Thursday, February 20, 2014

Emerald Lake Lodge - A Romantic Getaway (with a 5 year old chaperone)

Emerald Lake Lodge in Yoho National Park has been promoted as Canada's Secluded Romantic Mountain Getaway.  Their dining room has even been chosen as one of the top 101 restaurants around the world.  Take a browse through their website and you'll see that this lodge has been awarded everything from one of the best cozy winter lodges in North America to one of the best resorts in all of Canada!

Emerald Lake Lodge
Makes you want to pack the kids up and take them to this romantic destination, right?  Well, we did.  And true, it would have been MUCH more romantic without a 5 year old chaperone, but visiting Emerald Lake Lodge should be on your Rocky Mountain bucket list - even if you do choose to (have to) bring the kids.

Family-Friendly Snowshoeing on Emerald Lake

What you should know about staying at Emerald Lake Lodge with kids:  The resort has no water slides, no swimming pool, no family restaurant on site serving chicken fingers and pizza, and no playground (as defined in the traditional sense of the word.)  What it does have far surpasses any of the previous items you might normally look for in family-friendly accommodations.

I call this a natural playground

Incredible Family-Friendly Snowshoeing or Skiing

The Emerald Lake Circuit is 5km long and can be shortened by hiking or skiing straight across the lake to the bridge on the far left hand side of the lake.  The Circuit has no height gain and is the perfect place for young children to learn to ski or snowshoe.  Even if you don't stay at the lodge, you absolutely must come out for a day trip to explore this magical place with the family.

Snowshoeing with Dad across Emerald Lake
Snowshoe Running with Mom across Emerald Lake
As you can see from the photos, the lake is well packed down for snowshoeing and is track set for cross country skiing.  You can also follow the official trail through the trees which is track set as well but more challenging for children learning to ski.  We did hike back through the trees though and it was great for playing hide and seek.

Playing Hide And Seek along the Emerald Lake Circuit
Family-friendly Skiing on emerald Lake

Even if you just hike or ski across the lake to the far end, and return the same way you came, it's a spectacular trip and views from the far end of the lake are unparalleled.

Scenery from the back of Emerald Lake
On the official hiking trail at Emerald Lake (well packed down and easy to follow)

Family-Friendly Resort Amenities

The resort isn't exactly known for its kid-friendly amenities but our son loved the hot tub.  It was a very pleasant temperature for children and was a nice way to end the day after snowshoeing or skiing.

Emerald Lake Hot Tub - with a view
The main lodge also has an entertainment/sports room on the second floor with a television and billiards table.  It is a good place to let the kids hang out while waiting for your dinner reservation.

For dining, the Mount Burgess Dining Room definitely served up some scrumptious meals and even had a children's menu.  The only challenge was keeping the noise level down from our table as to not disturb the couples truly enjoying a "romantic" vacation.  We did try our best though and I confess, quiet games on the iphone saved the dining experience for us.

Walking Paths at Emerald Lake Lodge

Why Stay at Emerald Lake With Kids

Admittedly, Emerald Lake Lodge isn't the easiest place to stay with children.  Lodge rooms don't have a separate bedroom which always makes it challenging to get children to sleep (and makes it hard for mom and dad to stay up past 8pm,) the dining room is a luxury experience and definitely more suited for a romantic date night, and there are no refrigerators in the rooms - meaning you have to eat at the dining room rather than doing a simple breakfast in your bedroom. 

Cabins along Emerald Lake

Challenges aside, I would still recommend visiting Emerald Lake Lodge as a family.  I know myself,  I sometimes get tired of staying at classic family-friendly hotels and long for a bit more luxury for a weekend.  I like gourmet meals and I love the feeling that comes with staying at a decadent mountain resort.  And I'll do it with kids if it means I get to stay in such an awesome place.  Babysitting isn't an easy option for us and if I'm going to call on grandma to help out, I'd rather head off into the backcountry skiing.  Emerald Lake Lodge meanwhile, is perfectly accessible with the whole family in tow.

Romantic Traveling - With Kids
Also, it should be added, that I like travelling as a family.  When I go someplace beautiful without my son I always feel bad that he's not there to share in the experience.  Snowshoeing or skiing at Emerald Lake would not have been near as enjoyable without him along.  AND this time, he will remember the trip.  Below is a photo of Noah's last trip to Emerald Lake Lodge.

Emerald Lake - 8 months pregnant
For more information on Emerald Lake Lodge for your next romantic vacation or family weekend getaway, visit the Emerald Lake Lodge website. 

In closing, when I walked into our lodge room after arriving at the hotel, I confess that these are my exact words:

"Forget camping and wilderness cabins!  I was meant to be a princess and I want to move here permanently."

My New Home on Emerald Lake
My New Backyard on Emerald Lake

Big thanks to Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts for sponsoring our family's stay at Emerald Lake Lodge.  As always, all opinions and words are my own in this story.  It wasn't our first stay at Emerald Lake and it's far from our last stay. We'll definitely be back.

1 comment:

  1. Emerald Lake Lodge is one of my faves. With only wood burning fireplaces and no TVs in the rooms does make it super romantic! Love your images!