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Filed under: Historic Places & Landmarks, Kid-Friendly Trips, State & National Parks

A Night at the Prince of Wales Hotel

July 18, 2010 by · 4 Comments 


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.

The Prince of Wales Hotel

The Prince of Wales Hotel

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.

The view from our room

The view from our room

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.

Back view of the hotel

The back view of the hotel

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.

A moose in the parking lot

A moose in the parking lot

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.

The view from our roomLater, 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.


4 Responses to “A Night at the Prince of Wales Hotel”
  1. Christopher Cronk says:

    Hi There,

    Great story about a great hotel….Been there many times and it is truly a wonder to see…The only other wooden structure like it is the hotel at Yellowstone…..However, I would like to take exception to the picture tag-line depicting that the animal in the parking lot being a moose…..After a closer examination, albeit, from the behind, I am quite sure that it is not a moose…..Looking at the antlers and the black tuft at the end of the tail, it appears to be a mule deer which are quite bountiful in the area….



  2. Jennifer Batte says:

    Hi Chris, how can you tell? Its so small. Besides… you crack me up. What, are you a relative of the deer and you were insulted? :-)

  3. Christopher Cronk says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    I would hardly be called a relative since I have shot a number of same…….I was simple pointing out that identification of such animals should be as accurate as possible….The ministry takes a very dim view if one has a deer licence and shoots a moose…..Also, it does a disservice to all of the readers to have items and animals misidentified….I am delighted that I “Crack You Up” though that was not the aim of my missive…..Thank you for your reply and concern……It has been a pleasure to edify you and other readers as to the identification of the local fauna of southwestern Alberta…….BTW: I photo-shopped Diane’s picture and blew it up sufficiently to get a better view of the “Critter”……



  4. Sofina Clara says:

    Nice post! Prince Wales hotel is a wonderful place to stay there.Thanks for sharing this post.


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