Clear air, evergreen forests, views that fill your heart and blow your mind – there’s nowhere quite like the mountains to make you feel alive. So it makes sense to head for the hills if you’re looking to do a wellness getaway or retreat. You certainly won’t be starved for choice as many alpine lodges and hotels are tapping into the burgeoning wellness movement and offering programs as a way to fill rooms during the spring and fall shoulder seasons. Whether you’re looking for some “me” time, a regimented health-and-fitness retreat or a yoga retreat, here are just some of the ways you can get mindful in the mountains this year with some winter adventures in Canmore.
One of the main reasons people enjoy visiting the Canmore area is for the beautiful mountain views, proximity to Calgary and all the amazing food to be enjoyed at the many restaurants. Another perk is that you can enjoy all of this without the extra expense of the National Park Pass that is needed if you’re headed to Banff or Lake Louise. You do need the new Kananaskis Conservation Pass in some areas if heading on certain trails but if your plans are to take in a yoga class, sit by the pool or enjoy a spa day, there’s no need.
Where To Stay – The Malcolm Hotel
The Malcolm Hotel is the first traditional hotel to be built in Canmore in the last 20 years. Situated between two natural-flowing creeks, it provides four-star service and hospitality to 124 well-appointed rooms and suites all with luxury amenities. Its ambiance and design reflect the pageantry, royalty, and heritage of the past Scottish King – Malcolm III, who is also known as Canmore’s namesake.
Amenities include an elegant outdoor pool with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains from the second floor, an open-air mezzanine, and a Fitness Centre. Additionally, there are a 1,200 sq. ft. outdoor event space and a fine-dining restaurant and bar.
It’s our go-to hotel for the style and affordable luxury when planning our winter adventures in Canmore.
All February long, YEG Fitness readers are being offered 50% off their stay when you book using “Legendary” between 4pm – 5pm every Thursday in February.
Where To Eat
Their specialty? Neapolitan style pizza – baked in a stone fired oven with a New York finish. Pair your pie with tasty sides, local beers & ciders, or a fancy cocktail while you soak up the stunning views. Their Kale Caeser Salad, and the Fughi and Mortadella Pizzas are some of the best we’ve ever eaten (and are great ways to refuel after a long hike – or longer day shopping).
Tucked away in an alley just steps from Main Street in the heart of downtown Canmore, 4296 is an elevated dining concept and first self created restaurant for Chef Blake Flann. After few year hiatus, this highly anticipated project brings together a culmination of Blake’s personal culinary history.
4296 is an elevated restaurant with an emphasis on cocktails, serving pop culture cuisine inspired by the ever changing global food scene.
It’s a small room which makes it perfect for intimate gatherings but can also host group gatherings if you’re headed to town with a few friends.
This was easily one of THE BEST food and cocktail experiences we’ve ever had during our winter adventures in Canmore. Their menu is designed to be shared and is served as it’s prepared and is changed frequently as seasonal items are available. The Thai Bar Snacks are a great way to kick things off while enjoying a cocktail like the “Becky With The Good Hair” which is an experience in itself.
Next up we enjoyed the Spiced “Foie Gras” Spring Rolls and “Beef” Kushiyaki. Yes, the quotation marks are there for a reason. For those looking to enjoy plant based options, you won’t be disappointed as the menu is filled with delicious options (and if you’re meat eaters like we are, you won’t even notice that you’re not eating the real thing)
To finish, we enjoyed the Ume Buratta and Chicken Fried Maitake Mushrooms…. Both were to die for and a great end to an amazing meal.
Afterwards, we had a reservation in their hidden gem Bar Deja Vu – Canmore’s first speakeasy. Like the restaurant that you’ll find it in, Bar Deja Vu is mysterious, unique, and serves some unreal-looking cocktails. The experience is truly one that can only be experienced by taking it in yourself.
The Grizzly Paw
While we didn’t join them for lunch this time as we normally do (to many new places to check out) we always stop in for some of the best handcrafted beers in Alberta to take with us to enjoy at the hotel (or on the trail… shhhhhhh!)
What To Do
Hiking, biking, climbing, skiing…. There are so many ways to enjoy your winter adventures in Canmore and so many places to find your adventures. Whether you’re wanting to test your endurance with a climb up Ha Ling Peak or you were looking to relax with a pedicure or massage, there’s something for everyone in Canmore.
Verde Day Spa
Using pure, organic ingredients to help relax your mind and body Verde Day Spa offers a variety of treatments to help you relax after a long day on the slopes (or the day after a few adult beverages). You can be assured that you are in the very best of hands with their highly trained and professional therapists who are ready to serve you at their 2 convenient locations in downtown Canmore, and at the Blackstone Mountain Lodge.
Verde Day Spa provides an elegant and sophisticated atmosphere where clients can enjoy any of their luxurious treatments such as their Spa Pedicure or Swedish Massage. Verde is very conscientious about preserving and respecting the natural environment. They have purposefully chosen their skin care and spa product lines to reflect their “green” beliefs to complement their name.
Trail Sports is your Nordic ski and mountain bike specialists in retail, rental and instruction. Located at the Canmore Nordic Centre, site of the 1988 Olympic Winter Games and host to multiple world-cup events, Trail Sports is a five-minute drive from downtown Canmore (or you could bike there), 20 minutes from Banff and one hour from Calgary. Their staff loves to see people on skis and bikes exploring the 65+ kilometres of well-maintained beginner to advanced trails right outside our door.
Trail Sports offers both rental and instruction in both cross country skiing and mountain biking, utilizing the Nordic Centre’s trail system. They also have industry leading expertise in the sale of cross country racing skis, nordic wax and technical ski clothing and accessories.
We gave skate skiing a try for the first time and our instructor was more than patient as we were definitely “fish out of water” being more comfortable on the slopes than we are on the trails. But after a 1 hour introduction we feel more confident to head out again when we’re next in town.
Grassi Lakes Trail
If you visit Canmore in winter, you can still easily enjoy some great hikes. With snow-covered trees lining the Grassi Lakes trail and snow-capped mountains all-around, the winter scenery can be magical.
If you’ve been here in the summer, you’ll notice that the harder route is closed in winter as the spray from the Grassi Lakes waterfall creates unsafe ice conditions. Many winter hikers will use crampons on their boots and hiking poles for more stability on the trail. On our most recent winter hike at Grassi Lakes, we had snowshoes but found they weren’t necessary as the snow was well packed on the trails and the conditions were warmer so much of the snow was melted or forming a crust of ice on top.