Blue Mountain Lodge is a great place to stay, if you want to drink until the bars close at 2 AM, then continue the party in your room until 3 or 4 AM. If you want a peaceful night’s sleep and caring, friendly staff, book elsewhere.
We're active: we get up early, cross-country ski or hike all day, and go to bed by 10 PM. For 11 winter vacations, we stayed at the excellent At Wit’s End B&B. When the owners retired this year, we checked several websites; Blue Mountain Lodge looked good and had some decent reviews, and was inexpensive, so we booked the third-floor “Trapper Room” for 8 nights. Not a wise move.
Our attic room would be great for children (there’s a real stuffed and mounted beaver at the foot of one bed), but it’s too cramped for full-size adults making more than a one-night stay. Storage space is minimal: a few hooks and one small shelf with a hanger bar. This shelf is half blocked by a large tree trunk with a protruding thigh-high branch, which left me with a couple of nice bruises. The “ensuite bathroom” is a miniscule partitioned space inside the bedroom. The partitions don’t extend to the ceiling, and there’s no ventilation to the outside, so bad odors escape into the bedroom. You can’t turn around in the shower without hitting your elbows. The third floor is accessed by a very steep flight of stairs with very narrow and somewhat slippery treads – it’s best to duck-walk very carefully down them.
Breakfast at Blue Mountain is adequate, but nothing special. Good croissants, so-so muffins (homemade, but flavorless), good packaged bread, yogurt, some fresh fruit, packaged oatmeal, cereals, tea and (sometimes lukewarm) coffee. There are usually cookies in the afternoon.
The Lodge really needs to do something about the front door, which is extremely difficult to push open, and nearly impossible when carrying luggage. The ski storage system would be greatly improved by having one key open both the front door and the ski shed.
Blue Mountain Lodge is located a couple of blocks off Banff Ave. As we discovered to our dismay, it's a great location for visiting the bars and nightclubs. Our first two nights, we were awakened around 2:30 AM by groups of cursing, hollering drunks weaving their way up the street after closing time.
Our third night, some of those drunks were guests of the Lodge. Just after the bars closed at 2 AM, they came home to continue the party in their 2nd floor room. (One of the celebrants was the official “resident”. Apparently he’s not there to do anything useful, like keep a lid on nighttime noise; he’s just the live body required by the Banff fire code.) We got up and went downstairs to ask for quiet, and even that didn’t produce results for another half hour.
In the morning, we tried to talk about this to the lady who sets up breakfast, but she just shrugged and said, “They’re young people, we can’t do anything”. On the fourth night, a couple took the attic room next to ours. We could hear every word of their loud conversation and TV until past 11 PM. We finally went next door and asked them to quiet down. About 2:30 AM, I woke up to the sound of their bed rhythmically hitting the wall next to my bed, accompanied by the noises that one associates with bed-bumping. At 3 AM, one of their friends clomped up the stairs to visit the (presumably) happy couple and a loud conversation ensued, until I got fed up and banged on the very thin wall.
The next day, we packed up early and left as fast as possible, skipping the Lodge's breakfast. We were prepared to lose four prepaid nights of our stay, considering it the price of a lesson learned. The owner, Pascal, turned up just as we were leaving and made some ineffectual noises about “it happens sometimes” and that he’d “been in Europe”, as if these were good excuses. He did offer to put us into a bunkroom separate from the house, but at that point we were very, very done with Blue Mountain, their inconsiderate clientele, and their dilapidated rooms. We headed for the Pension Tannenhof (see my other review). Pascal did refund the remaining portion of our stay after we left, for which we were thankful.
The owners don’t seem particular about the guests to whom they rent, nor do they expect guests to show consideration for each other. There are no quiet hours in the guest handbook or posted on the walls. There is no resident manager to enforce any rules. Rooms are small, lacking in storage space, and tired-looking, (even with the addition of stuffed dead animals and random tree branches). Be aware of all this if you’re thinking of staying at Blue Mountain. There are many Banff lodging options that don’t cost any more than Blue Mountain, have much nicer facilities, and allow guests to get a good night’s sleep.
Don't book here (or anywhere else near downtown) if you want peace and quiet. Banff has a seriou...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC