I've stayed in some pretty fantastic hotels and I've seen some spectacular sights, but a night at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise should be on everybody's bucket list. This is an unforgettable experience.
I have to admit that the thing that made it super special for us was the fact that we were upgraded to a room on the seventh floor, which is the Concierge Floor. I don't know why that happened. Maybe they thought I was somebody else. Usually, it costs a few hundred dollars extra. But I have to say, if you've got the money it is more than worth it.
Our room overlooked Lake Louise, which would have been more than enough to make the experience unique. Lake Louise is magnificent. The room itself was beautifully appointed and the view -- which as you can see is spectacular -- presented a continually-changing vista of reflections as the sun slowly sank behind the mountains.
We'd been invited to drinks and complimentary hors d'oeuvres in the Concierge Room, which is exclusively for guests who are rich enough (or in our case lucky enough) to find themselves situated here on the seventh floor. And it isn't just the free hors d'oeurves, which are delicious. It's the whole ambience, the intimate, friendly atmosphere that seems to encourage total strangers to interact with other strangers. Comfortable chairs are grouped around little tables, and people just naturally start talking to one another. I've always felt uncomfortable sitting by myself at a bar, but this was totally different. and delightful. I felt as if Xingxing and I were members of a private, very exclusive club.
A complimentary hot breakfast is served in the Concierge Room as well. Again, it was a pleasant novelty to be able to chat with other people while enjoying my sweet rolls and coffee, more like being on a cruise than being in a hotel.
Breakfast was followed by a leisurely walk around the lake -- made all the more delightful by the fact that I'd been assured that there were no bear, elk or ravens in the immediate vicinity. Xingxing trotted and sniffed, and I found myself hoping for his sake that the smells were as gorgeous as the scenery. I could have stayed all day. I could have stayed all week. Lake Louise is pure magic. I wished we'd time to take the canoe ride around the lake, or one of the wonderful guided walks, but our bus arrived right on time (darn!) and we continued on to Banff.
Just so you know, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is super dog friendly. And the Concierge Floor is definitely worth the money, even if you can only afford one, wonderful night.