Deer Lodge Lake Louise: Where to stay near the lake

When arriving at Lake Louise, it’s impossible to overlook massive Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise planted directly at the lake shore. However, en route to the lake, you’ll drive directly past the much more modest, historic, and beautiful Deer Lodge, operated by Canadian Rockies Mountain Resorts. This is where you want to be.

deer lodge

Why? Deer Lodge is fits its surroundings perfectly: its log-hewn buildings nestle against a backdrop of evergreen, its wooden deck overlooks the single road to the lake, and its stone chimney puffs woodsmoke, reminding visitors that just inside lies a cozy sitting room with stone fireplace. And it’s still lakeside: guests can walk to Lake Louise in under five minutes.

It’s the lodge that should sit on the lakeshore, calling to mind the storied mountaineering history of the Banff Lake Louise area. During summer, guests can sit out on the deck under shade umbrellas, and in autumn or winter, the craggy mountain views from the rooftop hot tub absolutely cannot be beat. The hotel is aged, to be sure (expect the usual quirks of an old building, including creaks and temperamental heating and plumbing), but with age comes charm you won’t find elsewhere in small Lake Louise.

Deer Lodge

Amenities:

The Deer Lodge sitting room is the place to be in the evening before dinner; sit by the fire with a good book, or play a game of chess or checkers by the windows. There’s also a smaller sitting room with a piano guests are permitted to play, and a game room downstairs featuring a pool table and the lodge’s only TV (complete with couches and DVD library).

Deer Lodge fireplace

The best feature of Deer Lodge has to be its hot tub: situated on the roof, it’s nothing fancy, but its simplicity is breathtaking. The views of the surrounding mountains are amazing, and the crisp air feels great as you soak. Guests will find hooks to hang their towels on, and changing rooms downstairs below the hot tub access. During our autumn visit, the hot tub was open 10 am to 11 pm; seasonal hours apply.

Deer Lodge hot tub

Rooms:

Rooms at Deer Lodge are modest, but there is a newer addition to the building with larger floor plans. Either way, expect a lack of TVs in the rooms, though guests do enjoy free wifi. Our room featured a shower with tub and plenty of counter and sink space in the bathroom, and a nicely sized balcony. The only amenity I wished we had was a mini fridge; I didn’t mind the lack of a TV, but could have used the ability to store leftover food and snacks.

Deer Lodge

Dining:

The dining room at Deer Lodge is excellent. We loved the atmosphere in the evening–cozy yet elegant–and the food is outstanding. It’s also expensive, so look for the lounge menu, which is available even when dining in the main dining room. Breakfast is served as well, though still pricey; out of practicality, families may opt to walk the short distance to the Fairmont to pick up muffins and other bakery goods at their quick service coffee shop. (It’s also possible to pick up sandwiches here to take with you for a picnic.)

From Deer Lodge, hiking at and around Lake Louise is only steps away (don’t bother with your car) or Banff is only a 30-45 minute drive.

Distance from the interstate:

Deer Lodge is located just minutes from Highway 93 (Icefields Parkway).

Room rates:

At the time of our visit, room rates for a standard room were listed at approximately $125. Rates vary by season.

Directions:

From 93, take the Lake Louise exit and stay on Lake Louise Drive. The lake (and Deer Lodge) is approximately 4 km up the road.

As I disclose whenever applicable, we experienced Deer Lodge as guests of the resort, for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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