Luxuriating in the Rockies at the Swiss-owned Post Hotel Lake Louise.
By Charlie Huisking
I got to practice my German during my visit to the Canadian Rockies.
For two wonderful days, our headquarters was the Swiss-owned Post Hotel Lake Louise. This comfortably elegant inn is known for its warm ambiance and for the impeccable service of its mostly European staff.
For good reasons, it's one of only a handful of Canadian properties in the prestigious Relais & Chateaux association.
Its 62 rooms and 34 suites are located in the main building (a renovated and expanded former ski lodge that dates to 1942), and in attractive cabins that line a rushing stream.
The buildings, all with distinctive red tin roofs, are constructed in log-and-beam style. Our room for three was in the main building and had 550 square feet of charm, with two bathrooms, including one with a Jacuzzi tub, a wood-burning fireplace, and an upstairs loft with a king bed. Our balcony overlooked the cabins, the stream and the snow-capped mountains beyond.
The Post Hotel is a couple of miles away from the fabled Lake Louise. But I vastly prefer it to the immense Chateau Lake Louise at the water's edge. There, the lobby is choked with gawkers who emerge from tour buses all day long. By contrast, I spent a serene afternoon in the Post's lobby, sitting in an overstuffed chair while I sipped coffee and sampled the pastries in the daily tea service.
The atmosphere reminded me of some of the cozy inns and gasthauses I stayed in while hiking through Austria and Switzerland during college. (The Post isn't on a backpacker's budget, though; rooms start at $320 a night).
We didn't eat dinner in the inn's renowned restaurant. But we hung out often by the fire (and under the head of a stuffed moose) in the cozy cocktail lounge, where Axel, the affable young German bartender, greeted us warmly and practiced his English.
I swam in the hotel's glass-enclosed pool, worked out in the fitness room, and, after a morning hike, got a hot-stone massage in the Temple Mountain Spa.
Even with so much gorgeous scenery beckoning, The Post made the great indoors seem as inviting as the great outdoors.
For information about the hotel, go to www.posthotel.com.