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Rundlestone Lodge 3.0

Banff, Banff National Park, Canadian Rockies

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Quiet and comfortable lodge-style property with nice rustic details 
  • Convenient location that's five-minute drive to downtown
  • Spacious guest rooms with AC, mini-fridges, coffeemakers, and kettles 
  • Bathrooms have Bath & Body Works toiletries
  • Suites add bathrobes and large whirlpool tubs
  • Units with kitchenettes and balconies are available 
  • Indoor lap pool and eight-person whirlpool in lovely skylighted space
  • Established steakhouse serves breakfast and dinner 
  • Contemporary gym with LifeFitness equipment 
  • Business center with webcams and two meeting rooms
  • Coin-operated laundry and free bike rentals
  • Free heated underground parking and Wi-Fi throughout 

Cons

  • Not within walking distance of downtown 
  • Bathrooms are in need of an update
  • Fee for breakfast
  • No pets allowed (pro for some) 

Bottom Line

A 20-minute walk from downtown, the mid-range Rundlestone Lodge is on the eastern edge of town near several of the area's budget properties. Nature-themed decor and lots of knotted pine wood throughout give this spot a comfortable lodge vibe, though some aspects, like the bathrooms, skew dated. The 98 guest rooms here have AC, flat-screen TVs with DVD players, coffeemakers, kettles, and free Wi-Fi, and some feature whirlpool tubs and balconies. Highlights among features include an on-site steakhouse that serves a generous breakfast buffet for an extra charge, and an indoor lap pool and whirlpool in a light-filled space. For about the same rates, you can book next door at the Caribou Lodge & Spa, though the guest rooms will be noticeably smaller. 

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Scene

Quiet lodge-style property with a relaxed vibe and cozy, rustic decor   

This hotel does a better job than most of nailing the look of an authentic rustic lodge. There are typical angled roofs, smooth stone surfaces, and knotted wood beams, but extra touches like stuffed birds, paper pulp lampshades with pine tree silhouettes, and a gigantic Rundle Rock fireplace drive home the cozy vibe. It's a particularly quiet property thanks to the bomb shelter-like insulation between the walls. The first bricks here were laid in the early '90s, and new wallpaper and carpeting was added 2014, but the hotel hasn't had a full renovation since 2002. Still, it's pleasant and comfortable, and although some elements are dated, they don't stand out against the rest of the decor. The outlier in terms of design is Bumpers Beef House, the hotel's breakfast and dinner restaurant. It's a modern space with sleek black-and-white metallic prints, laminate hardwood floors, and a chic stretch of an electric fireplace. The hotel mainly attracts couples, but some families with kids tend to stay here, too. 

Location

On the eastern side of Banff Avenue's hotel row, 20-minute walk to downtown

Rundlestone Lodge is on the eastern side of Banff Avenue next to the Voyager Inn, about a 20-minute walk or five-minute drive to the concentration of restaurants, shops, and action in the downtown area. There are plenty of hotels on Banff Avenue offering restaurants within closer walking distance, and most trailheads are within about a five-minute drive. A local bus to Sulphur Mountain stops a half-block down from the hotel and drops off across the street, and the free shuttle to the Banff Gondola and Upper Hot Springs (which returns from the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel) is just a 13-minute walk. 

  • Eight-minute drive to the Banff Pedestrian Bridge
  • Eight-minute drive to Cave and Basin
  • Nine-minute drive to the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
  • 11-minute drive to the Banff Upper Hot Springs
  • 12-minute drive to Lake Minnewanka (33 minutes by bus)
  • 12-minute drive to the Banff Gondola
  • 25-minute drive to Canmore
  • 43-minute drive to Lake Louise
  • 90-minute drive to Calgary Airport

Rooms

Spacious with flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and coffeemakers; some have balconies  

The spacious and comfortable guest rooms at Rundlestone Lodge have a more contemporary look than the hotel's common areas. Warm browns and beiges are used throughout, and there's wall-to-wall carpeting and wood furniture with an amber finish. Crushed-velvet bed runners and wooden headboards carved with silhouettes of Mount Rundle are a nice touch. Although rooms are mostly similar in style, there are marked differences, and it can be hard to distinguish what they are within room categories. Some have more dated elements, like fussy lace curtains and floral-print upholstered armchairs, while others come with varied amenities like balconies or en-suite bathroom vanities. 

Creature comforts are a plus in all, with 42-inch flat-screen TVs with cable and DVDs, independently controlled AC (a big plus) and heating, mini-fridges, coffeemakers, electric kettles, hairdryers, irons and ironing boards, and free Wi-Fi. Bathrooms are a drawback, however. They're stocked with Bath & Body Works toiletries, but they're due for an update, with older shower/tub combos and fixtures. 

Standard Rooms come with king beds, views of the leafy indoor pool area, and a decent amount of natural light. Two Queen Pool View Rooms are an upgrade, but they tend to be slightly darker and more dated. All Premium rooms are the same size, but the Premium Kings appear larger because they have comfy seating areas instead of the extra beds found in the Premium Two Queens. All suites here have king-size beds, including the romantic King Jacuzzi Suite, which also has a gas fireplace, living room space with a love seat, and a two-person peek-a-boo whirlpool tub with view out a large window. They also add robes and separate walk-in showers. 

Families traveling together or folks that just want more space and self-catering amenities should check out the Loft Kitchenette Suites (One-, Two-, or Three-Bedroom) which have microwaves, larger mini-fridges with freezers, two-burner cooktops, and dining tables and chairs. All Loft Kitchenette Suites have the same layout, but different bed configurations; One-Bedrooms contain loft king beds and pullout sofas below; Two-Bedrooms replace pullout sofas with extra beds, and Three-Bedrooms have beds on the lower floors and two twins up in lofts. Loft Suites are also the most rustic of the bunch. 

Features

Well-rounded features including an indoor lap pool, steak house, and ample freebies

Rundlestone Lodge has a solid lineup of features and some nice extras. Bumpers Beef House in an established steak house that's on-site, which has choice cuts of meat and a salad bar on the dinner menu, and serves hot breakfast buffet and range of cold items for an extra charge. 

Another highlight is the heated indoor pool area, and the hotel clearly put thought into making it feel like it's outside by installing skylights and artificial landscaping (which is also a plus for the pool-facing guest rooms). The pool is 45 feet long, so guests can swim laps and then soak muscles in the eight-person hot tub, which occupies the same space. There's also a fitness center with a decent selection of LifeFitness equipment for a good workout, plus locker rooms with showers. 

There's a two-computer business center with a printer and webcams with headsets located by the front desk (you can also peep at the bus schedules here), and meeting space for up to 75 people, with electric fireplaces, stone tile walls, and catering services. Guest laundry is coin-operated and there's detergent vending machines, plus a folding table and washing sink. Playpens, cribs, and highchairs are available on request. The hotel doesn't allow pets, but ample freebies include infused water in the lobby, bikes and DVDs to borrow, heated underground parking with a ski waxing and locker area, and high-speed Wi-Fi throughout.

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Address

537 Banff Avenue, P.O. Box 489, Banff, Canadian Rockies T1L 1A6, Canada

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