Alberta’s diverse landscape — from glacier lakes to prehistoric canyons — means there are tons of places to discover. Whether you’re close to a city, or keen to delve into the wilderness, there’s definitely a cool spot you can hunker down. You don’t have to settle for a typical motel in Alberta (though sometimes utility is key!). Instead, try one of these unique accommodations in the province.
Giddy up at Sierra West Ranch
Head to Lundbreck, Alberta where you can stay at Sierra West Ranch, a working cattle ranch. Shack up in a log cabin for a true home on the range feel for a couple of nights. Though there’s definitely a rustic feel, these cabins have all the modern amenities you could hope for after a day of horseback riding, cattle driving, and cooking on an open fire.
Get rustic at Deer Lodge
Nestled in the woods by the famous Lake Louise, you'll find Deer Lodge. This century old spot is equal parts rustic and luxurious making it a perfect base camp for exploring Banff National Park. Enjoy the dry wood sauna, the rooftop hot tub, and the ambiance of this teahouse turned retreat. With a ton of nature just outside the door of the beloved lodge, you'll feel immersed in Alberta's beautiful scenery without being far from the simple comforts every vacation requires.
Ride the rails at Aspen Crossing Caboose Cabins
All aboard the coolest accommodation in Mossleigh, Alberta. These caboose cabins (yes, they’re converted cabooses with everything you’d expect from a hotel inside) are housed on a set of railway tracks. Though the exteriors are fun and rustic, the interiors are super modern — plus all units feature a deck meaning you can enjoy the outdoors just as much as you enjoy the inside. There’s also a campsite on the property if you want to rough it for a few nights after your quaint stay in a caboose, plus there’s a dining car that serves up a delicious Sunday brunch and a mouth-watering Friday prime rib dinner.
Get outside at Aurum Lodge
About 25 miles from Banff, you’ll find Aurum Lodge on the Cline River. Casual and rustic, this spot is a perfect getaway after exploring Edmonton or Calgary. Focused on eco-tourism, you’ll have lots to explore at this wilderness retreat — from kayaking on Abraham Lake to cycling the nearby forested roads. Plus, you can choose if you want a self-contained unit to have a perfectly private getaway, or opt for something more B&B style for a luxurious escape.
Use your imagination at Fantasyland Hotel
Yes, it’s in a mall. But trust us, if you’re into anything themed, this spot is for you. The Fantasyland Hotel is nothing like your typical accommodation. Located in North America’s largest shopping and entertainment complex, there’s a ton to do right outside your room. With 120 fantasy-themed rooms — from hollywood to western — there’s certainly a spot that will be perfect for your next Instagram photoshoot. Want some guidance on what to do after you’ve enjoyed your in-room igloo?
Stay on track with the Royal Canadian Pacific
You won’t stay in one place in this luxury accommodation. Instead, the Royal Canadian Pacific provides a beautiful place to stay on the move. Dubbed a “5-star hotel on rails,” for the Royal Canadian Rockies Experience, the train travels through Banff, Lake Louise, Kicking Horse Pass, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, starting and ending in Calgary. With the train stopping overnight to allow for a restful sleep, you’ll be able to enjoy the sights during the day and peace and quiet at night.
Delve into Aboriginal culture at Cross River Wilderness Centre
Among forest of fir, larch, and aspen trees, you’ll find the Cross River Wilderness Centre. Here, you’ll be able to stay in a teepee and enjoy a truly immersive nature experience. Learn about Aboriginal culture and heritage, enjoy a communal fire pit, and explore the Rocky Mountains. Near Banff, this beautiful spot also offers cabins if that’s more your scene.
If you’re into a really memorable vacation, we definitely recommend one of these beautiful and unique accommodations. No matter if you like roughing it or are more of a glamorous traveler, Alberta has something for you.
Start with cool accommodation, then get exploring. For inspiration, visit the Travel Alberta website.