Banff Gate Mountain Lodge and Spa, Harvie Heights, Canmore, AB, Canada
Date of Visit: August 2006
Ages of party: 2 mid 40ï¿½s + 2 under 10ï¿½s
Exchange Via RCIGeneral description/location
The Banff Gate Mountain lodge & Spa is located in Harvie Heights a township close to Canmore. As the name suggests the resort is almost at the gates to the Banff national park . Its the last building in Harvey heights and the national park boundary is about 1 min by car. Canmore is your main town for eating and shopping ï¿½ being outside of the national park reduces prices, certainly there is a difference in the price of fuel compared to Banff just 15 mins away.
Its location means that you really do need a car.
Accommodation is in 4 blocks and consists of town houses. The location is right in the mountains and most units have a mountain view (may be blocked by trees).
All units seem to be of the same design.
Guests during our visit was a mix of families and couples,
The grounds are nothing to speak of simply car parking and a grass frontage to the local road that runs parallel to the trans-Canada.
Its not a resort to sit and relax in as it simply does not cater for this ï¿½ but why would you want to given its location
You can hear the railway at night but its on the far side of the trans-Canada far enough away to not cause a problem ï¿½ this cant be said for the other timeshare in Canmore (also run by the same company) where you can almost touch the trains Reception: (arrival/departure)
Reaching the resort is simple enough instructions are clear and its obvious where the resort is. Staff know the area quite well and if they don't know will hit the internet to find details.
At the back of reception is a small coffee/shop area with internet access. It didn't look well used
Welcome pack included details on how to avoid bears (READ IT - yes we did meet one)
Late arrival will result in a fee if not pre notified. Accommodation:
As already stated most units look similar ï¿½ the only difference being the direction that they face. The units are quite narrow and can be a little dark but on the plus side are 2 good sized bedrooms.
Kitchen was well equipped
Bedrooms had A/C plus cable TV , the master has a balcony giving views of the mountains.
There is a very small seating area at the back of the unit with 2 chairs and a small table, as you are about 5 meters away from the units that back on to you it was a bit public and always in the shade so it did not seem to get much use.
We had a washer/dryer upstairs.
Strange bit ï¿½ there was space for a shower in the ground floor toilet and there was plumbing in place (even holes in the wall and a capped off drain in the centre of the floor) - but no shower, and where the tray should have been there was carpeting. Still we never needed it as the family bathroom was fine for our party of 4
We understand that the resort had been taken over a few months before we arrived, a number of improvements were underway, nothing major but while we were the the hot tub surround was replaced and a number of barriers etc. replaced.
There was some talk of building another 10 units, the base slab had been laid obviously for some time and was showing signs of age ï¿½ so be prepared for building work in the futureFacilities:
Leisure facilities located at the Banff gate consist of
Spa with a number of treatments
(Very) Small indoor pool
Outdoor hot tub/whirlpool spa
Weight and fitness room
Downstairs there is a snooker/pool table
Video's and DVD 's are available from reception
There are a number of BBQ's available
Organised activities are available including walks, trips out, wine tasting, BBQ's
There are family nights when movies are shown on the big screen of the marketing suite (along with popcorn).
Canmore has Safeways and Sobeys for most of your catering needs
Banff is an easy 15 min drive, if you are staying for more than 5 days you would be better off buying an annual parks pass as this saves you 10 mins queuing to get into the park every day.
Icefield parkway is a spectacular day trip that allows you to go for a walk on a glacier - DO IT!
Lake Louise is spectacular but Moraine lake is in our opinion simply unbeatable.
Noiseï¿½ None (other than a small amount from the Trans Canada ï¿½ not a problem)
If it was not so expensive to get to Canada from the UK it would be a regular (so would Canada!)