Lake Louise > Dreaming of a White Christmas

In 2014, we decided to forgo our usual Christmas traditions of sunbathing, camping, visiting relatives, and opening way too many presents; and instead spent our time in the wintery depths of Lake Louise, Canada.

We had always wanted to experience a white Christmas — you know, like you see in all the movies; and we figured, if you’re going to have a snowy Christmas, you might as well have one looking at this piece of prime real estate:

Fairmont Chateau

Lake Louise > Dreaming of a White Christmas

Since we weren’t going to have our home comforts or family nearby (in fact, as we were celebrating Christmas, our families had already moved on to Boxing Day), we decided to splash out and stay at the Chateau Fairmont.

Although this is more of a once-in-a-lifetime experience, there are a range of other (cheaper) accommodation options nearby. And, you don’t actually have to be a Chateau guest in order to enjoy the hotel grounds and Winter activities on offer.

However, I will note that you do need to book in early, as Lake Louise is a popular spot over the Christmas period, so all the hotels and winter activities do tend to fill up quickly.

Christmas Eve

Because we were staying on Christmas Eve, we decided to pay a bit extra to get a Christmas tree set up in our room. We also signed up for Christmas brunch and snow-shoeing, which you do need to organise well in advance in order to secure a spot.

Christmas Tree

Christmas Eve featured staff and other guests banding together to sing carols, and drink delicious egg nog and hot chocolate.

Christmas Day

We woke on Christmas morning to find that Santa had visited in the night, and left us a Christmas stocking filled with games, treats, bread, playing cards, fruit and a signed postcard from hotel staff. It was a truly lovely surprise, and one we were not expecting at all!

I had registered for us to attend the second seating for Christmas brunch, which started at 12.30pm, and was absolutely wonderful! Featuring one of the biggest buffets I have ever seen, live music, and friendly waiters, this was a great option for really making the day feel like Christmas, even though we were on the other side of the world.

Christmas night we rugged up and joined a snow-shoeing tour. Our guide was equal parts entertaining and knowledgeable, and really made everyone feel at ease. We had such a great time, and even though it was freezing outside, I ended up taking my jacket off after only 10 minutes, as I was getting too warm in all my layers. This is a great tour for beginners, but also provides an opportunity to “run amok” in the dark wilderness, so would also be fun and challenging for those who have experience. Our tour ended in a man-made igloo with the best hot chocolate I have ever tasted in my life.

Lake Louise

Boxing Day

We spent boxing day testing out our ice skating skills on the frozen lake, which turned out to be a lot easier than I remembered! Being in Canada, we also had to try the ‘maple candy experience’, which involved hot maple syrup being poured over an ice bench and molded into a lollypop. So sweet and so delicious.

Lake Louise

Overall Impression of Lake Louise

The great thing about staying in Lake Louise over Christmas is that — aside from the available activities — there really isn’t a lot to do. You are almost forced to sit back, relax, and enjoy yourself, which was just what the doctor ordered!

There was no feeling guilty about sitting inside, staring out into the beautiful landscape, and just hanging out.

However, each day we did brave the cold and walk from one end of the iced-over lake to the other. Temperatures sat around -20 degrees C, so staying outside all day wasn’t really an option, and thermal boots were a necessity!

During our stay, we didn’t want for ANYTHING. The resort is fully contained and features multiple eateries, boutique stores, and gift shops. The staff are all so friendly and helpful, which I wasn’t expecting for such a high-end hotel.

All in all it was a magical Christmas, and one we won’t soon forget.

So tell me:

Have you ever experienced a White Christmas before? Would you want to?
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, what do you think about our Summer Christmas?

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Christmastime at Lake Louise

Whistler_Zipline 2

Author: Michelle

Michelle Harvey is a kiwi traveller, writer, photographer, list-maker, coffee drinker, and wanderer. Winter holidays are her favourite kind.

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