Banff which is situated about 2 hours away from Calgary is a small town within Banff National Park. It is a small town with most of the hotels and lodges situated along the main street which is Banff Avenue. Banff Aspen Lodge is one of these lodges. Like most hotels in Banff (with the exception of Banff Spring Hotel), it is a low rise building (4 storeys, including basement). As it is situated near the town centre, it is within walking distance to many restaurants and an IGA supermarket is nearby along Elk Street. Further down Banff Avenue, you will reach the central park. The Bow River Trail and the Bow Falls Trail are situated on either side of the banks of Bow River.
I booked the hotel through Expedia (via Shopback). I have been making many bookings via Expedia since 2015 thanks to the 6 miles / dollar promotion from Citibank. That promotion has ceased since October 2016 but it was recently replaced with a less attractive 3 miles / dollar promotion via Citi Premiermiles card. When I made my booking, there were no good promotion available hence I used Shopback (for a cash back of 6%).
The room is small with a queen bed (there are bigger rooms available) with a small fridge, Nespresso machine and a standing fan. The room comes with a big balcony. The bathroom was rather small. The hotel has a heated plunge pool, sauna and steam room. The café is located on ground floor while the breakfast room is one level below. The food in breakfast is rather limited. I do suggest going early for breakfast as the breakfast room is small and it can get full pretty quick during peak hour.
Although it is within walking distance to bow river, getting to Upper Hot Spring and Sulphur mountain is much further (although still walkable, about 3.5 km). Fortunately, there is a free shuttle bus departing from Elk+ Avenue Hotel.
If you are in a splurging mood, I would recommend trying out Fairmont Banff Spring Resort instead. It is one of the iconic hotels of Canada and is listed as one of the Heritage building. Otherwise, Banff Spring resort is not a bad choice for a short stay before moving on to Lake Louise.