Secluded location on Tunnel Mountain with excellent views
Massive condo-style rooms with full kitchens, fireplaces, and outdoor space
Some rooms have outdoor decks with Jacuzzis and panoramic views
Outdoor hot pools with gorgeous mountain and forest views, plus a sauna
Gas grill barbecue areas with picnic tables and free utensils
Small outdoor kids' play area
24-hour front desk with free coffee and tea
Free treats for kids
Bike rental, ski tuning, and bear spray available (fees)
Free bus passes, Wi-Fi, and parking
Dated rooms have wear and tear
Ground-floor rooms can be noisy
No restaurant or store
Nestled in its own corner on Tunnel Mountain, the mid-range Hidden Ridge Resort doesn't have much by way of immediate neighbors. The 107-room, condo-style property has huge multi-level units with great views, full kitchens, and wood-burning fireplaces. An overall lack of renovations means guests can expect basic, dated decor with a lodge-like feel and evident wear. Notable features include mountainside hot pools, a huge but rustic sauna, barbecue areas with gas grills, and a tiny climbing play area for kids. There's no booze allowed in public areas and a quiet time is enforced, though that doesn't always stop large party groups from taking advantage of the value of the 10-person occupancy units. This property is a bus ride away from Banff Avenue (free passes provided) and 8-minute walk to nearby properties; anyone looking to be less secluded should check out the nearby Tunnel Mountain Resort.
Large and secluded condo property with dated decor and rustic lodge feel
Hidden Ridge was built in the 1960s and became a member of the Banff Lodging Company in 2000. At the time of our visit, there was a plan to renovate the entire 300 block of rooms in 2018 (otherwise there hasn’t been any significant renovations to the property since 2009). The lobby greets guests with concrete floors, low wood ceilings, a central fieldstone fireplace, rustic wood furniture, and various pieces of antique winter sports equipment. It’s simple, a bit dated, and a good representation of the hotel’s overall vibe. This condo-style property is nothing fancy, but it gets the job done, particularly for families and groups who want a little space and privacy from the tourist-heavy Banff Avenue.
In keeping with the family-friendly environment, Hidden Ridge has quiet time every day (from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. during our visit) and enforces a no-alcohol rule in all public spaces. The secluded setting is surrounded by trees and pebble-paved pathways, while gorgeous views from the hot pool area reinforce a true mountain lodge feel that is missing at hotels down on Banff Avenue. For folks wanting a full kitchen and family-friendly environment at a lower rate, it's worth checking out the nearby Douglas Fir Resort & Chalet, which also has a water park, though their dated rooms have much more wear and tear.
Secluded location on Tunnel Mountain, connected to sights by bus
Hidden Ridge Resort is a secluded property located on Tunnel Mountain. It's a four-minute drive (or 25-minute walk) to Banff Avenue, or guests can reach downtown Banff in six minutes via the bus that picks up right in front of the resort. There are a few biking and hiking trails, including a paved entry point for the Tunnel Mountain trail, about an eight-minute walk away behind Buffalo Mountain Lodge. There are a well-stocked convenience store, a liquor store with fair prices, and an indoor water park located at the Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets, also an eight-minute walk down the hill.
Nine-minute drive or 14-minute bus to the Banff Pedestrian Bridge
Nine-minute drive or 16-minute bus to the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
10-minute drive or 30-minute bus to Cave and Basin
12-minute drive to the Banff Upper Hot Springs
15-minute drive or hour bus ride to Lake Minnewanka
No-frills, condo-style rooms with dated decor, wood-burning fireplaces, and full kitchens
The rooms here are huge, dated, and haven’t been renovated since 2009 (refurbishments are reportedly coming in 2018). Guests have reported limp couches, squeaky beds, and lots of noise reaching ground-level rooms (mostly the Deluxe One Bedroom Condos). We noticed these rooms were also very dim with stark decor featuring scuffed furniture, hard carpets, and lower-than-usual ceilings. Bathrooms are typical hotel-style bathrooms with shower/tub combos and a basic line of Rocky Mountain Soap toiletries.
All 107 condo-style units come with full kitchens, papered and wood-paneled walls, wood-burning fireplaces, dining tables, and flat-screen TVs with DVD players. Kitchens are contemporary and several have junior-sized appliances and a limited amount of cookware. Each room has a dishwasher, four-top electric range with oven, microwave, drip coffeemaker, and refrigerator with separate freezer. There’s no AC here, but tower fans do their best to keep spaces cool on hot days, and a lingering fireplace smell is obvious even in summer. Ground-level rooms have patios while all other rooms have balconies.
Upgrading from the standard Deluxe One Bedroom Condos gets you off the ground floor and into a split-level room with a lofted bedroom area, a seating lip on the fireplace, and a larger dining room with setting for up to six. Premier Two Bedroom with Loft Condos are spread across three floors and can fit up to 10 in four queen beds and a pullout sofa, but at that point it cant start to feel cramped, especially with just two bathrooms. The Premier Two Bedroom Loft with a basement game room is ideal for families and has an extra basement-level room with couch, Wii, and table hockey. The Premier King Jacuzzi Condo feels most luxe and is popular with couples thanks to its spacious outdoor deck and above-ground hot tub with spectacular mountain views across the pine forest. Extra perks in these rooms include cotton bathrobes and welcome chocolates.
Only 20 percent of the rooms are set aside for pets and are on a first-requested, first-served basis. There’s an extra per-pet, per-night fee that includes pet beds, bowls, treats, and toys (mostly for dogs). Daily housekeeping includes towel changes, making the beds, and taking out the trash, with a full service every three days.
Mountainside hot pool with amazing views, lots of freebies, and barbecue grills
Hidden Ridge has two hot pools (set at 104 degrees Fahrenheit) with a slight grotto design that overlooks the pine forest and mountains. The uninterrupted view from the pools is spectacular and adds to the hotel's nature-filled secluded vibe. There are also an extremely rustic dry sauna hut and a large enclosed fire pit that's mostly used for decoration. The pool area has a few seats but no loungers, which is a shame when considering the fantastic view.
Underneath the main lobby building, there are an ATM, coin-operated laundry room with folding tables, business center with a printer, and changing rooms. The 24-hour reception can arrange for tours and bike rentals, as well as a pickup/drop-off tune shop service for skis, and it's the place to go for trail maps, free tea and coffee, and DVD rentals. Unlike several spots in town, there is no dedicated ski storage here; some rooms have their own ski racks at the entrance of the units. The hotel has free three-day bus passes for guests, plus free Wi-Fi, parking, and local calls.
There's no restaurant or free breakfast service here, but there are three large barbecue areas scattered around the property. Each has picnic tables and Weber Genesis Special Edition gas grills, and free utensils can be picked up at the front desk. On busy barbecue days, time is limited to an hour per group. Kid-friendly features include free seasonal treats, like hot chocolate and popsicles, and a tiny rock-style playground.
Other features include a 24-hour front desk, free firewood, bear spray (fee), and free playpens on request.
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