Christmas at the Castle at Fairmont Banff Springs has always offered the ultimate in Canadian winter wonderland experiences, and many other resorts simply pale by comparison. Luxurious holiday décor is done to the hilt, get-in-the-spirit events for cosy couples or the whole family are plentiful, and the festive food and cocktails are top notch. Here’s what’s new this year; get in on it while you can. —Catherine Dunwoody
entertainment vip style. Only hotel guests get past the velvet rope to these special events at the hotel’s Cascade Ballroom. Jazz Swing Night, Cirque du Fairmont, Boot Scootin’ Night and A Night of Laughs, and admission is free. VIP tickets are available for $100 and include front-row seats for four plus a bottle of wine, or beer for the table. We like a good rockstar treatment, truth be told.
instagrammable moments. The Ramsay Bar has been reimagined by interior designer Cory Christopher to the Thirsty Reindeer holiday bar, complete with indoor and outdoor festive archways that create the perfect frame for a memorable photo op. A new menu of fancy cocktails make it all extra fun. Or, if you hurry, you can book a stay in one of the resort’s exclusive Santa Suites; with custom Christmas décor you’ll be living in your own Hallmark holiday movie.
the north pole. The Gatehouse Foyer has been magically transformed into the North Pole and from now until December 26 kids can get creative with crafts and photos with their favourite Christmas characters.
banff’s hot chocolate trail @ stock. Try the decadent, vegan Triple Hot Chocolate created by executive chef, Atticus Garant.
a christmas carol by carter ryan productions. Check out the live theatre production of this holiday classic right at the hotel until Boxing Day, or Canada the Musical from December 27 to January 8. For show times and to book, click here.
festive flavours. Afternoon holiday high tea in the Riverview Lounge is essential, and yes indeed you will have a glass of champagne with your tier of delectable dainties. The Festive Brunch Buffet served in the Vermillion Room seems like an old-school comfort-food holiday hug.
360-degree dome. Just like it sounds, this outdoor dining venue, dressed up in holiday style, provides 360-degree views of the 134-year-old castle and the Canadian Rockies while you stay toasty warm.
nye celebrations. Bring in 2023 with gala dinner at 1888 Chophouse or Castello Italiana and expect to get some much overdue dancing in, too.