Buffalo Mountain Lodge, Banff, is snuggled up against the gentle slopes of Tunnel Mountain in Banff National Park. Espousing the traditional values of the classic ski lodge, Buffalo Mountain Lodge’s 108 rooms all have fitted stone fireplaces, and furniture that has been custom crafted from stunning cherry wood, knotty pine and bent willow. Even the copper and glass light fixtures call to mind the opulence of old world inns. However, Buffalo Mountain Lodge, like Banff itself, is much more than a winter resort. It attracts visitors year round who come, not just for skiing and snowboarding, but for hiking, golfing, white water rafting, mountain climbing and—especially on the gentle slopes of Tunnel Mountain—mountain biking.
About the Area
Tunnel Mountain was forever known as Sleeping Buffalo, a name given it by the native Stoney people, doubtless because when viewed from the north and east, a sleeping buffalo is exactly what the smallest mountain in the region resembles. However, when the Canadian Railway Company was plotting a course through the area, an engineer decided it would save time if a tunnel was drilled through the small mountain, and the blasting and drilling work was actually started. When the head of the railway found out that building such a tunnel might cause a delay of up to a year in the completion of the railway, he let it be known in no uncertain terms that the tunnel was out of the question, and he went so far as to vocalise his concern about the sanity of the engineer who had come up with the idea. The tunnel was filled in, and the railway was routed around the slopes, rather than through them. At the time, surveyor Charles Shaw referred to the idea of the tunnel as the “most extraordinary blunder I have ever known in the way of engineering.” Though the idea of the tunnel was permanently abandoned, the name Tunnel Mountain has remained to this day.
The main lodge at Buffalo Mountain Lodge complements its setting perfectly, blending in as if it had grown on the Tunnel Mountain slopes, rather than having been built there. Constructed from square timber, posts and beams, the high ceiling and simple yet elegant design make guests feel immediately as if they have come home.
Each of the 108 rooms is comfortably furnished and spacious, and all come with the following as standard:
- Balcony or patio, from which to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the area
- Wood burning stone fireplaces (in every room!) with complimentary firewood delivered daily
- Private bath with bathroom amenities
- Bedrooms all have cozy feather pillows and duvets
- Cable TV
- Coffee maker
- Iron and ironing board
- Hair dryer
- Clock radio
There are three different types of accommodation at Buffalo Lodge.
- Lodge Rooms are configured with two double beds, or a king or queen bed
- Buffalo Suites offer two double beds or one king in a private bedroom separate from the living area. A small kitchenette has facilities including stove, refrigerator and microwave. Most suites also come with an extra queen size pull-out sofa bed.
- Premier Rooms offer either one king or two queen beds, and feature a stunning bathroom which contains an old-fashioned bear claw footed bathtub, as well as separate shower stall. The slate floors are heated for the ultimate in comfort.
Dining at Buffalo Lodge
Now you’re talking! The Sleeping Buffalo Restaurant and Lounge reminds visitors of what real, natural food should and can taste like. Ingredients like naturally grown root vegetables, indigenous berries and wild fruits (we got them before the grizzlies did), and roasted wild game all feature in Sleeping Buffalo’s signature dishes. Open from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily, this comfortable, relaxed dining room offers full service for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They also boast an award winning wine list, which features the finest Canadian, French, Australian and Chilean wines, to name but a few.
If it’s summer, and you’ve brought the kids along, try out Buffalo Lodge’s Cilantro Restaurant. They only open for July and August, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily, but they use a wood-fired oven which produces mouth watering, must have, flat bread pizzas. They also do a fine selection of pasta dishes, as well as an exceptional variety of ala carte courses sure to please any palate.
When booking your stay at Buffalo Mountain Lodge, be sure to check out any available special offers. There’s always something going on, and great value to be had. Watch for promotions like the Canadian Rockies Bed and Breakfast Special, or the Gourmet Getaway. The latter features one night’s accommodation in Buffalo Mountain Lodge, a full, hot Canadian cooked breakfast, and a three course gourmet dinner at the Sleeping Buffalo Restaurant.