Aside from being a great place to base yourself while exploring Banff and Jasper National Parks, Canmore is turning into a really great place to stay. It has some of the coolest bars, quaintest cafes and friendliest people in all the towns up here. Considering how friendly people are up here, that says a lot. Long long gone are the days when Canmore was a coal mining town and then a struggling town in the wake of a dying industry. Nowadays it is a cheaper, bigger, less touristy Banff. There are some fantastic places to stay. Here are two of my personal favorites.
Fire Mountain Lodge
Part of the well respected Bellstar resorts; the Fire Mountain Lodge drags people in by its name alone. It is central to everything whether it be hikes, skiing or just a spot of shopping. The views of the Three Sister Mountains from the hotel are stunning. The Fire Mountain has gorgeous and elegant two story condominiums. The granite breakfast bars, cozy fireplaces and outdoor tub all redefine the word luxury. The beds are amongst the most comfortable in the Rockies – a possible reason it is so popular with couples on romantic getaways.
The Bear and Bison Country Inn
This quaintly hidden gem of Canmore was designed by Lonny and Fiona Middleton for the kind of guest who enjoys being treated like a movie star though without the abundance of illegal drugs! The Bear and Bison feels like a Bed & Breakfast. It has a delicious restaurant with service to match. Just like the Fire Mountain Lodge, it is perfect for the romantic getaways. I hope the fact that I am choosing two romantic getaways doesn’t reflect badly on my desperate single character! One of the best things about the Bear &Bison is the library decorated with great plants, views and a lovely little wooden piano fit for a mini Mozart.
Regardless of where you stay in Canmore, you are guaranteed a great time inside and out. If you are there in summer time, make sure to step into the Grizzly Paw to taste some home made beers on the outside deck with great views of the mountains as the sun shines down on you.