Two days after Christmas, we loaded up every piece of cold-weather gear we owned and headed to the airport to catch a flight to Calgary for our winter vacation. After a bit of theatrics and a 25 hour travel day, we finally arrived at the Fairmont Lake Louise for 5 days of bliss, skiing, snowmobiling and hiking. Canada is so beautiful, everyone we met was incredibly nice and I cannot wait to make a return trip in the summer! For now here is a peek at our winter vacation to the Fairmont Lake Louise and everything we did while in Alberta!
Getting To Lake Louise
These two babies made it through 25 hours of travel. Yes, that’s right, 25 hours! We were headed to the airport at 4am EST (2am MST) and got an alert that our flight had been canceled and rebooked for two days later. American wasn’t able to get us on anything, so we ended up finding a Delta flight out of Charlotte that connected through Atlanta to Seattle to Calgary.
Shirts // Leggings // Boots
After three flights and a 2+ hour drive to the hotel, we finally laid down at 3am MST. Both girls got a few naps on the flights and were absolute rockstars. I however didn’t sleep a wink and was so hyped up on adrenaline that I unpacked up completed and organized the room before I was able to go to sleep.
The Fairmont Lake Louise
We stayed at the Fairmont Lake Louise and our rooms were incredible! We booked the Fairmont Gold Lakeview Room and had two queen beds, a sitting area and a huge bathroom. Staying in the Fairmont Gold area offers a ton of perks but our favorite was the lounge down the hall where we could get breakfast, apps, drinks and snacks all the live-long day!
We love staying at Fairmont Hotels because they have wonderful kid programs and the best babysitting services around. When we were in Hawaii they outsourced to an agency for sitters, but here all of the babysitters also work for the hotel. We had a girl that worked in marketing, one that worked as a hairstylist and another that was the wedding coordinator for the Fairmont. Having access to baby sitters can make a family vacation more enjoyable. The girls love it because the sitters play with them and they get to have movie nights with their cousins and we love it because we get to eat kid-free.
I would say that the perks of the Fairmont are the grounds and the staff (Canadians are the nicest people I swear). There are endless activities and we really loved the indoor pool and hot tub. The only downside was that the food wasn’t really all that great. We LOVED Alpine Social but other than that the restaurants weren’t anything to write home about.
The best part about our room was the view! The first morning we woke up to the most beautiful view right out our window and the girls were freaking out. I honestly need to go back here for summer vacation because if the lake was this gorgeous in the winter I can only imagine it in the summertime! It is certainly magical in the winter though. Like full-on, take your breath away, we are 100% in Narnia, beautiful. There are horse-drawn carriages riding around the lake, ice-skating, an ice bar, fire pits, kids sledding down hills and people playing hockey. It’s a winter vacation wonderland.
Most of our vacation time was spent on the ski hill. And by “ski hill” I mean the 5 hours it took getting the girls ready, the 30-minute drive to Lake Louise Ski Resort and then the 2 hours getting their rentals on, letting them go to the bathroom and helping them down to ski school. Skiing with toddlers could be an Olympic sport in and of itself. The instructors at ski school were incredible and my girls loved it! I cannot wait for them to be old enough to where they love it and we can go on more ski trips. We didn’t eat at the resort but my girlfriend said that Whitehorn Bistro is excellent!
One day we went snowmobiling instead of skiing and it was UNREAL. It was my favorite part of the trip by far. We drove about an hour from the Fairmont to Rocky Mountain Riders and headed out for 5 hours of driving through the backcountry of British Columbia. If you are in Lake Louise for winter vacation and like adventure then you HAVE to book this!
On the day we checked out we opted to squeeze in one last activity – an early-morning ice hike through Johnston Canyon. Our guides made us dress like we were about to overtaken by an avalanche and 15 minutes in I was sweating and ripping off layers. You could absolutely do this trail without a guide and we passed so many people who just drove out and were walking through. Kids, families in jeans, it’s not difficult at all. Ice cleats on your shoes absolutely help but other than that all you really need is to dress warm and bring your camera! I will say that we had great weather the day we hiked and I would only do it on a clear day if you can help it!
Our flight back to the East coast was early so we decided to stay one more night at the Marriott In-Terminal Hotel. We checked in to the hotel (which is so fancy) and headed straight to the Calgary Zoo to catch the Pandas. Our girls loved the Zoo and we could have spent hours and hours there! Once the zoo closed we headed to Saltlik for dinner which was the best meal we had the entire trip!
Unfortunately because of our travel issues, we had to cancel the day we were planning to go to Banff. I guess that means that we just need to book a summer vacation to Canada, right? When we do I’m planning on staying at the Fairmont Banff Springs, eating at Sky Bistro, Park Distillery, Banff Grizzly House and maybe checking out the hot springs while I’m at it. Oh, and I will be planning my entire trip around trying to catch the Northern Lights. What else should I add to my list? Leave it below in the comments!!