This post was originally published on the Travel Alberta website.
The fire is blazing. Its hearth is adorned with fragrant evergreen boughs, crimson ribbon, and sparkling baubles. I gaze beyond the twinkling lights of the spectacular tree to the snow covered Canadian Rockies. Pinch me. I must be dreaming. My daughter’s eyes shine even brighter than my own. After all, Santa has never made an appearance on Christmas morning before.
Carols are playing. Families are nibbling freshly baked banana bread and sipping warm apple cider. Laughter and merriment fill the grand lobby. The elves at the Rimrock Resort Hotel in Banff have outdone themselves. Again.
A very merry Christmas Eve
We arrived yesterday, just in time for the children’s craft session. My husband and daughter made a reindeer, while I took advantage of the gift wrapping service – brilliant, when you’re travelling over the holidays. Before dinner we joined Mrs. Claus and Santa’s elves at the complimentary cocktail hour and Christmas Eve sing-along. Later we sipped mulled wine and listened to holiday readings and carols. Our daughter was most impressed with the hot cocoa and the Rimrock magician. She was no longer worried about Santa finding her here. For how could he miss this magical land of Christmas?
Christmas at the castle
Stockings were opened first thing this morning, but meeting Santa took priority over wrapped presents. So we’ll pop back to the room shortly to exchange gifts. Christmas dinner will be at the Fairmont Banff Springs, a lavish affair with sumptuous turkey dinner buffet and live entertainment. Friends of ours were there last year and raved about Christmas at the Castle. The Kids Club programme (ages 6-13) is fantastic – offering an assortment of fully supervised holiday games, crafts, and activities.
New Years in Lake Louise
For New Year’s we’ll drive to the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. I’ve ordered a pre-decorated tree for our room, to keep us in the holiday spirit. With so many daily festive activities, I expect we’ll all be dreaming of dancing sugar plum fairies. There’s even an ice bar set up on frozen Lake Louise with liqueur laced hot chocolate, ice wine, and sugar pops – hot maple syrup, poured over fresh snow and rolled on a stick. Delicious.
Between ice skating, movie nights, and ping pong in the holiday hangout room, we’ll be well entertained. New Year’s Eve is date night. I’ve arranged a sitter through the concierge. Dining at Fairview. Dancing in Alpine Social. My resolution for next year? Another Canadian Rockies Christmas.