We're big fans of Bellstar properties in Canmore. We like to book suites. Not only do they provide more space, they also have full kitchens, an amenity we've learned is a key to our trips to the mountains. Generally, we don't want to go out for breakfast because we don't want to get dressed. It's also pretty valuable to have control over your meal before a big hike. An added bonus it the opportunity to step onto your small patio and breathe in the mountain air; it's so delightful.
Location: The Grande Rockies Resort is well located just off the Bow Valley Trail - a walk into town takes only 15 minutes. If the weather is terrible, count on cab rides costing $10 or less. This means you can enjoy all the wine and beer you want with your meals at any of Canmore's excellent restaurants. There are plenty of food and drink options even close if you don't want to stray too far, with an excellent liquor store just across the street. There are also two grocery store in walking distance, making it easy to grab things as you need them. It's particularly handy when all you want to do for dinner is cook a frozen pizza and enjoy it by the fireplace.
Rates: For the September long weekend our suite was $315 a night. We booked two months in advance.
The check-in experience was one of the most unique we'e ever had! It's great for misanthropes, since you never have to speak to a person, as long as you have a little patience for figure things out at first. The day of our reservation we got an email that provided us with a map to the underground parking garage, information on where to find our spot, and a code that would unlock the door to our suite. Theoretically, all very neat and tidy. Unfortunately, the not-very-useful map to the underground parking garage, paired with poor signage meant it was a bit of a challenge to find the parkade. And while we were provided with a code to get us into parking, the garage door was wide open and remained so well after 10pm. We found our parking spot with ease, but had to wander the cavernous garage to find the elevator (The mailboxes we eventually spotted acted like a homing signal; no one's gong to walk far to check their mail). And with the code we were comfortably settle in no time at all, despite the minor inconveniences.
Accommodations: The rooms are comfortably spacious and well appointed the beds provide a good night's sleep. If you're planning on using the kitchen it's important to note that the cookware is very limited and suitable only for simple meals. There is, however, a great natural gas BBQ on the patio to make up for what the kitchen lacks. You might want to supply your own ground coffee for the drip machine in the room, as the hotel provided poor quality coffee grounds. The shower is incredible, and has a steam option for a sauna experience, but there are no instructions on how to use it and the staff seemed as bewildered as we were. But after experimenting with the control panel we were able to make the "Space Shower" (the nickname that the employees have bestowed on the shower) we were able to make all the features work. We really enjoyed the gas fireplace, which was perfect during our cool, rainy early-September stay. There are little hints of "cost saving" decisions, like bathroom and closet doors that are awkward to manage and a poorly tiled patio, but otherwise there's really nothing more we could have asked for.
Restaurant: The Grande Rockies has a nice little restaurant and bar in the lobby, providing meal service from breakfast until supper.
Pools and Hot Tubs: They've got heated indoor swimming pools with a really fun play area for children, including a waterslide. Hot tubs come with the option of being enjoyed inside our outside. Being popular with children, the pool area can get quite loud, making the outdoor hot tub the best option. Oddly, there are no change rooms and there's really no where to hang towels. If you're going to make use of these facilities, It's a good idea to bring your own bathrobe and a good towel, as well as a beach bag.
Outdoor Gear: Guests have access to a variety of gear: snow shoes; stand-up paddle boards; yoga mats; binoculars; trek poles; bikes; and, bear spray.
Fitness Center: Open daily until 10pm. Great for those days we don't want to go hiking, or the weather is just too awful.
Address: 901 Mountain St, Canmore
Trip Advisor: Tripadvisor.ca
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