Kicking Horse

This National Geographic favourite lives up to expectations

Golden's eco-lodge has a lot more going for it than just being green


Kicking Horse River Lodge, Golden, BC
A rustic and cozy accommodation, Kicking Horse River Lodge has gained a world-class reputation in just 5 years.
Photo courtesy of Kicking Horse River Lodge

GOLDEN, BC – Writing about accommodations is strangely challenging. While it's easy to come up with enough adverbs and adjectives to fill the page, it's difficult to do so in a way you haven't heard before. So I could tell you this dove-tail log building sits beside the raging Kicking Horse River and features breathtaking views of the Purcell Mountains, is within minutes of the outstanding Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, and has the rooms and deals to satisfy any traveller, but you've heard it all before. So instead, I'll lead with this.

Kicking Horse River Lodge was named one of the Top 50 Eco-Lodges in the world by this little company called National Geographic. You may have heard about them. It is also the proud recipient of the Business Excellence Award for Tourism Hospitality in Golden. 

If you're looking for an accommodation with more reputable testimonials, stop searching. When it comes to staying in Golden, Kicking Horse River Lodge is at the top of its class.

World-class practices for a world-class lodge

"It's cozy, comfortable, and relaxing," describes Alison MacIsaac, the Lodge's general manager since 2005. "It's your home away from home. People walk through our doors and just take a deep breath."

That deep breath can mostly be attributed to the generally healthy atmosphere MacIsaac and co. have created. The Lodge's geo-thermal heating and cooling system is the key to its green efforts. Using groundwater that circulates throughout the building, the Lodge maintains a constant, comfortable quality, all year round. Requiring just enough hydro-electric power to run the pumps, this system reduces CO2 emissions by almost 80%.

Kicking Horse River Lodge, Golden, BC
The lodge features a two-story den with quiet reading nooks, an entertainment area with a 50-inch screen, card tables, and laundry facilities.
Photo courtesy of Kicking Horse River Lodge

But all the environmental efforts in the world wouldn't mean a thing if there wasn't a world-class Lodge backing it up. Equipped with Loft-style, Dorm-style, and Main Floor rooms, the Kicking Horse River Lodge provided me with one of my favourite stays on the road since I've been a snow seeker. 

Sleeps 1 to 16. Seriously.

I don't know who it was that invented the loft bed, but that man was a genius. Kicking Horse River Lodge's loft rooms offer a privacy that other two-bed units can't. It's as close to having two separate rooms are you're going to find, but for the price of you. And a simple staircase is all that separates you from your mates, so you can be as together or apart as you'd like.

The main floor features five rooms that sleep two adults, and two dorm rooms sleep 16, for those travelling on a budget. The best part of all is that adjacent to the dorm rooms is a large community living room, complete with leather seats, a well-equipped communal kitchen, lcokers for storage, and washroom facilities. 

"We're really in between the hotel/motel and high end on-hill scenes. We're family oriented, but we really can accommodate anyone. The Lodge is very user-friendly and has a really social atmosphere, unlike most hotels and motels.

Kicking Horse River Lodge, Golden, BC
The Bugaboo is fast becoming a must on the list for locals and visitors alike.
Photo courtesy of Kicking Horse River Lodge

People can sit around and talk, share their pictures from the day and discuss their time on the hill. Quite often, people will meet in the Lodge and then go skiing together the next day."

The Lodge is also home to the locals' breakfast stop, the Bugaboo Cafe. Described as "Southwestern Canadiana," the menu features your more standard bacon 'n eggs to something called Juan's Benny. Homemade hashbrowns, bottomless mugs of locally roasted coffee, and fresh pastries round out your morning.

Specials for everyone!

"People stay at hotels or resorts and they all get the same package. But people aren't the same. Everyone's different, so everyone wants something different. Everyone is special so I want to do something special for them."

MacIsaac's mantra is an impressive one, and something you should consider on your next trip to Golden. While the Lodge has a standard deal of a 2-night stay with lift tickets, breakfast, and a welcome cocktail on arrival, you're welcome to talk with MacIsaac directly and plan out just what you want out of your stay. Her and the extremely attentive staff will do what they can to make sure you get the stay you're looking for, in any season.

For more information on Kicking Horse River Lodge, visit its website by following the earlier link. Be sure to check out their amenities, as there were just too many for me to list here.

For more stories and detail on Golden check out our SnowSeekers' destination page.

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