I’ve visited many beautiful national parks throughout Canada and other countries during my travels—I love incorporating days into my trips for hiking, enjoying nature, and of course, taking photos in front of breathtaking backdrops. I’ve had a desire to visit Banff, AB, for a while. I can’t believe it’s a residential town where people actually live in Banff National Park. Can you imagine waking up every morning to picture-perfect mountain views and endless trails and lakes to explore, right in your own backyard? I had to check out this scenic village for a couple days to see what it is all about.

There ended up being so many great things to see and do in Banff that I’ll be following up with a second post on all of the area’s best attractions. For now and am excited to share my recommendations for where to stay and a fun way to tour the area.

Mount Royal Hotel

Located on Banff Avenue in the heart of this quaint town, this modern hotel provides the perfect place to stay if you want to be close to everything Banff has to offer. The decor is gorgeous and cozy—exactly what you would like to see in an upscale hotel.

The hotel offers several different room accommodations depending on what you’re looking for. The Centennial Room View is a great value if you are looking for a standard sized room that still has stunning views of the mountains. They also have Junior Suites which come with kitchenettes, larger living spaces, and views of either the historic Banff Avenue scene or of the breathtaking Tunnel Mountain.

Mount Royal Hotel has also taken a number of safety measures amidst the global pandemic to help guests continue to feel safe during their stays. In addition to requiring face masks when outside your room, they also supply guests with extra cleaning supplies and have trained staff to complete extra-stringent room cleaning protocols in rooms between each guest stay.

Unfortunately due to the pandemic, one of the hotel’s coolest attractions—the rooftop hot tub and lounge—is temporarily closed. While I am disappointed I didn’t get to enjoy this amenity, I know it is what many people rave about when they stay here and would encourage anyone visiting the area to check it out once it’s reopened. All the more reason for me to visit again! Nothing sounds more relaxing than hanging out in a hot tub and taking in awesome mountain views after a long day of adventures.

Mount Royal Hotel - Pursuit - Banff - Canadian Rockies - Open Top Touring - Hotel Bed

Open Top Touring

Staying at the Mount Royal Hotel on Banff Avenue, which has many modern shopping and dining locations but certainly a more historic aesthetic, made me curious to learn more about the history of Banff.

The hotel concierge recommended I check out Open Top Touring, which allows visitors to see the village in style! Specifically, in vintage style. This unique tour bus is modeled after the same 1930s open-top vehicles that people used to tour Banff with back in the day, and it made for one of the coolest bus tours I’ve ever taken. I love how it pays homage to the town’s history both through the sites you see and the means for getting there! This bus tour operates year-round, and the roof will always be open unless there is inclement weather—they use a full glass panel roof when necessary so that you don’t have to miss any views!

This was just the beginning of what turned out to be a truly unforgettable trip. Stay tuned for my recommendations on what to do while you’re visiting Banff! If you can’t wait, a dining recommendation is Farm & Fire!






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