The Ultimate Winter Wonderland Escape in Alberta

The Ultimate Winter Wonderland Escape in Alberta

By Sarah McNaughtonGeneral

There is something surreal about escaping into the magic of a moment. Just think about when you drive or fly to your vacation destination, how all of a sudden the whimsical ups and downs remain in your town while you escape to a new destination and a refreshed, relaxed mind space. This is exactly how I felt when I drove to Baker Creek Mountain Resort—even though I wasn’t leaving Alberta, I couldn’t help but revel in a pure feeling of bliss as I turned onto the Bow Valley Parkway. Suddenly, I was enveloped in a snowy, mountainous wonderland and immersed in the magic of a moment, which only continued throughout my stays at Baker Mountain Resort, Banff National Park, and A Bear and Bison Inn, Canmore.

Entry sign to Baker Creek

Entry sign to Baker Creek

Classic winter views at Baker Creek lodge

Classic winter views at Baker Creek lodge

Baker Creek Mountain Resort

Located in the heart of Banff National Park, Baker Creek Mountain Resort is the perfect destination to immerse yourself into the beauty of the mountains fully. This incredible location is in a unique spot with limited wifi and cell phone service, which allows you the opportunity to disconnect and make the most of your spectacular surroundings. Firepits line the river, and you are treated to stunning views of the mountains and surrounding forest. The occasional train will pass by, speckling the surreal backdrop with a brief show.

After being fully drenched in the fresh mountain air, I retreated to my cozy two-bedroom loft cabin that felt like the ultimate winter wonderland dreamscape. From a wood-burning fireplace to a fully stocked bookshelf loaded with all the makings of an incredible evening, including a record player, games, binoculars, and books, you are set for hours of offline entertainment. I definitely suggest turning on some tunes you haven’t heard before to make the moment stand out in time.

There is nothing like waking up to fresh-brewed coffee with cozy socks and a crackling fire in a beautiful mountain cabin. However, if you feel like making the moment even more special, I suggest popping into the lobby and grabbing yourself a pastry to go with your coffee.

If you are here in the winter, don’t forget your skates. A stunning skating rink feels authentically Canadian under beautiful lights, with the mountains painting the background.

Cozy fireplace

Cozy fireplace

Baker Creek

Baker Creek

A Bear and Bison Inn

I didn’t want my time in the mountains to end just yet, so on my way back from Calgary, I stopped in Canmore for a lovely night at A Bear and Bison Inn. If you want to soak up the mountain views without the hustle and bustle of the main drag, I highly recommend this more secluded location.

With the landscape brushed with a blanket of snow, I couldn’t even think about anything else except for a soak in the hot tub, where the Three Sisters Mountains illuminate the backdrop. I’ve stayed in a few Canmore locations and have not had views anywhere near this one!

Approaching Bear and Bison Inn in Canmore

Approaching Bear and Bison Inn in Canmore

A Bear and Bison Inn

A Bear and Bison Inn

And, if you aren’t in the mood to leave your room—there’s something so relaxing about just spending hours in your hotel room without any pressure to leave—then you can always soak in the tub there. I could still see the mountains from the bath in my room!

During the evening, I continued to take advantage of the quintessential cozy, Canadian indoor setting and read a book by the fire in my room. The communal area also boasts several places to lounge, offering games and books if you’re craving new scenery.

My favourite part about my stay at Bear and Bison was waking up to breakfast right outside my door. I don’t know about you, but I feel pretty darn special when I get the opportunity to enjoy breakfast in bed, and I feel even more special when that meal is three-courses with juice and coffee!

Three Sisters, as seen from A Bear and Bison Inn

Three Sisters, as seen from A Bear and Bison Inn

Enjoying the hottub at A Bear and Bison Inn

Enjoying the hottub at A Bear and Bison Inn

Charming Inns

Charming Inns & Small Hotels of Alberta is a collection of 12 boutique independent inns and hotels found in locations across Alberta. Charming Inns was founded in 2000 by two innkeepers, Gerry Muza of the Kilmorey Lodge in Waterton and Garth Griffiths of the Overlander Mountain Lodge in Jasper. They saw an opportunity to unite as small innkeepers and leverage that partnership through marketing support, resources, and fellowship.

If you are looking for an incredible and truly unique Alberta destination, we highly recommend choosing one of the Charming Inns! So spread the love this holiday season and grab a gift card for your loved ones. It can be applied at any of the 12 destinations and will make for a wonderful lifelong memory just like the one I had!

Thanks for the opportunity to experience your incredible spaces!