Sandwiched between the Yellowhead Highway and the Icefields Parkway in Canada’s Rocky Mountains you’ll find the historic town of Jasper. Once a trading post run by two of Canada’s fur heavyweights – Hudson’s Bay and the North West Company – today this town is a National Park, and an enticing medley of outdoor activity, indigenous culture, and picture-perfect scenery. Read on for our choice of the best hotels (and cabins) Jasper has to offer.
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
Courtesy of Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge / Expedia.com
With a golf course that took 50 teams of horses and 200 men a year to build, it’s no wonder Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge has been voted Canada’s best golf resort for the past 20 years. But that’s not all this hotel has to offer; hidden behind its village of heritage log cabins connected by winding paths, the Boathouse has paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks up for rental, so you can explore the hidden coves of nearby glacial lakes. There are also bikes to rent if you want to explore the local trails.
This no-frills hotel is a great option for on-the-go travellers looking to experience all that Jasper has to offer with a time limit. Grab a complimentary continental breakfast and discover the area’s natural beauty at Jasper National Park and William A. Switzer Provincial Park, both within a 20-minute drive of the hotel. There’s good shopping in the area, too – Parks West Mall is adjacent to the property, and with the snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains within touching distance, skiers and snowboarders can hit the slopes in no time.
Wildlife can frequently be spotted roaming the verdant landscape surrounding Chateau Jasper which is flanked by towering pine trees, and Sunwapta Falls, Pyramid Lake, and Jasper National Park are all nearby. This newly-renovated hotel with 119 rooms features alpine-style decor and highlights include the on-site Silverwater Grill and Lounge where Executive Chef Jamie Hussey (along with his 80-strong culinary team) whip up a celebration of Canadian cuisine.
30 minutes in the car from Marmot Basin Ski Resort, Jasper Inn can be found in a quiet location just off the main street. Chefs at the Inn Grill take pride in providing fresh, local cuisine to satisfy all tastes – with favorite dishes including citrus mussels from Canada’s smallest province Prince Edward Island. Come summer, the hotel’s outdoor space becomes one of Jasper’s best-loved terraces, surrounded by spectacular scenery. Family suites equipped with a kitchen and fireplace make this hotel the perfect pick for extended stays.
Hinton’s Beaver Boardwalk showcases the local wildlife around Maxwell Lake, and Twin Pine Inn is the best hotel nearby. Request a packed lunch from the front desk and spend a day exploring the area. Jasper National Park is close by, as is an 18-hole golf course, world-class cross-country skiing, and some of the best trout fishing streams in Alberta. When you’re not busy in the great outdoors, get stuck into karaoke at the hotel’s restaurant and bar, Woodcutter Lounge.
Glacier View Lodge is one of Jasper’s most enticing new hotels – and the first and only glacier-view resort in Canada. Experience the Columbia Icefield like a VIP thanks to private evening tours of its spectacular Skywalk, and expansive views of the Athabasca Glacier from the hotel’s floor-to-ceiling windows. Choose between room only and all-inclusive experiences; the latter entitles you to a three-course dinner and hot breakfast, along with evening excursions like stargazing.
Stay at Pine Bungalows and you can wake up to the sound of the Athabasca River’s rushing water. In the heart of Jasper National Park, these self-contained rustic cabins occupy 11 acres (4.5ha) of mountainous land, and sleep two, four or six people. Start the day watching wild elk munch on nearby plants, then enjoy a roaring campfire under the Dark Sky Preserve come dusk. A perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature.
Whistler’s Inn may feature Jasper’s only rooftop hot tub and sauna, but it’s the views that make this hotel truly stand out. Its location, slap bang in the middle of Jasper National Park, pulls the mountains so close you could almost touch them. The on-site Whistle Stop pub — one of the town’s most popular venues — also has some of the best live music around, and satisfies beer lovers with 11 varieties on tap. For something a little more sophisticated, Cassios offers fine dining options and describes itself as the town’s only real Italian restaurant.