Filed under: Historic Places & Landmarks, Kid-Friendly Trips, State & National Parks
A Night at the Prince of Wales Hotel
On one of our recent camping trips to Glacier National Park, Montana, we made the journey over to its sister park in Canada, Waterton Peace Park. Together they are known as the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. As we travel to as many of our national and international parks as our time and funds allow, one of the things we like to do is investigate all of the National Park lodges and hotels that we can fit into our schedule.
While in most cases, this will involve simply a walking tour of the structure, there are a few in which we have chosen to spend an evening, in spite of the fact that we are fully equipped with camping gear. While the cost would be prohibitive for us and for many families to spend a week in such a locale, one night is a luxury to which we have treated ourselves several times. The kids have loved this! The Prince of Wales Hotel, in the Waterton half of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is one such hotel in which we have spent a night.
One of the most photographed hotels in the world, this stately hotel is located high on a bluff overlooking Waterton Lake and the town of Waterton. Upon viewing the hotel online, we felt the need to arrange a stay in this famously beautiful hotel.
Built in 1927 by the Great Northern Railway, The Prince of Wales Hotel has striking architectural features, including the soaring roofs, gables and balconies that set this hotel apart from the typical hotel or national park lodging and give the Prince of Wales Hotel a romantic alpine chalet feel.
It is especially unique in terms of national park lodges, many of which tend to exude a more rustic appearance. Rather than looking like a great camp lodge, the Prince of Wales looks more like an English castle. This thrilled our daughter, Meghan, who was 13 the year we stayed there. We requested a room with a mountain view and the photos we took from our tiny balcony were spectacular! Barely large enough to sit on, the balcony provided a bit of fresh air and scenic vistas for us to enjoy. Located up on the top floor as we were, we could look down on nearby Waterton Lake and the mountains beyond.
While we did not partake of the high tea presented at the hotel in Valerie’s Tea Room each day promptly at from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, we were able to walk down into the town of Waterton and had a delicious dinner of Rocky Mountain Rainbow Trout at an outdoor patio table at a local dining establishment. It was a wonderful way to get to know this quaint town and get a real feel for the area.
Later, we headed back to the hotel and, after we had gotten the kids settled in for the night, Terry and I headed down to the Windsor Lounge for a quiet drink in a luxurious atmosphere. This is something we rarely experience, especially on a family camping trip. The following morning, before heading back to our tent and campground, we treated ourselves to a delectable breakfast in the hotel’s Royal Stewart Dining Room. It was truly a memorable part of our visit and one even the children are eager to repeat.
For more information about camping and other things to do in Alberta, Canada, check out Alberta camping.