Banff Springs Hotel is a world-renowned luxury resort hotel set in wilderness of Banff National Park, Alberta.
The hotel was founded by William Cornelius Van Horne in 1887, as part of a series of magnificent resorts built by Canadian Pacific Railway to promote tourism in the Canadian Rockies. It cost $250,000 – an astronomical amount at that time.
Banff Springs Hotel was an instant hit with wealthy tourists, who were attracted by the rugged natural landscape, and the impressive architectural design and lavish décor of the resort hotel. Between 1911 and 1928, the original hotel was completely rebuilt. The old Scottish baronial style of architecture gave way to the new, subdued Chateau-style. Also, steel and concrete replaced the old wood and stone structure. Dark limestone from the local quarry was used to clad the exterior.
The original building was designed by Bruce Price; the present hotel was designed by Walter S. Painter (the eleven-story tower) and J.W. Orrock (the main block). In 1988 Banff Springs Hotel was designated a national historic site because “it is a leading Canadian example of a large-scale, resort hotel in a natural setting” (Parks Canada).