What are your family vacation memories? (I mean, besides the bickering in the back seat on a summer road trip.) Sunshine, gorgeous mountain views, and hanging out by the pool? Adventuring together? Maybe it’s golf and a nice meal while the kids enjoy their own programming or camping together under the stars.
It’s summer as I write this, and Fairmont Hot Springs Resort offers all the family vacation classics that make the best memories. Tucked in the Columbia Valley between the Rocky Mountains and the Purcell Mountains, the resort is only an hour north of Cranbrook and three and a half hours from Calgary, making it an easily accessible mountain retreat (whether for a week or a weekend) and a brilliant destination for families of every age, from babies and toddlers to grandmas and grandpas. Pack your days with new experiences or relax by the pool. Once you arrive at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, you can slip into instant vacation mode, with all my favourite activities: sleeping, eating, and playing.
We drove from Calgary to Fairmont Hot Springs on a sunny August day, ready for a mini-vacation. The accommodations of Fairmont Hot Springs Resort encompass a wide range of family needs. From hotel rooms to cabins to an RV park, pick what works for your crew and enjoy the amenities of this mountain resort.
Cabins at the resort offer full kitchens and separate bedrooms for both kids and adults, plus, they’re pet-friendly! Campsites for both RVs and tents are near the resort, nestled among the trees and the RV park is one of the highest-rated RV resorts in Canada. We stayed in the lodge in a loft room, which thrilled the kids, as they loved having their own space in the loft. Of course, the adults also loved having their own space, along with the kitchenette and in-room coffee.
Assuming you won’t always want to cook for yourself, being on vacation and all, there are 3 restaurants right in the main building at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. Steamers Cafe serves coffee, pastries, and snacks in the morning until early afternoon and Bear’s Paw Bar and Grill is open from lunch until late evening. (Children are permitted until 9 pm.) Antlers at the Lodge is open for breakfast, including a buffet and reopens at dinner. If you’re looking for a family-friendly meal at budget-friendly prices, check out their Feed the Whole Herd offer. For one price ($44.95 in the summer of 2019), dine family-style, with salad, garlic bread, an Italian entree of your choice from the menu, and ice cream for the kids. We opted for the individual dishes and everyone was delighted with their choices.
After you’ve had a good night sleep and you’re all filled up, it’s time to play! No matter the time of year, visiting the pools is a must. These are the largest natural hot springs in Canada and are odourless, as the contain no sulphur. In the summer, only a small amount of chlorine needs to be used and the pools are drained and refilled every night. The Fairmont Hot Springs Resort began an extensive renovation to its natural mineral hot springs pool in January 2019; it was the first major renovation to the pool in its 60-year history. Upgrades completed this year, in addition to the new poolscape, include expanded pool decks, naturally heated by the hot springs water; two new diving boards; a mountain-inspired water feature; new piping and infrastructure; and new sustainable lighting. You will appreciate the new natural rock poolscape that seamlessly blends into the gorgeous Columbia Valley surroundings, reminding you of the mineral-rich water’s source deep in the mountains.
But the kids just want to swim! There are three pools: one warmer for soaking, one cooler for playing, and a dive tank. The diving boards are a great source of entertainment for all involved, both those jumping and those watching. There are some seriously good divers out there . . . and some good sports. You can also enjoy the large grassy area for relaxing and a poolside snack bar. If you’re looking to enhance your experience, cabanas are available for rent, offering a private space with chairs in the shade and a cooler with ice and water. During the summer of 2020, you can expect cabana service, letting you lounge in comfort all day long! Guests of the resort also have access to a private hot pool, indoor hot and cold plunge pools, a sauna, and a fitness centre.
But you’ll enjoy the hot springs even more after a day of adventure! Depending on the time of year, you can go golfing and mini-golfing, ziplining, or skiing and tubing. Take a hike and a kayak tour, go horseback riding or try snowshoeing. Join a morning yoga class – kids invited, too! – and get involved in other resort activities, such as crafts and scavenger hunts. Kids can enjoy some time to themselves at the Base Camp, with kids-only fun! The resort also has special events throughout the year and a visit to the spa will be appreciated by Mom and Dad any time of the year. This is the opportunity for kids to be kids and families to unplug and enjoy their time together.
One of our highlights during our summer visit was the Mineral Mountain Zipline Tour. Just across the parking lot from the lodge, we joined a group of people to soar over the treetops. This zipline tour is a fully-guided, exciting, and actually quite comfortable experience. It consists of 6 zipline rides, starting with the shortest and lowest line and building up to a stunning ride over Fairmont Creek overlooking the Columbia Valley. Even those in our party who say they “hate heights” had no trouble stepping off the platform. It was a highlight and made our trip one to remember.
When to Visit
It’s summer as I write this, and Fairmont Hot Springs Resort makes the perfect destination for a family vacation. But I know that when the cooler weather hits, it will feel like an ideal place for a fall weekend away. From the end of November until January, you can also enjoy a massive holiday light display, and Santa even comes to visit, as you enjoy a cosy holiday getaway, with a little skiing, a little soaking in the hot pools, and a whole lot of relaxing. Then, spring will bring new life, prompting another reason for a visit!
What makes Fairmont Hot Springs Resort an ideal family destination all year round? It could be the family-friendly lodging options to suit any family. It’s probably the wide variety of activities that will bring a smile to everyone’s face. And it’s certainly the opportunity for families to come together, year after year, enjoying each other’s company and making memories! Fairmont Hot Springs Resort allows you to enjoy kid-friendly travel at affordable rates.
We finished our day and headed back to our room in the early evening. After a day of adventure, it was a delight to sit on our patio, admiring the gorgeous flowers and landscaping and breathing in the pine-scented mountain air, knowing that tomorrow was another day of making memories with the kids.
Fairmont Hot Springs Resort:
Address: 5225 Fairmont Resort Rd, Fairmont Hot Springs, BC
The author would like to thank Fairmont Hot Springs Resort for hosting such a wonderful visit. All opinions expressed are her own.