Review: Emerald Lake Lodge in the Canadian Rockies – Room for Improvement

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Emerald Lake Lodge (Canadian Rockies): Review (Could Be Much Better)

Nestled in the heart of the iconic Canadian Rockies, the Emerald Lake Lodge boasts breathtaking views, cozy accommodations, and an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. However, while the lodge offers a serene setting for those seeking solace in nature, there are certain aspects that prevent it from reaching its full potential. Let’s dive deeper into the review of Emerald Lake Lodge while also uncovering three fun facts related to this remarkable destination.

Firstly, the location of the lodge cannot be overstated. Tucked away on the shores of the mesmerizing Emerald Lake, the lodge offers guests an immediate connection to the surrounding natural wonders. The turquoise waters, surrounded by towering snow-capped mountains and lush vegetation, create a picture-perfect backdrop for relaxation and exploration. However, despite this stunning locale, reaching the lodge can sometimes be a challenge for those without their own means of transportation. The absence of convenient public transportation options limits accessibility for some visitors, causing inconvenience and potential disappointment.

Moving on to the lodge itself, the architecture and rustic charm of Emerald Lake Lodge genuinely impresses. Built from fire-killed timber over a century ago, the lodge exudes a comforting and nostalgic ambiance. The quaint rooms, furnished with vintage decor and featuring wood-burning fireplaces, create an inviting atmosphere, perfect for cozying up after a day of outdoor adventures. However, despite the charming appeal, some guests have reported that the rooms could benefit from additional maintenance and renovations to enhance comfort and functionality.

Culinary delights await at the lodge’s restaurant, which offers unparalleled views of the surrounding landscapes. The menu showcases an array of gourmet dishes that combine local ingredients with international influences, resulting in a mouthwatering dining experience. However, despite the exquisite food, the service can occasionally be lacking, disrupting what should be an impeccable culinary journey. Slow service, lack of attention to detail, and inconsistent waitstaff have been mentioned as areas that could be improved to ensure a truly exceptional dining experience that matches the scenic beauty on offer.

While the Emerald Lake Lodge falls short in some aspects, there are still three fun facts to enhance your experience and appreciation of this enchanting destination:

1. A Magical Shade of Green: The emerald green color of the lake is derived from finely ground rock particles known as glacial flour. As the glaciers move, they grind rocks into a fine powder, which then mixes with the lake water, reflecting sunlight in a way that produces the captivating emerald hue.

2. Historic Connection: The lodge itself has quite a storied past. It was originally built as a fishing lodge in 1902 and subsequently transformed into the Emerald Lake Lodge in 1934. Over the years, it has accommodated numerous influential figures, including royalty, celebrities, and even a few notable politicians.

3. Star-Studded Skies: Away from the glare of city lights, the night sky above Emerald Lake offers a mesmerizing spectacle. With minimal light pollution and clear skies, stargazers are treated to a dazzling show of constellations, shooting stars, and the awe-inspiring Milky Way.

In conclusion, Emerald Lake Lodge captivates with its awe-inspiring location, vintage charm, and delightful cuisine. Nonetheless, there are areas that require improvement to ensure a more seamless experience for guests. By addressing issues such as accessibility, room maintenance, and service quality, the lodge can elevate its offerings and reach the full potential that its spectacular surroundings deserve. Nevertheless, the enchanting beauty of Emerald Lake and the captivating history associated with the lodge make it an irresistible destination for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

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47 thoughts on “Review: Emerald Lake Lodge in the Canadian Rockies – Room for Improvement”

  1. Amusingly, you refer several times to lowly rifraf tourists wandering around the lodge. You need to understand this is in a national park, the Lodge is permitted to be in it, but owns nothing. The lodge has zero authority to restrict activity in the area at all. They are happy to have a permit to exist that is essentially a license to print money as no competition can exist. No development is permitted in national parks, and the lodge is allowed to exist due to grandfathering.

  2. Can you include prices? Since price is still a huge factor when deciding on where to stay for most people. Price of your room, price of the food, price to rent canoes, parking costs, etc. I realize this is from 2016, but it still gives people a general idea.

  3. How was the Lodge billed as ? As a Five Star with Five Star prices? If so I can see why you are underwhelmed. The accommodation's are 3 star at best - nothing like the super luxury properties you normally visit in places like the Maldives.

    I note that the current prices in August of 2021, which is of course high season, is in the mid $400's per night. A lot of money for a 3 star but this is an exclusive location being in a national park on a spectacular lake. Also remember Canada is not a low cost country. I personally wouldn't pay that price to stay here. As a tourist you can see the nice lake by day and than drive to nicer and cheaper accommodation's away from the lake.

    If you want to stay beside an iconic lake a better deal would be to stay at the Fairmont Banff hotel on Lake Louise which costs about an extra $100 a night. The Hotel is one of the most iconic in Canada and the setting - Lake Louise is one of the most iconic post card settings in Canada.

  4. …Wow. I feel like you missed the whole point of Emerald Lake Lodge and have a dash of snobbery going on. The lodge and its rooms are supposed to be cabin-like and have an older feel to them, they are not aiming for the Fairmont style or those prices (why do what Fairmont does best?). The whole point is to unwind and get off your phone/tv/computer, to you know, have conversations and connect with those around you. In a world where people would rather take pictures of their food and ignore someone right next to them, it’s wonderful that the lodge makes it so that you actually have to converse and be present with those around you. The food is delicious (especially dinner) and they can even accommodate gf, vegans and vegetarians. There are many good trails around the lake and the lake itself is stunning. If you are complaining about crowds walking around, the Fairmont at lake Louise and Banff exceed any crowd that you will find at Emerald, period. Is it a 5-star resort? No, but I and many others don’t expect it to be nor want it to be. I’ve stayed at all three places (emerald lake lodge, Fairmont in Banff and at Lake Louise) and each has their own charm, accommodations, and attractions that pull in a wide variety of people. Perhaps this was not the right fit for you and cool, to each their own, but I know many people (including myself, family and friends) who adore this little gem.

  5. You are in the middle of the Canadian Rockies be thankful you had running water heat food service and your roommate was not a grizzly bear. It's a medium priced accommodations with alot of nature at your finger tips.If you want 4 a 4 star hotel go to banff or lake louise

  6. Beautiful place, I saw a picture of the lodge on a forum and researched into it. Some of it does look dated but in a way that just makes it more charming, like its just a relaxed place in no rush to catch up with the modern world.

  7. I do not know the history of Emerald Lake Lodge but, this is clearly not the Lodge I remember from 1967. At that time the Chateau, had no in lodge accommodations, was a three story structure with a stone fireplace from the Main Dinning Room floor to the arched ceiling. The upper floor was accessed by a staircase that wrapped the fireplace. A grand piano graced the dinning room and was played nightly during diner. All accommodations were rustic cabins scattered through the pines. All cabins had potbelly stove for heat ! I do understand the change. These times would not permit such primitive accommodations and survive financially !

  8. Good review but you need to include way more static shots when you are shooting. Way too much movement. Yes, you have to pan, etc, to get the views from where you are and I understand that... but you need static shots to ground the viewer. You only have two at the end.

  9. My first visit to Emerald Lake was 1968. The lodge was more of a Chalet. Very limited menu with dinning around a large stone fireplace. Individual cabins scattered thru the pines with a wood burning popbelly in each cabin. Cabin boy lit the fire every night. Hiking, boating and lounging on the deck every day. We loved the simplicity of the food, the rusticity of the cabin, and the pleasure of walking thru nature. Your review is dreadfully fickle. Why don't you stay in Vancouver where your lilly white butt can be carried to every lilliy white pleasure?

  10. Stayed here 4 years ago. Super wonderful 3 day romantic getaway. The entire experience was outstanding. The food was superb. The wood burning fireplace in the room was a really nice touch. I booked us in on the 3rd floor of the cabin so no noise issues. Had an unobstructed view of the lake minus some tree branches. It was peaceful, serene, and a perfect way to spend a summer weekend. My gal flew in from Toronto and was stunned by the beauty of the area.

    I will say your footage does not do the lodge and its surroundings justice. The environment is lush green with bright colours and the area was alive with wildlife/flora/fauna.

    Emerald Lake Lodge is 30-40 minutes west of Lake Louise and you stayed at the multi-star hotel there AND you also experienced the Banff Springs Hotel - another wonder of the world hotel - and one can only be disappointed with a lesser lodge such as Emerald Lake AFTER. And what do you pay per night at each of these hotels/resorts? Much more then Emerald Lake. I paid $330 CAD a night at Emerald. Lake Louise (Fairmont) and Banff Springs are $500-$1000 a night AND you get sooo much more luxury and options and amenities. You honestly cannot compare Emerald to these other two. And speaking of comparison, Lake Louise and Banff cannot compare to Emerald Lake! You cannot walk around Lake Louise but can do so at Emerald. I find the lake at Emerald is nicer than at Lake Louise... better colour... and the surrounding area is much nicer as well.

    Keep in mind Emerald is a tiny resort/lodge and it is less commercialized compared to Lake Louise and Banff. Few know about Emerald Lake. Its a quaint getaway destination and the reason you go is to experience the outdoors. Lake Louise and Banff Springs will happily distract you with refinement and options, and happily take your money as well. Emerald Lake immerses you in nature.

    End/backside of Emerald Lake is a wonderful trail to hike. Its more intimate of a hike/climb than Lake Louise. Up and over and then down into the basin of neighbouring mountain(s). Incredible!

    I recommend Emerald Lake Lodge but drop your expectations of it being a 5-7 Star resort because it is not. The highlights for me are its close proximity to nature giving you intimacy with the surroundings, a better lake (colour), better hiking, superb food (breakfast buffet is what it is), wood burning fireplace in the cabin, and a smaller resort that is much less commercialized, and the price is considerably less.

    Super Luxurious Pampered Exquisite Spoiled Big Budget Experience: Banff Springs/Lake Louise
    Rustic Outdoor Luxurious Camping/Type/Style Nature Oriented Smaller Budget Experience: Emerald Lake Lodge


  11. FYI: This hotel is situated in a publicly funded national park. The folks who pay for it, the pesky public, feel they have the right to wander around and look at everything. And they DO have the right to wander around and look at everything. Because their money pays for it. It's their park. Deal with it.

  12. Can you try the luxury hotel Hans Hegede in Nuuk in Greenland ? I think it could be a real good hotel, and even if the climate is rude, you can do a lot of tourism in Greenland. Good video, now I want to go in the Canadian Rockies

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