Visitors to Banff are generally attracted not only by the town itself, but also by the myriad of activities and tours available in the surrounding area. One of the best ways to get the most out of your trip to Banff, while saving money at the same time, is to take advantage of one of the accommodation and activity packages offered by some Banff hotels.
The Brewster Bundle is a fantastic way to combine a night in a heritage hotel with 2 of Banff’s most popular attractions. For just $125 per person, two adults can enjoy one night’s accommodation at the Mount Royal Hotel, a pass each for the Banff gondola, and two tickets for the Minnewanka Lake Cruise. This package, available until October 11, is ideal for first time visitors to Banff, as it includes the ‘must-see’ attractions that would probably be on your itinerary anyway. It will also appeal to Alberta locals who have been to Banff before, as the boat cruise and gondola ride are a perfect way to take in the beauty of the Canadian Rockies in a short amount of time.
If you are a family looking for condo style accommodation with a kitchen, the Rocky Mountain Resort offers a Banff Lake and Mountain Package which includes a 2 night stay, 2 adult passes for the Banff Gondola and 2 adult tickets for the Minnewanka Lake Cruise. Rates start at $510 for a standard suite (no kitchen), and several other room types with kitchen are also available.
Another Banff package which caught our eye, although not strictly speaking an ‘activity’ package, is the Royal Feast at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.
On September 26 you can enjoy a medieval dinner, castle tour, one night’s accommodation, and Sunday brunch the following morning, starting at $499 for 2 people. Bring a hearty appetite!
The above packages may be subject to change and availability. To confirm rates and for reservations, please contact the respective Banff hotels directly.
Most British skiers come to Banff with one of the UK tour operators, but many regular visitors wonder whether they might be able to save money by booking their hotel and flights independently. We thought it would be interesting to compare the prices of a Banff ski holiday booked through a tour operator with the price of an independently organized trip.
For the tour operator, we used Inghams who are known to have some of the lowest prices to Banff from the UK.
The package price with Inghams including flights to Calgary, airport transfer, and accommodation in Banff was £1379.00 staying in a superior room at the Inns of Banff, or £2345.00 staying in a Fairmont room at the Fairmont Banff Springs.
For the independent trip we found flights for £458.00pp with Canadian Affair and airport transfers for $110.00pp through the Brewster Airport Shuttle.
On the Inns of Banff website we were quoted $1633.53 including taxes for the superior room, and on the Fairmont website we were quoted $3650.79 for the Fairmont room.
Using today’s tourist exchange rate of £1.00 = $1.71, the total for the independent Inns of Banff package came to £1868.32, and the independent Fairmont Banff Springs package came to £3175.75.
Booking the Inns of Banff ski holiday with Inghams resulted in a saving of £489.32 compared to booking independently, and the saving for the Banff Springs holiday was £830.75. The savings in both examples were considerable at around 26%. We found the savings to be consistent for several Banff hotels for various dates and durations, and it seems as though the UK tour operators are difficult to beat on price, at least for winter 2008/09.
*The prices quoted above were found on the relevant websites on Jan 12th 2009, and are for illustrative purposes only. These prices may change. Please do your own price check before booking.