Westworld Alberta

November 2011

Westworld Alberta

Issue link: http://westworldmagazine.ama.ab.ca/i/45845

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weekenders LAKE LOUISE the getaway Winter is the quiet time in Lake Louise. Of the 4.5 million visitors to Banff National Park each year, three-quarters come between June and October. So when the dry Rocky Mountain snow starts to fall, it's time to enjoy the iconic lake, charming village and 1,700-hectare ski area in true serenity. Diverse downhill runs on four moun- tain faces rival Whistler and Aspen, but the lift lineups are much shorter. Visitors seeking a svelte Nordic physique can ele- vate their heart rate on 100-odd groomed cross-country trails. Snowshoeing, dogsledding and roman- tic sleigh rides depart from the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Another popular pastime here is sipping hot chocolate while gazing at the spectacular ice castle the Chateau builds each December, or the mas- sive, whimsical ice sculptures carved during January's Ice Magic Festival. Yet much of the magic isn't man-made. Wildlife watchers may spot pine martens or snowshoe hares scurrying off beneath pris- tine, white-sprinkled pine trees. The sweeping view from the ski area across the Bow Valley toward Mount Temple, the 11th-highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, is reason enough to visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site. the inside track Great skate: Lace up rental blades for public skating or pickup hockey on frozen Lake Louise, facing Victoria Glacier. Bakery bliss: Nibble pepper- mint brownies and Saskatoon squares at the bustling Laggan's Mountain Bakery and Deli (403-522-2017). Book bonanza: Track down titles on moun- taineers, native peoples and bears, by Canadian authors such as Pierre Berton and Peter C. Newman, plus stunning scenery prints, at The View- point (403-762-0405). Meaty treat: Smoked buffalo, venison ham, pepper duck breast and elk salami grace the Rocky Mountain Game Platter at Deer Lodge's Mount Fairview Dining Room, which features stained glass lamps and piped-in jazz (403-522-4202; crmr.com/dining-deer.php). (top) Travel Alberta; the Post Hotel & Spa WESTWORLD >> NOVEMBER 2011 15 Serene skiing (and boarding!) at Lake Louise Mountain Resort; (below) the Post Hotel. the hideaway Taste Swiss bliss at the Post Hotel & Spa, a 1942-built Relais & Châteaux property owned by Zurich-raised ski gurus André and George Schwarz. Rooms with stone fi replaces, polished wood fur- niture and whirlpool tubs deliver chalet-style ambience. Après-ski, swim in the naturally purified indoor pool or enjoy a Temple Mountain Spa massage. The wood-beamed dining room's menu offers international fl avours and local ingredients, from ahi tuna in ginger marinade to organic beef tender- loin. The 24,000-bottle wine cellar earned Wine Spectator's top honours. Despite its alpine-style elegance, the Post feels pleasantly homey on cold winter nights. –Lucas Aykroyd 1-800-661-1586; posthotel.com

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