Wellness in Lake Louise


Article by Laura Jo Ellis

Photography by Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Originally published in Bellevue Lifestyle

Walking out the doors of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is as close as one could get to stepping through the wardrobe with Lucy and her siblings and finding Narnia on the other side. There is a magical quality to these mountains that is palpable, which provide no greater back drop to get in touch with yourself. A slow burning exists in us all, creating a fire deep within for change, for a new way living. A retreat can be that starting point. The gift we give ourselves for a job well done, or for encouragement to keep going through a difficult time. Sometimes it is the gentle nudge we need to pull us forward, upward or out of the usual place we have been living in. Individually we are seeking something unique out of a retreat; it could be a change of heart, a slowing down, a place to get present, a new way of looking at the world.  A wellness retreat can be a jumping-off point to march forward with courage and follow the direction your heart is pushing you.  Whatever the retreat is offering, you will leave undoubtedly feeling more aligned with who you are, grounded in the journey that brought you to this point.  

Lake Louise is “renowned as the birthplace of Canadian mountaineering.” Throughout the years, thousands of locals and visitors were taught to climb and, later, ski by Swiss mountaineers. The mountain guides were brought there by the Canadian Pacific Railway between 1899 and 1954 to teach safe climbing techniques to thousands of climbers. In the beginning, the general manager of Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), Sir William Cornelius Van Horne, envisioned “a hotel for the outdoor adventurer and alpinist." From the very start CPR responded to the growing interest in mountaineering by fostering tourism in the Rocky Mountains. A simple, one-story log cabin was built as the first accommodation in 1890 at the shore of Lake Louise. A far contrast to the grand, luxury hotel that stands today with over 548 rooms. Originally only open in the summer months, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is now a year-round resort offering world-class skiing, mountaineering, hiking, canoeing, camps for children, spas, fishing, retreats and fine dining. The resort is located in Alberta, Canada in the heart of Banff National Park, in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is far more than a luxury hotel, it is now a major part of Canada’s history. 

Recognizing the need that many travelers have to detox their mind as well as their body, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise has introduced a broad range of wellness retreats held in the spring and fall. They partnered with some of the industry’s thought leaders, “from Yoga Masters, to leading creativity coaches; from mind body medical doctors to Zen Masters and award-winning wellness authors, these experts will free your creativity guide you toward greater balance and teach you to live in the moment.” 

The retreats offered are not only for physical renewal, but also for mind and spirit. Every retreat offered at the mountain resort is all-inclusive, creating a worry-free experience for those attending. This is reflected in the beautifully prepared food, luxury accommodations and the organized timeline of the retreat itself. Every detail has been thoughtfully prepared and the enjoyment of your stay is the Fairmont staff’s top priority. You will feel like royalty as a guest (literally – dozens of royals have stayed at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, from King Edward VII of Wales, Prince Rainier of Monaco, Queen Elizabeth ll, Prince Philip and Queen Margrethe of Denmark).  

The architecture of the hotel itself is designed to enhance its visitors' exposure to the outdoors. The panoramic views from the mountain resort remind guests of nature’s presence; her beauty, her nobility, her splendor, her power to grip and sway the human heart. The mountains are a place of stillness, divine inspiration and peak spirituality, creating a perfect setting for reflection. Only in stillness can you discover the hidden depths of your true nature. Living a life of Wellness is the ultimate process of change and growth. There is no better way to turn newly gained knowledge into sustainable change than embarking on a R&R getaway to reconnect with your path and purpose, along with a like minded community. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise encapsulates the history and majesty of the Canadian Rockies while offering some of the best global wellness retreats to escape to.

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