Chateau Lake Louise

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Chateau Lake Louise
Chateau Lake Louise in Alberta.jpg
Chateau Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada
General information
Location Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
Coordinates 51°25′4″N 116°13′2″W / 51.41778°N 116.21722°W / 51.41778; -116.21722Coordinates: 51°25′4″N 116°13′2″W / 51.41778°N 116.21722°W / 51.41778; -116.21722
Opening 1911
Owner Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System
Management Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
Technical details
Floor count 10
Other information
Number of rooms 550
Number of restaurants 7
The hotel from the opposite shore of the lake.

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 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 stands 33.80 metres (110.9 ft), and consists of ten floors. [1]


The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise began its life as a simple log cabin built on the shore of Lake Louise in 1890. Cornelius Van Horne, general manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway at the time, envisioned "a hotel for the outdoor adventurer and alpinist." It was intended to be a vacation destination to lure moneyed travelers into taking trains and heading west. By the time airplanes and automobiles had displaced the trains, the hotel had gained sufficient renown to have a life of its own.

The original building was named Chalet Lake Louise, and contained a kitchen and a large central area that served as a dining room, office, bar, and gathering place. Two small bedrooms featured large windows facing the veranda, offering majestic views of the blue-green lake. Only 50 guests stayed at the chalet in 1890, but by 1912, 50,000 guests had visited the hotel.[2]

From 1900 to 1912, several additions were made to the original chalet, which became the foundations for the building that stands today. These additions were designed by renowned architect, Francis Rattenbury, after whom one wing of the hotel was named. In 1913, the Painter Wing was added. [3]

Sadly, the Rattenbury Wing burned to the ground on July 3, 1924. [4] All that remained was the Painter Wing, which is the oldest portion of the hotel still standing. The Barott Wing was added in 1925, and upon its completion, the hotel was renamed Chateau Lake Louise.

In 1999, Canadian Pacific Hotels (a division of the Canadian Pacific Railway) acquired Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, and adopted the Fairmont name for all of its hotels, resulting in the Chateau Lake Louise being operated as a Fairmont hotel. The Mount Temple Wing opened in 2004, and is the newest wing of the hotel. It features modern meeting facilities, including the Mount Temple Ballroom, which offers a total of 2,653 metres (8,704 ft) of meeting and event space. [5]

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. Nature lovers could take advantage of the many hiking and canoeing itineraries which are still available today. Eventually, all the natural areas around the hotel were incorporated into Banff National Park, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984. [6]

Chateau Lake Louise was originally built to function only in summer. In 1982, an extensive renovation began to transform the hotel to a four-season resort. Eight years and $65 million later, the renovation was completed, allowing Chateau Lake Louise to offer all of the regular ski resort fare during the winter months. [7] In addition to the usual skiing, ice skating and snowboarding, guests can take part in 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.

Currently, The Chateau Lake Louise resort hotel is owned by Oxford Properties, the real estate arm of OMERS, and is operated by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts of Toronto.


  1. ^ "The Fairmont Château Lake Louise". Emporis. Emporis GMBH. Retrieved 2 September 2015. 
  2. ^ "Hotel History". Fairmont Château Lake Louise. Fairmont Hotels. Retrieved 2 September 2015. 
  3. ^ "A Tale of Mystery and Romance in Lake Louise". Canadian Rockies. Canadian Rockies Vacations Guide. Retrieved 2 September 2015. 
  4. ^ Patton, Brian (2008). Parkways of the Canadian Rockies: A Touring Guide to Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, and Yoho National Parks (5th ed.). Summerthought Publishing. p. 68. ISBN 978-0-9782375-2-3. Retrieved 2 September 2015. 
  5. ^ "Fairmont Château Lake Louise Floor Plans". Fairmont Château Lake Louise. Fairmont Hotels. Retrieved 2 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "UNESCO". Fairmont Château Lake Louise. UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 2 September 2015. 
  7. ^ "History of the Fairmont Château Lake Louise". Fairmont Château Lake Louise. Fairmont Hotels. Retrieved 2 September 2015.