As many join the mobile work force, the need to stay connected and continue to function in the most remote locations is sometimes a must – not a choice. This is why MobileMag plans to evaluate these services for the mobile business traveler. You can go about your business, in remote locations, without missing a beat.
Chateau Lake Louise is our first stop in our ‘Hotel Hotspots’ section. When you visit these places, you will know what services are available to you as a business traveler.
Nestled in the monstrous Rocky Mountains of Alberta, the Chateau didn’t coin the name Diamond in the Wilderness for nothing. The mammoth 550-room hotel sits on the foot of Lake Louise after a lengthy climb up the to the mountain base. A beautiful turquoise coloured lake that makes your mouth water for ice-cold water is what lays ahead when you see it. Everything around you is fresh, clean and alive (oh no, havent been stuck in the city long at all, welcome to the back country). All while small animals scurry around in hopes of a snack, and the big grizzlies, wolves and moose hide out in the deep woods (sometimes on the road to).
The Chateau has two companies handling the majority of their clients needs. First is the Relizon Business Centre, the majority of your business needs can be handled here. Relizon offers 24-hour access to two desktop PCs and one Macintosh computer at the price of $0.50 CAD per minute; bill it to the room and its done. They also offer a full line of business printing services from scanning and faxing to shipping and printing transparencies, colour copies and many specs of bindings.
Sharp’s AV (Audio Visual) offers rentals on equipment, they can also setup private video conferencing for you, or find any piece of hardware you are missing. It always happens, you go away on your trip, forget an adapter, and depend on Radio Shack to bail you out. I hate to break it to ya, there’s no Radio Shack in these woods. Sharp’s also rents out notebook computers for $325 a week plus tax and shipping, and colour projectors are an arm and leg, at $495 a day. I’d just about hitchhike over to Calgary then pay that price, it’s only 2 hours away.
The Mount Temple room is the largest in Chateau Lake Louise, a mammoth 36,000 square foot ballroom capable of seating 700 people theatre style – and 6 breakout rooms for those intense breakout sessions. It can be divided into smaller rooms if your needs are less extravagant. Lets not forget the 81 luxurious Gold guestrooms, which happen to be in the same wing of the hotel, they make ya feel like a VIP.
The Fairview Room is quite visual. Slightly smaller then the Temple and can seat 200 people facing a beautiful arched window with a glacier view. In fact, it may not be the best room; I’d rather be looking out the window then listening to the benefits of Larozepamelatiagra®.
A full sweep of the lower level showed approximately 90% Wi-Fi coverage from each wings tip, the lobby and adjacent rooms gave the highest signal levels, from 30 to 45db as recorded by MiniStumbler. It’s quite easy to find a comfortable place to sit and check your email – do some surfing in the lobby, at a table or on the comfortable benches.
If you are drawn to the outdoors and need to check something online really really bad, a weak 10db signal can be picked up directly in front of the hotel depending on how far off into the bushes you wander. Surely you could sit out side with a glorious view of the mountains and get some work done depending on the quality of your notebooks antenna. The lower levels have excellent coverage with an average of 30 to 40db.
Throughout the hotel there are eight Cisco access points. Five are on the lower three floors of the Mount Temple Wing, two in the main lobby wing, and one on the “Gold Floor” lounge, this is in the same area as where the 81 luxurious Fairmont Gold VIP rooms are located.
The Wi-Fi coverage and in-room high-speed access is shared from a 4 Mbit link and is available to all guests at a rate of $13.95 per day (Gold members will receive this service complimentary).
In-Room Wi-Fi is non-existent but 454 of the 550 rooms are wired with high-speed access. With a nice desk, cordless phone, TV behind me, a view of the mountains, a couple of fridges and a cold Heineken (unpaid advertisement), I would say I’m just about ready to get some work done.
Dining and Entertainment
There are many places to dine depending on your craving, but we only care about the ones with Wi-Fi, so that leaves us with the LakeView Lounge. Some people call this the “Internet Café” of the hotel, simply because everyone sits around with their notebooks and has a coffee or pint of beer at the English-style open concept pub. Signal levels of 10 to 18db were recorded in this area of the hotel.
All work and no play
It’s Lake Louise, there’s a mountain in front of you, behind you and anywhere else you look, so there is obviously more to do then surf the Wireless waves of the hotel. I can’t even begin to list all the things to do around here. The hotel offers many services to get rid of kids, activities like Horseback riding, alpine hikes and climbs (maybe they wont come back), a full spa and salon (that’s for me), health club and indoor swimming pool. A local glacier climb to one of two alpine tea houses (I hear its run by hippies?), tours of the prehistoric Athabasca Glacier, summer waterfall and winter ice walks at Johnston Canyon, bear watching, Alpine Skiing, cross-country skiing, like I said, there’s a lot to do around here.
Some third-party companies also provide activities from the hotel, I had a chance to get owned by White Water rafting on the Kicking Horse River, it really does kick. We were with a few retired folks from Boca so if you are worried about bustin a hip, don’t, you will be just fine. It’s a very exciting adventure filled with dunks, dips and drops all along the way, even great for the kids! The rafting staff are pros, first you are freaked out by the waivers, but then once the several decades of experience start talking – its all good.
So get going. You can pick up a bus straight from the hotel to your rafting drop station; they even give you a BBQ Lunch once you are all done and wet. Oh and I was forced to wear a pink sweater. If you don’t like Pink, don’t ask for Blue. Not that there’s anything wrong with pink. The tight wetsuit and pink sweater made me feel like I was in Life Aquatic, all that was missing was my spear gun and the lighting strike rescue op beats from Ping Island.
A little closer to home is Moraine Lake. This lake has a bit of historical value since it was featured on the old Canadian $20 bill, if anyone still cares (our money looks like a joke now). We have the artwork of Bill Reid, inspired by the Haida culture of Canada’s northwest coast, don’t get me wrong, it’s still better then the luminati.
Banff, Banff Canada, is only a 35-minute drive from Lake Louise. This is a tourist hotspot with gift shops everywhere you turn, be sure to visit the old trading post with the Merman (one of the first half-man half-fish fossils ever discovered). I was actually hoping to trade my busted up GPS (Sheila) for a knife but I guess they stopped doing that a few decades ago.
Chateau Lake Louise has evolved over the years; from a simple log cabin with gun slingers, to a full-featured hotel with doctors. The recent addition of the $65 million Mount Temple Wing has made this diamond in the wilderness a meeting group haven. Business professionals alike can gather at any time of the year and relax within a surreal and refreshing atmosphere. The technological enhancements to the hotel as of recent were designed to meet the needs and demands of modern businesses while coinciding with the protected wildlife of Banff National Park.
|Location:||Two hours from Calgary International Airport, at Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada|
|Accomodations:||550 rooms and suites|
|Meeting Space:||36,000 square feet|
|Recreation:||Cross-country and downhill skiing, snowshoeing, ice-skating, dogsledding, sleigh rides, hiking, mountain climbing, mountiain biking, canoeing, horseback riding, health club, and spa. Nearby golf, trout fishing, white-water rafting, and all-terrain vehicle tours.|
|Range of Rates:||US$150 – $1,090|
|Reservations:||(800) 441-1414 or online at|