Buffalo Mountain Lodge revamps rooms and plans for major restaurant overhaul

Buffalo Mountain Lodge in Banff. Courtesy, f8 Photography jpg

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At first glance, a global pandemic doesn’t seem like a financially feasible time to undergo a major renovation. But long in the works, Buffalo Mountain Lodge in Banff forged ahead. The lockdown this past spring provided an opportunity to get work done with the least interruption to guests as possible. And now that people are feeling more comfortable about venturing back to Banff — as seen by high numbers this summer — guests are reaping the rewards of the overhaul.

The Buffalo Suites, 20 units in five townhouses that face Tunnel Mountain Road, have been refurbished in a modern, alpine esthetic. Pale laminate floors, kitchenettes with wine coolers and sturdy wooden furniture create a comfortable vibe. Stone wood-burning fireplaces dominate the living room and are ready to be lit for cozy nights curled up with a glass of wine on the sofabed. The bathroom is bright and white with large, glass showers while the bedroom sports luxurious linens and heavy comforters.

The newly renovated Buffalo Suites at Buffalo Mountain Lodge in Banff. Courtesy, Jason Dziver jpg

“This is a lighter, more clean atmosphere. It’s more of a mountain chic esthetic. We’re just adapting to the times and to the (look) that people enjoy,” said Caitlyn Murphy, marketing manager for Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts, which includes Deer Lodge at Lake Louise, Emerald Lake Lodge at Field, B.C. and the Lake House in Calgary.

The newly renovated Buffalo Suites at Buffalo Mountain Lodge in Banff. Courtesy, Jason Dziver jpg

The Buffalo Suites update is just one part of the renovation plan for Buffalo Mountain Lodge. A much bigger and highly anticipated revamp of the lodge’s Sleeping Buffalo dining room and adjacent lounge will begin in January with an expected opening in April. It will be a completely new dining concept, with a new name, a new look created by Amanda Hamilton Design and new food. New head chef Catherine Bohn will oversee the menu which will see Buffalo Mountain Lodge move away from traditional fine dining.

“It will be a more approachable menu. The feedback we’ve had is that our menu has a lot of heartier, heavy menu items. So this will move to more smaller bites and cocktails. It will not be a fine dining, three to four-course experience anymore,” said Murphy. “Nowadays, people want to go out and dine but that’s just one part of their activities for the weekend.”

The dining room at Buffalo Mountain Lodge in Banff will be completely redone in spring 2021. Courtesy, f8 Photography jpg

Buffalo Mountain Lodge will also do some minor upkeep of the premier suites which have long been a favourite of Calgarians seeking a weekend getaway. These were the highest category rooms before the Buffalo Suites were done and are more of a chalet style with wooden beams and large clawfoot bathtubs.

“These are beloved suites that are very popular. We won’t be changing them, but we’ll do routine maintenance and painting.”

The stainless steel hot tub at Buffalo Suites at Buffalo Mountain Lodge in Banff. Courtesy, Erik McRitchie jpg

Murphy said the lodge will continue to offer getaway packages of two nights stay plus dinner and breakfast, which have proven popular this summer and fall. “This has been a big success for us. We’ll do the same for Christmas and New Year’s.

“Part of our roots at CRMR is food and wine. We want to keep treating people to that amazing dining experience and we’re trying to be really creative, especially because (with COVID) you can’t do much right now. There are still fun things to do.”

For details on the lodge, go to https://crmr.com/buffalo/

 

 

 

 

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