In an age of fast moving marketing, billion dollar social media property acquisitions and brand leadership on a massive scale, the Banff Springs Hotel stands out as a brand apart. It is a destination that has means different things to different travellers. Its brand stakeholders are incredibly varied. Throughout every engagement however the experiential brand of the Banff Springs Hotel consistently holds true. It stands as a reminder of what old world class and prestige truly means.
A visit to the Banff Springs is truly an “experience of a lifetime”. Incredible architecture, vistas and service present their visitors, whether casual, tour or commercial with an elegance and comfort that is second to none. From the first sight of the castle one gets the feeling of class and grace that has seemed to be lost to todays world of nouveau riche, low brow exhibitionists. A quiet elegance and stately manner reserved for Ladies and Gentlemen permeates the entire Banff Springs experience.
As you wind through the rockies on your way to the hotel an anticipation starts to build. Glimpses of the castle through the trees and over the lip of mountainsides draws awe and a nervous excitement. As the impressive, unique and stately building comes into view one begins to have thoughts of “what am I in for?”. This is Banff Springs we are talking about after all.
Pulling up to the castle entrance one is immediately overwhelmed by the architecture and façade finishing. Even though the current entryway was renovated within the last 20 years it still carries the history and presence that permeates the oldest parts of the building. Unless told, a visitor would never know it was such a new renovation.
The concierge and check-in are equally as overwhelming. The craftsmanship of the decor and architecture conveys a quiet calm that is the opposite of brash gaudiness. A true manifestation of old wealth and upper class.
“Where am I? Can I do this? This is above me, beyond my means. Beyond my station.” All these thoughts ran through my mind and threatened to overwhelm me, until I met the hotel staff. Their warmth, openness and hospitality immediately dispels any intimidation and insecurity. I felt welcomed and accepted. I felt at home.
The hotel then took on a different manifestation. The class and grace that was once intimidating becomes the facilitation of comfort and relaxation. Instead of bearing down on you, the old stone and beams support and elevate you, providing the structure for a life changing experience as you witness what has been shielded from you until now. Like a warm and friendly ghost of the past the experience reminds you that the true meaning of class and wealth is not the showiness and braggartly approach of media starlets and the nouveau riche. It is the luxury of being comfortable, warm and safe with your every need catered to with respect, sincerity and personality.
That comfortable luxury then spreads to all touchpoints of the hotel. Whether relaxing over a cocktail at the Rundle Lounge or enjoying a meal at The Banffshire Club one will feel the care and patience that has been put into the decor come through in the culinary experience and staff service as well. One is never left waiting or wanting.
You can’t help but stand a little straighter, speak properly and act with dignity as you walk through the halls of the Banff Springs. Every turn brings unexpected and wonderful surprises and the craftsmanship that goes into every detail is unparalleled. Frequently one finds themselves stopping and simply staring through one of the windows into the natural wonderland outside or at some interesting and unique feature of the architecture. Although the natural surroundings provide obvious inspiration to head out and enjoy another interesting effect falls over the Banff Springs visitor. They find themselves feeling inspired to simply sit and contemplate by a fireplace or beside one of the large windows. The hotel inspires you to slow down, relax your mind and just drink it in.
Regardless of where on the hotel grounds you are there are subtle touches that make every look unique. You may be sitting in the Rundle lounge for the 20th time and didn’t really notice the finish on one of the rounded ceiling beams or something about the view from the balcony. The intricate stone and wood work of Mt Stephen Hall strikes you differently as you finally notice the crests of the provinces. It is not the obvious that makes Banff Spring spectacular but the subtle.
The Banff Springs offers many different things to many different travellers. It’s customer base is multifaceted and has a wide variety of needs and expectations. With that said, there is an underlying character and experience that is a common thread to all who visit the hotel. This is the core value of the Banff Springs brand. Regardless of who owns or manages it, and regardless of which demographic is visiting, the hotels brand character and essence rings through and provides “an experience that all Canadians need to have at least once in their lives”.