According to readers of Ski Canada magazine Sunshine Mountain Lodge is “The perfect foil for Canada’s Best Snow is Canada’s best rooms with a view. “Nestled high in the Canadian Rockies in Canada’s oldest and most famous national park, this eco-boutique hotel delivers extraordinary luxury and is surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Accessed only by Gondola, the Sunshine Mountain Lodge is the only ski-in, ski-out hotel in the Banff and Lake Louise National Parks. It offers casual and fine dining, the area’s largest hot tub, and family-friendly activities.
Additionally, the new West Wing offers rooms with in-floor heating, jetted tubs, large, flat-screen LCD TVs. Other amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi for guests, basic and high-performance equipment rentals, five onsite restaurants to choose from and a café, a gym and a plethora of organized activities and events, including snowshoe tours.Sunshine Village’s high-speed eight-passenger gondola, which runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday-Thursday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, whisks guests from the base area parking lot up to the village in just 17 minutes. For non-skiers or non-snowboarders, gondola-only tickets are available.
Sunshine Village is located in Banff National Park, just an hour and a half from Calgary, Alberta. Getting there from the Calgary International Airport is a snap by car or coach. Calgary International Airport is served by non-stop flights from major cities throughout the world including London, Frankfurt, Dallas, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Houston, San Francisco, Denver and Salt Lake City.
Ski in/out at Sunshine Village in Banff
During my first ever visit to Banff this December, I had the opportunity to spend a night at the only ski in/out property in Banff: Sunshine Mountain Lodge at Sunshine Village. This unique hotel offers a different slopeside experience than you may have enjoyed in the past. The journey to the lodge begins by checking in with the lower front desk at the base of the gondola where you drop off your bags, grab any essentials you will need for the next 2 hours, and then you are whisked up the mountain and through the trees via a 20 minute gondola ride to the mid-mountain base area of Sunshine Village. Upon disembarking the gondola, you truly feel that you are in the heart of the mountains. I was lucky enough to arrive on a crystal clear night. The stars were shining brightly and the alpenglow surrounded me in every direction. After walking a short distance over the snow to the Sunshine Mountain Lodge, you finish the check-in process with the lodge's upper front desk. While waiting for my bags to arrive (also via gondola and the bell staff), I took the opportunity to enjoy a quick soak in the large outdoor hot tub underneath the stars, which was a perfect way to unwind after a day of traveling.
There are a variety of rooms types and bedding configurations available at Sunshine Mountain Lodge, which makes it great for a variety of travelers. I stayed in a Deluxe View King Room with Balcony, which had sweeping views of the surrounding open bowls and the lifts to take you there. While the rooms are basic (no kitchens or kitchenettes), they are clean and are updated with brand new beds and linens.
While your stay at this property does not include any meals, and the rooms do not come with cooking facilities, you will not go hungry. There are a wide variety of eateries to choose from both at the lodge and right outside the door. I enjoyed a couple of very tasty and creatively crafted meals at the in lodge restaurants, The Chimney Corner Fireside Dining and Eagle's Nest...along with a nice bottle of wine, or two.
Overall, Sunshine Mountain Lodge is a great choice for the traveler looking to kick back, relax, and enjoy good food, good wine, and great skiing right outside your door.
A room with a view
The Sunshine Mountain Lodge is the only hotel in Sunshine Village - the highest ski resort in Canada. The only way to get there is via a gondola ride, so you feel like you are at the top of the world. The hotel is extremely comfortable, with warm cozy rooms, a friendly bar and an excellent restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The ski lifts are within a snowball throw of the hotel balcony so guests wanting to get out and make first tracks will easily be able to get their day started. The hotel is a phenomenal place for star gazing, which adds an extra touch of magic to your stay there.