Chateau Lake Louise
||This article may contain improper references to self-published sources. (December 2012)|
|Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise|
|Chateau Lake Louise from the Big Beehive|
|Location||Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada|
|Management||Fairmont Hotels and Resorts|
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a Fairmont Hotel on the eastern shore of Lake Louise, near Banff, Alberta. The original Chateau was gradually built up at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century by the Canadian Pacific Railway and was thus "kin" to its predecessors, the Banff Springs Hotel, and the Château Frontenac. The hotel's wooden Rattenbury Wing burned down on 3 July 1924, and was replaced by the current Barrot Wing one year later. The Painter Wing, built in 1913, is the oldest portion of the hotel still standing. The Mount Temple Wing, opened in 2004, is the newest wing of the hotel and features modern meeting facilities, including the Mount Temple Ballroom.
The hotel was first conceived by the railway at the end of the 19th century, as a vacation destination to lure moneyed travellers into taking trains and heading West. By the time airplanes and automobiles had displaced the trains, it had gained sufficient renown to have a life of its own. The Canadian Pacific Railway long ago sold it to other interests.
From the start, the goal was to exploit the stunning natural beauty of the emerald-green lake and of Victoria glacier which rose above it. There were many hiking and canoeing itineraries for nature lovers. Eventually, all the natural areas around the hotel were incorporated into the Banff National Park. This park has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Originally built to function only in summer, the hotel was winterized in 1982 and now offers all of the regular ski resort fare during the winter months. In addition to the usual skiing, ice skating and snowboarding, there are sleigh rides, ice sculpture contests and snowshoe excursions.
The hotel is also a popular place for special events including hundreds of weddings throughout the year.