When you’re on vacation in Banff the hotel matters; and if you have kids, the quality of the pool can sometimes be a make-or-break scenario. It’s one of those common facts of life that children love to both splish and splash, though rarely enjoy taking a bath. Whether it’s with foam noodles, beach-balls, or just seeing who can do the best cannonball, kids thrive in the joyful aquatic environments of a pool. Pools can also be good for swimming laps and exercise, if they aren’t chock full of screaming kids. If you’re into water-bound fun, you’ll want to make sure you stay at a Banff hotel that offers the best in pools and hot tubs. The hot water of the jacuzzi brings pleasure to those who wish to soak up relaxation, just like the Banff pioneers would do in the natural hot springs found bubbling inside the surrounding mountains.

Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets

The Douglas Fir Resort is the best pool option for families with kids, with their vaunted waterpark that will have the kids begging for more. Two giant waterslides offers excitement and fun for the whole family as they twist and turn into the pool below. There’s also a big swimming pool and a little kiddies pool. And when you want to relax, there’s a jacuzzi for up to two dozen people and a large steam room to marinate within.Science has gone into engineering the waterslides specifically for the best possible experience, and careful thought of state-of-the-art waterpark techniques has created a warm and humid environment. This climate maximizes comfort and keeps bathers from getting cold as they splash into the pool and climb the steps back up to do it again. The high humidity makes you feel like you’re in a jungle as well as slows down evaporation from your body so as to prevent chills. Free entry to the waterpark for guests of the hotel. Waterslides are open til 9:30 pm. If you’re not a guest, you can pay $20 for general admission to use the waterpark any day of the week except Friday and Saturday, when it’s for registered guests only.
There’s also an indoor Playzone (the largest in Western Canada at over two-storeys high and 36-feet long) that kids will absolutely adore. The interactive structure is designed like a giant treehouse, with slides and tunnels and nets that will inspire imagination and play for those 12 years and under. Unlike the pool, however, the Playzone is for registered guests only and open daily from 8 to 8.

Banff Upper Hot Springs

No family vacation to Banff is complete without spending a few hours at the Banff Upper Hot Springs, where you can soak your cares away in the always warm hot springs mineral water after you have journeyed to the top of Sulphur Mountain from where you can enjoy the views of Banff below and the beautiful Rocky Mountains beyond. The upper Banff hot springs are family friendly with a special wading area for children and change rooms with floors that are heated. The day spa has many amenities including a myriad of spa therapies, aromatherapy, wellness treatments and a fabulous steam room.You will also see the Banff Springs Hotel towering like a castle in the distance.

Hidden Ridge

The two giant outdoor hot tubs at Hidden Ridge Resort offer one of the best views in the Rockies. Both of these new hot pools are positioned on said hidden ridge with a sprawling vista of the Bow River valley wilderness and Banff townsite laid out before you. The hot pools are designed organically with natural curves and rock features that make you feel like you’re soaking directly on the mountainside. There’s also a sauna to kick back and relax in the steam.

Fairmont Banff Spring Hotel

has an excellent selection of pools, with a 20 metre outdoor heated pool (open year round), a 32 metre indoor pool, as well as a shallow indoor pool for small kids plus an indoor jetted hot tub. These pools in the Aquatic Centre are free of charge to hotel guests, while the mineral pool with waterfalls in the Willow Stream Spa as well an indoor and outdoor hot tub are available for an additional charge

Fox Hotel & Suites

Welcome to the grotto at the Fox Hotel & Suites!

. One of the most creative hot pools around, the grotto is designed to resemble the historic pools at the Cave & Basin site, where the original hot springs were discovered that inspired the area to become the first national park in Canada (and the second in North America). Like the original hot spring cave, you’ll find it underground, visible through a viewing hole in the courtyard. The hot pool winds around the rock formations that make you feel like you’re in an actual cave, with large stones jutting out from the water here and there.

Inns of Banff: Outdoor Rooftop Hot Pool (open til 10pm) where you can soak it up in style, surrounded by majestic peaks. There’s also a small indoor swimming pool, whirlpool, and hot sauna (open til 11pm).

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise: Huge heated indoor pool and jacuzzi along with high ceilings creates a great space for relaxation or swimming laps.

If you don’t stay at a Banff hotel with a pool, you can always make use of one the public pools in Banff Alberta, namely the 25 metre swimming pool at the Sally Borden Fitness & Recreation Centre (public swim price $4.50 adults, $2.50 6-15 yrs), or the pool with waterslides at the Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets ($20).