A Weekend at Emerald Lake Lodge

Located in a Canadian National Park, Emerald Lake Lodge inspires you to be one with nature while in the lap of luxury.

“I am not getting in that canoe.”

“But honey you boat all the time.” 

“Yes, dear husband, but that boat has a motor and won’t easily tip.”  

We are at Emerald Lake Lodge for the weekend celebrating a milestone for us, the first wedding anniversary. 

Arriving at Emerald Lake Lodge

When we arrived the previous evening—in the pitch black of night—the first clue indicating this city-bred gal was out of her comfort zone was her introduction to John, a real life bellhop.  The friendly Aussie drives us up in a small shuttle from the secured parking lot to the main lodge to check in.

He explains during the short drive if there’s anything we require, he’s on call for the night.  As we’re checking in, we are assured the bellhop will deliver our bags to our room.  I think my legs aren`t broken, but sure, I would love for my bags to be delivered to my room. 

Given a map of the resort, we are shown where our room is and we walk the short distance to our ‘cabin’.  I notice a big outdoor hot tub and a lit fire pit on the way.  Our cabin consists of four rooms, two on the main level and two on the second floor, each with private entrances.

I discover the fireplace in our room is freshly laid (people can do that for you?) and the complimentary welcome plate my husband chose when making our reservation has a strange dark cheese unknown to me.   I decide I like this new cheese.  And no, John, we can light the fireplace ourselves, but thanks for our bag delivery.

The quiet hush of the evening is emphasized with the lack of cell coverage and no television or internet hook up in the room.  Our private balcony has two handcrafted wooden chairs inviting intimate conversation.  The rich linens and lush pillows of the bed invite the guests to relax. Weddings are quite obviously booked throughout the season. 

Each room harbours pristine lake front views, and the cobblestone inspired paths prevent all but the service golf carts for vehicles.  There is no city traffic in the background, and the absolute stillness of the night makes me unconsciously speak in a whisper.  As I look up at the brilliantly glowing moon, I am completely and utterly overcome with the romance of it all.  

Surrounded by Nature

“Love of my life, you know me, you know I trip just going up the stairs.”

“Just get in the canoe, babe, after this we will do the easy 5k walk around the lake.”

The colours embracing you are burnt auburn and burnished gold, brightly reflecting a fall sun through the greens of hard needles and feathery fern.  The lake itself is a serene, calm reflection of the heavens.

The useful markers along the trail inform us the lake gets it beautiful namesake colour from glacial sediment, or rock flour as it’s called, that lies suspended in the water.

Other hiking trails lead off to various mountains including the famous heritage Burgess Shale Formation.  It`s no wonder this resort has been around (in various forms) since the early 1900s, calling to world travellers many times over to visit and rejuvenate oneself. 

Decadent Dining

Dinner, back at the main lodge in the Mount Burgess Dining Room, is luxurious.  The bison is paired expertly with a rich and surprisingly creamy barley risotto, and my elk is served an expertly medium rare with bitter chocolate and sharp goat cheese accents. The ranch-raised game is from the Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts own supplier, and seasonally in tune with the harvest.

The meal is sumptuous, slightly pretentious, and totally decadent.  Wine, recommended by our obsequious yet friendly server, compliments and entices.  Or maybe it's the ambience of the low lights, the historically renowned setting of original hardwood beams, and the company of like-wise minded couples telling us it's a special evening.

Worth Every Penny

Worth every penny for a romantic getaway, the value is felt with every sweet clean breath of mountain air, every blink taken in of mountainous landscape, every nuance you share with your partner, and every whim delivered by your bellhop.

Only your credit card might feel a brief momentary shudder, but it’s quickly set aside as you watch your paddle dipping into that beautiful water.

“See? You're a natural honey! You are looking good at the bow.”

Photos by Andrea Hendry and courtesyThe Resorts of the Canadian Rockies


Andrea Hendry

Andrea Hendry is a graduate of the University of Calgary. An avid reader and enthusiastic traveller, her all-time favourite destination—that she thinks should be added to everyone’s bucket list—is Tahiti. This summer, when not in Calgary, she plans to be lakeside somewhere with a good book and a glass of wine.