The setting was perfect – an upscale mountain retreat surrounded by nine acres of towering fir, pine and spruce trees and chattering squirrels and singing birds. The generously-sized hot tub under the stars was perfect for an evening soak, as was the luxurious claw foot tub in our large and lovely suite. The menu at the main lodge described mouth-watering cuts of game, gourmet sides and trendy cocktails. All this just a three minute drive or shuttle from the trendy spa, shopping and dining of Banff, Alberta. It was ideal for a girl’s retreat.
Now if only I could get the girls to stop jumping on the bed.
Originally planned as a romantic getaway weekend with my husband before his hockey playoffs threw a wrench into our plans, I could have kept the booking at Banff’s Buffalo Mountain Lodge as a trip for myself or invited a friend. Instead, I decided a girl’s trip was in order, and instructed my daughters (10, 7 and 6) to pack their bags for a swanky stay at a mountain retreat. Once they confirmed it had an outdoor hot tub, they were in.
Buffalo Mountain Lodge is situated on Tunnel Mountain, a five minute drive or 15 minute walk from Banff’s main strip.
The 108 guest rooms at Buffalo Mountain Lodge each feature gorgeous post and beam construction and high open ceilings. Each room features a fully stocked wood burning stone fireplaces, cozy feather duvets and pillows, LCD televisions, Blu-Ray players and in-room coffee makers. Many of the rooms have balconies or patios.
We were booked into a Lodge room, which offer one Queen, two Queen beds or one King bed configurations. For those who want to make their own meals, the Buffalo room, with two queen beds or one king bed separate from the living room area, includes small kitchenette facilities including a microwave, stove top and fridge.
After checking in, we dined in the main lodge at Sleeping Buffalo Dining Room. The menu featured smoked, cured, or roasted wild game and wild fruits, berries, and vegetables. The lodge has its own wild-game ranch where the restaurant obtains its caribou and buffalo. I indulged in the Brome Lake Duck – a seared breast layered on pistachio risotto with a balsamic port glaze and cherry relish. The chef was very accommodating and helpfully adjusted their dishes to meet my terribly selective children’s bland taste buds.
After a leisurely buffet breakfast in the lodge, we spent Saturday at Mount Norquay’s Tube Park. Because we visited during the SnowDays festival, there was plenty of other ways we could have passed the time. We did enjoy the ice sculptures and snowmen around town, and the many elk we saw from the safety of the minivan in town limits. After a quick visit to the candy store
Returning to the hotel after a long day, the girls were dismayed to find the 20 person hot tub filled with twenty-somethings. I assured the kids (mine, not the ones in the hot tub) that after we finished our dinner the young adults would be long gone on the complimentary shuttle for dinner and drinking in town – and of course they were. We had the hot tub to ourselves for an hour before headed back to the room. The girls dropped off quickly, and I pampered myself with a book and glass of wine in the massive clawfoot tub.
It had snowed overnight, covering the picturesque lodge grounds with a picture perfect dusting of white snow. We said goodbye to the lodge and headed back home, determined to make a winter mountain getaway a more regular part of our staycation plans.