I’ve been to the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis maybe a couple dozen times before, but never passed the perfectly clear sliding doors. Back when I worked as a driver guide, I used to drop business clients off at the Delta all the time. Most of the time, clients were there for a conference and were wearing some mixture of business attire and golf gear. You see, the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis has always been a massive conference location, and to be honest, I always kind of wondered why. With so much to do and see in either Banff of Lake Louise, it seemed strange to me that conferences would flock to this location. I questioned this, until I finally made my way through the automatic sliding doors and checked myself in to the Signature Club of the lodge.
This past year hasn’t been easy for Kananaskis. The region was hit by some of the worst flooding in history, and much of the damage was irreversible. Many of the rivers changed course completely, landslides wiped out hiking trails, and buildings anywhere near the flood plains were underwater. Moreover, Kananaskis’ world-class golf course was completely destroyed. It’s been tough. But somehow the lodge is still packed when I get there, and the visitors are all beaming.
I’ve come for a night hoping to get a taste for what draws people here, and perhaps to get a bit of work done in the meantime.
As soon as I check into my room it becomes clear to me what makes this place a favourite for business travellers. It’s elegance mixed with a tone of modernity. It’s urban with a view of the incredible mountain scenery.
I drop my laptop on the table and draw the blinds open on the window to see a deer and fawn chasing back and forth across some grass. The skies open up and a heavy rain starts thundering down on the building. I was meant to go stand up paddle-boarding today, but with the lightning outside I’m confined to my desk. The truth is, however, that I needed this day. I’ve been racing all over the province of Alberta of late and haven’t had much time behind the computer.
With the windows drawn, and the room dark, I’m starting to realize why so many business come out here to Kananaskis for retreat. It’s quiet, and majestic, but still as serious as any office. On my desk I have all the cables I need to hook my laptop to the big screen tv, so I edit the images on the huge screen rather than my dusty laptop.
It’s the little things at the Delta though that get me. It’s the light that senses movement in the bathroom so you don’t have to scramble in the dark looking for the switch. It’s the comfortable desk chair, the assortment of plugins, and the wifi so fast I can’t upload images to my flickr account fast enough. It’s the coffee machine that brews nearly instantly without requiring an engineer to operate, and the fruit tray delivered to your room around snack time.
I may not have gotten to go stand up paddle-boarding in Kananaksis as I had intended, but I learned a lot about what I look for in a hotel, and what most people look for in business travel. And though I’m not a business traveller, I work from hotel rooms around the world, and this is the best office I’ve ever had. Luxury meets nature meets business, and in my line of work, it doesn’t get much better than that.