Lake Louise

The Lake has undeniable beauty and atmosphere. The hotel has the star power of inns such as the Ahwanee in Yosemite, Fairmont in SF or most any hotel at the edge of Central Park in NYC. Chateau Lake Louise is a landmark as is the lake it is named for, no matter seen close up or far away (below).

Like a top tier hotel, it’s also expensive. We sat in bar to take in the atmosphere and watched a foursome next to us order the Louis XIII cognac. It came in a small chi-chi suitcase and portions were poured by the waiter. That’s right they consumed nearly $1,000 of cognac in one sitting.

Upstairs the staff was awaiting the approval of the bride’s mother. I called this shot “WHAT?!?! It’s Supposed To Be Chocolate!!!”

When I was 14 I was invited to join my cousin and his parents on a wonderful trip that included a stay at the Chateau Lake Louise. Imagine my first take of this first class hotel with breathtaking scenery in all directions. The memories of this place have stayed with me ever since – as has the rest of the trip – bestowed on me by very a kind aunt and uncle.

The hotel has undergone change, mostly in additions but in the same style as I recall from in 1962. So it was a special treat to revisit this place of great beauty and remember again the generosity of my aunt and uncle. My Dad’s parting advice was for me to pick the least expensive item on the menus where ever we went. That advice went unheeded here – who could resist Pheasant Under Glass. Of course I remember the presentation but not the taste.

Until 1982 the hotel was a summer resort only. The bathhouse, not used since the 1950s, has yet to be restored. One thing that hasn’t changed is the portrait of Queen Elizabeth (below), the same as I remember from 55 years ago. I’ve aged more than she has.

5 thoughts on “Lake Louise

  1. What a wonderful account of an unforgettable place, complete with childhood and adulthood memories and observations. And the first picture truly looks like a painting, framed as it is with the archway. Magnifique!

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