The Mount Royal Hotel in Banff suffered a devastating fire in 2016 and has emerged from the ashes, restored to its historical glory in a thoroughly modern way.
One night during dinner a few years ago, my husband looked at me and asked, “so how are you, really?”
I burst into tears
I should preface that by saying I was a stay at home mom to an adorable but extremely active little girl and six months pregnant with our son. All was well in our busy household, except I was starting to feel a bit invisible; our daughter grabbed any attention that wasn’t connected to the pregnancy. My hormonal state overreacted to the notice.
Turning to our daughter, he said: “I think its time for daddy to take mommy away.”
The next weekend we booked ourselves into a night in Banff at the historic Mount Royal hotel. You can’t beat the location, right on the main drag, and I adore old buildings. This one, however, was a bit dated. Lovely, but with that old hotel smell, cramped rooms, creaky floors and draughty windows. Regardless, we thoroughly enjoyed our night away at the Mount Royal and still hold a soft spot for that hotel.
In December 2016 disaster struck with a devastating fire that all but destroyed the Banff landmark. The silver lining is the hotel has now been restored in a manner exceeding its former splendour, maintaining its heritage and incorporating modern conveniences.
“The reopening of the Mount Royal Hotel will provide a truly unforgettable Banff experience for today’s modern traveller, bringing together a thoughtful juxtaposition of rich history and contemporary design,” said Dave McKenna, President, Banff Jasper Collection by Pursuit. “We look forward to welcoming both the local community and our global guests back to such an incredible Banff landmark and are delighted to re-introduce the Mount Royal Hotel into Pursuit’s collection of world-class attractions and exceptional experiences.”
The overall design of the restored hotel was guided by Canadian design firm DIALOG, blending the historical elements in a modern way. Design highlights also include the creation of custom-made headboards from Toronto’s Moss & Lam art studio to serve as the centrepiece in each of the hotel’s 133 guest rooms.
What’s new at this old hotel? Historically-inspired décor, a much-anticipated rooftop lounge complete with outdoor hot tubs, a museum and a hotel library for quiet guest space, and fresh, airy guest rooms. Those mountain views don’t hurt either!
The Mount Royal Hotel, located on the on the corner of Banff Avenue and Caribou Street, sits in the heart of the town. It may just be time to re-visit the old girl with another weekend getaway to this iconic Banff landmark.