The kind folks at OAD and Fairmont Hotels invited me to experience their luxury winter sport offering in Jasper National Park. I had never been to Canada before and since I had heard and seen many beautiful stories, I jumped at the opportunity to visit. OAD offers flight, transfer, skipass plus hotel packages to both the Banff and Jasper areas, but the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge stood out as the most ‘true Canadian experience’ to me.
THE LOCATION //
The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is situated in Alberta’s spectacular Jasper National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A year-round luxury mountain resort, the JPL, as locals referred to it, turned out to be the perfect starting point to experience everything that the Jasper National Park has to offer. Although I can imagine that people just stay at the resort and enjoy everything on offer there!
It starts with the scenery of the 700 acre resort along Athabasca River, which is simply breath taking. With the river on one side and a mountain ridge on the other, the view is spectacular in every direction. I have never stayed at a resort with its own lake, let alone two lakes! Our cabin was situated at the shores of Lac Beauvert and although golf lovers will marvel at the beautiful golf course that loops around the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, I especially fell in love with the beautiful ice rink on Lake Mildred. The resort is pet friendly and I enjoyed seeing people walk their dogs on the picturesque paths throughout the resort enjoying the snow.
THE HOTEL //
The Main Lodge is the heart of the resort, with most restaurants, the spa and the lovely outdoor swimming pool, but most guests stay in chalets and lodges spread out over the property. We walked everywhere and guests with cars can just park at their rooms. There is always the option to be picked up and dropped off by the staff.
Our lake front cottage room along Lac Beauvert had a very comfortable king bed, a bathroom with marble details and Le Labo amenities. I love the little personalized details like my name on the packaging. The seating area had a bit of a retro vibe with green velvet couch and wood paneling.
We also got to see one of the newly renovated gorgeous Ridgeline Cabins. Perched on a hill looking towards the Athabasca River, the three bedroom and four bathroom villa offered everything one could wish for: a full kitchen, washer and dryer and a huge outdoor barbecue that the boyfriend loved. A special feature was the mirror above the fireplace, which turned out to have a large television hidden behind it.
There’s a breadth of activities at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, from renting a pair of ice skates and enjoying the ice rink on Lake Mildred to gazing at the moon and stars, while standing around a bonfire drinking hot chocolates and nibbling on smores at the resort planetarium.
We also thoroughly enjoyed the outdoor adventure tours and hikes, especially the wildlife tour where we saw the first moose of our lives (so big that they make horses look tiny) and the walk in Maligne Canyon, where I marveled at the frozen waterfalls. And not to forget the fantastic skiing at Marmot Basin.
THE SPA //
The spa offers many treatments to soothe and pamper your muscles after a day on the slopes of nearby Marmot Basin. I loved hanging out in the outdoor pool and hot tub, even when the temperature got below -20 Celsius. As a girl from the lowlands, I loved laying in the pool, enjoying the view towards Pyramid Mountain and other spectacular mountains around the valley.
THE FOOD //
There are plenty of food options at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Starting the day with breakfast at Orso with a window seat, overlooking Lac Beauvert as the sun rose, was a joy each day. We were out and about Jasper National Park or skiing at Marmot Basin during the day time, so we only had a quick stop for baguettes at Fitzhugh’s To Go and a soup at the Emerald Lounge. Dinners at the Emerald Lounge and at the Nook Chophouse were wonderful, with the boyfriend loving the elk and bison and me feasting on the lobster croquettes.
We absolutely dreaded the day we had to leave but I definitely want to see the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in the summer! And the other Fairmont properties in Banff and Lake Louise look wonderful as well… oh Canada, we will be back!