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salem ma.
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127 posts
41 reviews
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which restaurants in the Fairmont jasper, lake louise, and Banff have the best scenic views...

I have heard the restaurants are average food and high priced but go for the view

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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1. Re: restaurants

The Fairmont restaurants are expensive, so I haven't eaten at them very many times, but I wouldn't say they have "average" food. Like most places I have eaten that are more expensive, I have found the quality of ingredients to be a step above more moderately priced restaurants, with more attention to presentation. Also the service level/staffing ratio is generally higher. Wine is also a lot more expensive at the Fairmonts; in town, most restaurants will have something in the $30 to $35 range (which is generally about double what you would pay for the same wine in a retail store), whereas at the Fairmont JPL, if I recall correctly (and it has been a couple of years since I have eaten there), the lowest price bottle of wine was in the $40 to $45 range.

The Edith Cavell dining room at the Fairmont JPL is the poshest place to eat in the Jasper area, and has a lovely view.

I haven't eaten at the Chateau Lake Louise or the Banff Springs Hotel, so can't make recommendations for them.

If you can get a window table, the Fiddle River Seafood Company and Papa George's in the Astoria Hotel, in Jasper townsite, both have mountain view. So does the patio at Earl's (chain restaurant).

Newmarket, Canada
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2. Re: restaurants

I have eaten at most of the Fairmont restaurants in the Rockies, so I'll try to offer some insight.

For Jasper, I'll agree with krp, Cavell's is very good. When we last stayed there, the chef even came out personally before and during the meal to discuss our tastes, and did a fabulous job. Taste and presentation were just excellent. They're located on the lower level at the front of the main lodge, so the views, if seated by the window, are toward the lake, but you're not sitting very high up.

For the best view from a restaurant at JPL, you're probably best to go the casual route and get a table at the lounge on the terrace outside. While much more casual than Cavell's, the food is still very good.

Heading south to Lake Louise, I love the Fairview. A table by the window looks out across Lake Louise, which is pretty tough to beat. Food quality is great. It's not cheap, but I normally splurge for one or two meals there each time we're staying at the CLL. Expect to pay about $100 per person for dinner here.

The Walliser Stube is another great choice. It's next to the Fairview, so the view is similarly great. If you like Swiss fondue, then this is your place.

For a more casual experience, the Lakeview Lounge, next to Fairview dining room, shares the great views, still has good food, but offers the casual experience of a lounge. It's a open restaurant to the hallway off the lobby, so if you want a quiet atmosphere, this may not be a good choice. They renovated the lounge last June, so it's got nice new furniture with a refreshed look.

The Poppy Brasserie is basically one floor below the Fairview and Walliser Stube, so it's views are toward the lake, but you're down at ground level. It's definitely more casual than the other restaurants at the CLL.

Continuing south to the Banff Springs, they have several restaurants to choose from.

My favourite restaurant at the BSH actually has no view at all. Castello is probably the smallest restaurant in the hotel, inside an octagonal gazebo where the Stanley Thompson Wing connects to the main building. The views are toward the driveway of the hotel! However, the food is fantastic. I've got reservations to return next month and I'm looking forward to it.

The Waldhaus is a nice option with a view. It's actually down by the bottom of the hill, which might make one think the views are not great, but you are actually set just above the Spray River, looking out to where the Spray intersects with the Bow. It's a lovely setting. This is another good option for schnitzel or fondue. They've refreshed this place in the last year, and I haven't seen it since the update, but again, I've got reservations next month and am looking forward to seeing the changes.

Directly underneath the Waldhaus, is the Waldhaus pub. As the name implies, it's a casual pub, but the food is still very good. I like to relax there with a burger. However, they also have the same great fondue they serve upstairs.

The Banffshire Club is another expensive restaurant, which has excellent food, but absolutely no views. It's in the interior of the hotel, on the mezzanine above the main lobby. Very classy place. Almost as expensive as the Fairview in Lake Louise. I've eaten there once last year. We enjoyed it, but it was a little too formal for my taste.

I've probably eaten more meals in the Rundle Lounge than any other restaurant at the BSH. It's a nice lounge atmosphere, but more upscale than the rustic nature of the Waldhaus pub down the hill. Food is great. If you get a table by the window, you're looking down the river by the golf course with the mountains in the backdrop. Very nice. However, there is a terrace right in front of it, so there could be people walking in front of your window. It's a good size lounge, and some tables are further from the view, but it's nicely laid out in different zones so it feels rather intimate.

All of the menus are available from the Fairmont website, so you can check out the offerings in advance.

Edited: 05 July 2014, 03:35
Newmarket, Canada
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3. Re: restaurants

I forgot to mention the Bow Valley Grill at the Banff Springs in my last post. I've only eaten there once. The food was OK. If you want views, then it does have big windows looking out to the terrace and the valley beyond. However, the restaurant is very large and a bit noisy, and you might not have a table near the windows. For breakfast, they have a very large buffet area. Definitely more casual than other options, but I didn't find it particularly special. You will find more families eating here than other restaurants.

Calgary, Canada
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for Calgary
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4. Re: restaurants

My experience with the restaurants at the Fairmont Banff Springs is similar to DCH's: very good food, excellent service, with prices to match.

I also like the Waldhaus for views. There are six tables in the Waldhaus restauraunt that are tucked away from the main restaurant; three of those are next to the window and have a view of the Bow River Valley rather than the Spray River Valley. The Waldhaus pub also has a patio, probably with the best views of anywhere at the Banff Springs. I've dined at a window table in the Bow Valley Grill and I don't recall the view as being anything special, but as a local, an average mountain view doesn't cut it for me ;-) Also, I don't like the large terrace just outside the windows, although I recall spotting elk there once, which was nice. Rundle Lounge used to get pretty toasty on sunny summer afternoons, although they were talking about making changes to deal with that when I was there last. The terrace outside the lounge is pretty busy with tourists, but the view is good.

If you're interested, there are many other restaurants with great views in the Banff townsite. You'll find a list in this TripAdvisor Traveller Article:


Traveller Articles are written and updated by TA members like you and me, in response to popular forum questions.

5. Re: restaurants

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