I had heard a lot about the buffet at Banff Springs Hotel over the years and was quite anxious to try it out. We found ourselves in for a big disapointment, especially when comparing it to the one in Calgary. The food selection and quality was excellent, however, with more variety than what is offered in Calgary. But if you're big on ambience and service, Calgary is a much safer bet. The servers in Calgary's Palliser Hotel are experienced and a bit older compared to the visiting twenty-something staffers in Banff, who were forgetful and unprofessional; aso, little extras can go a long way, like getting fresh-squeezed orange juice in Calgary versus kiwi passionfruit out of the carton in Banff, and listening to a live piano player in Calgary versus elevator music in Banff.
The most telling distinctions are that people are more observant of the dress code in Calgary; and also, the dining area is not separated from the buffet area or the kitchen in Banff, which gives it a cafeteria feel and not a fine-dining atmosphere. My