This past weekend Clint and I had plans to go to Revelstoke and had an extra day to kill, so we did a little research and found a weekday deal for Emerald Lake Lodge. I’ve always wanted to stay there; but truthfully, it’s not the most affordable place so I could never really justify it. I’ve gone up before just to wander around because the setting is incredible – you really can’t compete with it. It’s a quick two and a half hours from Calgary, and totally worth the drive; the view alone is worth a million bucks!
So Thursday after work, we gathered our things and drove the beautiful drive.
We arrived just before dusk and even then under the drizzling sky – the view was amazing.
When you get to Emerald Lake, if you’re staying overnight the parking lot is about 2 KM before you arrive at the actual lodge. There is a shuttle that picks you and your luggage up and takes you to the main lodge, where they will further take your bags to your little cabin if you need; or if you’re like us – and you pay no attention to where your little cabin is, you will end up dragging your own stuff up the hill. But at least on the way up, there’s a pretty sweet view.
Clint and I don’t get to spend a ton of quality time together, we have really different schedules and usually when we’re going away somewhere it’s to see other people; so we wanted this night to be extra special. We asked the hotel if they had a couple of things to make our stay a little more memorable, like flower petals or bubble bath; and they did not, haha. Not that I think hotels have this shit lying around all the time, but this hotel specifically does A LOT of weddings, elopements and other romantic events, so I didn’t think it would be that farfetched to have these kind of items. Anyways, we thought if there is nothing like that, let’s have a bottle of bubbles – and we were sent the wine list. That seemed like more work than just bringing a bottle with us, so we decided to forgo the hotel added romance but we did get a cheese plate. It was a lovely little touch (until you hear what happened to it, haha). The rooms don’t have fridges, so we had nowhere to put the cheese plate until we were ready to eat it – other than outside (in the great outdoors, in the mountains, in the middle of nowhere)…there will be more on that later.
Our room was very cute, (albeit a bit outdated and in need of some renovations) a small double bed, two chairs, a wood burning fireplace, and private bathroom.
We went down to the main lodge which houses the restaurant Mount Burgess Dining Room and the Kicking Horse Lounge, to grab dinner. The restaurant closes at 8:30 PM (which is really early, like too early) but the lounge is open till 11 PM, so at least we could still eat.
We sat in the lounge at a little table in the back by the wine rack wall. The lounge is super cozy, there is a long bar, in the back and a few two tops as well as one beautiful little round table. The lounge also then spills out into the main lodge with a few more larger tables and a couple of fireplaces. I love this part of the lodge, it’s warm, inviting, and intimate.
The food in the evening was fantastic (save for a few little details – like leaving huge chunks of gristle on the short rib), I would highly recommend the charcuterie board, the braised elk short rib and potato gnocchi as well as the beautiful artisan salad with pears, and a caramelized shallot and port dressing. It’s a great amount of food to share for two for dinner. The charcuterie board was delightful – prosciutto, elk salami, smoked duck breast, pate and air-dried buffalo (my favourite), mustard marinated melons and a date preserve that paired really well with the cheese on the board. I’m sorry I don’t have any photos, but it was way too dark for my iPhone and I didn’t bring my camera down – it was supposed to be romantic after all.
The best part of our little dinner was finding out that we were able to take our drinks with us back up to our room, yay! So we walked with our wine and headed up to get ready for a hot tub. The hot tub house is great – there’s a few workout machines in there and a change room, lockers, a shower, bathroom and towels and the hot tub is spacious, which is great in the event that you’re not alone.
After a hot tub in the rain, we went back up to our room started a fire and relaxed with a drink. The bonus about the rooms being so small, is that you can crawl into bed and still be right in front of the fire. As we were curled up with a drink and one another we remembered our cheese plate – sitting outside on the patio. I would have loved nothing more than to indulge, but we were still so full from dinner; and the thing is, I’ve realized something about getting old…it’s becoming increasingly difficult to eat a huge dinner, drink all the drinks, have sex, stay up late, and more all in one night…I can do like one, or on a really good night maybe two things – but not more, haha. So we left our little cheese plate outside and saved it for breakfast the next morning.
I woke up and went to get our little cheese plate, that is until I looked outside and realized that it had been eaten. We assumed it was the stupid fucking squirrels (I’m coming to realize that I HATE squirrels – more on that in a gardening post). Seriously they are such jerks!!! So, without our morning dairy intake, we went on a little adventure. On our way we saw this sweet little creature – the pine martin. I’ve never even heard of it before, but I’m thinking he was the cheese thief – little fucker. We took a walk down to the bridge to check things out; it’s a gorgeous walk from the cabins down to where Cilantro on the Lake is.
Then we walked down to the lake, there is a cute little gift shop; well, it seemed cute – I was actually disappointed to find out that it was closed. There’s also a spot where you can rent snow shoes and canoes and such. We took a few steps across the lake and Clint and I both stepped through the ice a couple of times, yikes! Better safe than sorry, we decided to walk back up towards the bridge and observe the beauty from a distance.
After our time in the fresh air we went to the dining room for breakfast, which unfortunately was not the best experience – especially compared to the evening before. The evening staff and associated experiences simply blew the day staff away. But the view from the dining room is pretty incredible, so nice to have a coffee in there if nothing else.
All in all for the price that we paid, we had a really decent experience and it was totally reasonable. But, the regular rates can get pretty expensive especially during high season and for what they are charging during those times this resort needs some work. They’ve done really well in past years (winning several awards), but it has certainly lost it lustre.
I would say, next time you’re in the area if it’s winter, grab some snowshoes and go for a little hike, if it’s summer rent a canoe, then relax in the lounge with a glass of wine, charcuterie and a cheese plate and you won’t be disappointed. Again, it’s worth it for the view alone, but there are many places for you to stay in the area that won’t bust your budget as hard. If you can find a deal – definitely do it. But, personally I can’t say that I would pay more than $150/night.
On to the next adventure…