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The iconic Fairmont Banff Springs

The first thing that strikes us when the Fairmont Banff

Springs Hotel comes into view is that it is gi-gan-tic. It is

a fortress, an impregnable medieval castle with towers

and battlements proudly flying the red Maple Leaf.

Inside, the hotel is equally bombastic with a labyrinth of

corridors, high vaults and knights' galls. The imposing

hotel has a long history, one that is inextricably linked

to the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, the

most ambitious and expensive architectural achieve-

ment of the 19th century. The double railway line that

connected one Canadian ocean with the other straight

across the Rocky Mountains brought the country close

to bankruptcy. Until William Cornelius Van Horne, the

director of the railway company, decided to capitalise

on Canada’s most valuable asset: the imposing lands-

cape. "Since we can’t export the scenery, we'll have to

import the tourists," he said, and promptly started the

construction of a luxury resort that opened its doors

in 1888. His idea took off and Banff became a popular

holiday destination. The resort lies at the base of the

current Fairmont Banff Springs. Today, the 'Castle in

the Rockies' counts no less than 764 rooms and 11

restaurants. In the guestbook, you will find words of

praise from the world’s greatest who in the course of

the past 125 years have laid their heads on one of the

feathery pillows in this hotel without equal.

Words of praise from

the world’s greatest in

the guestbook