Sunshine Village

A great meal at Sunshine Village is right around the Corner

RICK MACDONNELL


Kick back and relax by the fire at the Chimney Corner Lounge.
Photo courtesy of Sean Hannah

SUNSHINE VILLAGE, AB – For Adam Mann, supervisor of the Chimney Corner Lounge at Sunshine Village, his restaurant is a home away from home. Literally.

Mann arrived in Vancouver by way of Australia in September, a short three months before the season would start. He hopped in a car with his fiancee, drove east, and settled down in Banff. 

"That's an experience I'll never forget ... that drive though the mountains..." Mann said with a far off look in his eye, shaking his head. With a wry grin he laughed in disbelief. After four months at Sunshine Village, he still can't believe how incredible his life has become.

Sunshine Village: a different world

"When I first got here, there wasn't much snow by Canadian standards, but it was a season's worth in Australia. It's really just a different world here. We can't do this back home. We don't have the facilities, we don't have the mountains."

Mann had a few mates who lived at "the Shine" several years back, and they couldn't stop harping on him to make the move to Canada – specifically, Banff – before it was too late. With an impending marriage and kids likely on the way, Mann took the plunge (into deep pow) and hasn't looked back.

He's since set up shop at the Chimney Corner Lounge, the Sunshine Mountain Lodge's on-site restaurant. It's one of the major hubs of the village, being a great spot to for a relaxing drink or meal after a day on the hill, and it's accessible enough to grab lunch there in between rips. Guests warm up by the fire and relax within the old-style lodge surroundings, an aesthetic that's been lost in most ski resorts.

There's one place like home

Mann loves working at the Corner because "Canadian culture is very similar to Australian. Very laid back, very easy going. The transition was very easy, and it's made working here a great deal of fun. But I've never made so many caesars in my life!" he chuckled. "I don't know any Canadians who don't like them. I've never had one myself. The boys are telling me that they're going to have me drinking them by the end of the season. But we'll see."

The staple of the Chimney Corner Lounge, according to Mann, is its burger. They have a great selection of pizzas, a variety of appetizers, but the prime rib burger is where it's at. "It kills, in a good way," he said. So I had one myself.

He's not lying.

Chimney Corner Sunshine Village
Casual, relaxed, a great family dining experience.
Photo courtesy of Sunshine Village

The servers were fantastic, attentive, and the bartenders were able to whip up pretty much anything that was thrown at them. Ever hear of a "Danish Maria"? Me neither, but apparently they have.

Within 100 metres of the restaurant are three ski lifts, so a bite (or a run) is never more than two minutes away. 

Here to stay

"We have great service. Our chefs do a fantastic job, we have a terrific selection. It's a nice, relaxing environment with the fireplace. And we have The Eagle's Nest, which is our fine dining section. But it's very relaxed in here. Very family friendly and social."

Prior to 4 months ago when Mann and his fiancee moved here, she'd never seen snow. It was the one thing she always wanted to do. She wanted to experience snow and learn how to snowboard. Now they get to "open [their] back door every morning and look out onto the mountain ... and you can't beat that view."

The plan was to just live here for one season. From the grin on Mann's face, though, I'd bet a Danish Maria that he's got bigger plans.

Check out this video about Trappers, the "local hang-out" of Sunshine.

For more information on Sunshine Village or to book your ski, snowboard, or winter getaway to Banff, Sunshine Village, or Lake Louise, check out Banff Tourism’s “Ski the Rockies” website by clicking here 

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