Like the ski season, Christmas in Jasper begins in November. Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge has been on hold since the start of the pandemic and resumed its popular “Christmas in November” weekends this month. While the food and wine special events are over from November through next year, the winter wonderland decorations will stay up until January (and the snowy outdoor scenes won’t melt until spring). Now is the time to book to celebrate the holiday season at this luxury mountain resort and secure a reservation for next year’s revelry.
Christmas at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in November
Christmas in November at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge – JPL for short – takes place over three food and wine weekends in November. The luxury mountain cabin transforms into a winter wonderland from the first weekend in November and the festivities continue throughout the holiday.
JPL’s special Christmas weekends in November are characterized by interactive classes, seminars and tastings; formal meals (often with live entertainment); to dance; pictures with Santa Claus; plus festive events including the Silly Christmas Sweater reception. You’ll learn from local and national chefs, sommeliers and decorating experts and meet fellow guests brimming with Christmas cheer.
Stay at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
When guests arrive at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, something magical happens. The cause may be the turquoise Lac Beauvert and JPL’s 700-acre grounds framed by Jasper’s mountain vistas; knowing that bighorn sheep, deer, moose (and perhaps bears) may roam nearby; the city’s lack of distractions plus Jasper’s status as the world’s second largest dark skies reserve; the lodge’s storied past of stars and royalty; the casual luxury of the log cabins and renowned Fairmont level of service; or maybe it’s Fairmont dog ambassadors Calla and Stanley wagging their tails in the lobby.
Whatever it is, guests at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge are noticeably friendlier and more laid-back than elsewhere and have a bit of childlike wonder in their eyes and a sense of exploration in their hearts when they’re here. And that’s especially the case around Christmas (and not just because of the crazy Christmas sweaters).
You’ll stay in the lodge itself, in luxury log cabins along the lakeshore, or in restored vintage cabins that sleep 2 to 16 people (perhaps also equipped with a stone fireplace, large porch, pool table, sauna, or hot tub).
Even on non-special event weekends, days and evenings at JPL are quickly filled with walks to admire the views, flora and fauna; winter skiing, boarding, snowshoeing, ice skating and sledding; paddle and golf in the summer; mountain biking and fat tire cycling; year-round swim in the heated outdoor pool (don’t worry, there’s an interior entrance); stargazing and shows at the on-site planetarium; quests and board games; wellness and fitness classes and spa treatments; as well as champagne picnics and dining room parties.
Weekends with special events, such as Christmas in November, can entice you even more.
Last Christmas in November Presenters
To get an idea of who you’ll learn (and eat) from, here are special presenters from last Christmas in November:
- Toronto-based chef Suser Lee, who currently oversees four restaurants in Canada’s largest city – Lee, Luckee, Lee Kitchen and Kid Lee – and one – TungLok Heen – in Singapore. Food & Wine named Lee one of the “Ten Chefs of the Millennium” and he has appeared Iron Chef America (where he teamed up with Bobby Flay for the “bacon battle”), Iron Chief Canada, Top chef and various other culinary shows.
- Vikram Vij, cookbook author, TV personality, and co-owner of several Vancouver-area restaurants that have received critical acclaim from chefs like Anthony Bourdain and where celebrities from Tom Cruise to Robin Williams to Justin Trudeau have all lined up have been waiting for its famous Indian fusion dishes.
- Anna and Michael Olsen, former pastry chef (Anna) and chef (Michael) at the famed Niagara on the Lake restaurant Inn on the Twenty; the couple now have seven cookbooks (two together) and Anna hosts several popular cooking shows on the Food Network.
- Certified master chef Michael Allemeier, host of Cooking like a chef, approxarts instructor and former winery chef at one of Canada’s premier wineries, Mission Hill Family Estate.
It remains to be seen which culinary celebrities will be present on the weekends of Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in November 2023.
Can’t wait that long? Upcoming special events at the lodge include the Jasper Beer and Spirits Festival in February 2023, the PJ Party in March, the Devour! Food and Wine Festival, Thanksgiving weekend (in Canada, it is celebrated in mid-October), plus the Symphony Under the Sun and Symphony Under the Stars experiences.
And there is still some availability for bookings for the 2022 Christmas period, and yes, you can also have your room or cabin decorated with a Christmas tree if you wish.