The Prince of Wales Hotel was built as an extension to the chain of hotels and chalets built and operated by the Great Northern Railway in Glacier National Park, Montana. Louis Hill, President of the Great Northern Railroad, picked the site for the hotel in 1912. It took until 1926 to get the land leased from the Canadian Government and construction began immediately thereafter.
When Mr. Hill decided to build the hotel, he planned for a building somewhat like the Many Glacier Hotel in Montana. The original plan called for a long three-storied, low roofed building with a central lobby and approximately 300 rooms. As the building progressed, Mr. Hill changed his mind several times so that some parts of the building had to be rebuilt four times. He wanted the building to resemble French or Swiss chalets. Hill's final vision came to be and today stands a proud hotel overlooking the township of Waterton, complete with 86 rooms in seven-stories and is crowned with a 30-foot bell tower.
All materials and supplies for the construction were shipped via railway to Hill Spring and then transported the last 25 miles by mule team. During construction the building crew faced numerous obstacles including a spring thaw that turned the 25 miles of road into a muddy quagmire and high winds that blew the building off center twice. The fear of these high winds almost caused the project to be abandoned but construction finally proceeded and the building was completed and officially opened to the public on July 25, 1927.
Occasionally the building will sway slightly when the winds are heavy, but there is no danger because the building was constructed to withstand even the fiercest of gales. The building is anchored to its site by means of large cables installed from its loft, through the structure and into the ground itself.
The hotel is named after the Prince of Wales, the popular Prince Edward, who was later to become King Edward VIII. He was admired and adored worldwide, even after his abdication of the British Throne in 1936 when he chose to marry a commoner from America. The hotel was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1992 with Plaque status granted in 1995 and was highlighted in the 2008 National Geographic™ Crown of the Continent Geotourism Map Guide.
The Prince of Wales Hotel is a smoke free, 7-story facility with designated outdoor smoking areas. Check-in time is after 3:00 p.m. and checkout time is 11:00 a.m. All rooms are accessed via stairs and are sold based on view or room size. An antique elevator is available for floors 2 through 4 and requires assistance to operate. There are no ADA-accessible rooms available at Prince of Wales Hotel. The self parking lot is located a short walk from the hotel.
NOTE: Contracted rates do not include National Park Service entrance fees to Glacier National Park or Waterton Lakes National Park. These fees are the responsibility of the individual upon entrance to each park.
|Address:||Off Hwy. 5, Box 33
Waterton Lakes National Park, AB T0K2M0
|Notes:||Check In: 3:00 PM Check Out: 11:00 AM Hotel is 100% non-smoking Handicap accessible: No Pets not allowed Location Prince of Wales Hotel is located in the township of Waterton inside Waterton Lakes National Park in southern Alberta. At the junction of Provincial Route 6 south, and Provincial Route 5 north, turn onto (or continue on) Provincial Route 5 (heading southwest) towards Waterton. Proceed approximately 0.8 km (0.5 mi) and enter Waterton Lakes National Park. From the ranger station, proceed approximately 7.3 km (4.6 mi) to the hotel turn off. You will see a small sign and turn left into the hotel's extended driveway. The front entrance is ahead to your right for check-in. **NO WIFI but Cell reception shouldn't be a problem**|