The ultimate vacation destination for ski lovers, the Sunshine Mountain Lodge is open only seasonally, from November to mid-May. Sunshine Mountain offers a relaxed, retreat-style destination with pristine, unspoiled wild nature and breathtaking mountain views as far as the eye can see. Banff’s only ski-in, ski-out resort, the lodge has cozy rooms that feature earth tones and natural materials. The mountain offers a wide range of all-ability runs, from extreme terrain and off-piste runs—which require avalanche equipment to enter—to family-friendly slopes and beginner areas. Guests can check in at any time at the base of the mountain to drop off luggage and then spend the day skiing. When guests take the gondola up after 4 p.m., their bags are waiting in their rooms. All room rates include lift passes, valued at $90 per person.
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Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in Banff’s beautifully maintained national park, Sunshine Village is just 20 minutes away from Banff, but it offers a far more relaxed, ski-focused atmosphere. Often called Canada’s best-kept ski secret, Sunshine Village resort is certainly on the boutique side, with just one restaurant, one retail shop, and the hotel comprising most of the action. A party resort this is not. Sunshine is for serious powder hounds and families looking for a get-away-from-it-all mountain vacation.
Need to Know
Rooms: 63 rooms, 21 suites. From $300. Dining options: Guests have three on-site choices. The fine-dining restaurant Eagle’s Nest is known for its bison tenderloin. The more casual Chimney Corner Lounge offers steaks, pastas, and family-friendly options. And Mad Trapper’s pub specializes in Canadian bar favorites such as poutine, wings, and house-smoked barbecue. Spa and gym details: The compact gym offers 24-hour access, but Sunshine Mountain is really all about the slopes. The Verde Day Spa’s signature hot stone and deep tissue treatments provide an ideal après ski relaxation break.
Who’s it for: Avid ski fans, including families and couples. Our favorite rooms: The Waterfall View room on the fifth floor has a high ceiling and a balcony that overlooks the entire resort. The Loft Suite is spread across two levels and has a fireplace, Jacuzzi tub, and spacious balcony. Local highlight: Check at the desk for a nighttime weather update. The lack of light pollution makes it possible to sometimes see the Northern Lights dance over the mountains.