Banff Incentive Travel Guide
An hour and a half north of Calgary, an alpine wonderland awaits – with the majestic Canadian Rockies as the backdrop. Banff is perfect for incentive travel groups who love the outdoors and seek a bucket-list fulfilling adventure.
Banff Incentive Quality Resorts
The Fairmont Banff Springs
No trip to Banff would be complete without a stay at the ‘Castle in the Canadian Rockies’ – the Fairmont Banff Springs. Built in the late 1800s by a manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway, it is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the perfect place for attendees to mix luxury with a bit of history. Situated on the Bow River, the Fairmont has sweeping views of the natural landscape – which are often best viewed from one of the many terraces extending from the public and meeting spaces (all 76,000 square feet of it!)
The Fairmont also boasts a unique offering of dining options on-site – such as 1888 Chop House, which serves up fresh Alberta beef; the Vermillion Room, serving classic French fare; and Grapes, with their great selection of Canadian (and International) cheeses, in-house cured meats and extensive wine list. With 10 dining options on property, attendees may never eat at the same restaurant twice.
Guests can enjoy the Willow Stream Spa, golf at the Fairmont Banff Springs course (opens in May), rent ski equipment and be picked up directly from the front drive or try their hand at Canadian Bowling at the on-site bowling alley.
Rimrock Resort Hotel
Situated on Sulphur Mountain – the Rimrock Resort Hotel is another great, incentive quality hotel for groups looking at Banff. The resort is just steps from the Banff Gondola and a quick walk or transfer to downtown. Rimrock boasts 5 on-property dining options, with ‘farm to table’ being their focus for all their dishes. Eden – which offers French cuisine with Canadian ingredients – boasts a AAA 5-diamond rating and cannot be missed.
Banff Incentive Trip Activities
With one of the longest ski seasons in the country, running from late November to early May, Banff is the perfect location for those seeking some time on the slopes. The area boasts three ski mountains – known as ‘Ski Big 3’ – Banff Sunshine, Mt. Norquay, and Lake Louise. Mt. Norquay is closest to town, Banff Sunshine is about 20-30 minutes from Banff and Lake Louise is approximately a 40 drive. Ski rentals are available in town or at the base of each mountain and shuttles run throughout the day from downtown Banff and most of the local resorts.
Another great option for groups is hiking Johnston Canyon. The scenery is amazing, both in winter and in summer. The canyon walk consists of a serious of trails and steel catwalks – suspended along the side of the canyon. For a more relaxing route, the hike to the Lower Falls is about 1 km from the trailhead entrance and has little elevation change. Attendees are rewarded with a large waterfall plunging into a deep aqua pool. There is also a small cave that allows for a closer view of the waterfall. For groups looking for a more challenging hike, continue past the Lower Falls and head to the Upper Falls. This hike is about 2.7 km from the trailhead and has a bit of a gain in elevation (about 700 feet). Once attendees arrive, they are greeted by large viewing platforms. During the winter, the falls are frozen, creating large ice sheets on the cliffs – they may even be lucky enough to see adventure seekers climbing the ice!
For groups that may have a bit more time in the Banff area – a day trip to Lake Louise or Jasper cannot be missed. Only about 45 minutes north of Banff, Lake Louise is a glacier lake characterized by aqua blue waters in the summer and boasting ice skating, snowshoeing, and the Ice Magic Festival in the winter. The iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is perched on the shores and is a great place to stop for lunch after attendees have time to explore the area before heading back to Banff.
Emerald Lake, just to the west of Lake Louise on the other side of Mount Burgess, offers an easy canoeing experience that can accommodate larger incentive travel groups.
A bit further north of Banff – Jasper National Park awaits. Best known for it’s Columbia Icefields and Glacier Skywalk, it is worth the three and a half hour drive. The Glacier Skywalk hovers 900 feet above the Rockies, giving attendees a unique viewpoint of the landscape. While at the Columbia Icefields, attendees can climb into one of the Ice Explorers and ride onto the Athabasca Glacier – an experience not soon forgotten! Jasper also boasts hiking trails, beautiful glacier lakes, and views from the Jasper SkyTram.
Event Ideas in Banff
The town of Banff is the perfect place to host Executive Dinners or a dine-around for attendees. The streets are lined with shops, bars and the areas top restaurants. The evening could start out with a beer tasting at the Banff Avenue Brewing Company or a tour of Banff’s own distillery – Park Distillery – who distill their liquor using glacier water from the mountains and grains sourced only from Alberta. Afterward, attendees can enjoy Canadian fare in a rustic setting at The Maple Leaf, Canadian farm-to-table eats at The Bison, or the finest Alberta raised beef at Chuck’s Steakhouse. After dinner fun can continue at Wild Bill’s Saloon for karaoke or a dance party at The Dancing Sasquatch.
The Sky Bistro on Sulphur Mountain is another great choice for a group dinner – perhaps the Welcome Reception or Farewell Dinner. The Sky Bistro is uniquely positioned at the peak of Sulphur Mountain and only accessible via the Banff Gondola or by foot. Attendees are given the unique experience of taking the 8 min gondola ride up to the peak as the Canadian Rockies rise around them. Once they arrive, the sweeping view greets them as they work their way to the Bistro. The menu consists of locally sourced ingredients of the highest quality and will not disappoint. Non-private group reservations and full buyouts are available. After dinner, attendees can enjoy the outdoor firepit and one last view before boarding the gondola for the base.
Banff is an incentive travel destination that offers more than just majestic mountain views (although those are spectacular on their own.) With a wide array of farm-to-table dining options, outdoor activities, and high-end event space, Banff could be the perfect spot for your next incentive trip!
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