Known originally as the Lake Louise Ski Lodge, the Post first opened in 1942. Jim Boyce, a noted guide and packer from Banff, was the builder. He sourced the logs for the Lodge in Revelstoke and at the headwaters of the Bow River. With a crew of just 10 men, using mostly hand tools, building was completed in a remarkably short time. The war, amongst other reasons, forced a closure soon thereafter and the doors would not open again until 1948.
Sir Norman Watson
A British nobleman, Sir Norman Watson, purchased the Lake Louise Ski Lodge and adjacent cabins in 1947. Sir Norman was an avid sportsman who had travelled extensively through the ski resorts of the Swiss Alps and drawing on these experiences had a grand vision for the future of skiing in the Canadian Rockies. At the time he purchased the Lodge, Sir Norman had already built two backcountry lodges – Temple Chalet and Skoki. With the Lodge being located close to the train station, it was the perfect starting point for a journey to the backcountry.
Changing Times, Changing Names
With an ever increasing number of summer tourists the name Ski Lodge no longer seemed appropriate; so in 1951 it was changed to Lake Louise Lodge. However, this name was not ideal either as there was some confusion with the Chateau Lake Louise.
Where Did the Name “Post Hotel” Come From?
In 1957 the name Post Hotel was finally chosen. First, this name paid homage to the many Post Hotels of the Alps, an area Sir Norman Watson was very familiar with, and second there was another building on the property that was leased to the Post Office.
A Ski Hill Connection
In the early years, Sir Norman Watson’s association “The Ski Club of the Canadian Rockies” not only held the Post Hotel, Temple Lodge and Skoki, but it also owned and operated the ski area in Lake Louise. The Ski Club held this asset until the mid-1960’s.
The Pipestone Motel
In 1965, with the ever increasing demand for overnight accommodations in Lake Louise, the 25 room Pipestone Motel was built adjacent to the Hotel. Pipestone being the name of the picturesque mountain stream that borders the property to the east and south.
The Schwarz Family
In 1978 Sir Norman Watson sold the Post Hotel to André, Barb and George Schwarz. Sir Norman did not want his dreams for the area to fade away and the Schwarz’s, with their Swiss origins, seemed like the perfect envoys to carry on his visions. After all, their backgrounds encompassed skiing, service, hospitality, food and beverage and quality.
Fine Dining Arrives
The Schwarz’s immediately put their energies into the Hotel’s restaurant; hiring European trained chefs, sourcing the very finest products available and slowly building a more comprehensive wine program. It wasn’t long until the restaurant was one of the most popular in the area attracting guests from all over the world.
Post Hotel Redevelopment
With the restaurant’s meteoric rise in popularity, the time seemed right for an expansion and upgrade of the Hotel. In 1986, along with their new partners Husky Oil, the Schwarz’s embarked on a major redevelopment program. When the “new” Hotel opened in July 1987, it featured 93 luxurious guest rooms and suites, an expanded dining room, a new aquatic facility with indoor salt water pool, steam room and whirlpool and an additional luxurious Lodge along the banks of the Pipestone River – Watson House.
Relais & Chateaux
As a testament to the vision of the ownership and the efforts of the staff, the Post was admitted to the prestigious Relais & Chateaux group in November 1990. This internationally renowned organization represents some of the finest hotels and restaurants in the world. To be considered a property must be independently owned, small, intimate and must excel in the areas of comfort, cuisine, service and special character. For international travellers, the Relais brand signifies a quality guarantee.
Refining, Upgrading and Expanding
True to their dream of providing the very best in hospitality, the Schwarzs completed a number of significant renovations and upgrades through the 1990’s including: the addition of 7 luxury suites (Post Lodge suites) on the second level of the original building, a spectacular post and beam construction library and private dining room were added on the south end of the property, a number of beautiful suites were created in the “new” hotel by converting two rooms to one suite, a host of new amenities were introduced and, of course, the expansion of the renowned Post Hotel wine cellar.
A Grand Award Wine Cellar
The wine cellar at the Post had grown to one of the most impressive in the country and had become an attraction all on its own. Meticulously curated over the years by owner George Schwarz, the cellar received the ultimate praise in 2004 when it was named a Grand Award winner by Wine Spectator Magazine. With a collection that had grown to almost 30,000, a magnificent new cellar was opened in 2005.
Temple Mountain Spa
In 2005, the Hotel opened the Temple Mountain Spa – a blissful sanctuary built around health, wellness, beauty and therapy. With eight treatment rooms, steam rooms, plunge pools and the indoor pool and whirlpool, Temple Mountain Spa offers a harmonious blend of products and services specifically designed to meet the needs of the Post Hotel guests.
Wine Summit Lake Louise
Since 2004, the Post Hotel has been home to Wine Summit Lake Louise. An annual event that features some of the world’s most famous wineries, châteaus, owners and winemakers, Wine Summit has grown into one of the preeminent wine events anywhere. With just 120 wine-loving guests attending each Wine Summit, the Event is as intimate as it gets.
Our Favourite Charity
Since 2004, George and André have been proud supporters of the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta. Through Wine Summit Lake Louise, an annual wine and food event that takes place each year at the Post, over $820,000 has been raised for this special charity. The Schwarz brothers cherish their association with Kids Cancer Care and are pushing for donations to eventually surpass the One Million Dollar mark.