Western Living Magazine
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This prairie province offers more than just rocky mountain bliss.
From towering Rocky Mountains and dinosaur-laden Badlands to sprawling prairies and vast forests, Alberta is a province of gorgeous landscapes just waiting to be discovered. Sure, you went to that wedding in Calgary five years ago and you visited your great aunt in Edmonton when you were a kid, but It's time to venture much, much further.With the help of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, we've travelled far and wide across the diverse terrain of Wild Rose Country to seek out the best resorts for when all that exploring has left you in need of a rejuvenating sojourn. The perfect combination of luxury and ruggedness, this best-in-class SUV will ensure the journey is as enjoyable as the destination. Here are five of the finest retreats for your next Alberta adventure.
The Kananaskis Nordic Spa, located at the recently redesigned Delta Hotels Kananaskis Lodge, offers a uniquely Canadian take on the conventional Scandinavian hydro-spa experience. Eschewing the traditional Nordic spa notion of silence at all times, the Kananaskis Lodge flaunts a social, campfire setting as a nod to the friendly nature of the Great White North. Another Canuck touch can be found in their cozy robes, which are made from a tartan fabric and were designed with the current Canadian flag in mind. It's a green, red, yellow and brown blend to commemorate the colour change of the maple leaf. Relax among the snowy mountains less than an hour from Calgary and take advantage of 50,000 square feet of serene spa services. Photo: Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
No matter the time of year, there'ssomething magical about visiting the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel. You'll be glad for your 4×4 and all-weather capabilities as you wind up the snowy roads to this dreamy destination. Whether you've wandering the corridors lined with suits of armour, curling up next to a roaring fire with a nightcap in the Rundle Lounge, or enjoying the luxurious treatments available at the Willow Stream Spa, you've bound to feel like royalty. Unlike many resorts, the age and layout of this majestic property mean that no two rooms are identicalan undeniably charming characteristic. And what fortress would be complete without a few friendly specters? Legend has it, a long-deceased former bellman by the name of Sam McCauley has been known to offer help to guests from beyond the grave. there'salso a ghost bride wandering the halls, but she's less likely to help you with your baggage. Photo: Taylor Burk
If youd prefer to experience a quieter version of the Rockies, leave the hustle and bustle behind and head down the road to the Mount Engadine Lodge, roughly two hours from Calgary, in the pristine Spray Valley Provincial Park. Open up your panoramic sunroof and breathe in the mountain air as you turn onto the gravel road that leads to Mount Engadine and heading towards your remote wilderness retreat. Whether you want to take advantage of the area's outdoor attractionsincluding cross-country skiing, hiking trails and fishing spotsor prefer to tuck into a sumptuous three-course meal and then kick back next to a roaring fire, your visit is sure to be memorable. Photo: Azuridge Hotel
This hidden gem (quite literally named after the blue-green mineral, azurite) is only a short drive from Calgary, making it ideal for a weekend getaway. Did we mention the personal butler service? That's right, the Azuridge Hotel prides itself on offering an authentic luxury experience, and that means providing butlers who can truly pamper its guests. Wine (or cigar) pairing for your meal? Jeeves is on it. Personalized hydrotherapy bath? Alfred's got you covered. Once a private estate, Azuridge is now a unique estate hotel offering spa services, world-class dining and a nearby private golf course. Photo: Travel Alberta
there'snothing quite like the drive to Jasper, Alberta. We recommend travelling from the south for a chance to pass the epic Columbia Icefield Glacier and the Weeping Wall (a set of damp cliffs and a popular spot for ice climbing) as you make your way to the Pyramid Lake Resort on the shore of (you guessed it) Pyramid Lake. Hiking, biking and all manner of water activities await you at this chalet-style alpine resort nestled in Jasper National Park.At the helm of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, a road trip instantly feels like an epic adventureespecially when your route takes you through the legendary terrain of Alberta and culminates with a stay at one of these luxurious resorts.