Post Hotel & Spa, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

Post Hotel & Spa, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

One of the best luxury ski resort hotels in the world, the Post is a winter fantasy—and it’s even better in summer. The location could not be better—the hotel sits smack in the middle of Banff National Park, Canada’s first and oldest (1885), a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is even more popular in summer than winter. Nearby Lake Louise is an icon of the natural world, an impossibly blue alpine lake set between glaciers and towering peaks. It’s a place for both strenuous activity and utter relaxation, and in both cases, guests relish the hotel’s elaborate Temple Mountain Spa.

Snow brought the developers—ski instructors André and George Schwarz—here. But the brothers found a new passion when they bought the Post Hotel in 1978. They quickly began reinvesting all their profits in building a wine cellar and since 2002 the Post has held Wine Spectator’s highest honor, the Grand Award of Excellence, with its more than 2,300 labels and 25,000 bottles. Over the past four decades, the siblings have made nonstop improvements, successfully transitioning from world-class ski instructors to world-class hoteliers with a world-class resort.

The Post is surrounded by hiking trails of all lengths and abilities, a wide variety of guided climbing and mountaineering is available, road cycling is popular, there is whitewater rafting and excellent fishing on the famed Bow River. Bicycles are available for guests, and almost every visitor takes scenic drives through the pristine park. Canada’s most famous golf course, Banff Springs, is just 45 minutes away.

It’s easy to love the Post, with its European flair, sumptuous rooms, impeccable staff, cozy goose down duvets, and extravagant cuisine—the main restaurant is a must-eat destination for all visitors to the area. It also has the more casual traditional Swiss Fondue Stübli, and a charming cellar pub. All 89 spacious rooms boast alpine architecture and have jetted tubs, and more than a third are luxury suites. Five freestanding cabins sit along a small river for privacy and luxury.

But the reasons so many loyal fans come back year after year are the hosts and the setting. The Schwarz brothers circulate around the dining room each morning and evening, ensuring perfect service. Longtime staffers remember preferred tables, cocktail choices and how you like your coffee.

With the Lake Louise ski resort (139 trails on 4,200 skiable acres) just three minutes away, its own skating rink, 120 miles of cross-county ski trails, and activities like dog sledding, sleigh rides and snowmobile tours, the Post is still a great winter destination. But you’ll want to return all year long for a full slate of deluxe treatments, including state-of-the-art fitness center, a Roman-style saltwater pool, whirlpool baths and steam room.

Rates start at $275 a night for rooms and $500 for suites.