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“Stunning - an exceptional experience”
Review of Lake O'Hara Lodge

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Lake O'Hara Lodge
Vancouver, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Stunning - an exceptional experience”
Reviewed 10 September 2011

It is difficult to be objective about Lake O'Hara Lodge. The setting is incomparable, jaw-droppingly spectacular, and is overwhelming. It's easy to see why people who have been here get misty-eyed at the mention. The lodge facilities are rustic and simple, and would warrant a far lower price, yet every detail has been thought out, and the service is exceptional. The food quality and variety is also exceptional, particularly given the challenging location. Lake O'Hara Lodge is very, very expensive, but we felt that we got value, and would unhesitatingly recommend it to anyone looking for an extra-special experience in the Canadian Rockies.

  • Stayed September 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Architectandmusician
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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61 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
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  • English first
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English first
Regina, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
100 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2011

We started to visit Lake O'Hara Lodge in the winter over 25 years ago. We loved it so much, two years later we decided to come in the summer as well. We have stayed at the Lodge every year since then. Winter and summer are much different experiences. The winter is much more intimate with maximum of 16 guests. However, the beauty of this area in the summer and the accessibility of mountain hiking to ordinary folks, is unsurpassed. We no longer make a winter visit but wouldn't miss coming in the summer.
This is what a back country lodge experience should be. The rooms and cabins are comfortable, the food is outstanding, including catering to food allergies, and the service is
personal and friendly. This is such a positive experience! Thanks Bruce and Allison and all the staff!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank boone52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary
Level 6 Contributor
153 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2011

Second time and we will be back next year. Service and ambience were great. Clientele and staff are all enthusiastic hikers and climbers and very free with good advice. We stayed for 3 nights / 3 days in the lodge which has 8 rooms (7 doubles and 1 single) with shared bathrooms (M&F separate) but had no trouble getting in for shower or bath. There are also separated cabins.
Food was great and wine list which has only BC wines as variety enough for everyone to be satisfied.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank BabyboomerCalgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arlington, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
162 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2011

The Lake O'Hara Lodge is not for everyone (and not just because of its great expense). It offers unprecedented access to some of the most beautiful alpine trails in the Canadian Rockies. I can't imagine going there and not hiking, although I suppose some people do. It is fairly small--only about 60 guests at a time. That's partly why it's difficult to get a reservation (keep trying and be flexible in your dates). It is a back country lodge, not a commercial resort. It caters to those who enjoy nature and want a quiet, low key retreat. It makes a heroic effort to be as green as possible--no mean feat given its isolation--and that costs money, as do the four meals a day included in the price of your stay. We met people there who were on their 5th, 10th, even 40th visit to the Lodge. Stay once and you'll understand why.
This was our second visit and we enjoyed our lakeside cabin both times: rustic, but with a very comfortable bed, separate thermostat for the bathroom, so you could dry damp clothes, front porch facing the lake. We found the food to be uniformly excellent--inventive menus for breakfast and dinner, delicious sandwich choices and accompaniments for the trail lunches, wonderful sweets for the afternoon tea (we made sure we were back for that each day of our stay). The staff was cheerful, efficient, and helpful. We particularly appreciated the extra distance they went to get us our lost luggage as quickly as possible (they had to make a special trip to Lake Louise to pick it up once the airline finally found and delivered it). And we were able to rummage through their considerable collection of cast-off gear to get temporary replacements for our own.
The Lodge is a special-occasion venue for us--we've now celebrated our 20th and 25th wedding anniversaries there. It's an indulgence, but considering all you get in terms of location, comfort, food, and service, it delivers good value for the expense if a back country lodge experience is what you're looking for.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Sudbury9122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2011

Stayed at Lake O'Hara for three nights in late June. This was likely my 7'th time at O'Hara and once again the lodge did not disappoint. The setting is out of this world. The food at the lodge was great and the staff always friendly. If you like the Mountaints and very un-crowded hiking this is the place to go. It is worth every penny!

Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Travellingfamily287
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2011

After reading reviews on Lake O Hara, I feel compelled to explain what our-of province visitors may not understand about the place. First - the Lake O Hara region is one of the most beautiful, stunning places in the world. Second - If you want to spend the night in the area you have three options: Camping, huts, and the lodge. If you enjoy camping and don't mind mosquitoes, noisy campers or rain, camping is a logical choice and quite economical. The huts keep you away from mosquitoes and out of the rain but they are available by lottery in the summer and it takes quite a bit of luck to get in! You cook in a communal kitchen and use the outdoor toilets. If these two options are too rustic for you that leaves the lodge. There are more than a few people who believe the cabins and rooms in the lodge are worth the money - for that reason, it's hard to get in. The high price is a reflection of the demand - it's simply the only accommodation choice with indoor plumbing, a restaurant, and linens.

Frankly, we are among those who can't afford the lodge in the summer, but we have skied
the road in during the winter months. The lodge is a lovely, gracious old building run by a wonderful Canadian couple who aren't getting rich by running the place. They are extremely attentive to all their guests and work to provide the best experience possible in this exceptional setting.

When I read the negative reviews I have to shudder - certainly these people were expecting some kind of 5 star urban hotel experience - this is a backcountry lodge situated in a place you can't drive your car to. If it pains you so much not to have the luxuries of the city, then this place is not for you. But for those who love nature, hiking, lakes and mountains and are too old or infirm to stay in a tent, get in line and see if a room opens up for you.

Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
17 Thank Maria-Enrique
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tel Aviv
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2011

I cannot review the hotel. I am sure it is a very nice. I can tell you that I tried booking a room on Feb. 2010 for Aug. 2010 and was informed it was too late for that summer. I immidiately tried to reserve a room for Aug. 2011 - surely I was not late for that. My request was registered but they said I should wait for Dec 2010 - that is when they make the reservations for the summer. I called again Dec. but they did not have an answer for me yet. It seems they give priority to people who have already been to the lodge before. on Jan. I received a polite rejection - they did not have a room for me. It is a shame that the only hotel by the beautiful lake - which is a Canadian nature treasure - is run like a private members club.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
    • Service
Helpful?
29 Thank Danizel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
abmillar, Manager at Lake O'Hara Lodge, responded to this review, 20 April 2011
Thank you for taking the time to comment. We can certainly appreciate your frustration with trying to secure a reservation at Lake O'Hara Lodge. We are a small, seasonal operation and the demand exceeds availability particularly during the months of July and August. We do give booking priority to our long term, repeat clientele who have continued to support our business over the years, through the good and tough economic times. That said, we welcome and appreciate the new guests who grace our door every season; they continue to be a significant portion of our clientele.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Lake O'Hara Lodge

Property: Lake O'Hara Lodge
Address: 2nd Ave., Yoho National Park, British Columbia V0A 1G0, Canada
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Kootenay Rockies > Yoho National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 9 Speciality Lodging in Yoho National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 23
Also Known As:
Lake o`Hara Hotel Field
Lake o Hara Lodge

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