Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest national park established in 1885 in the Rocky Mountains in the province of Alberta, and encompasses 2,564 square miles of mountainous terrain, numerous glaciers and ice fields, dense forest and majestic alpine landscapes. Although it was founded in 1885, winter tourism didn’t begin until 1917 with the first Banff Winter Carnival which featured a large ice palace built by the internees. Carnival events included cross-country skiing, ski jumping, curling, snowshoe, and skijoring.
The main commercial center of the park is the town of Banff, in the beautiful Bow River Valley. Arriving in Banff, Splash Magazine editor-in-chief Lawrence Davis and I checked into the luxurious Fairmont Banff Springs, a breathtaking 768 room hotel, who's “old world” exterior, hides a completely remodeled, state-of-the-art interior. Simply staying at this historic castle feels like a vacation in itself, complete with all the amenities you would expect from a 5-star resort. But don't take my word for it, see for yourself.
The Fairmont Banff Springs is an internationally renowned symbol of Canadian hospitality. Few hotels in the world rival the majesty and grandeur of this historical resort, (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), located in the heart of Banff National Park. Styled after a Scottish Baronial Castle, the Fairmont Banff Springs has provided a warm welcome for guests from around the world for over 125 years. The opening of the hotel in 1888 marked the birthplace of tourism in the Canadian Rockies, and plays host to tourists, business travelers, and sports enthusiasts ever since.