When you step out of the balcony you are one with the mountains here, the rocky slopes overhead in every direction. Snow and surviving glaciers meet at the tops. The aqua-colored water is almost iridescent and the hotel has canoes you can take out for exploring.
Rooms are either in the main lodge building or in individual cabins, complete with decked-out bathrooms and balconies with a view. Most also have a fireplace. This is a quiet getaway place though: no TVs, no phones, and the one computer is dial-up only.
For many guests the highlight is the gourmet restaurant, which is far better than it has to be in this solitary setting. Expect lots of local ingredients served with a flair, such as the venison tenderloin, with "fireweek honey and mustard seed crust, mission fig and cabernet reduction, and baby root vegetables." The restaurant here and the one at sister property Cathedral Mountain Lodge in Yoho National Park draw foodies from around the region.
Moraine Lake Lodge is only open from June through the first week of October. (Staffers were snowboarding off the roof this past May.) Rates are $339 to $579 a night including continental breakfast and use of canoes.