Alberta, Canada offers a lot of diversity for tourists, not only in the varied landscape of the beautiful
Rocky Mountains, turquoise glacier lakes, prairie grasslands, and scenic canyons, there are also numerous attractions, festivals and events to discover in the big cities. Whether you’re the type of traveler that loves to explore and would relish the idea of digging for dinosaur bones in the infamous Canadian Badlands, or someone who would opt for the bright lights and city scene of dining and shopping in Edmonton or Calgary, certainly there is something to please everyone.
And when comes to making reservations for a place to stay, indeed there’s also a wide variety to select from, including everything from luxury accommodations at the Rimrock Resort or the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, to a plethora of well-known chain hotels and inns.
And then there are those that are so unique they fall into categories all their own. Here are our Favorite 5:
This historic and rustic lodge (also seen above in the lead photo) can be found in Banff National Park. The hotel originally opened in 1925 and was restored in 1985 as well as renovated and winterized for year-round accommodations. Featuring the original hand-hewn log structure, Deer Lodge is just minutes from picturesque Lake Louise.
The property contains 71 well-appointed rooms of 5 different configurations including a family suite. No matter the season, the surroundings are a photographers paradise.
This hotel acts as the perfect base camp for travelers exploring the region, whether hiking in the summer or skiing in the winter. Deer Lodge even offers a complimentary shuttle bus to take guests to the Lake Louise ski area. If you return to the hotel feeling tired and achy, you’ll find a traditional dry wood sauna to warm you or head to the rooftop for a welcoming hot tub that offers stunning views of Victoria Glacier.
Aspen Crossing Caboose Cabins
If you’re a train enthusiast, you absolutely HAVE to stay in Aspen Crossing‘s Caboose Cabins found in Mossleigh, Alberta.
Aspen Crossing has assembled three different caboose options set on a set of railway tracks, each of which includes everything you would expect to find in a hotel room. The exteriors are rustic, but the interiors are modern and they even come equipped with a small deck. The end result is something like a unique little cottage or a glamping experience. Three different price points include the Union Pacific caboose at a $149 a night, the Canadian Pacific caboose at $199 a night, and the Northern Alberta Railway caboose at $239.00 a night, with the major difference between all 3 being the size and the number of people they’ll accommodate.
Aspen Crossing also houses campsites and offers several different train excursion options, with a dining car for Champagne Sunday brunch or a prime rib dinner on a Friday night.
Offering 120 fantasy-themed rooms, Fantasyland includes everything from Western decor to space and underwater themes. Some rooms feature the bed as part of a prop such as the Victorian theme which offers the bed inside a Victorian Coach, or inside the flatbed of a truck, or in an igloo. There are sports-related rooms and some that are based on Hollywood and the movies. And there are luxury suites based on geographic locations such as Polynesia, Africa, Arabia, and Rome.
Fantasyland Hotel offers package deals that include entertainment, time at the spa, and a romantic Wine and Dine package that includes rose petals in your room. Whatever your fantasy, you’re bound to find it here at this truly unique hotel found inside a truly unique mall.
Sierra West Ranch
Take a step back in time and head to the Wild West, to a home on the range where the deer and the antelope play. Or, more specifically, to a working cattle ranch in Lundbreck, Alberta.
Sierra West Ranch boasts the chance to stay in a rustic log cabin decked out liked an old-fashioned cottage with a full kitchenette including a BBQ, mini-fridge, microwave, toaster oven, pots, pans, and dishes. There is no running water in the unit itself, but hot & cold taps are close by along with 2 showers & 2 flush toilets.
No, this is not your average vacation or pampered getaway considering the self-serve atmosphere. However, you will get the chance to enjoy horseback riding, driving cattle across the open range, and cooking over an open fire. What else would you expect from a place with the motto: Where the Pavement Ends and the West Begins!
Cross River Wilderness Centre
The Cross River Wilderness Centre is a back-to-nature, back-to-roots experience located in the Rocky Mountains between Kootenay National Park, Assiniboine Provincial Park, Height of the Rockies Provincial Park, and Banff National Park. It is ideally suited to travelers looking for a bona fide adventure in the midst of awe-inspiring backdrops of mountains and forest.
Environmentally-sustainable and family operated, Cross River touts an immersive experience of mountain accommodations in teepees and heritage cabins with adventure activities that include hiking, rafting, backpacking, and canoeing. In the evenings, enjoy a communal fire pit under a star-studded sky. That kind of vacation or weekend getaway, with stories to tell and memories to last a lifetime, will beat a stay at a Motel 6 virtually every single time.