Solara Resort & Spa - Play Hard & Stay Luxurious In Canmore

by - Friday, November 21, 2014

When our friend offered us his condo for the weekend, we readily accepted, not knowing at the time where we were going or how amazing the place would be. Upon turning in to the Solara Resort and Spa, we were impressed. The lodges are built in ski chalet fashion, and with Christmas around the corner, pretty lights adorned the entrance and walkways. The cheerful Front Desk staff directed us to the parkade and our suite. We were happy we didn't have the roofbox on so we could make use of the free, heated underground parking.

Solara Resort & Spa, Canmore
A short walk and elevator ride later, we had arrived at our home away from home; a large, luxurious, two-bedroom condo with views of the Rockies. My youngest (3 years old) was quick to exclaim, "This place is SO beautiful!" We turned on the fireplace, cooked a quick dinner in the well appointed, gourmet kitchen, and headed down to the pools. I was pleased to find robes in the closet, so I did not have to change at the pool area (always a challenge with young children).

Solara Gourmet Kitchen
Getting to the Relaxation Pools was a bit of an adventure as the buildings do not connect from the main level. To access the pool, we needed to go down to the parkade (level P2), then follow the signs to the lobby, and then follow the signs to the pool. 

The Relaxation Pools and Water Play Area consists of a wading pool (3 feet deep), large hot pool, and indoor spray park. The spray park water was a comfortable temperature, not freezing like we expected, so it was hard to get the kids to leave! There is no swimming pool on site, but if you want to work out, the gigantic fitness facility has everything you need.

Solara Relaxation Pools
Other resort amenities include the following:
  • Aurora Theatre: Movies are shown here nightly (cost: free!). Tip: Get the movie schedule when you check in, so you know what's playing.
  • Business Centre: Open 24 hours for your convenience.
  • Fitness Centre (access from the Spa entrance): 3,500 square feet with state-of-the-art equipment! Open 6 am - 8 pm.
  • Kids' Activity Centre: A large games room with books, games, puzzles, pencil crayons and paper, toys, and foosball.
  • One Wellness Spa: Pamper yourself after playing hard. The spa's midweek specials on massages ($99) and pedicures ($99) are very reasonable, and the spa has a great atmosphere. There is a sauna and steam circuit in the spa, as well as a relaxation lounge for clients.
Note: All the resort amenities are behind the lobby, near the Relaxation Pools.

Solara Kids' Activity Centre
Lots of puzzles, games and books
Back at our room, we took the most amazing shower ever. The shower in our room was just like a spa shower: raindrop showerhead, side jets, and detachable shower head. The kids are I were able to shower together and no one had to fight to be in the water.

Solara Shower
When the kids were finally in bed, hubby and I curled up on the comfy couch in front of the fire and watched TV. We had planned on watching a Netflix movie, but the complimentary wifi was temperamental, so we were unable to stream video. (Update: Video streaming was possible mid-day, but not in the evening when everyone came home.) That aside, our only regret was that we didn't bring wine. 

Solara Living Room - my little one was sick and spent a lot of time on the couch
It's easy to get a good night's sleep at Solara. The beds and bedding were comfy (we had a King sized bed and the girls had a Queen bed); the temperature was easy to control; and the location was quiet. We did not notice any train or road noise, and the blackout blinds worked well. I often have to wear earplugs and eye shades to have a good sleep, but neither were required this trip. We loved having a fireplace in our room too! The girls' room also had a fireplace and flat screen TV. 

The 2-bedroom suites go for about $259/night at this time of year, but I can see the value. Normally we would stay somewhere cheaper, as it's "just a place to sleep", but since I had to stay in with a sick child (hubby took the older one skiing), it was wonderful to have lots of space, a full kitchen, and mountain views. I can see (two of) the Three Sisters* from our living room! Not a bad place to spend an afternoon and write. *Three famous mountains in Canmore.

One and three-bedroom suites are also available, so you could cut down on the cost by sharing with friends or family. Considering all rooms have a Queen sized sofa bed, so you could sleep 4 in a one bedroom, 6 in a two bedroom, or 8 in a 3 bedroom. While you are thinking of who to invite, don't forget your furbabies! Pets under 40 pounds are welcome at this resort.

Our favorite things about staying at Solara were the following:
  • location - you can easily walk to downtown Canmore from Solara;
  • size and decor of the suite;
  • full-size appliances (we like to cook our own food);
  • full-size dining room table to eat our home cooked meals on;
  • mountain views;
  • spa shower;
  • fireplaces; 
  • in-suite laundry complete with laundry pods; and 
  • relaxation pools and water play area. 
I am enjoying my stay and will be back!

Disclosure Statement: This is an unsponsored review. We stayed at our friend's condo and did not receive any payment or resort credit for this review. 

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