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Golden, BC is a tiny mountain town sitting just off of Highway 1 (the Trans-Canada Highway), making it an ideal stop on any Western Canada road trip. It is bordered by six of the country’s most breathtaking national parks: Banff, Glacier, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay, and Mount Revelstoke, and has a population of fewer than 4000 people.
Aside from its rustic charm and stunning scenery, Golden offers visitors so many fun things to do. With a diverse range of outdoor activities available all year round! In addition to whitewater rafting and snowboarding, you can also go paragliding, wildlife watching, and heli-skiing while in town. The newest attraction known as the Golden Skybridge is also a must!
While this is good news to anyone visiting this rustic town, it can be pretty daunting to narrow down the best area to stay in Golden, especially since you have a variety of accommodation options from cozy cabins and lodges to luxurious hotels and motels.
No need to fear, though! In this guide, I will cover everything you need to know to help you decide where to stay in Golden based on your needs and preferences. Ready to jump right in?
Where are the BEST Areas to Stay in Golden, BC
In this post, we will review the three best areas to stay in Golden (downtown Golden, on the edge of town along TransCanada Highway, and up at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort), along with my personal hotel recommendations.
But before we get right to that, the first important step when choosing where to stay in Golden is to consider not only your proximity to the town amenities but also what type of activities you would like to do.
If you want a centrally located hotel with easy access to restaurants and shops, then you should choose one of the best hotels in Golden’s downtown area. This is more of a touristy area and is perfect for solo travelers and first-time visitors, who find the local neighborhood interesting.
Want more mountain views from the comfort of your room? Then stay at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort where there is plenty of skiing and snowboarding for everyone! Meanwhile, the TransCanada Highway is great if you’re after convenience and are just passing by the area. This is the best choice for travelers on a road trip.
Let’s take a closer look at each one of these so you can decide which is suitable for your travel needs.
Related Read: Coming from Vancouver? Check out our guide to driving from Vancouver to Golden for info on the best places to check out en route!
The downtown area of Golden has a lot to offer both tourists and locals alike. In this ski resort with a small-town vibe, you’ll find charming boutique shops, second-hand bookshops, and art galleries where you can hang out after a day of skiing and snowboarding.
Some of the best cafes, restaurants, and hotels in Golden are located in the downtown area. It’s the best area to dine and sleep when you’re on vacation in Golden, whether for a day or a week.
Throughout the day, many Golden pubs and bars offer fantastic meals. They also frequently feature live entertainment like karaoke, local musicians, and even broadcast hockey and sports events on large screens. Expect to encounter daily specials and happy hours at the majority of the bars and pubs in the neighborhood, too.
Apart from the fantastic bars and restaurants in downtown Golden (did I mention they have a brewery too???), the downtown area is friendly and full of charm. It provides a sense of community, with residents welcoming visitors who come to experience the area’s ruggedness and organizing community activities and festivals to get together.
Advantages to staying in downtown Golden:
- There are lots of things to do and see here.
- You will always be just a stone’s throw away from the main attractions in town.
- You have plenty of options when it comes to dining.
Disadvantages of staying in downtown Golden:
- Hotels are naturally more expensive.
- Only a couple of hotels are available to choose from.
The Best Places to Stay in Downtown Golden
$$ – Knotty Pine Lodge
Sitting next to the Kicking Horse River, Knotty Pine Lodge is the perfect base to stay in for groups and families of up to 5 or couples on a romantic getaway. It is one of the only holiday homes right in town and the interior has a classic log cabin feel but with tasteful updates so it not only has character but the modern conveniences and amenities are there too.
The main highlights of the home are the outdoor dining table and hot tub on the deck which is nicely fenced in for maximum privacy and there is a view of the mountains in the distance. Inside there is also a spacious and cozy lounge area with a TV and fireplace.
All of the rooms in the home have been remodeled has free Wi-Fi, as well as a washing machine, a fully equipped kitchen, and windows that open to the stunning views of Golden.
You will also be just a two-minute walk away from the Art Gallery Of Golden-Kicking Horse Culture and a 14-minute walk from the Golden Museum and Archives.
For the entire two-bedroom home expect to pay around $400 CAD per night. There is a 2-night minimum stay required at this property.
You can check the availability for Knotty Pine Lodge and book on Booking.com.
$ – Rondo Motel
The Rondo Motel is a downtown Golden lodging option bounded by the majestic Rocky Mountains. So whether you’re in your room or on the motel’s deck, you will be blown away by the stunning mountain view all in plain sight.
This centrally-located motel also offers free Wi-Fi, free parking, and a tour desk. During the ski season, sauna rooms and a hot tub are available free of charge. When it comes to the rooms, the motel’s spacious air-conditioned suites come with coffee and tea-making facilities, cable television, and an electric kettle. Select rooms feature a kitchenette with a microwave and fridge.
While staying at Rondo Motel, you have access to various outdoor activities like kayaking and horse riding. There are fun waterside activities available exclusively on-site, as well. For guests who love exploring local cafes and restaurants, you will find a decent selection within walking distance of the motel.
If you prefer to explore around, Kicking Horse Resort is just a short drive away from Rondo Motel. You also have a library, a laundry mat, and a movie theater, all within a stone’s throw away.
A night in a Standard Queen Room with a view of the mountains starts at around $95 CAD.
You can check the availability of The Rondo Motel and book on Booking.com.
Near Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
Located about 14 km (8.7 miles) up a winding mountain route from downtown is the famous Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. If you’re into epic mountain biking in the summer and world-class skiing in the winter, this resort is the best area to stay in Golden.
If you visit Golden during the winter, you can enjoy the ultimate ski holiday, complete with absurdly long downhill courses and options for heli-skiing.
There are plenty of things to do in the summer months, too. You can head to the Grizzly Bear Interpretive Center to learn about the resident grizzly bear named Boo or go hiking and gondola sightseeing. Another gem of this resort is the Eagle’s Eye Restaurant. It’s Canada’s most elevated restaurant at 2,410 meters (7,907 feet) above sea level.
Advantages to staying near Kicking Horse Mountain Resort:
- Some of the best hotels in Golden are located right at the resort, offering you convenient ski-in/ski-out access.
- There is never a dull moment with lots of sights to see and things to do.
- Closer to the outdoors and all the action.
- You’ll be taken away by AMAZING views.
Disadvantages of staying near Kicking Horse Mountain Resort:
- Queues on the gondola can be rather long on a powder day.
- Expect to pay hefty hotel rates during the peak season.
- About a 20-minute drive from downtown and all the nightlife.
- Limited restaurants within walking distance
Related Read: If you have time during your trip, check out some of the great activities Revelstoke has to offer! It’s less than a 2-hour drive, and there are plenty of fun things to do.
The Best Places to Stay near Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
$$$ – Glacier Mountaineer Lodge
Nestled right at the base of the Golden Eagle Express Gondola, Glacier Mountaineer Lodge is one of the best hotels in Golden, especially if you’re after all the ski action. This accommodation offers ski-in/ski-out facilities, a jacuzzi, and a sauna. Other amenities include an on-site fitness center, ski, bike, and golf storage, and underground parking.
As for room sizes, you may pick from several types of rooms, such as king or queen guest rooms and suites with one, two, or three bedrooms. Every one of the suites has a fully-equipped kitchen, a fireplace, and a private bath. There’s also a coffee maker, a fridge, cable TV, and a washer/dryer in the unit.
My favorite feature of the Glacier Mountaineer Lodge is undoubtedly the private balcony in each room, boasting breathtaking views of the Kicking Horse Resort or the surrounding mountains.
Guests staying at Glacier Mountaineer Lodge have the option of dining out at one of the many nearby eateries. Feel free to drive to the downtown area, as well, which you can easily reach within half an hour.
The Queen Room here goes for $139 CAD a night.
You can check the availability of Glacier Mountaineer Lodge and book on Booking.com.
$$$ – The View from the Pines
Only a few properties on Kicking Horse Mountain provide guests with actual ski-to-door access, and The View from the Pines is one of them. This year-round mountain retreat is just a few minutes away from cycling, hiking, and ski paths. Private parking and free Wi-Fi are both available for free.
While staying at this 1700-sq. ft vacation home, you have access to a fully equipped kitchen with exposed wood elements, an expansive open-concept living area, a terrace with a hot tub, BBQ facilities, and spectacular views of the Dogtooth Mountain range. Other standard in-house amenities include a flat-screen TV, a washing machine, a fireplace, and a coffee maker.
Featuring a total of three bedrooms and two bathrooms, The View from the Pines is decorated in a pleasant modern mountain style with all the conveniences you’d expect in a luxury mountain house. It’s designed to sleep up to seven people comfortably, but you may add an air mattress to accommodate up to nine people.
What I love most about this vacation home is the location. It is set next to the Columbia Mountains, and you’re also just a ten-minute walk away from the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
For $407 CAD per night, you and your family can enjoy this vacation home to yourselves.
You can check the availability of The View from the Pines and book on Booking.com.
Outskirts of Golden Town
If you’re deciding where to stay in Golden but will only be there for a night, the outskirts of town are the ideal base for you. It sits conveniently near the Trans-Canada Highway, giving you quick access to it.
The outskirts of Golden is also perfect for anybody who is on a road trip to the other nearby mountain towns like Revelstoke and the Shuswap region.
Advantages to staying on the outskirts of Golden Town:
- Lots of hotels to choose from
- There is plenty of parking available.
- You have numerous food options close by.
- You are still only a 2-5-minute drive to downtown if you want to go skiing at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
Disadvantages of staying on the outskirts of Golden Town:
- The outskirts of Golden don’t actually have any charm to it.
- There isn’t much to see or do here.
- Most of the hotels are big chain names, so you won’t really feel a mountain town vibe to them.
- No nightlife whatsoever.
- Highway traffic noise (obviously)
The Best Places to Stay on the Outskirts of Golden (on the Trans Canada Highway)
$$$ – Prestige Inn Golden
Conveniently set just off the Trans-Canada Highway, the Prestige Inn Golden provides a comfortable and cozy stay near downtown Golden. There’s a restaurant on-site, as well as an indoor pool with a hot tub, a fitness center, and complimentary on-site self-parking.
While here, you can enjoy the complimentary usage of beach toys and board games from the 24-hour front desk. On top of that, the hotel offers free newspapers in the lobby and dry cleaning/laundry services.
The rooms are traditionally styled and soundproofed, fitted with free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen HD cable TV, and a work desk. You can access your room through a private entrance. Additionally, a refrigerator, coffee machine, and eco-friendly bath products are included in the units.
When you stay at Prestige Inn Golden in Golden, the Golden and District General Hospital and the British Columbia Visitor Centre are within a five-minute drive. In addition, you can go skiing at the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, about eight miles from the inn. Feel free to drop by the Art Gallery of Golden and Golden Entertainment Centre, too, both of which are no more than 1.2 miles away.
Room rates here start at about $140 CAD per night.
You can check the availability of Prestige Inn Golden and book on Booking.com.
$$ – Ramada Limited Golden
A wheelchair-accessible hotel, Ramada Limited Golden features a variety of premium services and amenities, including a jacuzzi, an indoor pool, an express check-in and check-out, and a ticket service. For those arriving by automobile, there is free public parking available on-site.
You can also find a cash machine and laundry facilities on the property. If you’re a gym junkie, you’re in luck as the hotel features a well-equipped gym, too!
Many of the hotel’s 60 well-appointed suites provide guests with scenic views on top of complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, coffee and tea facilities, and flat-screen cable TV. In addition, select rooms come complete with kitchen facilities for added convenience.
Guests who want to take advantage of the local food scene will be pleased to know that there are plenty of alternatives just outside the hotel. There are also guided tours and snowmobile rentals in the area.
You can stay at Ramada Limited Golden for as low as $87 CAD per night.
You can check the availability of Ramada Limited Golden and book on Booking.com.
$$ – Travelodge by Wyndham Golden Sportsman Lodge
The Travelodge by Wyndham Golden Sportsman Lodge places the best of Golden right at your fingertips, ensuring a peaceful and delightful stay. Those on a budget can’t pass on the Travelodge. With a central location, free Wi-Fi, an indoor pool with a waterslide, and a hot tub for guests’ use, this place is a steal! There is also a free breakfast and if you’re coming by car, free parking is readily available on-site.
Their air-conditioned rooms have essential features to make your stay as comfortable as possible. They are simply decorated for a relaxing and clean atmosphere. In-room amenities also include refrigerators, a safe, and a private bathroom.
Right outside the hotel, you’ll find a variety of cafés and restaurants. Several popular attractions are also within a quick drive away, including Kicking Horse Resort, the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge, and the Golden Golf Club.
Rates begin at about $212 CAD per night and pets are allowed for an additional $15 CAD/night.
You can check the availability of the Travelodge by Wyndham Golden Sportsman Lodge and book on Booking.com.
Related Read: Heading to Revelstoke after Golden? Read our blog about where to stay in Revelstoke!
Travel Insurance is more important than ever right now!
If you’re traveling during these uncertain times, be sure that you have travel insurance!
SafetyWing is our go-to insurance when we are going on longer trips. They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $42 USD per 4 weeks!) and even have coverage in case you get that dreaded c-word. The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.
We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!)
It’s safe to say that travel insurance has saved us thousands over the years!
Thanks for reading!
Whether your ideal vacation is one filled with relaxation, outdoor adventure, or a combination of both, Golden has it all! It is the perfect base for any kind of trip, and thankfully, you can find a varied range of accommodation options in the area.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you pinpoint where to stay in Golden, depending on the kind of holiday you want to experience during your visit. Before you go, be sure to check out some of our other British Columbia posts! Here are a few suggestions:
Visiting Revelstoke in December
How to plan a romantic Whistler honeymoon