"A hotel for the outdoor adventurer and aplinist" was the vision Cornelius Van Horne had in mind for
a chalet on the shore of Lake Louise, in Alberta, Canada.
The hotel was constructed in 1890, two years after its
sister hotel The Fairmont Banff Springs. A single level wooden structure consisting of a
veranda, sitting room, kitchen and a bedroom was constructed. In the early 1900s, visitors to the area increased
to more than 5,000 and this was considered enough to demand an expansion of the chalet. Two
Tudor-style half-timbered wings were added and the capacity for guests increased from a dozen
to 240. In 1913, a concrete wing was completed, adding the grand Victoria Dining Room and new
On July 3, 1924 a fire destroyed the wooden structure of the hotel. Within a year, the
Canadian Pacific Railway rebuilt a new eight-story brick wing to join the
Painter wing of 1913, and changed the hotel name to Château Lake Louise.
Up until 1982, the Château operated only as a summer resort. The transformation to a four-season
resort prompted the need for a large upgrade program. In 1990, after a $65 million dollar investment,
the upgrade was complete.
The Château is now a beautiful resort. During the winter, Lake Louise will freeze over and an ice sculpture
competition takes place on the lake. I've stayed at the Château a few times, and it has always been
an outstanding experience. And for people from the USA, it's a great deal because everything is in
our worthless Canadian dollars!