Tucked away on the side of Sulphur Mountain, a few minutes from town, The Rimrock Resort Banff is an ideal hideaway for those wanting to get away without having to rough it. Banff National Park is one of those magical mountain towns that no matter how many times you visit, it never gets old. Which is why when COVID restrictions were lifted, I decided a little splurge was in order.
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Rimrock Resort Banff
Of all the Banff hotels you could choose from, The Huz has always been a huge fan of this AAA 4 Diamond hotel. The Rimrock Resort Banff is unique in that you check in on the seventh floor and most guest rooms are on the floors below. What you don’t realize until stepping inside, is that the resort is perched on the side of a mountain, affording sweeping views of the Bow Valley.
Forget craning your neck out your hotel window in the hopes of spotting a few snowcapped peaks. Most guest rooms at The Rimrock Resort faces the Rockies. And because of the hotel’s vantage point, guest get these spectacular mountain views, with a carpet of coniferous trees unfurling from the Rundle Mountain range. It’s the kind of spot you’ll want to take any friends or relatives who’ve never been to Banff, to ensure they get to experience these awe-inspiring vistas.
Getting down to practicalities, our grandview guest room featured hardwood floors, which is great because hotel carpets slightly freak me out. Hardwood just feels so much cleaner, you know? And in this new world we’re living in, who doesn’t want to feel extra sanitized?
From our massive king bed, topped with what seemed to be an extra fluffy duvet, we had incredible floor to ceiling views of the snow-capped peaks and the pale aqua ribbon of the Bow River carving its icy path through the valley. Layer that with the oh-so deep bathtub, and you’d be forgiven if you never wanted to leave your room. At least, I hope you’ll forgive me for not wanting to leave mine.
But leave it we must if wanted to keep our dinner reservation. Fret not, I made sure we checked in early enough to enjoy a bottle of wine picnic-style onto of that fluffy bed. Who needs an actual picnic when you can do it bug free?
Eden dining room
Foodies know this, but most of my friends don’t realize Eden dining room, the fine dining restaurant at the Rimrock, is the only AAA/CAA 5 Diamond Award restaurant in Alberta. In fact, it’s currently the only 5 Diamond restaurant west of Ontario.
Yes, the food is posh, but it’s approachable. Like the rest of the resort, Eden sports an elegant, but relaxed feel. While I wore a skirt and cute sweater, The Huz wore jeans with a long sleeve button up.
Currently, Eden is only open 3 nights a week: Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They have this amazing special going on – 4 courses for $100, which of course I went for. Who am I to ignore crazy good value? And if you’d like to celebrate in style with a recent grad, on Sunday evenings they’re offering a 30% discount on the 3-course menu to all 2020 graduates.
Minutes after sitting down with our menus, a champagne trolly rolled up. Obviously I wasn’t going to ignore that. And since it was my birthday, I splurged on a glass of Bollinger. Sinking into my wingback leather chair, sipping my bubbles, I realized this was the first time The Huz and I have been alone together in months. We needed this time.
Sure we could’ve hit any restaurant, but there’s something about dining at a white linen tablecloth restaurant, where bottles of wine peak out of silver tableside buckets and everyone gets their own sommelier. It all adds up to one elevated experience.
I’ve been so cautious during quarantine that I forgot how delightful it is to receive an artful amuse bouche before the start of my meal. I forgot how much I loved the feel of a velvety chicken liver parfait on my tongue. I forgot how excited I’d get to sample new flavours like tempura seaweed and butter infused with hay (more complex and deeper – like goat butter).
I could go on and on about how succulent the scallops topped with a tomato water foam were. Or how the pheasant (I thought would taste gamey), tasted like a hearty chicken with the most incredible skin. As good as the food and drink were, it was how I felt dining at Eden that stayed with me. I felt like myself again. Truth be told, I almost felt like crying. That’s how happy I was to be in a fine restaurant, experiencing new delights.
Other dining options at Rimrock Resort
A little secret I’ve learned from Canmore locals is to head to the Rimrock for their weekly dining special. They have this amazing pasta buffet in the Primrose Dining Room, and currently there’s a steak sandwich deal in the Larkspur Lounge on Wednesday nights. You can score a 7 oz. AAA Alberta Striploin on homemade sourdough with a side for only $17. And their happy hour runs from 4-6pm with $6 glasses of wine, beer, and 1oz spirits.
What else is there to do?
We were too late to make it the spa that night and of course, slept in until almost check out time. That’s a pity because both the spa, fitness center and indoor pool at Rimrock Resort are open. I’m still kicking myself for not taking advantage. Another fail was not getting up early enough to secure an e-bike for the day or half day.
After checking out, we did traipse into town. (The public transit Roam bus is free for hotel guests.) In town, Banff Avenue – the 100 to 200 block – is car free, so we browsed and shopped with plenty of space to spread out.
One of the perks of staying at this resort hotel is the proximity to the Banff Gondola. You can easily walk along the Sulphur Mountain road to the gondola entrance. Of course, you can hike up Sulphur Mountain, too! Budget between an hour and a half to two hours to hike up to the gondola’s viewing platform.
Rimrock room deals
From July through September 30th, 2020 you can get 20% off each night when you stay 2 nights and it’s 25% off each night with 3 or more nights. It’s a worthy splurge for anyone looking for a luxe break in the Canadian Rockies.
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