Located in the heart of downtown Banff, the Moose Hotel and Suites exudes a Whistler ski resort vibe. With warm tones, natural materials, and Moose emblems, the lodge does a great job of bringing the outdoors inside.
Although Banff offers plenty of accommodation, the Moose Inn has created a design that works in summer and winter. From the 4-star hotel’s balconies, guests can enjoy picturesque mountain views.
All 174 rooms are air-conditioned, making it ideal in summer. During winter, guests can enjoy a dip in one of the rooftop hot tubs, surrounded by snow, then warm up by the in-suite fireplaces.
While global travelers might choose to stay at the Fairmont Banff Springs or the Chateau Lake Louise (I have stayed at both), here are the reasons I prefer the Moose Hotel and Suites.
1. Walking Distance To Town
Located at 345 Banff Avenue, the hotel couldn’t have picked a better locale for their hotel. Dominating the corner of Banff Avenue and Moose Street, the chalet-style building is hard to miss with its giant bronze moose icon standing guard on the corner.
Situated two blocks from downtown, guests can walk to Banff’s best restaurants and not have to worry about parking.
During summer, visitors find downtown parking quite challenging, as the city streets become gridlocked. Also, Banff utilizes a paid parking system during peak travel times.
Within two blocks of the hotel, guests can reach the IGA, Old Spaghetti Factory, Earl’s Kitchen, Banff’s Visitors Centre, and Good Earth Coffee House. My favorite gluten-free Banff restaurant, the Block Kitchen + Bar, is just three blocks away.
While we stayed at the Moose Hotel and Suites in December, we still enjoyed the short walk to town surrounded by freshly fallen snow.
2. Suites Have Fireplaces
During my Vancouver to Banff road trip in September, I stayed at the Banff Ptarmigan Inn next door. While it was an excellent budget-friendly hotel, I eyed up the Moose Hotel for a possible future stay. So, three months later, I decided to make an impromptu winter trip to the Canadian Rockies again.
This time, I booked the Moose because its suites have cozy fireplaces. After a cold excursion of dog sledding in Canmore, I appreciated the warmth of a fireplace in the evening. This Banff hotel costs around CAD 549 + taxes for the smallest rooms during the peak summer months.
While not exactly budget-friendly, I scored a fantastic deal in a Moose Hotel suite for under CAD 200 a night during my December stay.
The suites aren’t just a bedroom but come with a living room with a dining area too. The suites are ideal for families or groups wanting to share a hotel with a dining area and sofa bed.
The rooms have balconies, with some facing the inner courtyard and others facing outwards. We were lucky to have a suite facing a quiet street with breathtaking mountain views. In the end, I found the hotel far exceeded my expectations, and it’s one of Banff’s best hotels.
So, if you’re a skier or snowboarder seeking a Banff hotel with a fireplace, this one should be at the top of your list. If you book a room without a fireplace, the lobby has a lovely seating area and a roaring fire in winter.
3. It Has Rooftop Hot Tubs
After a long day of hiking in summer or a frigid day on the ski slopes in winter, there’s nothing more satisfying than a soak in a hot tub. The Moose Hotel offers one of Banff’s best hotels with rooftop spas.
Two large hot tubs and a circular firepit welcome guests on the roof of the four-story lodge. The freshly fallen snow and fantastic mountain views were a sight for sore eyes in the winter.
Don’t worry about packing a cozy robe because the hotel provides complimentary cotton terry robes for all guests.
The only downside to the rooftop amenities was the outside walkways to get there. Once you exit the hot water, it can be a long walk on an outer corridor to reach the warmth of your room.
Adjacent to the outdoor deck, an indoor pool provides an excellent place for families to hang out. At one meter or 3’ 4” inches deep, the shallow waters are perfect for children.
4. Learn About The Corner House
Taking the elevator up to the third floor, I had to exit to an outside walkway to get to my suite. Looking down into a lower courtyard, I noticed a heritage house, “The Corner House,” taking center stage.
During the 20th century, the nearby town of Bankhead mined coal for the Canadian Pacific Railway. In 1926, after the closure of the mines, many of the homes were moved to Banff and Canmore. The Bankhead House, situated at 349 Banff Avenue, became known as the “Corner House.”
In designing the Moose Hotel and Suites, the contractor lifted the tiny house, restored it, and moved it back onto a permanent foundation. Today, visitors can tour or stay in the heritage home and enjoy its unique history.
At 570 sq. feet, the house features a small upstairs bedroom, bathroom, living area, and wet bar kitchen. It’s certainly a conversation piece!
5. Underground Heated Parking
Parking becomes a premium during the summer months as global travelers flock to Banff. So, having a hotel with complimentary underground parking is a bonus. Guests with EV vehicles need not worry as the underground has charging stations, including a couple for Teslas.
From the underground, guests can access the upper floors with nearby elevators. During our December trip, we rented a small Kia Sportage SUV. Compared to other hotels, we found the underground spots very small and the supporting posts close together.
While this wasn’t a problem for our small rental vehicle, larger trucks parked on the outer walls took up two stalls. The hotel wasn’t busy in December, so there were plenty of empty spots. However, if you’re visiting in the summer and have a large vehicle, parking might be an issue in the underground lot.
6. Rooms Have Huge Bathrooms
One of the biggest surprises about my one-bedroom suite room was the size of the bathroom. I’ve stayed at hotels where the bathroom was so small (the Chateau Lake Louise comes to mind) that there’s virtually no room for your toiletries.
However, our bathroom was so big it could accommodate a few people, although the vanity had one sink. The walk-in shower measured about 3’ x 4’ with a lovely rain shower, as well as an adjustable showerhead. The bath was modern and looked to be recently renovated.
We enjoyed the Rocky Mountain Lemongrass soap and body products in our room. Those wanting to take the products home can buy them online or at the Banff Avenue store.
7. It Has Top-Rated Facilities
The Banff Moose Hotel suits singles as well as families. Some suites have two bedrooms and two bathrooms, accommodating up to eight guests. Families with children can request cribs in the room, and Pacini’s offers a children’s menu.
Guests that want a little pampering will enjoy the Meadow Spa. It has ten treatment rooms offering pedicures, facials, body wraps, massages, and detox therapy.
Locals living in Canmore or Calgary will benefit from a romantic weekend at the Moose Hotel and suites. With couples’ massages and private escape packages, you’ll feel pampered from head to toe.
For those with an extended stay, the hotel has onsite laundry facilities. The small gym has weights, treadmills, stair climbers, and yoga mats for the health-conscious.
The hotel welcomes pets, at the cost of CAD 25 per pet, per day. The hotel supplies food bowls, water bowls, and pet treats.
8. Guests Can Enjoy Italian Food Onsite
Guests at the hotel can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Pacini’s Restaurant. Located inside the hotel, the dining room also offers room service and a take-out menu.
We enjoyed breakfast at Pacini’s one morning, and I was pleasantly surprised they had gluten-free and lactose-free options. From Sunday to Thursday, the restaurant opens at 7:30 am. On Fridays and Saturdays, you can get breakfast an hour earlier.
We returned for lunch and enjoyed a Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza with goat cheese. The pizza was delicious, cooked to perfection, and the service was excellent. Rarely can I get a pizza that’s both gluten-free and lactose-free, so I was thrilled.
Dinner options include pasta, of course, and many items could be ordered gluten-free. Most entrees cost under CAD 30, which we found pretty reasonable for Banff. If you’re looking for a gluten-free Banff restaurant, check out Pacini’s.
9. Suites Have Kitchenettes
Sometimes it’s nice to rent a hotel with a kitchenette, especially if you’re traveling with a family. Since I am Celiac, I prefer to have a room with a fridge to accommodate my gluten-free and lactose-free snacks.
The Moose Hotel suites include a modern kitchenette. These tiny kitchens have a mini-fridge, microwave, kettle, toaster, coffee maker, dishes, and cutlery.
In the morning, I could have a gluten-free bagel and my favorite tea, and we’d eat out for dinner. With an IGA within two blocks of the hotel, we could pick up supplies whenever we needed them.
With a dining table with seating for two, we could eat take-out or bring something back, which we could reheat in the microwave.
10. Complimentary Roam Bus Passes
If you visit Banff without a vehicle, you’ll enjoy the complimentary Roam bus passes. When you check in to the Moose Hotel, be sure to ask for your free transit passes.
So, if you want to see Bow Falls, take the Banff Gondola, visit the Banff Upper Hot Springs, or go hiking at Tunnel Mountain, you can access these areas on the Roam transit system.
While I’ve visited Banff many times, I try to stay at different hotels to compare the differences. Three months before staying at the Moose Hotel and Suites, I stayed at both Fairmont Hotels but preferred this accommodation for many reasons.
You can’t go wrong with one walking distance to town for a stay in downtown Banff. With a fireplace in winter, a kitchenette, and complimentary parking, it’s now my go-to hotel in Banff. A 500 sq. feet spacious suite made our stay far more enjoyable than the 220 sq. feet room offered at the Fairmont Banff Springs.
If you plan on making a trip to Banff in summer or winter, I highly recommend the Moose Hotel and Suites.
Happy travels ~ Karen