Fairmont Banff Springs Resort
Banff, Alberta, Canada, NA
- ALSO GOOD FOR
- Spa / pool / fitness center
- 405 Spray Ave, Banff, Alberta, Canada, NA
TravelogueEver heard of Stanley Thompson? His design at Fairmont Banff Springs, just under two hours west of Calgary in Banff National Park, is a masterpiece that perfectly captures his often overlooked architectural genius. The Rundle (front) and Sulphur (back) nines both comprise exquisite holes, like the par-3 4th, famously known as the "Devil's Cauldron," and par-4 15th, a 475-yard beast that demands you carry your drive over the Bow River from an elevated tee box. Rock walls tower impossibly close over many holes here in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Keep your head up and enjoy the views. Bears, elk, deer and coyotes may be watching you from afar, so stay alert to their presence as well. The Tunnel Mountain nine, a full-size par-36 layout added in 1989, is considered by locals to be the second hardest nine (after the Sulphur nine, which is the most wind-exposed of the three) on property. The resort itself, first opened in 1888, is a massive, castle-like structure standing 11 stories high that can be glimpsed from numerous holes.
6 things you need to know
1. Best time to go:September, when the course is in great shape at the tail end of the season and the weather is predictably golf-worthy.
2. Daily stay-and-plays start at:$450
3. Golf experience:The 1928 Stanley Thompson-designed stunner will keep you returning to Banff for years with numerous mountain views.
4. Best non-golf amenity:Ride the Banff gondola up Sulphur Mountain for 360-degree views of six mountain ranges.
5. While you're there:Take the 15-minute walk from the resort along the Bow River into downtown Banff for shopping, dining or a drink.
6. Insider tip:Right next to the 15th tee — the original first hole when the course opened — is the Waldhaus Pub & Biergarten. Formerly the clubhouse from 1928 to 1989, it now serves up Bavarian beverages in a comfortable, beer-cellar-type setting.