I flew to Canada with Air New Zealand. They have excellent seats, meals and a great entertainment system. Our connecting flight was with Westjet who are similar to Virgin, offer complimentary drink and nuts.
I stayed at the Fairmont Properties: it’s important to point out that these aren’t 5 star hotels, but rather the ‘best’ hotels in the area as far as location , history etc. So don’t expect 5 star rooms as they aren’t.
Fairmont Banff Springs: ‘3 star rooms in a 5 star building’, small rooms, but hotel has amazing history and fabulous location. 10 min walk to town.
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise: ‘4 star rooms with 5 star views’. This refers to the lake view rooms as opposed to the ones overlooking the car park. Fantastic setting on the lake surrounded by mountains. Rooms much larger than Banff.
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge: ‘3 star rooms in a 5 star setting’. A very unique hotel, log-cabin style rooms, quite roomy. Gorgeous lake setting, 5 min drive to town.
Delta Sun Peaks: Fantastic hotel, amazing location, lovely large rooms, excellent restaurant, set in a gorgeous village, great for families.
Westin Whistler: My favourite hotel on the trip. 5 star all the way, huge rooms, amazing heavenly beds and shower, great restaurant and right in the heart of the village. All rooms have a kitchenette.
Fairmont Waterfront: excellent location on harbour, great for cruise guests, short walk to Gas town and all the shops, 10 min walk to Robson St. Airport train station underneath.
Vancouver: Granville Markets are a must do – great local food (the best maple syrup is here), stalls etc.
Victoria Island and the Butchart Gardens are stunning and well worth a day trip or to stay on the island.
Banff village is just gorgeous, lovely Main Street with great shops and restaurants.
Athabasca Glacier is a must.
TIPS: Definitely look at tours with more 2 night stays as some of the travelling days are long.
Join Fairmont Presidents Club if staying at Fairmont hotels as it gives free wifi, local calls and daily newspapers.
Fairmont Vancouver airport located within the terminal, day use rates available. They have a public bar area that anyone can use while waiting on flights. Can pay $15 if not staying at hotel to use pool, showers, gym if passengers have a long layover.