Hopping over to Narnia, er I mean Alberta
Unfortunately, it’s not quite as easy as walking through a wardrobe door, but with a little advance planning and booking, it’s completely doable and affordable! We flew into Calgary from New York, connecting through Minneapolis along the way. Depending on the time of year, I’m told, there are plenty of nonstop flights, but given our timing and group trip logistics, the stop along the way was unavoidable for us. A direct flight should only take you a little over 5 hours from the greater New York area and if booked early enough, average around $400 to $500 roundtrip, depending on the airline.
Once you land in Calgary, of course, you have another leg ahead of you — that being a roughly 2 hour drive to the Chateau Lake Louise down one of the prettiest highways I’ve ever seen. The Canadian Rockies don’t disappoint and they come out to greet you first hand on the drive. Thank god I wasn’t driving — I could just gaze out the window instead. Wouldn’t be a bad idea to book a rental car for a trip like this — would make it easy to go explore the surrounding areas if you wanted to venture off property.
Of course, if winter isn’t really your thing, a summer visit to the Banff area would be phenomenal, but be warned, it’s considered peak season in the area. Rates will be higher and availability will be harder to come by so book early.
About the property
You all know me — I love a property with history and the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is steeped in it. What originated in 1890 as a simple mountaineering and outdoor enthusiast hotel, later turned into the elegant winter chateau retreat it is today, this Fairmont property is a true gem in their collection. Nestled at the foot of the beautiful Lake Louise which literally parts the towering Canadian Rockies at both of her sides, the Chateau is equal parts castle as it is mountain lodge — attracting adventure seekers and celebrities alike. Numerous movies have been filmed on location here (garnering it the nickname of ‘Hollywood of the North’) with notable past guests having included the likes of Alfred Hitchcock, Marilyn Monroe and even Queen Elizabeth II herself (not for a movie, mind you).
Here guests can enjoy a little bit of everything the Canadian Rockies have to offer, no matter where their interests lie. Every type of winter activity is at your fingertips here, with trained Swiss mountain guides on property literally at your service and a slew of tools and equipment at the ready. You name it, they can probably get you going — snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, ice skating, ice climbing, dog sledding, sleigh ride. You get the picture (but you can always read their full winter activity offering here).
If relaxing is more your speed, you’ll more than appreciate the abundance of cozy nooks, huge picture windows overlooking the lake, five amazing restaurants and the general splendor of enjoying a bygone era of yesteryear. They just don’t make ’em like they used to, am I right?