Sun Valley Lodge – More than just a cabin in the woods (review)
During my stay in Sun Valley, Idaho, I decided to check out the newly remodeled Sun Valley Lodge. I couldn’t afford to stay there, hell I can barely afford to stay in my completely empty house in Phoenix, (Remember, I sold everything else to do this project.) My only reason for coming to Sun Valley is because my friend offered me a couple of weeks in her timeshare condo and there’s a bed here. While that might have been my reason for coming, there are many reasons to stay, and I’m considering selling my house in the Valley of the Sun and moving to Sun Valley. (It’s pretty much the same if you’re dyslexic.) And while I might not have the need, or the current bank balance, to stay at the Sun Valley Lodge, It would be a shame not to at least check it out as it’s just a mile down the road.
As I mentioned in The Importance of Being Ernest, development of Sun Valley was the idea of railroad magnate Averell Harriman. Less of an explorer than simply a rich guy, Harriman hired Count Felix Schaffgotsch to explore a variety of possible locations for his hoped for destination ski resort. Up to that task, Schaffgotsch, hopped into his sleigh (that was his main mode of transportation for much of the exploration and, might I say, Santa Claus would be proud) and visited Mt. Hood, the San Bernadino Mountains, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, and other snowy, mountainous areas before recommending Ketchum, Idaho as the location for Harriman’s dream. The Sun Valley Lodge opened in the mid-1930’s with much of Hollywood enjoying “roughing it in luxury.”
Today, the Sun Valley Lodge offers more luxury than roughing it and people come, and return, to enjoy the deluxe services and spaces inside, and the adventures outside in the breathtaking scenery. The lodge closed for nearly a year during 2014-2015 for its most extensive renovation since it was opened and now boasts 108-sleeping rooms, 65 of which have fireplaces. While I didn’t actually get to experience one due to my lack of an extra $200-$2,000 or, as I’ve mentioned before, my lack of a Sugar Daddy (feel free to apply by using the contact link at the top), they sure sound a bit better than your average Airbnb.
For outdoor fun, skiers will find 17 chairlifts and a gondola to transport them up to some of the best powder in the world. Winter activities include downhill skiing (no, really?), cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing (really, it’s like walking with fisherman’s nets on your feet), heli-skiing (no need for a chairlift, just have the helicopter drop you at the top). Oh, and want to channel your inner Dorothy Hamill? Just off the lobby you’ll find an outdoor skating rink where they also hold ice shows on certain evenings. Of course, there’s a steaming swimming pool and hot-tub to relax your overused muscles. You might even want to go over the river and through the woods – in a sleigh! – to the Trail Creek Cabin for a four-course dinner with musical entertainment.
Summer activities include hiking, mountain biking, golf, horseback riding and more. There’s even paragliding!
The spa (appropriately named The Spa at Sun Valley), is all you would expect with massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, and packages catering to bridal parties, kids and pre-teens and couples. (Dear Sugar Daddy applicants, this would impress me at your interview.)
The Lodge boasts a variety restaurants, snack bars, and bars scattered throughout, some with fireside eating, televisions to cheer for your favorite football team, and views, oh, spectacular views everywhere.
Should you have had enough of the great outdoors, perhaps you’d like to visit the Sun Valley Village for a little shopping spree. In the Village, you’ll find winter sports clothing shops, high-end apparel, a jewelry store (hear that Sugar Daddy?), chocolate and ice cream shops, and even a Wells Fargo bank on property in order to pay for it all. The Village is also a great place to catch a flick. Built right around the time the Lodge was built, the Opera House was originally a concert hall and is now used to show first-run movies every night. (Now playing, Star Wars, The Force Awakens.)
If the movie isn’t interesting, there’s always bowling; yes, I said bowling. Located in the basement of the main lodge building is a six-lane bowling alley. This is also where I found foosball, a snack bar and a few video games.
The Sun Valley Lodge definitely lives up to its goal as a destination resort and, if I ever find enough money in my bank account (or a sugar daddy), I think I’ll spend about a week or two luxuriating in, well luxury.
To check out more of Sun Valley Lodge, or to buy me a suite there, go to https://www.sunvalley.com/lodging/sun-valley-lodge/
***I’m heading off to Cuba tomorrow and look forward to telling you about it when I return in ten days.
Hasta la luego!