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by , SmarterTravel Staff - October 31, 2009
Fairmont Banff Springs

Fairmont Springs Banff

The Fairmont Springs Banff, "Canada's Castle in the Rockies," has seen many prestigious guests since it first opened its doors more than 120 years ago. In fact, some liked the place so well that they never left.

This is the case with Sam the Bellman, who worked at the hotel for many years. Before his death, Sam joked that he would return to the hotel he held so dearly in the afterlife. Many guests will attest that Sam kept his word.

The first sighting was by two elderly ladies who couldn't get the key to work in their room door. Feeling uneasy because of the late hour and darkened corridor, they called the front desk for assistance and were told to wait for the bellman. However, when the bellman arrived, the ladies were already safely in their room. When asked how they managed that, they stated that the gray-haired bellman had appeared moments after they called and opened the door for them. The young bellman was bewildered since no one matching that description worked at the hotel. Since that time, the elderly bellhop with a Scottish brogue has been assisting guests and keeping a watchful eye on his hotel.

Visitors may also encounter the spirit of a young bride. Close to the time of the hotel's grand opening in the 1930s, a groom waited in the library at the top of a candlelit, winding, limestone staircase for his true love to ascend. As she made her way up the stairs, her hem of her dress brushed against one of the candle's flames and caused her to jump back, which sent her tumbling to her death. Guests claim to occasionally see her, still dressed in her white lace gown, dancing her wedding waltz alone, without her love.

Rooms start at $299 CAD (about $277 U.S.; check with XE.com for current exchange rates), but there are plenty of package deals available to keep your heart from racing.

(Photo: Fairmont Banff Springs)

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