After the short flight from Vancouver to Calgary, our travelling photographer Joann Pai and her friend Tina hit the road to Banff National Park and the Post Hotel managed by the Schwartz family in Lake Louise. She tells us all about her stay at the heart of pristine beauty in Western Canada.
Seeing these imposing mountains so close up was surreal! When we arrived at the Post Hotel in Lake Louise, the Schwartz family gave us the warmest welcome ever. The decor is extremely cozy, with large fireplaces and comfortable couches all over the property. It was hard to work up any enthusiasm for going back out into the cold. But eventually, and not without some reluctance, we extracted ourselves from the super-soft cushions and headed out to explore. As evening fell, we returned to the Post Hotel to relax and warm up.
We went for a swim and a dip in the hot tub, before enjoying a drink by the fire in the piano lounge. To complete the impression of being in a Swiss chalet, the head chef Hans Sauter actually is from Switzerland. We could hardly wait to test out the hotel’s fondue restaurant. And having heard a lot about their impressive wine cellar, I asked for a guided tour. It boasts 25 000 bottles, and more than 2 300 different wines. It’s actually one of the most comprehensive collections in the country. It was hard to decide between the three types of fondue offered here: traditional cheese, fondue chinoise and fondue bourguignonne. Eventually though, the thought of melted cheese won out. After the meal, we retired to our cozy room and spent the rest of the evening chatting by the fire with a bottle of red wine.
Seeing the Canadian Rockies in person was even more impressive than we’d imagined. And the experience was
made even better by the Post House family. There are so many amazing vantage points, lakes and incredible hiking trails around the hotel, but here are our top attractions close to the Post Hotel:
Lake Louise: Its superb turquoise color attracts tourists from all over the world. While we were there, it was entirely frozen and covered in snow.
Emerald Lake: Sublimely beautiful, and much less visited by tourists than Lake Louise. It’s about 15 minutes from the hotel.
Johnston Creek: A short, easy hike that takes you to a waterfall, which was partially frozen when we were there. Such a cool sight! Remember to bring appropriate footwear because the path can be icy in the winter.