Surrounded by Canada’s Rocky Mountains, these hotels in Fernie are perfect for skiing the resort’s renowned champagne powder.
A string of ski towns lie along the Powder Highway, which loops through a stretch of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, blessed with remarkably routine snowfall. Fernie is an official stop on the tour, but lesser loved compared to some of the nearby giants. This often leaves the resort’s five high alpine bowls untracked, ready for you to ski. The former coal mining town now houses an abundance of hotel options – these are among the best.
Brooks Creek Ranch tucks into a bow of the Elk River, backed by thousands of acres of snow-draped pines, just 20 minutes from town. With only four guest suites and attentive concierge staff, it’s a base camp for a custom-built winter adventure, starting with breakfasts plated by a Chopped Canada champion chef. The off-grid ranch, powered by renewable energy and hydrated with local springwater, proves sustainability doesn’t mean forgoing luxury.
Oversized windows in each guestroom at the St Eugene catch views of the hoodoos’ spires, frosted tree limbs and the St Mary River. One- or two-bedroom suites can be booked with interconnecting rooms for families or larger groups. Some even welcome bringing the dog along. The Ktunaxa Nation (pronounced ‘k-too-nah-ha’), who have lived on these lands for more than 10,000 years, own the resort and casino. An interpretive center shares some of their history and culture.
The Lizard Creek Lodge is set back a bit from the bustle, but still boasts the top-notch luxury of skiing right up to the hotel doorstep. Studio to three-bedroom suites come with full kitchens and private balconies. Drop in to the hotel’s translucent Ice Bar, which pulses with fluorescent lights, while guests sip super-chilled vodkas, kept warm in provided parkas.
Contemporary meets rustic at the Blackstone, where Edison lights hang over beds topped with faux-fur pillows and reclaimed wood bed frames. Breakfast can be delivered to the bedroom door on request, while the sauna and outdoor hot tub can be booked in advance. Cross country-skiing trails run right out the door, while Fernie is just 15 minutes down the road.
This hipster lodge is perfectly set up for young skiers and snowboarders looking for a place to stay during a Fernie road trip. If you’re coming as a duo, opt for the cute Tiny Home with a loft bedroom, kitchen to whip up breakfast, plus an outdoor fire pit to cozy up beside. During the summer, take advantage of the complimentary fat bike hire to tour around town and the local trails.
Book into a dorm at the Raging Elk for a budget-friendly place to lay your head after a long day skiing Fernie’s deep powder. Rooms are basic, but, let’s be honest, you’re not here to spend much time inside. Join your fellow travelers in the Kodiak Lounge after sunset for an ice-cold beer and live music.
Traveling with your pooch? The Best Western Plus at Fernie is one of the few dog-friendly hotels in the neighborhood. Just a 15-minute drive from the slopes, fuel up with the complimentary breakfast, including eggs, bacon, sausage and bagels. At the end of the day, ease those aching muscles in the outdoor hot tub with views of the mountains, or pop into Boston Pizza for an easy dinner.
The Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort Cranbrook sees more sun than any other place in the province. To sleep in style, choose one of the refurbished rail cars parked outside the hotel. Dip into a saltwater pool, book a personal training session at the fitness center, pick up a cappuccino from the coffee bar, or borrow a board game or complimentary bike.