At the end of March, I was fortunate to visit Alberta’s Jasper National Park for the first time in quite a few years, with my significant other. With the timing, we knew we would be caught a bit between the winter and spring seasons, but there is no bad time for a weekend away in the mountains.
To enhance the experience, I was able to arrange accommodation for us at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, a place I’d visited only once before as a kid, long before my travel hacking days.
Read on to see what I thought of this luxurious mountain lodge!
Booking the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
This was a relatively last-minute booking, in which I was able to snag two nights in a King Room at a favorable industry rate of $199 per night, which I thought was a fantastic deal for a Fairmont property.
As an Accor Gold Member (acquired via the now devalued Ibis Business Card), I decided to push my luck and email the hotel concierge and manager, requesting if any suites were available for upgrade. We were in luck as Violette emailed me back the same day and confirmed we’d been given a complimentary upgrade to a Junior Suite.
The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is located in the heart of Jasper National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Canadian Rockies. The resort sits on the shores of Lac Beauvert and is surrounded by stunning mountain views and pristine wilderness.
Jasper Park Lodge is approximately a 3.5-hour drive from Edmonton, Alberta, and 4.5 hours from Calgary, Alberta. The location offers central access to a range of outdoor activities and is about a 5 minute drive from the town of Jasper itself.
I find parking is always very straightforward at Fairmont properties (and is rarely an extra charge as is the case with most hotel chains). The Fairmont JPL was no exception.
There were 3 large parking lots (P1, P2, P3) available for all guests, in addition to smaller first-come-first-serve parking lots located beside each group of cabins. We didn’t manage to get a spot in the closest parking lot until the second day, but even parking in P1/P2 was just a quick jaunt from our cabin.
The main lodge was easy enough to find with lots of signage and contained the lobby and most of the hotel amenities. The interior of the building itself was updated and gorgeous.
At the check-in front desk we were expedited through the Accor priority line, but somehow the hotel staffer had no idea of our aforementioned suite upgrade. In fact, he immediately tried to tell us there were no suites available and that even though we were Accor Gold, we wouldn’t be upgraded. It wasn’t until I showed the email from the week prior from Violette that he magically was able to disappear into the back room and return with a suite ready for us.
We all know that hotels have some suspicious practices (and I’m sure some of it is justifiable), but I couldn’t help but smirk at seeing this deception happen so explicitly.
Moving on, we were given a nice welcome package including a map of the property and informed that we could call the hotel at any time to be chauffeured around on a cart.
I actually forgot about the complimentary beverage given to Gold members at check-in but was able to go back and get this the next day.
As a Gold member, we also received a nice welcome gift of a blanket, a fruit basket, and some savory dark chocolate delivered to our room. This was a nice touch.
The blanket was surprisingly good quality too, I am still using it on my living room couch these days.
Room – Junior Suite Fireplace Grant House
We stayed in room 437, which is one of the ‘Grant’ cabins, located on the northern part of the property near Mildred Lake.
The exterior of the room, a 425 square foot Junior Suite, definitely gave off a lake-cabin feel. These suites feature two rooms, including the main bedroom and a separate sitting/lounging room with a fireplace and couch.
As you enter the suite you are immediately greeted with the lounging/sitting area, which was quite spacious for a couple.
The couch was apparently a sofa bed, however, we never confirmed this. The TV had no streaming services, and the Chromecast was not working. Additionally, most channels were not available. This is definitely something that could be improved but of little consequence for our stay as we didn’t come to the mountains to watch TV.
The main attraction of this room was certainly the fireplace, which we were able to get going with great difficulty due to a few oversights on the part of the hotel staff. Mainly there wasn’t enough kindling and the logs were all quite large, not ideal for starting a fire. We were also only provided with a matchbox rather than a lighter, with only 2 matches left inside to boot…
I was able to have this easily rectified with a quick call to the concierge, but it still seemed like a pretty simple oversight of something that should be routine in-room preparation.
Moving on, the bedroom was located through a narrow hallway with a closet for jackets and a safe.
Besides the spacious and comfortable King bed, the bedroom also had a TV and credenza.
I found most of the suite definitely showed its age, with the wallpaper, trim, and carpet designs (and even the TVs).
However, it was a nice surprise to discover that the ensuite bathroom was updated. It included a sizable walk-in shower, with no bathtub.
Unfortunately, I missed getting pictures of the toilet, but I’d rate it a moderate 1.4/2.
Outdoor Heated Pool
The outdoor heated pool is a popular spot for guests to unwind and take in the beautiful surroundings. There is also a hot tub adjacent to the pool for relaxation. This pool is open year-round from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
We visited the pool in the evening on a fairly cold night and although it took some time to adjust to the water temperature, it was definitely a highlight of the evening.
Together, the gym and outdoor pool at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge are referred to as the ‘Health Club’. The fitness center itself is accessed on the left after entering through the main entrance of the health club. It is open 24/7.
There are also several group fitness classes offered through the health club to guests of the hotel. View the Fairmont JPL website for a current schedule of classes.
The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge houses a dedicated spa that is apparently renowned in quality (but also priced accordingly). You can book treatments on the hotel’s website.
Restaurants & Bars
There are several different options for dining at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, ranging from fine dining to grab-and-go.
The Great Hall Gastropub and Emerald Lounge
As you enter the main lodge at the Fairmont, you can’t miss the Emerald Lounge, the hotel’s lobby bar which offers all-day dining and even lake views if you’re seated in the right spot.
We enjoyed several cocktails midday Saturday at the Emerald Lounge, including our two complimentary cocktails courtesy of Accor Gold status.
The cocktails were well-made and refreshing.
Adjacent to the Emerald Lounge is the Great Hall Gastropub, which offers a more traditional dining option. We ate both breakfast and dinner here, which included eggs benedict and a venison shepherd’s pie.
Both were as delicious as they look.
Orso Trattoria is a classic Italian fine-dining restaurant located on the lower level of the main lodge. It offers a view out over the beautiful lake and has outdoor patio seating as well.
Orso Trattoria requires reservations and offers a breakfast, brunch, and dinner menu. We didn’t eat here during our stay so can’t comment in much detail but the dinner experience looked tasty with 3-course and 5-course options.
Fitzhugh’s Fine Foods
In the lower level of the main lodge is a grab-and-go snack place called Fitz’s Fine Foods. They have a curated selection of gourmet snacks, grocery staples, beer, and wine to choose from.
There is no shortage of activities to partake in at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, both in the winter and summer seasons.
Winter Activity Center
Located at the golf clubhouse in the Winter season, the Winter Activity Center is a hub for the variety of winter activities you can partake in at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, including:
- Skating on Lake Mildred, a 1 km oval lake with 4 hockey rinks. Rentals of skates, helmets, and hockey sticks, are complimentary.
- Cross Country Skiing on the many groomed cross-country trails located around the golf course and around Lake Mildred.
- Snowshoeing on the local woodland trails. Trail maps are available through the activity center.
- Fat Tire Biking on a marked trail that goes towards Lake Annette and returns by Trefoil Lake.
- Tobogganing at the Toboggan Park where you can slide around on a toboggan, tube, or sled. Rentals are complimentary.
While toboggan and skating/hockey rentals are free for guests, other equipment has a cost.
For up-to-date prices of non-complementary rentals, see the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge website.
In the warmer summer months, the Boathouse is a hub for, you guessed it, boat rentals. Here you can rent canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, and even pedal boats, to take out on Lac Beauvert Lake.
The hourly rental fees were actually a bit pricey, but you do get a 15% discount as a hotel guest.
|Stand-Up Paddle Board
|Stand-Up Paddle Ship
|Voyageur Canoe (up to 12 people)
Unfortunately in March during our visit the lake wasn’t yet ready for boating, but this would definitely be an exciting option for anyone visiting in the right season.
Of note, you can also rent mountain bikes from the boathouse to explore the many surrounding trails on the property.
Located at 1 Old Lodge Road, Jasper Alberta, Canada T0E 1E0, the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge golf course is renowned for its beauty and challenging layout.
The course is set against a breathtaking backdrop of the Canadian Rockies and provides an unforgettable golfing experience. It is rated #2 in Alberta and #5 in Canada.
I have personally never golfed here and of course, it wasn’t open in March (the season is typically May to October), but it is definitely on my list of courses to try in the future!
At the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is Jasper’s own planetarium, the Jasper Planetarium. They offer year-round stargazing and astronomy tours, including a dome theater virtual experience and outdoor telescopes (weather permitting).
You can do the full experience with the planetarium and telescopes for $65 (adults) or just the planetarium for $29.
If the weather is cloudy and you aren’t able to see anything, you can get a “rain check” valid for 2 years.
Visit JasperPlanetarium.com for more information.
The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge proved to be a great venue for a relaxing mountain weekend in Jasper National Park. If you’ve stayed at Fairmont’s before, then you’ll know what to expect. While the rooms themselves can be quite dated and the service just acceptable, the location and property amenities are unparalleled. I can only imagine this would be even more so the case if visiting in peak summer or winter season.
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