Prince William and Kate escaped the royal tour floodlights to slip away to Skoki Lodge, a backcountry lodge in Banff National Park so remote and rustic that it normally doesn't have electricity or running water.


During the summer, the meadows surrounding Skoki Lodge are blanketed with alpine flowers. (Skoki Lodge website)

The royal couple has been immersed in the intensity of their first official tour since landing in Ottawa on June 30, which resumed Thursday afternoon with a jam-packed schedule in Calgary.

On Wednesday, they flew from the Northwest Territories to Slave Lake, Alta., where they met with families affected by the devastating wildfire that wiped out much of the community. Then they left for the private retreat at the idyllic Skoki Lodge, a private setting normally accessible only by an 11-kilometre hike from the Lake Louise ski area.


A military helicopter takes off from the Calgary airport shortly after the royal couple arrived there Wednesday. (CBC)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge reportedly arrived by helicopter.

The lodge consists of one main building and three private cabins. One of the cabins is named  Honeymoon, and with one king-sized bed it would seem ideal for the couple, who were married a little more than two months ago.

There is no electricity or running water, but it's unlikely the potential future king and queen had to use an outhouse. Reports say a cabin was retrofitted especially for the royal couple, with a full bathroom, and was flown to the lodge in two separate parts.

No one at Skoki Lodge would discuss the royal guests, but the descriptions on the retreat's website and glowing reviews on travel sites make it sound like the perfect getaway from the glare of their royal tour.

The young and active couple are known to enjoy hiking, and the lodge is set among "breathtaking mountain ridges and alpine lakes" with five different adjoining valleys.

In the winter, the lodge — owned by the world-renowned Lake Louise ski resort — caters to skiers of both the downhill and cross-country persuasion. In the summer, hiking is the main activity for guests.

At Skoki Lodge, Will and Kate might have awakened to "the smells of freshly brewed coffee, wood smoke, and breakfast," according to the website.

After breakfast, a "build-it-yourself gourmet lunch buffet" consisting of homemade breads, deli-meats, Swiss and cheddar cheeses and an assortment of fresh vegetables and fruit is available.

The lodge also sends hikers off on their adventures with packed snacks, including what they call "Skoki cookies."