Planning for your fall trip to Banff and Lake Louise.


A fall trip to Banff and Lake Louise can be really beautiful. The crowds have thinned and the weather is generally still sunny and warm. If your travel schedule is flexible, book last minute to factor the latest forecast into your plans unless you are planning a spa retreat.


Five tips to plan your fall trip to Banff and Lake Louise


1/ Where to stay


Hotels will likely be about 70% booked during the fall so you can expect discounts on rooms. Think about the location of the hotel, size of the room and whether or not you value a view when making your selection to choose the right hotel for your trip. Then consider the packages that bundle parking, breakfast, spa access and other perks to get the best deal on your desired experience.


2/ What to do


If you’re wondering whether the Fairmount hotels are worth the splurge, Chateau Lake Louise is definitely worth it because you get priority access to the canoes, dining rooms and access to other hotel venues. Staying lakeside also makes it easier to take in all the activities including hiking, paddling, campfires and other activities offered by the hotel. Be sure to check the calendar when you arrive.


Fairmont Banff Springs is also a good option because it’s the only hotel located in the Banff National Park. The hotel offers guided hikes that are a good way to get oriented to the park and bike rides to see the local sites. If you miss the organized ride, the hotel offers free bike rentals and the staff are good about providing pro tips to ensure you make the most of your time. If you’re into tennis and golf, the hotel also has courts and a beautiful course.


3/ Where to eat


The options in Lake Louise are limited. However, the food at the hotel is fresh and delicious. Even though the same menu is offered in all of the dining rooms, it includes enough variety to make every meal special. The morning buffet includes freshly made small plates to ensure everyone gets exactly what they want.


The Fairmont Banff Springs offers several different menus. Meat lovers will definitely enjoy it. However, Banff Springs has a lovely little downtown similar to Aspen for you to explore too.


4/ Other things to know


If you are planning a spa oriented trip at the Fairmont Banff Springs, ask about day passes to the spa. The spa has gender specific steam rooms, hot tubs and lounges plus mixed hot spring pools and lounges. Only a limited number of day passes are offered, so ask when you check in if it’s not included in your suite or room.


5/ What to pack


Plan to dress in layers and casually unless you have an event to attend. Workout clothes will get the most use during the day and casual clothes at night. A few sweaters plus a windbreaker, puffer vest, casual jacket and running gloves are all good things to pack. If you forget something or need something more, both hotels have nice shops onsite.


If you’re planning to hike, get tips on what to include in your day hike pack and don’t forget to stretch. For more pictures and tips, follow Shannon Smith Living on your favorite social media channel.

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