Nestled in the heart of Banff National Park, Lake Louise is known for its outstanding natural beauty. It’s also a great destination for adventure travellers, regardless of the time of year! Kayaking and hiking are abundant in the summer, while ice skating and skiing draw tourists from all around the globe during the winter.
Lake Louise is actually quite a small town, but how can you know where to stay when there are so many great alternative options nearby? If you want to save money, it might be worthwhile considering staying elsewhere. Lake Louise can also feel quite isolated, so you might also think about staying somewhere that’s better connected.
Thankfully, we’ve written up this short guide to help you make up your mind! We’ve combined our own experiences with hints and tips from locals, tourism experts and travel bloggers to bring you this guide to the three best places to stay near Lake Louise. Whether you want stunning scenery, convenient connections or somewhere a little off the beaten path, we have you covered.
So let’s jump right in!
- Where to Stay in Lake Louise
- Lake Louise Neighborhood Guide
- Top 3 Places to Stay in Lake Louise
- #1 Lake Louise – Best Place to Stay in Lake Louise for Your First Time
- #2 Field – Where to Stay near Lake Louise on a Budget
- #3 Banff – Best Area near Lake Louise for Families
- Final Thoughts on Where To Stay in Lake Louise
Friendly Hostel near Lake Louise – Fireweed Hostel
Visiting on a budget? You might struggle in Banff National Park, but Fireweed Hostel offers reasonable prices on its rooms. This particular suite comes with two bedrooms, as well as stunning views over the mountains. For guests visiting in the summer, there are a few excellent hiking trails that run past the apartment. It also comes with an outdoor fire pit and well-stocked kitchen.
Stylish Penthouse near Lake Louise – Downtown Views
This luxurious penthouse is only a few minutes from downtown Banff and comes with a wide window, giving you panoramic views of the mountains. It’s only a short drive from both Lake Louise and Field – perfect if you’re bringing the car. You’ll also have access to a luxurious hot tub – a great way to unwind after a long day of exploring the mountains.
Luxurious Hotel in Lake Louise – Fairmont Château Lake Louise
If you’re looking for the height of luxury, look no further than the Fairmont Château. With panoramic views of the lake, this scenic retreat is the perfect getaway in Banff National Park this winter. You’ll have immediate access to the ski resort, with top of the line facilities within the hotel to help you relax afterwards. Your worries will simply melt away!
There’s a small town at the base of Lake Louise that has grown in popularity with tourists over the past few years. For first time visitors, this is a great way to get up close and personal with the gorgeous scenery of the park.
Just across the border in British Columbia, Field is a great alternative to Lake Louise for those on a budget. It’s only about an hour from the lake by car but doesn’t have the same tourism levels.
If you’re looking into visiting Banff National Park, you probably already know about the eponymous town. Nestled in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Banff is a common gateway to the region for visitors.
Top 3 Places to Stay in Lake Louise
Banff National Park is one of the most visited attractions in Canada, so getting around the area is quite easy. While the public transport links are reasonably good, we recommend bringing your own car for ultimate freedom – especially when it comes to visiting some of the smaller villages in the region.
Lake Louise has a small village nearby that is mostly holiday accommodation, though you will also find some unique townships on the way. It’s a hugely popular area, so you’ll have everything you need within a couple of minutes of the lake. For this reason, we recommend first-time visitors stick as close to here as possible. Even those hoping to explore further afield will find some great tour providers in the area.
Of course, Lake Louise can get very expensive – so what if you’re on a budget? You’ll have to brace yourself because Banff National Park is pricey across the board, but Field is a great alternative if you’re really looking to watch the pennies. It’s a little bit off the beaten path, so you’ll find accommodation and restaurants are cheaper in the area.
All that being said, Lake Louise and Field can both feel quite secluded. Banff is the most popular town in the region and has the best direct connections to Calgary. This makes it a great choice for those that want to stay a bit closer to civilisation. There are loads of great places to stay in Banff, and families in particular will benefit from the added convenience of staying in the bigger town.
Still not quite sure? No worries; we’ve written some more information about each of these places below. Alongside a short guide to each area, we’ve also included our favourite accommodation and activity picks in each.
There’s a small town at the base of Lake Louise that has grown in popularity with tourists over the past few years. For first time visitors, this is a great way to get up close and personal with the gorgeous scenery of the park. There are mesmerising views everywhere you turn in Lake Louise, so you’ll never need to leave.
Scenery aside, Lake Louise is also a haven for adventure travellers. Hiking is available year-round, with some stunning viewpoints in the surrounding mountains. It’s one of the best places to ski in Canada, and the lake itself sometimes acts as a safe ice rink (though always check this with locals and the tourism board before putting your skates on).
Stylish Chalet near Lake Louise – Mountain Pine Chalet
Perched on Castle Mountain, this cute little chalet comes with truly awe-inspiring views across Banff National Park. It’s a little bit outside Lake Louise – around ten minutes by car – which makes it an excellent choice for those looking for something secluded. It has a studio layout, making it a popular option with couples, solo travellers, and those on a budget.
Secluded Home in Lake Louise – Cedar Chalet
If you want to stay a little bit closer to Lake Louise, this chalet is the one for you! It comes with a log burner, helping you build a cosy atmosphere in the winter. There are a number of popular viewing points within walking distance, and the ski resort is only five minutes away by car. It is well priced and has enough room to fit four people – perfect for families.
Scenic Hotel in Lake Louise – Fairmont Château Lake Louise
If you’re here for skiing, this is the place to stay. Guests have immediate access to the ski resort, as well as stunning mountain and lakeside views from the comfort of the hotel room. Rooms are decorated in a traditional way, giving you a sense of the heritage of the hotel. We also love the decadent restaurant on-site, featuring regional cuisine and locally sourced ingredients.
Things to See and Do in Lake Louise
- Nordic Skiing is an easy way to take in some of the great scenery on offer in the surrounding mountains – learn the basics in this fantastic experience.
- Hiking more your thing? This guided excursion will take you to some of the most breathtaking viewpoints surrounding Lake Louise.
- Lake Louise Mountain Resort is the place to go for skiing enthusiasts. The chairlift is a handy way to check out the scenery in the summer if you don’t want to hike.
- Brewster Adventures offer a variety of experiences, although we love their horse riding excursion around the shores of the lake in particular.
- There are a few great dining options in the centre of the town – we recommend the Post Hotel, who offer an extensive menu with locally sourced ingredients.
#2 Field – Where to Stay near Lake Louise on a Budget
Just across the border in British Columbia, Field is a great alternative to Lake Louise for those on a budget. It’s only about an hour from the lake by car, but doesn’t have the same tourism levels. This means that many of the hotels and restaurants in Field have great deals year-round. It’s also a great way to experience the local culture.
Although it’s only on the other side of the mountains from Lake Louise, Field isn’t officially in Banff National Park. It is located in Yoho National Park, which has some more understated beauty that makes it a great location for easy-going walks. It’s also the perfect destination for photographers, especially during the fall when the foliage changes colour.
Just be mindful of the weather as the seasons change – Canada is a safe travel destination but is prone to some nasty weather, so it’s better to be prepared to avoid any bad surprises.
Homely Hostel in Field – Fireweed Hostel
This charming little apartment, run by a local hostel, is a great option for those on a budget! The rustic lounge area comes with an electric fireplace and stunning views of the national park. It can sleep up to four people across two rooms, making this a popular pick with groups heading to the area. It’s also right next to plenty of great hiking trails in the warmer months.
Budget Guesthouse in Field – Mount VanHorne
This guest suite is a great way to save money on a trip to Banff National Park! Although it only has one bedroom, there is a sofa-bed in the living room, meaning it can sleep up to four people. The Canadian Pacific Railway Station – an important local attraction in Field – is only a short walk away. With cosy interiors and a great location, it comes with fantastic guest reviews.
Hidden Hotel near Field – Cathedral Mountain Lodge
This stunning four-star hotel is a little bit pricier than our other picks in Field – but still far more affordable than other luxury hotels in the region. Adventure travellers will enjoy the kayaking and hiking excursions offered by the hotel throughout the summer. The rooms themselves come with spacious balconies, and the mountainous location means you’re guaranteed to enjoy gorgeous views.
Things to See and Do in Field
- Field Railway Station is an important attraction in the town where you can catch the Canadian Pacific Railway going past.
- Reaching Takakkaw Falls will take you 45 minutes, but is totally worth the journey – it is the third-largest waterfall in Canada!
- Head to the Velvet Antler Pottery Shop, a quirky local boutique offering stoneware and pottery – a unique souvenir to take home with you.
- Chercher La Vache Café offers a delicious menu all day long – but in the evenings, the venue truly comes to life with live music from local performers.
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#3 Banff – Best Area near Lake Louise for Families
If you’re looking into visiting Banff National Park, you probably already know about the eponymous town. Nestled in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Banff is a common gateway to the region for visitors and one of the best places to stay in Canada. It is easy to get to from Calgary – there are even direct links from the international airport!
So why do we recommend it for families? Lake Louise can feel quite secluded, and beside adventure activities it can be hard to keep kids entertained. Younger children in particular will find more to do in the town of Banff. It’s only an hour away by car, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to visit the lake.
Stylish Chalet in Banff – Black Bear Chalet
This stylish two-story chalet is right in the heart of Banff! The Bow River trail is a stone’s throw away from the front door, with many other walks and hikes only a short drive away. Inside, you will find modern technology and entertainment facilities to keep you happy even on those bad weather days. There’s also a spacious balcony with mountain views.
Trendy Penthouse in Banff – Downtown Views
Only a few minutes from Downtown Banff, this luxurious penthouse is a great choice for those willing to splurge. It comes with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and an indulgent hot tub where you can relax with a glass of wine or two. There’s a small barbecue for use by summer guests, and a ski storage area if you’re visiting in the winter to hit the slopes.
Welcoming Hotel in Banff – Moose Hotel and Suites
Only a short walk from central Banff, this charming hotel has a rustic atmosphere that will have you never wanting to leave! The on-site spa is the perfect place to unwind after a long day of hiking, skiing or canoeing nearby. There are two hot pools on the roof, giving you stunning views of Banff National Park throughout the year.
Things to See and Do in Banff
- Capture some truly captivating images of Banff National Park in this highly rated day-long photography tour of the region.
- Happy to visit Lake Louise as part of a day trip? Take in the stunning scenery with this guided hike around the lake with transfers from central Banff.
- Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies is an attraction designed to keep the whole family entertained, with plenty of interactive exhibits for the little ‘uns.
- Hiking isn’t always possible – especially with young children – so hop on board the Banff Gondola for easy access to the stunning views on offer.
Final Thoughts on Where To Stay in Lake Louise
Words won’t do any justice to how beautiful Lake Louise is! You simply have to see it for yourself. If you live in Canada, this is a must-see destination that would make a great staycation this year. Otherwise, you should definitely spend some time in Lake Louise as part of your next Canada travel experience.
The area immediately surrounding Lake Louise is, of course, our favourite destination in the area. It comes with some of the best views, and there are plenty of activities available throughout the year. It’s a little expensive, but totally worth it if you’re willing to splurge.
That being said, Field and Banff make great alternatives depending on your budget, and are home to some of the best hostels in Canada. Wherever is best for you really depends on what you want to get out of your trip – we hope this guide has helped you narrow down your options!
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!
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