The hotel is within a spectacular setting in the Rocky Mountains, just above the Bow Falls, close to thermal springs and within walking distance to the townsite of Banff. The Banff Springs Hotel is a former railway hotel constructed in Scottish Baronial style located in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.
The original hotel, designed by American architect Bruce Price, was built between spring of 1887 and 1888 by the Canadian Pacific Railway. The hotel was publicly opened on June 1, 1888.
The 1888 hotel cost $250,000. However, a mistake by the builder changed the hotel’s orientation so that it turned its back on the mountain view. This hotel included more than 100 bedrooms, centered on a five story, octagonal rotunda. An addition in 1902 expanded and renovated the hotel, adding more than 200 rooms.
By 1906, plans were advanced for a complete overhaul of the Banff Springs, replacing much of the original structure. Walter Painter, chief architect for the Canadian Pacific, designed an eleven-storey central tower in concrete and stone, flanked by two wings. The so-called “Painter Tower”, this time correctly oriented to the view, was completed in 1914 at a cost of $2 million with 300 guest rooms, was for a time the tallest building in Canada.
Construction of the new wings was delayed by World War I, and the surviving Price wings continued in service. Two new wings, this time designed by architect J.W. Orrock, opened in 1928. Orrock, using the style originated by Painter, greatly expanded the Painter Tower, altering its roofline, and adding his own massive additions. In 1926, while work was proceeding on the new wings, a fire destroyed the remainder of the original Price hotel.
In 1968, the hotel was winterised and has been open year-round.