Welcome to The Fairmont Banff Springs. This storied, 125-year-old property high in the Canadian Rockies beckons with a castle-like hotel, nine full-service restaurants, and overpowering mountain scenery — not to mention the wildlife mentioned above.
Banff also boasts 27 holes: the nine-hole Tunnel Mountain and the classic Stanley Thompson—designed Championship 18, chock full of some of the game's greatest mountain holes.
The pond-guarded, drop-shot par-3 fourth — appropriately called "Devil's Cauldron" — is frightening and fun. Equally memorable is the elevated tee of the 475-yard, par-4 15th, where I once took a dozen waggles trying to figure out how to avoid the rutting elk in the middle of the fairway.
To experience the best of Banff, book the Golf for Free Package, which includes lodging, one round of golf and cart (after 11 a.m.) per room on the Thompson course, range balls and club storage. July rates start at $599 per night, based on double occupancy.
866-540-4406, fairmont.com/banffsprings (Photo: Evan Schiller)