“ Tunnel Mountain / Banff „
We stayed in Hidden Ridge Resort in Banff for three nights at the beginning of our Canadian adventure. It is rated as number 1 on Tripadvisor and for that reason we looked at the hotel as a serious contender for a treat on our Honeymoon. We paid a fairly substantial amount of money to stay there, approximately £90 for the room per night - no food included. We got a better deal on Lastminute.com than via the website directly. The hotel was located on Tunnel Mountain which was a 5 minute drive from Banff centre. There are buses available too if you don't have a car or some crazy folk who we saw walking (very steep though and uphill would have taken at least 45 minutes!).
We had a really nice stay at Hidden Ridge Resort. The rooms were big enough for the two of us and the beds were literally the comfiest I have ever slept in. Upon hearing that this was our honeymoon, a card and bottle of wine were dropped off at our room which was a really nice touch by the hotel staff. Even before check-in I had some issues with the room booking (my own fault) and hotel staff went above and beyond to sort out the issues for me which I was really grateful of. I had basically booked a month too late and only noticed about 2 days before our departure. Having booked through Lastminute.com (who weren't helpful) I experienced a few problems but were totally reassured by the hotel staff that we would have a bed for the night!
There was ample parking outside the room and an underground car park which was an overflow facility, it didn't seem too busy in June though. The wi-fi was good and free and the signal was very strong.
Each room had a full kitchen with an oven, hob, microwaves, plates, cutlery and fridge. It is ideal for self-catering as there is a dining table in each room too. We made the most of this and were able to save some money by making our own breakfast and lunch and evening meal (on some days - other nights we went out for a meal).
The potential down-side to the hotel is that there is no swimming pool but two amazing hot pools with some of the best views you'll ever have from a hot pool (indeed - some of the best views you will EVER see anywhere!).
Being up on Tunnel Mountain felt secluded in a good way and it was only a 5 minute journey down to Banff in the car. Tunnel mountain was a lot quieter than the busy hustle and bustle of Banff town centre and for that reason we really liked it. A lot of hotels in Banff are along the main drag which I suspect could get quite busy and noisy in high season.
One of my favourite things was the wood-burning fireplace and the staff will drop wood off at your room so you can make a fire in your apartment. That was very good fun!
Despite the fact that we liked the hotel and the staff, I did have a number of issues with the hotel for the price that we had paid. I wouldn't say it was the best hotel I had ever stayed in. I filled out the customer comment card and received a very prompt reply from a staff member via e-mail. However, it didn't really solve the issues I had with the property in any way at the time and just assumed that "next time we came back" , the manager would solve the issues we had upon our return journey. It wasn't the outcome we had hoped for. The issues for me were:
1. Lack of anything that resembled English Breakfast Tea. As an English person with a fondness for tea, the green tea, lemon tea and coffee were really not cutting it and I was disappointed that they had provided fancy teas and not a standard English breakfast tea - for the price we had paid a few decent teabags in amongst the fancy stuff would have gone a long way to cheering my face up!
2. The lighting in the room was very poor. The room on the whole was dark and the first thought I had when I walked in was "it feels a bit dismal", all through poor lighting. The decor was fine and the cleanliness of the room was excellent, so it seemed a shame that it felt dismal due to poor lighting. Despite it being very dark, even putting the lights on didn't help - they need much stronger bulbs in the lamps and light fittings. Something so easy to change that would have made such a huge difference to the ambience!
3. The lack of views. The website raves about brilliant views, but sadly we did not get any of them, out of the the front we could see another chalet and out the back you could see the RV park. I mentioned this on my customer comment card and the management suggested I contact them directly in future (which I had already done to ask for a room with a view) to ensure a room with good light and a nice view. I was really disappointed in this aspect of Hidden Ridge - please don't assume all rooms have good views.
Overall, we would stay here again assuming we had a room with good lighting and good views. We liked the hot pools and the staff were really nice as was the cleanliness of the room and the comfy beds. I think we were just slightly disappointed by the ambience of the room given the price we had paid. I was also disappointed with the response we had back from the hotel but am pleased we got a response back from them.