Imagine if you could create your own wellness retreat that treats you to stunning scenery, delicious and utterly nutritious organic foods that you adore, inspiring yoga classes, exciting adventure sports and soothing therapies…
Wouldn’t you think you’d died and gone to heaven?
Well that’s exactly what happened to me when I jumped in the car and headed to the awe-inspiring mountains of Banff to create my own wellness retreat for the weekend.
And boy, did I deserve it! I’d just come through a really crazy few weeks of work and I was really feeling the stress piling up. I just needed to unplug, relax, and show myself some self love. And believe me- I came out feeling like a new girl- blissfully relaxed and ready to tackle real life again (just about!).
The mountains really are my favourite place to head to when I’m needing to show myself more love and Banff is the perfect place because it’s close enough to Edmonton to just pop to for the weekend (although we’d stay longer if life wasn’t knocking).
I tested everything out and put together the perfect weekend wellness getaway for you. Here’s what I did.
2pm — Check in to Fairmont Banff Springs
WOW! They say that Fairmont Banff Springs looks like a castle, and they couldn’t be more accurate. I was completely blown away by the incredible views!
As Riley and I drove up to the castle, I knew I’d found the perfect location for my wellness break and I couldn’t wait to actually rest my head on their pillows! (I’d really recommend staying here for the full Banff experience!)
2:30pm — Get a chai from the hotel coffee shop
I adore chai!! So when I discovered that The Fairmont have chai on the menu in their (amazing) revamped their coffee shop and “fast food” restaurant, I just couldn’t resist. The only downside was that it was made with a syrup, but I was really excited to find out that they could make me one with a tea bag instead.
Here’s what I asked for: A chai tea latte with a tea bag instead of syrup. Ask for it with almond milk. Then I add honey or sweetener after the fact – and it’s perfect!
3pm — Head to the Cave & Basin Natural Historic Site to get clued up on the history
Fancy a dose of history and local knowledge on your trip? The Cave & Basin Natural Historic site will really show you where it all started and it was a place I LOVED!! Amazing for a wellness break!
In this incredibly breathtaking place you can see the hot spring that started it all, explore nature, breathe in the crisp clean mountain air and enjoy the trails dotted around.
My favourite bit was walking along the boardwalk as it was so incredibly beautiful with all the snow (and just as stunning if you’re visiting on a hot summer’s day!)
4pm — Stroll downtown and treat yourself to a snack
Banff’s downtown is sooo picturesque- I really loved it here. There are tons of cute little stores – including my favourite Rocky Mountain Soap Factory where I treated myself to some new shampoo.
7pm – Crystal Healing Bath (absolute MUST go)
Let me just tell you that I I had never experienced anything quite like sound healing before. And honestly it has changed my life.
Sound healing using crystal bowls is a therapy that will energise your body and soul and release stagnant energy, balance your chakras, heal your body and soul, help attract love into your life, and much more. Combining the power of sound healing and crystals, this is a treatment I will never forget!
Martha, the owner, was so incredible, especially when I was asking her 101 questions at the end. She does a “soundbath” session every Friday night that’s an absolute must go to.
8:15pm — Dinner @ Nourish
Okay, I love food – and Nourish (which is just steps from the crystal place) is a delicious vegan restaurant where everything is made with love using organic, local and fresh ingredients. We went overboard with the food because we didn’t realize how huge the serving sizes were!
They offered amazingly delicious treats like superfood salads, platters created with raw nut cheeses, crackers, fresh bread and other homemade ingredients, the most mouth-watering nachos ever and the kind of noodles that you’ll never want to stop eating! Yum!
8:30am — Fairmont Coffee Shop for Breakfast (I loved the avocado toast and oats)
Gotta love a nourishing breakfast before you hit the trail! As I said before, I really love this place for food and I’d really recommend it for a quick breakfast that satisfies your tummy, bumps up your nutrition and keeps you feeling awesome.
I recommend getting the avocado toast, or oats (or both like I had!!)
9am — Johnson Lake Snowshoe with Banff Tours
Snowshoeing is amazing! I had never been before so this was the perfect experience. The lake was completely frozen and we were able to run right out in the middle of it. I managed not to fall off, but Riley did (but lived to tell the tale!)
In the middle of this adventure, we also found this adorable cabin that a logger had lived in for years all along. I understand him, sometimes people are tough to be around….
With some much beautiful scenery, fun activity and interesting things to discover, this is the perfect time to switch off that phone, disconnect from the outside world and really feed your soul with time unplugged.
11:30am — Back to the hotel for a quick change of clothes
We popped back to the ‘castle’ to cast off our adventure clothes before heading back out for lunch.
12:00pm — Lunch at the Wild Flour Banff Artisan Bakery Cafe
Wild Flour is the cutest little artisan coffee shop right in the middle of town offering amazing organic food made with love and skill.
They have a ton of yummy salads like kale salad with fresh apples and toasted nuts, or our hearty lentil salad with roasted squash and pumpkin seeds and the sandwiches are amazing. Even their selection of teas is on point.
1:00pm — Check out The Canada House Gallery (if you’re lucky, the owners dog, Rosco, will be there) & stroll around
I think when going to Banff it’s important to get the full experience – and The Canada House Gallery is just that! They showcase the best of Canadian art, painting and sculpture and support Canadian artists which is really important in my opinion.
I loved the really cool pieces on display and the fact that they’re not superstrict about dress codes or anything like that (you can even go in wearing your ski gear if you like!)
Also, the owner has the most adorable puppy and you bet I was the person on the ground cuddling him.
7:00pm– Head to the Three Ravens Restaurant & Wine Bar for dinner
Ever tried bison? It’s one of my all time favourite dishes! So as you can imagine, I was super pleased to find it on the menu at this amazing restaurant. And it didn’t disappoint- the Three Ravens had the best bison I’ve ever had!
The restaurant is also in a really cool location where on the drive up you get to see the beautiful Fairmont Banff Springs aaand the menu was filled with local fresh ingredients which help nourish your body on your wellness retreat! Awesome.
8am– Splurge on a brunch buffet @ Fairmont Coffee Shop
I don’t know about you, but I LOVE brunch. I even have a shirt that says Babes Who Brunch – and the Fairmont does it right!
I know this is a wellness weekend getaway but sometimes stuffing your face with all of the glorious foods is wellness. It’s all about balance, right?
9am — Yoga @ Rocky Mountain Yoga Studio
Yay for yoga! Because Banff means wellness to me, and wellness wouldn’t be complete without yoga.
The Rocky Mountain Yoga Studio is right there in Bison courtyard with an amazing view of the mountains, and is the cutest little yoga studio to get a class in.
The teacher we had was sooo informative and got me into a handstand, something I’ve never done before! They have tons going on throughout the year, including retreats, workshops and regular classes.
10:30am — Spa Day @Fairmont Springs (get two treatments, hang out in the sauna)
I. Love. The. Spa.
Anddd, the Fairmont Springs does it right! I highly recommend getting one (or honestly two) treatments done and then sitting back to enjoy their fabulous facilities. Honestly, even if you just go in and pay for access to the facilities, it would be enough for a blissful retreat.
They have an indoor pool with mountain views, a sauna, whirlpool and an outdoor hot tub. Mmmm…feeling relaxed just thinking about it!
Remember, this weekend is all about you so if you can afford it, I do recommend splurging on yourself with this spa experience.
1pm — Lunch in the spa
The best thing about having lunch in a spa? You don’t need to take your robe off to enjoy it!! Plus they do a really great simple lunch that’s extra delicious and very good for you.
Also, there’s unlimited cookies in the spa, so…. Yas. I would have paid just for those…
(And yes I know cookies and wellness getaway don’t seem to go hand in hand, but they do in our books!!)
2:00pm – Head home
It’s the only bad thing that happened all weekend- packing up and heading home 🙁
Honestly, leaving Banff is never fun and it’s my goal to spend more time here in the mountains. There’s something so very special about being here, the activities you can do are very unique and it’s the perfect place to relax, unplug from all our technology, reconnect with ourselves and enjoy breathtaking scenery.
So next time you feel the need to escape from the madness of everyday life and treat yourself to a wellness break, why not retrace my steps and head to the mountains of Banff? And who knows, perhaps you’ll even see me here too!
To make things easier, we have compiled a quick downloadable eBook that highlights my exact itinerary. You can just upload it to your phone and reference it when you make it out to our beloved Canadian Rockies.
Download the free itinerary here.
Have you been to Banff? Where’s your favourite place to go?