Get to know the new heart of Banff

Get to know the new heart of Banff

For generations, locals and visitors built a community around the Mount Royal Hotel (MRH). A devastating fire in December 2016 caused the roof to collapse, DIALOG was invited to help bring the hotel back to life. Our designers embraced the storied past, incorporating the building’s evolution into the design to provide guests with the ultimate Canadian experience.

For a building that occupies a large portion of one of the principal blocks on Banff’s iconic main street, the bar has been set high. The design team leading the reimagination of Mount Royal Hotel has known from the beginning that history would play a big role.

“Guests today want a deeper experience from a hotel,” says Alison McNeil, design lead. And that means a “whole collection of little details that all fit together.”

The design inspiration reimagines the building as a quilt, symbolizing the distinct generations of the hotel coming together, emulating the patchwork of architecture. Dubbed by the team as “destination design,” meaning it’s rich with personality and true-to-place. “We are after a more curated, eclectic feel. It looks like someone’s house, not an airport hotel,” adds Alison.

And while the hotel has a contemporary feel that appeals to the most modern of travelers, it’s balanced with historic details in a very deliberate way. History is brought into many details: the library display, the guest room directories, and the hallways transition between decades.

What has made this project so successful? The team attributes it to the strong design narrative. Working with a hotel property that has such a solid sense of its place, and of its past, helps.

Lead architect, Gerry Doering, adds: “MRH is a strong example of cross studio collaboration. The project has a global reach; our work will touch visitors from around the world. Our client’s goal is to create signature and bespoke experiences for visitors to Alberta, and we’re proud to help them achieve that.”

Vacations are the best kind of memories. They are the memories that shape you and expand your perspective. That’s exactly what the design team has accomplished with the Mount Royal Hotel. Each visitor will add their own stamp to this piece of history.

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