Sometimes you don’t realize how badly you need a personal getaway until you’re actually there. That’s exactly how I felt about my getaway last week to CRMR’s Emerald Lake Lodge with my friends Shauna + Michelle.
If you were following my Instagram stories, you may have caught a glimpse of our amazing 2-night escape. None of my photos can even begin to capture the beauty of this place. It’s indescribably beautiful and while I wanted to share every single second of the experience, one of the BEST things about Emerald Lake Lodge was that there’s little to no reception! There is wifi in the main lodge, but the minute you get there, you’re forced to unplug and it feels so good. I reconnected with my friends and myself, breathed in the invigorating mountain air, ate, drank wine, relaxed, soaked in the legendary hot tub and just had some peace and space to sit with my thoughts. It was amazing.
I don’t think I realized until we were on the road how much I needed to just step back, even just for a quick couple of days, to recharge in a natural setting. Self-care is something everyone is talking about lately, but it truly is something I make a priority for myself and my family. Especially as moms, we tend to put ourselves on the back burner or have “mom guilt” if we are away from the kids too long. Since I didn’t get to share the full experience while I was living in the moment, I thought I’d give you a recap and a sneak peek into our stay at Emerald Lake Lodge. Once you read this, you’ll want to plan your own getaway. Winter is stunning at Emerald Lake Lodge, but it can get busy, so don’t wait to book a getaway! Go now before the holiday season really picks up. We went midweek because it worked for our schedules, and I would highly recommend doing that if you can. It was even more peaceful and quiet than I’m sure it is on a weekend. Here’s how our getaway went:
Day 1: Monday, October 22
Off we go! Shauna, Michelle and I packed up the car and hit the road Monday afternoon. I was feeling a bit stressed about taking off midweek, trying to wrap up some emails and make sure everything was taken care of so I could unwind, but it’s almost like once you hit Canmore and see the mountains, it gives you permission to unplug, put your phone away, turn up the tunes and relax. I love this drive. It feels like an extension of your getaway and preps your mind to be removed from your day to day.
Emerald Lake Lodge is only about two hours from Calgary, so it’s perfect for a quick weekend retreat, and it’s located just 30 minutes west of Lake Louise in Yoho National Park. It’s right near (about 1km) from the adorable town of Field, BC!
The sense of escape begins as soon as you get to the parking lot. Once you turn into the property, you’ll leave your car in the overnight parking lot and they shuttle you and your luggage from there to the lodge and the 24 chalet-style cabins where guests stay. Even the simple fact of leaving your car behind, grabbing your bag and being removed from that is a luxury. Emerald Lake Lodge is the only property on secluded Emerald Lake (and yes, it really is the colour of an emerald!) surrounded by the breathtaking Rocky Mountains. It’s truly breathtaking, you feel like you’re in a movie. We checked in right around 2PM and we were ready for a walk around Emerald Lake! We hit the trail, which is just an easy five-kilometer hike around the lake. In the winter you can rent cross-country skis and do the loop, I can’t imagine how pretty it would be in the winter.
We settled in and at 7 we headed to the Mount Burgess Dining Room for dinner. The food, service and wine list were incredible. Their Chef Valerie Morrison has created a beautiful Canadian-inspired seasonal menu - featuring free-range elk, bison and caribou along with seafood, pasta and delicious desserts. The dining room is rustic and cozy, we lost track of time chatting.
We were feeling so content after dinner, and wanted to wander the property for a little fresh air. We headed out for a cozy evening walk around the property, and one of my favourite parts of the entire stay: we had s’mores around their outdoor fire pit! The front desk put together a s’mores package for us and we cozied up. It was so fun. We were so full, so we headed back to our chalet and snuggled up for the night!
Day 2: Tuesday, October 23
After a solid sleep-in (which I never do but it’s SO quiet and peaceful out there) we got up feeling energized and refreshed and ready to make the most of a beautiful, sunny
Day in the mountains! Being in the mountains reminds me of home (Nelson, BC) and just really helps me to reset and revive.
There’s no shortage of activities at Emerald Lake. The team there recommended a few hiking and walking options for us to explore right from the front door of our chalet. There are lots of short family-friendly walks and hikes as well, I would definitely bring the boys out here! We decided to hike and check out Wapta Falls, which were so incredible.
We were enjoying the property but some other activities recommended were to tour the nearby sites, from the Natural Bridge, Kicking Horse Pass National Historic Site, Spiral Tunnels and the Town of Field if you’re looking for an outing from the lodge. You could definitely stay here if you were skiing Kicking Horse or Lake Louise since both are a short distance! During the winter months, they have cross-country skiing and snowshoeing rentals and trails right at the lodge.
That afternoon and evening before dinner, we couldn’t wait to hit Emerald Lake’s legendary hot tub and sauna! When I told anyone that I was going to Emerald Lake, they mentioned the incredible hot tub! It’s nestled right into the property, you can gaze up at the stars and the mountains. I can’t even describe how awesome it is, you have to soak it up for yourself to understand.
Day 3: Wednesday, October 24
We were heading out early, back to reality, so we grabbed a quick bite for breakfast, a couple cups of coffee and one last look at the lake, and we were ready to hit the road back home.
Every few months I like to escape with the girls and take a step back from the craziness of day to day life. Even a trip only two hours away to Emerald Lake was all I needed. Being back in the mountains was so refreshing. Hiking and being around water is so good for my mental health. For my sake, Jason’s and the kids, it’s so important I take time out for myself - and try to do it guilt free! I’m always so hard on myself, commit to being in too many places at once and I just needed time to step back, reset and focus on my goals. We left the mountains feeling energized and inspired and ready to tackle new projects and work. Always make sure to take time for yourself!