Over the years Banff National Park has developed into a travel destination of international acclaim. The Mount Royal Hotel's history dates back to 1908 when it opened for business. Originally called the Banff Hotel, the red brick structure complete with a lead roof, boasted 60 rooms as well as a spacious dining room and billiard room. It was opened by Dave and Annie McDougall of Morley Alberta at a time when Banff was little more than a CP Rail outpost gaining some recognition as a starting point for guided backcountry adventures in the Canadian Rockies.

In November of 1912 the hotel was purchased from the McDougall family by Jim Brewster. The adventurous Brewster family of mountain guides started many tourism-related businesses in Banff National Park that continue to prosper today. At that time the hotel was sold to Jim Brewster for $75,000 and it became one of the Brewster families most lucrative investments as tourism in Banff began to boom right before the war. It was not long before Jim started expansion of the Mount Royal Hotel. He hired a new manager and quickly announced plans to enlarge the dining room, add an elevator and another 50 guest rooms. The hotel developed a reputation and identity tied to the town of Banff. In 1965, the hotel was sold by the Brewster family to Brewster Transportation and Tours.

Mt Royal Hotel Banff History Mt Royal history
The Old Mount Royal Hotel was
consumed by fire on March 31, 1967
The Mount Royal Hotel as it looked
in 1912 during the Pre-War Boom

The Mount Royal Hotel continues to be a prosperous division of the Brewster Company, surviving time and a fire disaster in 1967 that burned the old wing of the hotel almost to the ground. At the time of the fire author Arthur Hailey happened to be staying at the hotel autographing copies of his latest novel Hotel. Hailey and all the other guests escaped and Hailey wrote an exclusive front page story in the Calgary Albertan describing the Mount Royal as a good hotel. "The Mount Royal had been a good hotel. Despite its age, it was well run, clean, efficient. It had something of that elusive thing called character."

We invite you to experience that character that is so much part of the present day Mount Royal Hotel on your next adventure in Banff National Park.

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