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Jasper, Alberta, Canada
web: fairmont.com/jasper/
email: jasperparklodge@fairmont.com

By Bobbi P. Markowitz, Founder and Publisher

About Jasper and Jasper National Park // Snuggled peacefully amongst the monumental Rockies, the town of Jasper, is located in the largest of the Canadian Rocky Mountain National Parks, the 4200 acre, Jasper National Park. Preserving a small town feel while offering world class amenities, Jasper includes fine dining, fun pubs, excellent shopping, art galleries and museums. Twenty minutes from the town of Jasper, Marmot Basin is home to some of the best skiing and snowboarding in Canada. Known for its acres of champagne powder, the Marmot Basin's vast unspoiled terrain offers "crowd free" slopes.

Where to Stay // The story of the Jasper Park Lodge embodies the coming of the railway to Jasper National Park and the development of tourism, of entrepreneurs with a vision, of wild animals on the doorstep, of royalty and movie stars, of live handicaps on the golf course and of room service on bicycle. The Lodge had its humble beginnings in 1915 - a few tents on the shores of Lac Beauvert. A few years later, the new Canadian Railways took over the tent camp and opened Jasper Park Lodge in 1922. Today, it is a 903-acre year round luxury resort in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Organized as a village of log cabins and cedar chalets that are impeccably decorated in a casually elegant style, they are situated alongside the pristinely serene lake connected by picturesque paths. Accommodations at the Jasper Park Lodge which recently received a five year multi-million dollar renovation, range in size from rooms to suites to cabins and chalets such as Milligan Manor ( eight bedrooms, nine baths, 900-square-foot living and dining room). In total there are 446 guest rooms, four restaurants and three lounges including a sports lounge with billiard lounge, 18-hole award winning golf course, tennis courts, game room, health spa and fitness center with exercise equipment, steam room and whirlpool and year-round heated outdoor pool. Meeting space totals 26,520 square feet and includes 17 function rooms, accommodating 1,000 delegates.

Where to eat // The Jasper Park Lodge offers visitors a variety of dining and lounging experiences. The Beauvert Dining Room features a breakfast buffet and a table d'hote dinner menu. We recommend the elegant Edith Cavell Dining Room, which features exceptional gourmet dining, classic service, elegant surroundings and majestic mountain views. The Meadow Cafe is a casual continental cafe with breakfast, lunch and dinner selections. The Moose's Nook specializes in Canadiana cuisine within a rustic decor. The fireside Emerald Lounge features light fare, seasonal barbecue, cocktails and specialty coffees. Basking in the warmth of the grand fireplace, people and mountain watching are toss up activities. The Palisade Lounge is reserved for cocktails, specialty coffees and liqueurs, and a casual menu within an elegant and intimate lakeview lounge. Located in the golf clubhouse, the Spike Lounge offers spectacular views of the 1st tee and the 18th fairway. The menu features refreshing beverages and casual fare. In Tent City, guests may enjoy an evening of amusement with billiards, darts and a full pub menu. Oka Sushi offers Japanese sushi, beer and wines. Casual dining, in Jasper, less than two miles from Jasper Park Lodge, is readily available. Try Papa Georges, 404 Connaught Drive, 852-3351 for casual, comfortable down home meals and Fiddle River Seafood Co. at 622 Connaught Dr. 852-3032 for fresh fish delicacies.

Where to shop // The Beauvert Shopping Promenade, located in the lower level of the main lodge has 17 unique boutiques that include everything from coffee table photo books highlighting the area's great beauty, to original art, to elegant cashmere and woolen apparel. Gift shoppers will revel in the many distinctive offerings.

Transportation // The Lodge is located within easy access by car from Calgary International Airport ( 275 miles), by way of the remarkable Icefields Parkway, a modern, brilliantly designed highway ideal for comfortable travel and leisurely sightseeing. Among the highlights: the alpine meadows of Bow Summit, over 6000 feet above sea level; the Saskatchewan River crossing; the extraordinary Columbia Icefields with six glistening glaciers; views of Tangle Falls, a favorite mountain sheep habitat; Sunwapta Canyon; Goat Lookout; Whirlpool Valley and more. Both scenic rail and air transportation is available. Contact Peace Air at www.peaceair.com for more information.

Tips // The value of a vacation in the Canadian Rockies is unbeatable. Recently, a currency exchange gave American visitors approximately $1.48 and $1.56 Canadian dollars for every US dollar spent. These remarkable prices, make a visit to this very beautiful region, both visually as well as monetarily appealing.

What to do // Earning national acclaim, golfers will delight in Jasper Park Lodge's Stanley Thompson-designed golf course which has been called the best golf resort in Canada. Summer activities, aside from golf include horseback riding, hiking, cycling, boating, fishing, heli-hiking, Miette Hot Springs, sightseeing excursions, canoeing and white-water rafting. One hour south of Jasper, the Columbia Icefield is a must see and one of the largest accumulations of ice south of the Arctic Circle. Visitors take a guided tour on the glacier by foot or snocoach. For Brewster snocoach tours call (403) 762-6735. Winter activities include cross-country skiing, downhill skiing and snowboarding at Marmot basin; ice skating, sleigh rides; canyon ice crawling, snowmobile tours, heli-skiing, dog-sledding, snow shoeing.

By Bobbi P. Markowitz, Founder and Publisher

The awe-inspiring mountain scenery of the Canadian Rockies is a truly extraordinary experience. Our week-long visit to the region started with an overnight stay in Calgary, where we visited with long-time friends. We proceeded to Lake Louise, for a two night stay at the Chateau Lake Louise. We journeyed on to Jasper and the delightfully bucholic Jasper Park Lodge, where we spent two nights. Our stay at the welcoming Jasper Park Lodge was a delightfully unique venue with a beatitude and solitude of its very own. The Grand Canadian Lodge experience far exceeded our expectations. With elk casually roaming the property, the campsite ambiance of the Jasper Park Lodge offers sublime respite for the traveler.

While the trip from Lake Louise to Jasper can be accomplished in under three hours, it is advisable to allow plenty of time and daylight to take in the Icefields Parkway, such as planning a memorable picnic, a short hike to view a colorful turquoise lake or simply absorb the breathtaking beauty of the Rockies. On our way back to our departure destination of Calgary we visited Banff and the Banff Springs Hotel which is a mere hour or so away. As the ultimate destination for those looking seeking serenity and seclusion, this gentle journey exemplifies the very best that nature has to offer.


ROOMS: 446
CLOSEST MAJOR AIRPORT: Calgary International airport
OPENED: 1922
ACTIVITIES: SPA, cross-country & DOWNHILL skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, sleigh rides; canyon ice crawling, snowmobile tours, heli-skiing, dog-sledding, snow shoeinggolf, horseback riding, hiking, cycling, boating, SHOPPING, fishing, heli-hiking, Miette Hot Springs, sightseeing excursions, canoeing and white-water rafting