Last month I was invited to celebrate the birthday of a long time friend in Banff. It was the ultimate girls weekend that, while glamorous, resembled what would have happened in Bridesmaids if they had actually made it to Vegas. Luckily we all came out unscathed (thank you spa days and Tylenol!) and I came out with a new blog post to help you make the most of your weekend away in one of Canada’s most luxurious places.
This is probably the most important part therefore I thought I would start with outfits. I don’t think I'm alone when I say this: as soon as I book a trip, the first thing I think is “What am I going to wear?”
That is not a simple question to answer. There are a million what-if scenarios that could happen during a trip that start racing through my mind. For example, “What if it’s cold the whole time I'm there?”, conversely, “What if it’s hot the whole time?”. And “What if I'm out for dinner and I spill something on my outfit and I need to change?”
I sadly am an over-packer for this reason but I am breaking it down to 12 staple items that could take you through your weekend regardless of unforeseen weather or spills ..... give or take a couple pairs of tights.
Where to Stay
We decided on the Moose Hotel and Suites for many reasons.
The Moose Hotel and Suites is the newest addition to the Banff Lodging Co. which meant the grounds were sprawling with brand new, modern furnishings.
Their suites were luxurious and functional. Upgrading to a suite from a typical hotel room is one of my most highly recommended tips as they come packed with more space, beds, and often times, amenities.
The Moose Hotel and Suites are part of a team of cooperative hotels, restaurants, and spas so we were able to explore other facilities knowing we would enjoy the same standard of quality as our hotel.
Their list of cooperative hotels, restaurants, and spas are employee owned. This means the Moose Hotel employees we interacted with had a genuine interested in ensuring our stay was perfect (and believe me, it was!).
The location to downtown was another bonus to staying at this hotel. If it wasn’t -30C the majority of the time, we would have gladly walked everywhere.
I highly recommend the Moose Hotel for a girls weekend, romantic get-away, or family vacation. For a list of their other Banff hotels, make sure to check out their website.
Where to Eat
Since we all came from different areas of Canada we all flew into Calgary and drove into Banff together. On our way out we stopped at Bro’kin Yolk which had innovative food and beverage options. My favorite was the mini white chocolate lavender waffles and lavender latte.
We typically ate breakfast here during our stay as it was located in the Moose Hotel but also because it was downright delicious. I would recommend the eggs benedict (sub bacon instead of ham). The best part about breakfast here was that lattes or cappuccinos were only an additional $1.00 on the weekend with the purchase of your breakfast. I’ll take 2 please!
Lunch and Dinner:
The Bison had a very intimately curated menu. The charcuterie is one of the best I’ve had and also one of the biggest so make sure you are sharing between at least 3-4 people.
The wine menu had some great options. We went with the Lake Breeze Meritage, as suggested by our server, and it really complimented the charcuterie board.
I booked this restaurant specifically for the private room because let’s be honest, 12 girls together over food and wine does not make for quiet dinner conversation. The menu was full of rich and delicious items that are perfect for personal meals and shareables. The wine list was enormous so if you are a wineo, this is definitely a place to check out. My favourite dish was the brussel sprouts and bacon appetizer.
What to Do:
Skiing at Sunshine Mountain was something I was both excited for and dreaded at the same time. I have only been snowboarding once before and it ended really badly to say the least. I decided as a New Years resolution to go out of my comfort zone and try something I have never done before, skiing!
I’m happy to report that this experience was awesome. Through this activity, there are also a couple things I learned. So if you are someone who has never tried skiing or snowboarding before and you think it might be time to try, this is for you.
You have to commit. As in fashion, confidence is key.
Get a lesson. I opted for a private lesson because I wanted to build strong foundational skills and didn’t want to be in a class with 13-year-olds that were exceptionally better than me. In this lesson they taught me how to control my speed which was great because before the lesson I just assumed you aimed your skis the way you want to go and just well….went.
If you want to get good video footage, bring a go pro. Unfortunately I did not think about this before we left, and when I went to get video evidence of my expert skiing skills, my phone froze. IPhones…. Gotta love em!
For some much-needed rest and relaxation, we were lucky enough to have Meadows Spa in our hotel. I opted for the Ultimate Body Experience which is a combination of a full body relaxation massage and body peel. I highly recommend this treatment since my skin has never felt more nourished (ask for Jess!).
With endless possibilities for the avid explorer, we really had to narrow down our list of activities due to the short time we were there (only the weekend). Unfortunately we did not have time to go on the Johnston Canyon Ice Walk tour or to the Canadian Rockies Hot Springs, which I have done in the past and would totally suggest.
On Thursday we ventured out on the town and found Hoodoo Lounge. I was surprised to find this urban underground club-like atmosphere in Banff, but the vibe was just what we were looking for to get the weekend started. The music ranged from rap to dance to some serious dub step by the end of the night.
When I first heard the name of this place I was a little hesitant. My initial thought was literally big hairy men dancing around but it was anything but that. On Saturday night we were fortunate enough to reserve bottle service for our group. In my opinion, it is a must when travelling in a large group. It gives you the opportunity to have your own booth and you don't have to wait at the bar to order each drink. The Dancing Sasquatch offers bottle service and private booth packages which is perfect for any group celebration.
I hope that this guide serves as a helpful tool for your future vacation planning. I know I just left, but I am already excited to plan my next adventure. Where to next? Not sure, you'll just have to come back soon and find out! Until next time....
Life and Style. Wear with Confidence.