Sunday, 20 October 2013

Kate Loves: Skoki Lodge

I was interested to read an article about Skoki Lodge, set in the deep country of the Lake Louise ski area in Western Canada, in the Banff National Park. During William and Kate's first joint Canada tour in 2011 they spent a night at the lodge, and it provided the couple with an opportunity to take a brief break for themselves, away from the media glare.

I had heard about the couple's visit to the lodge but have never seen a photo until now. The Cambridges posed for a photo before leaving and it appears it's framed at the lodge, as we can see the very distinctive reflection of the photographers face. Kate wore a textured sweater we've seen before and her J Brand jeans.

The Mirror/Skoki Lodge

The Skoki Ski Lodge National Historic Site of Canada was built in 1931 by local members of the Ski Club of the Canadian Rockies. The lodge was the first commercial building made specifically to serve skiers in Canada. Design and construction work was carried out by Earl Spencer (no, not the one we're all familiar with :)) and the lodge was progressively expanded through 1936 by outfitter, guide and log home builder Jim Boyce, who was also managing the lodge at the time. It has remained practically unaltered since then.

Skoki Lodge Facebook Page

During summer months, beautiful alpine flowers paint the landscape, while towering peaks against summer skies welcome you as you make your way through and around Skoki. During Winter, skiers of all abilities can find ski touring and telemarking slopes as well as a variety of cross-country routes around the lodge.

Skoki Lodge Facebook Page

The remote lodge has become even more famous since William and Kate chose it as somewhere to spend the only private time they had during the tour. It is a wonderful place to visit for those who enjoy isolation but there are no flushing toilets, running water, showers, baths or electricity, and there is only one male and female outhouse on site. Reaching them requires a trudge through the snow. This posed something of a problematic situation for royal aides during preparations from the tour.

More from The Mirror's story:

'You can imagine the royal courtiers' stares as the toilet arrangements at Skoki Lodge, in the wilderness of Alberta, Canada, were explained when they were planning the visit.
 The only option - obviously - was to airlift in an entire bathroom, with bath, shower, washbasin and flushing toilet. So when William and Kate dropped in during their 2011 tour of Canada to Skoki, the Riverside cabin had an en suite to compliment its wood-burning stove and double bed.'

The Riverside cabin where the Cambridges stayed.

Where.ca

A look at the cabin's bedroom which includes a queen-sized bed.

Skoki Lodge

During their brief stay, the Duke and Duchess enjoyed one of the scenic walks on offer from the lodge and hiked the last third of the trail going into Skoki, going over Deception Pass and down to the beautiful Ptarmigan Lake. There are plenty of opportunities to spot animals during the walk, and no doubt keen photographer Kate captured some snaps with her camera.

Skoki Lodge
The Duchess brought her trusty Canon camera with her and photographed Prince William landing a Sea King helicopter. Prince William had requested the exercise ahead of a day of activities at Prince Edward Island, as Canada is the only country to train its pilots to perform 'waterbird' landings, in which the helicopter's engine is cut before its landed on water. I remember thinking it was a very sweet gesture, that Kate wanted her own personal photos of William's 'waterbird' landing despite the fact the press took hundreds.

PA

Following their walk they enjoyed a hearty dinner back at the lodge consisting of Alberta roast beef  with rich gravy, an assortment of vegetables with potatoes and halibut steaks. Dinner is enjoyed at long candlelit tables which provide a very relaxed atmosphere.

Skoki Lodge

After dinner a glass of Skoki's finest wine can be enjoyed in the reception room by an open fire.

Skoki Lodge

Delicious food and substantial meals are very much the order of the day ensuring skiers and hikers are sufficiently nourished before leaving for the day to enjoy outdoor pursuits. Breakfast includes cereals, pancakes, a choice of egg dishes and fresh bread with homemade jams - something the Duchess would have appreciated. Kate enjoys making her own jam and gave The Queen jars of her homemade strawberry jam and plum reserve for her first Christmas with the royals in 2011. After breakfast, plates of salads, meats and cheeses are laid out so guests can easily take a packed lunch with them.

Skoki Lodge

Prince William enjoyed the food so much he referred to it in the guest book upon departure: 'Fantastic scenery and delicious food, thank you.' While Kate wrote: 'Thank you for looking after us so well!'

Skoki Lodge

Manager Leo Mitzel has fond memories of the royal visit as he was there at the time with his wife Katie and their two children. His six-year-old daughter was particularly excited to meet a real princess, Leo recalled:

'She held her skirt and did a huge curtsey. Kate was very sweet and chatted away to Isabella.
 They would have loved a longer walk, if they had the choice. But I think security and time constraints ruled it out for them.'

The couple left the next morning feeling refreshed and went on to complete the remainder of their highly successful first tour, which included plenty of memorable moments.


Here are just some of my favourites.

Canadian Heritage/Splash News

For anyone interested in visiting the royal retreat, you can find information on booking and rates at the Skoki Lodge Website. Summer rates begin at $159 per night whilst winter rates are slightly more expensive, beginning at $209 per night. The winter season runs from December 20 to April.

Skoki Lodge

It looks like a fabulous place to unwind and take time out. :)

52 comments:

  1. Sarah from Calif.21 October 2013 at 00:17

    Very cozy and romantic!

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    1. Great to see your comments are coming though :)

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    2. Sarah from Calif.21 October 2013 at 00:55

      Yes, I guess I have phone issues. Sooo looking forward to seeing baby George!!!!!

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  2. Sarah from Calif.21 October 2013 at 00:24

    William and Kate, the only thing missing on this trip was, some of the venison for dinner that my boys just got. :)
    sooo looking forward to pictures of baby George :)))))

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  3. Wow! So interesting! I read about their one-night getaway in the midst of the tour and always have wondered where they spent their "night off." The lodge looks like a wonderful, cozy place, great place to just relax!! I'm sure it's equally beautiful in high summer, which is when they were there!! Thanks again for the post and the photos!

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  4. Just lovely! Thank you.

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  5. It is so wonderful that they had that peaceful time at the lodge. The entire Canadian tour was amazing. We Canadians were so blessed that they chose Canada for their first overseas tour. They really felt the love we have for them here. Really looking forward to seeing Prince George. He must be so big now at three months. Lets hope he has his eyes open and if we are really really luck we could get a smile. That might be asking too much. Excitement is building.

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  6. How lovely to see a Canadian resort described so beautifully, Charlotte - thank you! I'm on the other side of the country, but still can appreciate the beauty and majesty of our west coast. It sounds as if the Duke and Duchess had a wonderful break there - a rustic retreat to be sure, and I got a kick out of the bathroom being flown in for them - I'd like to have seen that arrive! Rebecca English of the Daily Mail said that, "the highlight was a 'tacky' $3,000 bath with painted bronze claw feet, a red, glass-frosted shower door, a glass sink described as 'dark and mottled, almost granite like' and a cast iron fireplace." I've been trying to picture that, but...I just can't. Lol! It sounds as if someone picked up that stuff at a closing out sale!
    Lee from Nova Scotia

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    1. Rebecca English of the Daily Mail was not at Skoki Lodge and so did not actually see the facility. As the Manager of Skoki Lodge I did, and not one single thing this journalist says is true. There was no painted bronze claw feet on the gorgeous tub, no red, glass-frosted shower door, no dark and mottled, granite like sink and certainly not a cast iron fireplace. Her descriptions are false and sadly conjured. The facility was elegant and reserved and a beautiful retreat. Perhaps you can picture something else? K. Mitzel, Skoki Lodge

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  7. As far as looks are concerned the Royal Family definitely needs Kate's genetic contribution.

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    1. In my opinion, the Duke of Edinburgh gave it a shot. :) Incredible looking man in his prime; there's a photo of him in his polo duds where he's seriously swoon worthy.

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    2. I literally laughed out loud. Thank you! :)

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    3. Shantel (@FashionandFaith)22 October 2013 at 21:26

      Bluhare,
      I have always thought that he was handsome, too! (Even now, in his 90s!) Glad to know I'm not the only one! LOL!!
      Shantel
      Minnesota, USA

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  8. Charlotte lake Louise is one of the most gorgeous places on earth I go there often in summer and winter and I am so glad they got to experience it and stay in such a reclusive lodge and get privacy. Thank you for posting this never before seen photo (at least I've never seen it lol) and for the amazing and interesting post as always.

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    1. Lake Louise is beautiful Mellie, you must enjoy your time there so much.

      I've never seen the photo before either and have heard very little about their stay until recently.

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  9. hi charlotte first its very cozy coming to skoki lodge is one places in canada it 3 hours non stop when i was in canada i always go to muskoka lake in Ontario, Canada they are very romantic touch Charlotte sarah i love too see your place too

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  10. Great post! Charlotte yoy truly are different from all of the other media sites, you always reporting new and interesting facts about Kate and Will! I love sunday nights( or maybe your monday morning) bc it seems like you always post a wonderful update about Kate and William!
    The cabin is lovely and that would be a beautful holiday to go on! I know my husband would love it in the winter time. our 2 year wedding anniversy is tomorrow and maybe one day we will go there for a special anniversy ;)
    We have a intersting week with two big events coming up, with a lot of new info coming out about Godparents and if Cassiada(?)will go to the baptism. I am glad she was invited, I hope its a way of Kate extending in olive branch to her, if there is drama with the 2. Plus it will show if Harry and her are really are serious. but all of this is IMO tho :)

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  11. Pauline Oak Hills21 October 2013 at 05:41

    Charlotte thank you for this great post. I love the fact that these two love birds got to spend a beautiful night in this grat lodge. I did read at the time that they brought in a bathroom just for them. Can you imgine that...lol I bet Kate got some beautiful pictures from their walk. I woudl love to see her scrapbooks from all of their travels.

    I can not wait until Wednesday when we get to see baby George. I just hope we get to see him awake this time.

    Thanks again my friend for bring us all this great information on this beautiful couple.

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  12. These guys need to sign you up as PR person, stat!

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  13. Jean from Lancs.21 October 2013 at 11:38

    Lovely post Charlotte---many thanks. The scenery is fantastic---well compensates for the odd bathroom!
    My husband was in Canada during the war---doing "Jungle training" before going to India. He was in Bomber Command.
    We always planned to go in our retirement---but he died within a year .
    My favourite photo from the Canadian tour was one of Prince William fastening Catherine into a jacket they had just been given---there was so much tenderness and love in the action

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    1. Jean, I am so terribly sorry to hear your husband passed away before you had the opportunity to visit Canada in retirement. It is a beautiful place to spend time.

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    2. Sarah from Calif.22 October 2013 at 02:27

      Jean, thank you for sharing that. I'm sure your husband was very special.

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  14. What a treat to wake up to an update!!! Fabulous post!!! Very well researched!!! Ur the best!!!

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    1. Thank you so much Rose, on another note I noticed your in Brooklyn and wanted to thank everyone who takes the time and effort to share a first name or location.

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    2. bluhare in Washington21 October 2013 at 18:30

      Duly noted, Charlotte.

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    3. Thank you Bluhare. It's so interesting to see where our readers are from, I know over 60% are from the US :)

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  15. Charlotte you are the best at ferreting out all the fabulous informatin and interesting tidbits about Catherine. How do you do it and in such good taste, Excellent read. Andrea from Canada.

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    1. Hello Andrea,

      When I saw the photo of William and Kate I read up a bit about Skoki Lodge and thought it would make an interesting post. We have the christening and the gala this week, after that we'll be continuing with the Jewellery posts :)

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  16. What a fun and unexpected post! It's wonderful, Charlotte. I had no idea about this lovely place.

    I just can't wait for the christening and the gala! Such an exciting week!
    See you wednesday.
    Z.

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    1. Hello Z,

      It is an incredibly exciting week, I am very much looking forward to the christening. I read photos will be taken after the service at Clarence House. Still no firm details released but there's a rumour doing the rounds regarding The Sunday Times list of godparents and many think it to be inaccurate.

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  17. Could this be the same sweater she wore with black skinny jeans and black boots to get her hair cut in September 2011?

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    1. It is indeed the same, we've never been able to identify though, it could very well be a past season John Lewis piece.

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  18. Nice post, Charlotte! I have spent time in Lake Louise in winter (I'm a canadian), and it is indeed one of the most magical places on earth!
    Can't wait for the christening and the next jewellery post!

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    1. Thank you, it is lovely to see so many of our Canadian readers commenting :)

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  19. Hi, Charlotte,

    Thank you so much for this lovely post! I'm glad Kate and William got a chance to have this experience.

    Your post is also a love letter to a beautiful part of Canada. I was lucky enough to travel there on business (I live in Toronto which is across the country from Alberta). My husband and I had a day in Banff in February. We went for a beautiful walk. Truly breathtaking! We watched people skating on an outdoor rink. There's nothing more Canadian than the sound of ice skates on an outdoor ice rink in winter.

    Summer here is great but our winters are beautiful too. Hope the Royals come back and that you and all your readers come visit Canada!

    So looking forward to the Christening and other events this week. I would love to see Kate in a wider brimmed hat; although it might not work for all the photos which will be taken.

    Have a great week!

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your insights, it was truly enjoyable researching it as winter descends upon us. It's definitely on my list of places I plan to visit :)

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    2. Winter certainly is descending here in Canada - snowed all day long today.
      Kate and Wills visit to Canada was wonderful to watch. I loved the down to earth feeling.
      Mac from Northern Ontario

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  20. What a cozy place and the scenery is amazing. Thank you for this post. :)

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  21. Lake Louise has a special place in our hearts!!! We got engaged there at the top of the mountain:).. Beautiful and romantic place... We want to go visit again (we live at the other end of Canada).... And that lodge will be on my list of things to do since it is affordable. Thanks for another amazing post:) can't wait to see Georges on Wednesday! Kepp up the great work Charlotte!!!!!!

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    1. Hello Chanty,

      That is so romantic, I do love a good proposal story :)

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  22. Sarah from Calif.22 October 2013 at 02:33

    Okay I am seriously getting excited about the Christening! !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. carmen, USA ( VIRGINIA)23 October 2013 at 01:53

      Me too me too sarah, I'm so excited as well about the christening. I wont be sleeping much tonight,, since we're 5-6 hrs behind the Uk..
      I will be going tomorrow to buy a christening card for the proud parents and little prince.
      But I have a question? Since the duchess and prince william have moved to K.P , I dont know what adress to send the card too.?????. please please I need help with this..thank you
      hi charlotte and sarah and all ,,, im sending lots of love from virginia, USA

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  23. I am usually more than optimistic in life, but now hearing that the cristening photos will be released on the next day, I have become very sad.
    I'm afraid the Duke and Duchess will sit down and choose very carefully 2 (I said two) photos where everybody will sit very well coordinated, and we will see no spontaneity, no family warmth, no baby's color of eyes, no video with him moving around.
    I don't want to be right.

    Anyhow, Charlotte, your latest blog entries continue to amaze me, you are the best!

    Emese

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    1. Jean from Lancs.22 October 2013 at 18:20

      I have just been reading that there will be one reporter and one photographer in the Chapel---if that is true then those inside share with everyone else.
      Also they will have to drive to the Chapel---so there will possibly be pictures of that.
      Whatever happens, you cannot be sure what a 3 months old baby will do---so just keep fingers crossed and hope.

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  24. what can i say, canadians are lucky to have this and the cambridges' visit.

    faw fr KL

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  25. Hello everyone,

    Noted photographer Jason Bell is taking the official christening portraits tomorrow, however they will not be released until Thursday, we might see arrival/departure pictures though :)

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    1. thanks charlotte excited for them when you get them!

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  26. Speaking of Christenings and Godparents....does anyone know who are the Godparents of Peter Phillips children? Generally an announcement is made but I remember seeing him holding one of his daughters and the Queen was present, but no mention of the Godparents.

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  27. Hi Charlotte, I suspect that the decision to not include some members of "large" royal family has something to share with the comment released by Princess Ann about not being concerned in little George's birth. It was really not so nice, I could not believe she had really said it.

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  28. I am so excited for the big day tomorrow. Will it be broadcast live on the internet anywhere or is it strictly a private affair? Looking forward to the photos nonetheless thank you!

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  29. Its amazing thanks for sharing the lodge photos and kate williams photos. How simple it can be to communicate with people and have them understand a certain topic, you made my day.

    DIN 7 | DIN 6325

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