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|Audi Alaska Adventure - Page 6|
|Written by Rich Truesdell|
|Friday, 31 January 1997 18:00|
Page 6 of 7
WEEK 4 - Prince George to Coeur d'Alene
The fourth week provided an interesting change of pace as it allowed us to sample two outstanding hotels, The Chateau Lake Louise and the Banff Springs Inn. Both were originally constructed during the Canadian railroad boom at the end of the last century and were among the few true luxury hotels encountered along the route.
Of the two, The Chateau Lake Louise is smaller but hardly intimate. The original chateau was built in 1890, two years after the Banff Springs Hotel. Situated right on the lake, it burned to the ground in 1893, was rebuilt and reopened in 1894.
Various expansions over the years have expanded the Chateau Lake Louise to 511 rooms with a variety of shops. With its imposing lobby, the Chateau Lake Louise is everything one would expect in a classic luxury hotel.
With the surrounding mountains blanketed with snow, it was time to hit the slopes of the Lake Louise Ski Area. Covering more than eleven square miles, the Lake Louise ski season runs from early November through the first week in May. You can expect excellent conditions by the end of November when the full mountain is opened and covered with dry, champagne powder and Lake Louise hosts the Women's World Cup. Snowboarders are welcome and the Evian Snowboard Park, at the base of Summit platter, is a haven for those who prefer boarding to skiing. Staying at the Chateau while skiing at Lake Louise can be a luxurious challenge, the opportunity to savor one of North America's finest mountains. When visiting Lake Louise Ski Area, be sure to take advantage of the renowned SkiFriends program.
After skiing, the next stop was an hour to the south, the famed 825 room Banff Springs Hotel, also known as the Castle in the Rockies. It is a treat that must be experienced to fully appreciate the tradition and history of this region. Like the Chateau Lake Louise, the Banff Springs Hotel has undergone several major renovations since it was first constructed on the hillside overlooking Banff in 1888.
The Banff Springs Hotel, an architectural blend of Scottish Baronial and French Chateau elements, is also the home to the Stanley Thompson-designed 27-hole Banff Springs Golf course. It is one of the finest championship courses in Western Canada. The more than 800 rooms provide a stunning view of either the valley or in the case of our two-room suite, a spectacular vista of the mountains surrounding the Banff Valley.
The last day in Banff provided an opportunity to sample the amenities of the world renowned Solace Spa. It offers a full complement of services including whirlpools, a multi-tiered mineral bath, private solariums and an extensive selection of body treatments. The Solace Spa is a wonderful way to soothe the body and soul after a day on the slopes, golf links or on one of the hotel's tennis courts.