The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is more than just a luxury hotel, it is a colourful part of Canada’s history. The hotel has played an important role in the growth of Banff National Park since 1890. This special area has been greeting visitors ever since.
I have wanted to stay at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise ever since visiting in the summer of 2021. I then spent the next year raving about their ham & cheese croissants. There are however many more reasons to stay at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise other than their fantastic pastries.
If you are searching for a luxury world-class stay in the Canadian Rockies, this is it. This Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise review includes everything you need to know. Read on to find out what makes this hotel so special!
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History of Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
The chateau has been a part of Banff history since 1890 when it stood as a simple one-storey log cabin that was built by Cornelius Van Horne, a general manager for the Canadian Pacific Railway. This log cabin grew in popularity and by 1912 hosted over 50,000 guests.
This log cabin would become what we know and love today as the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Over the years the hotel grew in size and has gone through many transformations. The Painter Wing is the oldest section of the current structure and was built in 1913. When looking at the hotel from the lake side, the Painter Wing is the on the left side.
The Hotel and Lake Louise area has had a healthy relationship with the movie industry, eventually donning the nickname “Hollywood North”. The historic Chateau Lake Louise would go on to host some of Hollywoods finest including Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe and Christopher Reeve.
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Review – Everything You Need To Know
The Fairmont brand of hotels is known for their exceptionally high level of service and holistic approach to hospitality.
The great thing about the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is that it has everything that you could need during your stay. While the hotel grounds are fairly spread out, your stay here is still feels intimate and relaxing.
During the middle of the day the main areas of the hotel become busy with day visitors but as the day winds down so do the crowds. An evening spent drinking in one of the bars while the lakes waters calm is a really beautiful experience.
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise – Location
It should come as no surprise that the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is located on the shores of beautiful Lake Louise in Banff National Park. It is an iconic hotel in Canada and boasts one of the most fantastic locations in the world with unique out-of-this-world views.
The town of Lake Louise is small in comparison to nearby Banff and is a much quieter area. This intimate town has all the important stores such as a grocery store, liquor store (most important) and small gift stores. There are a range of restaurants you can visit with some being inside the neighbouring hotels.
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is the only hotel that sits at the base of Lake Louise and therefore the only hotel with views of the lake. The location of this hotel is naturally one of its biggest selling points, not only because the views are so beautiful, but it’s super convenient for those who want to get an early start.
There are no other hotels within the immediate vicinity of Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise which makes the surrounding area feel very tranquil.
Check-In & Lobby
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is not a small and much of the hotel is made up of rooms and suites. The lobby is beautifully ornate and boasts timeless elegance. Walking into the lobby through the turnstile doors feels like entering another time era.
Upon check-in you’ll be given your keycards and a welcome package which includes a map of the hotel and information on amenities and activities available to guests.
Lake View Room
The rooms at the Fairmont Chateau range from standard rooms to suites. You also have the option of booking with Fairmont Gold for additional Perks.
Besides the priceless view of Lake Louise, my favourite thing in the entire room was the bed. It’s no secret that I love and value my sleep, but Oh. My. God. The bed.
The beds at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise are like soft little clouds that you just sink into and never want to leave. One our last morning at the hotel, both me and my travel partner contemplated stealing the bed. Could we fit it in our tiny sedan? Well it was so comfy I definitely wanted to try!
It’s hard to choose what my favourite amenity in the room was. I’d probably say the wonderful Nespresso machine that helped me wake up at 3:30am to catch the sunrise. It was a very handy friend to have that morning. Your room will come with a variety of pods to choose from, dark roast, medium roast and decaf. If you require more coffee pods, housekeeping are more than willing to give them.
Along with the Nespresso machine is an electric kettle and a variety of tea bags. There is also a supply of sugars and sweeteners and you’ll find creamers available in the mini-fridge. In the draw next to the tea and coffee is an ice bucket with tongs, two wine glasses, two tumbler glasses, a stack of napkins and two teaspoons.
The closet comes equipped with everything you’ll need to enjoy the spa or get ready for a fine-dining experience. There are two comfy Fairmont branded robes, two sets of slippers, an ironing board, a bag for laundry and a safe for any valuables you may want to leave in the room.
Naturally my favourite part of the entire room was the phenomenal view of Lake Louise. I was beyond lucky to be given a room on the top floor which was the exact middle room on said floor. There are no balconies in this section of the hotel and the windows only open partially.
The photos below are the exact views from my room and have not been altered (other than basic Lightroom editing). To say that I was beyond thrilled with this view is an understatement.
During my stay here I was blessed with bright blue skies and a lake that had only completely thawed a few days prior. You’ll notice that Lake Louise is a bright clear turquoise colour in these photos. As the snow continues to melt over the summer, more rock flour will flow into the lake giving it that milky blue shade.
Although on the small side, the bathroom was quaint and charming. Just like the rest of the room, the bathroom is fully stocked with everything you could need.
New York perfumer Rose 31 supplies the Fairmont with a range of cruelty-free bath products that feature spicy floral and woodsy notes. You’ll find a supply of shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion as well as soaps available.
The thing I love about this collaboration is the Fairmont’s dedication to energy reduction, If you’ve ever wondered what happens to your half-used toiletries at the end of your stay, they will be recycled instead of discarded. The bottles themselves are also biodegradable which is synonymous with the Fairmont’s Green Partnership Program.
Other Hotel Facilities
The Living Room
Located on the second floor, the living room is a quiet guest-only area where you can relax in one of the many couches and play board games. This area overlooks the stunning lobby of the hotel and is great for guests with families, or for those traveling for business who need a quiet space to work.
Pool, Sauna & Whirlpool
The pool, sauna and whirlpool are all located next to one another. Towels available for guests as well as fresh cold water. There are both mens and women changing rooms and hot & cold showers. The pool is open from 6am to 11pm with an adults only hour from 10pm to 11pm.
The gym at the Fairmont is located just above the pool area. The gym is equipped with treadmills, elliptical trainers, free weights and more. Just a short walk from the gym is the stretching room where you can unwind from your workout. The Fitness Centre is open 24 hours.
You can also take advantage of the free yoga classes offered to guests.
Take time out from hiking and canoeing to relax at the Fairmont Spa. The spa offers over 20 treatments and services. Booking ahead of your stay is recommended.
There is no shortage of shopping options at the Fairmont Chateau. All your souvenir needs are right here in the hotel.
There is also a Lake Louise specific ROOTS store, which is quintessentially Canadian. As well as a Fairmont branded store selling everything from their famous tea blends to the very bed linens in your hotel room.
There are many more perks of staying at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise besides its spectacular location.
One of the biggest perks is cheaper canoe rentals. Renting a canoe at Lake Louise does not come cheap. The Boathouse is owned and operated by the Fairmont Chateau so the prices are on the steep end. A regular canoe rental will set you back $145 + GST. If you are a guest of the hotel you’ll get to bypass the huge lineups and get a reduced rental rate at $95 + GST.
Besides cheaper rates and getting to bypass the big lineups, the Chateau Lake Louise also offers a unique guest-only canoe experience. The Sunrise Canoe Experience is available exclusively to guests of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Enjoy the stillness and calmness of Lake Louise first thing in the morning. The price for this experience (2022 rates) is $150+GST per Canoe and includes a $20 Guide’s Pantry voucher per person.
Parking at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is not free for guests however. You’ll be charged $30 per night (2022 rates) to park here and can come and go as you please. Valet parking is $45 per day.
There are plenty of dining options at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Some dining locations may only be open seasonally or may close for renovations so it’s always a good idea to check ahead of time.
Both the Fairview Lounge and Lakeview Lounge offer fantastic views of the majestic Lake Louise. The big oval shaped windows really frame the lake beautifully. During lunch time these two restaurants become quite busy with day guests. Dining with a fantastic view of Lake Louise should be on everyone’s bucket list but it may better to experience this in the evening when things quiet down.
Afternoon tea is served in both restaurants depending on the day. The Lakeview Lounge will host afternoon tea on weekends with the Fairview Lounge taking the weekends. Both eateries are stunningly beautiful.
I have had amazing service at both locations. I came for afternoon tea on my first trip to Banff and celebrated my anniversary here. The staff ensured the occasion was made special.
Cocktails at the Lakeview Lounge is a must. Both Grace and Michael at the bar in the Lakeview Lounge gave a memorable experience and exceptional service that the Fairmont is known for.
If you are looking for a one-of-a-king mountain experience, the Walliser Stube ticks all the boxes. Although not cheap this classic Swiss fondue experience sure is worth it.
The abundance of dining options is something I really liked about this hotel. Since it is situated in its own area, getting out for dinner in the evenings may not always be possible or you may be too tired to venture out. The Fairmont really does cater to a wide range of cuisines from quick service to fine dining experiences.
Other Things To Do In Lake Louise
Watch The Sunrise
Watching the sunrise in Lake Louise is one of the best bucket-list experiences you can have in Banff National Park. A stay at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is perfect for this and means you won’t need to drive the 45-minute journey from Banff.
There are other perks for early risers such as the 24-hour deli. You can stop by the pantry at any time of day and grab your morning coffee. This definitely made the early wake-up call for sunrise all that more easier. And to top it off, the coffee is spectacular and the croissants are some of the best I’ve ever had (try the ham & cheese!)
Go For A Hike
If you want to experience a hike on the smaller side, head up to Lake Agnes where you can grab lunch at a cute cabin in the mountains. Other great hikes include the Devils Thumb, Fairview Lookout and Plain of Six Glaciers.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
- What are check in and check out times? Check-in is at 4:00pm and Check-out is at 12:00pm.
- How much does the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Cost? In the high season (June to September) a night at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise can set you back anywhere up to $1200 per night. There is also a daily resort fee. Click here to book your stay!
- Is The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise suitable for kids? Yes! There are many activities for kids at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. The Living Room offers a range of board games, movie nights with popcorn feature in the meeting rooms in the evening and you can purchase a painting kit from the front desk too! If that wasn’t enough the Fairmont also offer their Mountain Adventure Kids Camp Program which includes activities such as evening nature walks, outdoor dodgeball and s’mores at the campfire.
- Can you swim in Lake Louise? Yes you can! Although it is on the very very cold side, if you are brave you can indeed swim in Lake Louise.
Explore More of Banff National Park
Want to explore more of Banff & Lake Louise? Check out these other detailed travel guides!
Banff National Park Travel Guides:
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