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Experience the winter wonderland that is Fernie, Canada! Nestled in south-eastern British Columbia, this picture-perfect town is a place where adventurers, mountaineers, and other outdoor enthusiasts flock to take advantage of the area’s breathtaking scenery and diverse selection of outdoor activities.
Visitors to Fernie often describe how authentic their experience in town is. It may be because of Fernie’s thriving cultural scene, its young and enthusiastic community, and its picturesque, tranquil location amid the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
That’s why over the past several years, the town has grown in popularity as an alternative travel destination to Banff, Lake Louise, and Canmore. As you can expect, Fernie accommodations are plentiful and diverse, so before picking where to stay in Fernie, make sure you already know what you want to get out of your trip.
No worries, though! In this detailed guide, I’ll go over everything you need to know about this quaint mountain town, including the best hotels you can find in Fernie.
Where are the BEST Areas to Stay in Fernie
Fernie is probably best known for its winter wonderland setting and meters of heavy, blanketed snow. But under all that powder, this picturesque mountain town has lots more to offer its visitors. If you’re already set on visiting here, I’ll give you the rundown of the three best areas to stay in Fernie.
The town boasts a historic core and a friendly vintage atmosphere with superb cafés, pubs, independent stores, and galleries. Some of the best hotels in Fernie can also be found downtown.
Meanwhile, staying at Fernie Alpine Resort is a must if you are planning to ski while in town. There are plenty of great ski-in/ski-out resorts here to make your stay more convenient.
If you want the best of both the historic Downtown and the action-packed Alpine Resort, then West Fernie is the place to stay at. This village sits right at the halfway point, so you are right in between the snowy mountain and the vibrant center.
We’ll look at these three neighborhoods closely to find out which one is right for you.
Sure, Fernie has a lot to offer to keep your adrenaline pumping, anything from white-knuckle mountain riding to steep tree skiing to cliff-hucking in waist-deep snow. However, what most visitors don’t know is that there is a gentler side to this little mountain town too.
At the center of Fernie lies the Historic Downtown, a broad avenue of rose-brick and golden stone buildings that house quirky boutiques, shops, restaurants, and pubs. Boasting a small-town charm, the Downtown is the best area to stay in Fernie if you’re looking to experience its nightlife.
The best part about being here is that you can walk anywhere in just five minutes. Most of the accommodations are within walking distance to the dining options, and you can get pretty much anything else here, from groceries to gear.
The majority of the best hotels in Fernie are also close off the highway and offer plenty of parking for tourists bringing their cars.
Advantages to staying in downtown Fernie:
- You won’t get bored with the plenty of things to do here.
- Restaurant selections are very diverse, offering cuisine from across the world.
- The roadway is easily accessible.
- Plenty of parking for visitors coming by car
- Arts and culture are thriving, with public art sculptures and murals put up across town, giving color to the galleries you’ll discover while strolling downtown.
Disadvantages of staying in downtown Fernie:
- Since it’s right along the highway, expect roadside noise to keep you up at night.
- It’s a bit out of the way from the ski resort.
The Best Places to Stay in Downtown Fernie
$$$ – Best Western Plus Fernie Mountain Lodge
If you’re looking for one of the best Fernie accommodations, then the Best Western Fernie Mountain Lodge is an excellent option. It’s a classic hotel sitting 6.4 km (4 miles) from Fernie Alpine Ski Resort, with almost a hundred modest and welcoming rooms and helpful, friendly staff.
Ideal for families and available all year round, Best Western Fernie Mountain Lodge comes complete with an in-house restaurant, indoor pool, hot tubs, ski storage, and car rentals. The hotel provides a complimentary breakfast to get you started in the morning, as well as relaxation massages to help you unwind at the end of the day. Pets are welcome here, as well.
To make guests feel right at home, the stylishly furnished rooms and suites are equipped with amenities like complimentary Wi-Fi, flat-screen cable TV, and coffeemakers. Select rooms feature fireplaces and sofa beds.
But aside from the in-room amenities, what I love the most about this hotel is the stunning views of the Canadian Rockies!
When staying here, you will find yourself minutes away from a plethora of outdoor activities, such as world-class golfing, skiing, ice skating, snowboarding, and white water rafting. You can also take a Heritage Walking Tour or visit the various stores and boutiques in historic downtown Fernie while you’re here.
Room rates at this hotel start at $169 CAD per night.
$$ – Red Tree Lodge
Conveniently situated on Highway #3 in Fernie’s downtown area, the Red Tree Lodge provides comfortable and great value accommodations, with competent and friendly staff and unmatched amenities. It features a wide array of in-house facilities, including a hot tub, sauna, a business center, and laundry services.
While staying here, you can enjoy a meal in the hotel’s Smokehouse Restaurant or prepare yourself dinner in the fully equipped guest kitchen. The hotel also comes with various common rooms, such as a library, games room, and movie theatre, where you can meet and find new friends.
For added convenience, Red Tree Lodge serves a light breakfast, complete with muffins, fresh fruit, yogurt, and hot drinks.
When it comes to the rooms, you can find a microwave, refrigerator, and coffee facilities inside, on top of the fantastic views of the Kootenay Rockies.
Since the hotel is located downtown, you are just minutes from plenty of shops, restaurants, and nightlife. The Fernie Golf & Country Club is also about a four-minute drive from the hotel, while the Fernie Alpine ski area is ten minutes away.
You can stay here for as low as $115 CAD per night.
$- Canadas Best Value Inn and Suites Fernie
Canada’s Best Value Inn and Suites Fernie is conveniently situated off Highway 3 and provides the best value for money, whether you’re in town on business, for pleasure, or simply passing through. This award-winning, smoke-free motel offers a range of amenities, including an indoor pool, sauna, and spa tub. You can also find a Subway restaurant on-site, and there’s free Wi-Fi throughout the property.
The hotel’s traditionally decorated guest rooms feature heat and air conditioning on top of a cable TV, work desk, microwave, and refrigerator. Select rooms have kitchenettes, and you can always request to bring your pets in for a surcharge.
The good thing about staying at Canadas Best Value Inn and Suites is that the town center is a mere five-minute walk away. This means that you have easy access to various shops and local attractions. The motel also sits just a block away from the Elk River, so fly fishing, hiking, and mountain climbing opportunities are all within easy reach.
For $106 CAD a night, you can already book a room here.
Near Fernie Alpine Resort
Located on the Lizard Range, 5 km (3 miles) to the south of Fernie, the Fernie Alpine Resort features exceptional snowfall and some of North America’s best skiing. It dates back to 1962, with the first on-hill lodging opening its doors in 1970.
Today, the Fernie Alpine Resort’s village features tons of superb ski-in/ski-out accommodation right at the foot of the snowboarding area. This gives you a handful of choices when it comes to deciding where to stay in Fernie.
I personally recommend staying here in you’re visiting Fernie in the winter. Nothing beats the convenience and charm of being right on the mountain and within a quick walk away to the lifts. There are also tons of activities to do for you and the whole family. After all, the property doubles as a mountain bike park and offers guided hikes and sightseeing in the hotter months.
Additionally, you need not worry about dining options, as you can find a few here at the resort.
Advantages to staying near Fernie Alpine Resort:
- Easy access to the slopes
- Plenty of great hotels to choose from
- Closer to nature
- Studded with panoramic views
- You will have access not only to skiing but hiking activities, too.
Disadvantages of staying near Fernie Alpine Resort:
- Expect prices to skyrocket in the winter.
- The area is a drive from town and all the nightlife.
- Limited restaurants within walking distance
- Most expensive hotels in Fernie
- Most hotels only offer limited parking.
The Best Places to Stay near Fernie Alpine Resort
$$$ – Cornerstone Lodge by Park Vacation Management
Nestled in the heart of the village base in Fernie Alpine Resort and noted for its exceptional comfort, the Cornerstone Lodge features well-appointed condominium suites with one and two bedrooms. This Fernie property provides guests with a number of convenient amenities, including a common indoor hot tub, fitness gym, ski storage (located in the parkade), and underground parking.
However, the most convenient amenity of this hotel is undoubtedly its ski-to-door access. The Legends Restaurant and Slopeside Cafe, located on the building’s main level, also come in handy when you’re too lazy or exhausted to travel to the downtown area.
There is a complete kitchen and free Wi-Fi in each of the hotel’s apartments. They are also comfortably furnished with a living area, a cable TV, a gas fireplace, and a balcony. For added convenience, you have in-suite laundry facilities, as well.
When it comes to other nearby attractions, it’s worth noting that the Fernie town center is just a ten-minute drive away. Meanwhile, the Elk River is about 2 km (1.2 miles) away.
You can book the one-bedroom apartment here for as low as $155 per night.
$$ – Snow Creek Lodge by Fernie Lodging Co
Sitting at the foot of Fernie Alpine Resort, Snow Creek Lodge is a property in Fernie, featuring mountain architecture. It offers accommodations ranging from studios to two-bedroom suites, along with four private log cabins that can sleep up to ten guests.
If you’re visiting Fernie in the winter, the major selling point of this lodge is actually its ski-in/ski-out access. But it also includes amenities like an outdoor heated swimming pool, hot tubs, free Wi-Fi access, BBQ facilities, guest laundry (coin-operated), and secure undercover parking. On top of that, you are free to unwind on the lodge’s patio as you enjoy the surrounding mountain views.
Furnished in a wilderness style, the rooms at Snow Creek Lodge come complete with cable TV and sofa bed. Wi-Fi and local phone calls are included in the rental price. You can also find a fireplace in every room, along with a fully equipped kitchen with a stovetop and refrigerator.
Among the attractions located close to this property are Mt. Fernie Provincial Park (7 km/4 miles) and Fernie Golf Estate (15 km/9.3 miles). You are also just a quick shuttle or car ride to the downtown area, where you can visit a handful of shops, restaurants, pubs, and cafés.
The studio with kitchen here costs $145 CAD per night.
$ – The Griz Inn by Park Vacation Management
Dating back to 1983, The Griz Inn has become a favorite base for adventurers coming to Fernie Alpine Resort for almost four decades. It is ideally situated at the foot of the Fernie Alpine Resort and provides units with beautiful mountain views and easy ski-in/ski-out access.
When staying here, you will be treated to the snow-covered slopes of the resort right out the front door. All you have to do is put on your skis, and the next thing you know, you’re on the lifts. Then, after an action-packed day, you can always soak in the inn’s outdoor hot tub, dive in the pool, or just unwind in your cozy condo.
The best part is that The Griz Inn has accommodations to fit any budget or group size, from modest hotel-style rooms to luxurious loft apartments with three bedrooms. You’ll have everything you need in your own home, from the kitchen to the living room with cable TV to the dining room to the balcony with breathtaking views.
Some units here are also pet-friendly, so you don’t need to leave your precious fur baby behind. Rates start at US$80 per night.
West Fernie (outskirts of Downtown Fernie)
You can find West Fernie just after the bridge, toward the ski hill, and on both sides of the highway. This neighborhood is well-known for being a convenient midway point between downtown Fernie and the ski resort. So if you want to be closer to both, this is the best area to stay in Fernie for you.
Advantages to staying in West Fernie:
- You’re just a few steps away from the beautiful Elk River.
- Close to extensive mountain bike trails
- While here, you will be treated to stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Disadvantages of staying in West Fernie:
- Although West Fernie is located between the town and the resort, neither one is actually walkable; you still need to ride a car or shuttle.
- Lacks charm and is not as vibrant as the downtown area or the ski resort.
The Best Places to Stay in West Fernie
$$ – Fernie Fox Hotel
Wondering where you can stay in Fernie? Fernie Fox Hotel is an ideal starting point to explore Fernie. The property is located on Highway #3, between Downtown Fernie and Fernie Alpine Resort, and is the closest to the wonderful trail network in Fernie Provincial Park.
The Fernie Fox Hotel has a zero-smoking policy and features a standard of amenities uncommon for a hotel at its price point. Here, you will find free Wi-Fi, a business center, laundry facilities, and an outdoor hot tub. There are also complimentary breakfast choices, as well as an outdoor with grilling facilities.
The rooms of the Fernie Fox Hotel include a microwave, a refrigerator, and a coffeemaker. Local telephone calls are already included in the room rate, and if you’re visiting with your furbaby, you can ask for one of the two pet-friendly rooms on site.
The hotel’s Queen Room costs $116 CAD per night.
$$ – Silver Rock RockiesDirect ca
Silver Rock RockiesDirect ca is a self-catering accommodation in Fernie, featuring an indoor swimming pool, outdoor hot tub, sauna, and steam room. The rooms here are fully air-conditioned and come complete with a balcony with mountain views.
If you’re interested in exploring the vicinity, you will find the Fernie Golf Club just a little over 3 km (1.9 miles) away. The Fernie Museum is also about a 19-minute walk from the hotel.
The studio unit here costs $87 CAD a night.
Renting a Car in British Columbia
If you’re arriving in British Columbia via plane, then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. British Columbia is a large province and traveling between the best places to visit in BC requires transport. Although you can use public transport on some occasions, this means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.
Car rental in Canada is relatively cheap, especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with a pickup and drop-off in different locations is around $70 CAD per day. The price does vary though, depending on the time of year. For car rentals, I use the website Discover Cars. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used Discover Cars all over the world, including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia.
Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter.) Using Motorhome Republic, you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada, and using crown land and campsites, you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!
Canada Travel Essentials
Before you decide to head off and explore the gorgeous mountains, lakes, towns, and cities around Canada it’s important to have the right equipment. Of course, it’s likely you’ll have most of the basics already but there are some common items people forget that I never travel without.
Crampons: In winter, crampons are super handy, but what people don’t realize is that they come in handy in summer too. In fact, up until mid-July, you can still expect icy conditions in the mountains. The pair I use is only $37 CAD and they have lasted me 3 seasons so far!
Waterproof shell: Most people will have this item but I thought I’d include it anyway since it’s so handy in Canada. The Columbia waterproof jacket is a lightweight windproof jacket that will seriously save you in many situations. The best part, though? It comes in pink!
Scent-proof bag (for bears): Most people think you only need to keep the smell of food away from you when you’re overnight camping. However, bears can smell the food in your bag while you’re hiking and the best way to avoid an encounter is to use a scent-proof bear bag. Basically, you put your food in the bag and the bear cannot smell it while you’re hiking. This is one item most people never have (I never hike without it) but it could save you and the bear.
Buff: I love my buff! Seriously, I go nowhere without it both in winter and summer. There are a few brands around but I always buy the original Buff (you know, the one from Survivor!) They’re a little more expensive but the material is good quality and both breathable and quick drying.
Dry bag: I have expensive camera equipment, so I always travel with a dry bag large enough to fit some of my equipment. It can be a camera, book, binoculars, or even my keys. Regardless, a dry bag gives me peace of mind! The MARCHWAY bag is really good quality, and when not in use, takes up only a small amount of room.
Binoculars: I love my binoculars! Seriously they have come in handy so many times, especially when I’m looking for wildlife. The best part is, I use a set that only costs $25 CAD and they serve my basic needs without any issues!
Before you go…
From cozy mountain cabins to luxurious condo-hotels, Fernie accommodations are sure to suit every budget and style. With this much variety, you’re sure to find the ideal place for your vacation. Just remember to make your reservations well in advance if you want to secure a room in the best area to stay in Fernie during the ski season.
Be sure to check out some of our other Canada posts!