find the groomed trails of Lake Louise Ski Resort can’t get your expert skier heart pumping, the hotel can also arrange for a helicopter to take you to enjoy skiing the powder of uncharted territory.  

The hotel experience is one of rustic luxury: the combination of timber, stone, pine and logs sourced from the region back when it was built in the 1940s create a cozy alpine mountain ambience while amenities such as steam rooms, a Romanesque saltwater pool and a wonderfully attentive staff elevate the guest experience to five star luxury. Should your weary muscles require more than just requisite long soak in whirlpool, the Temple Mountain Spa is a great place to target sore spots on your body with a deep tissue massage.

Post Hotel & Spa

Top rated
9.0 Excellent (1014 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.4 / 10
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Essential Ski Amenities on a Budget at Mountaineer Lodge

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Central and affordable, the Mountaineer Lodge is a popular choice for budget-conscious Lake Louise travellers, whether flying solo or with the entire family. The Lodge is not without its essential ski amenities, offering a free shuttle to the Lake Louise ski area (5 minutes away), ski storage lockers to keep the mess out of your room and a waxing room ensuring you can reach optimal downhill speeds on the slopes. There is also the requisite hot tub and steam room which can practically save the day during a multiple day ski trip when your otherwise sore muscles could keep you bedridden on day two.

Rooms are fairly basic but the pillowtop beds offer a good night of sleep, plus there is WiFi, a fridge, coffee station and microwave. Guests are treated to a continental breakfast every morning which starts at 7 a.m. to ensure you’re first in line for the gondola.

Mountaineer Lodge

7.2 Default (2611 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.5 / 10
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