Perched on a bluff, glowering down on Northern Waterton Lake and Village, the Prince of Wales Hotel is vintage luxury. Constructed in 1927 by the Great Northern Railway of Unites States to lure American tourists during the American prohibition era, it is Canada’s first Railway hotel.
The hotel was named after Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII), to entice him to stay in the hotel during his 1927 Canada visit. The Prince preferred to stay in a nearby ranch. His loss is our gain.
This iconic marker of Waterton Lakes National Park was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1992.
Inside view with the old lift still in working order.
The rustic Swiss chalet style building flaunts a timbered lobby perpendicular to length of building with windows facing the Waterton Lake and an ideal spot to enjoy the hotel’s much flaunted olde style High Tea.
The natural wood detailing, the hand-carved posts and beams, Victorian furniture, stain glass panels along with open spaces ascending to the building’s roof add to the charm of the hotel. Going by tourist footfalls it is a must visit if in the neighbourhood.
The Prince of Wales hotel is situated in Waterton National Park surrounded by natural attractions and mountain peaks such as Mounts Alderson, Crandell and Boswell. The Park is a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (1979) and part of larger Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park sharing boundary with Glacier National Park, USA.
The 2017 Kenow wildfire had burnt down nearly 80 percent of the park. The ecological disaster took its toll of vegetation and wildlife. Today the stark mountains are a reminder of the disaster when the fires were within knocking distance of the hotel. Wild flowers are blooming again.