Sun Valley Lodging and Accommodations
Written by Greg and Heather Burke
Sun Valley Lodge
The 1936 Sun Valley Lodge is the place to stay in Sun Valley. From the moment the pleasant bellman open the grand doors and assist with your heavy ski equipment – you know you have arrived. The Lodge is elegant and encased in movie star and Olympic memorabilia. When Averell Harriman designed the Lodge in 1936 and the Sun Valley Inn in 1937, he wanted a luxury enclosed pool, nightly orchestras, and fine dining – all of which remains today. Of course, now there is a full-service Sun Valley Spa too.
From the beautiful lobby, you can enter the music filled après ski lounge or dine at Gretchen’s Restaurant named for Gretchen Frasier – our first Gold Medalist in skiing. The concept of the ski week originated at Sun Valley Lodge and the Inn as skiers and celebs came by train. A week is still necessary to enjoy all the amenities at the Lodge from spa treatments to ice skating, to bowling, relaxing in the enormous outdoor 102-degree hot tub, and viewing the ice sculptures and the real live swans in the pond out front. Today, there is valet service or a Lexus shuttle that will take you to town for shopping and to the nearby slopes of Bald Mountain and Dollar.
Skaters on the outdoor rink conjure Sonja Henning’s scene from the famous flick, Sun Valley Serenade. By the way, you can watch Sun Valley Serenade in your guest suite – it is on continuous loop – trust me – I watched it numerous times. It’s a classic, and a Sun Valley must in my opinion.
The Sun Valley village is steps away, dotted with sophisticated ski boutiques like Brass Ranch and Kitzbuhel Collection where you can shop for Prada, Bogner and Betsy Johnson. Sun Valley has several eateries from casual Bald Mountain Pizza to the oldest authentic restaurant - The Ram.
For a special evening, take a horse drawn sleigh ride from the Sun Valley Inn to the 1939 Trail Creek Cabin for dinner. The ride through the snowy woods is romantic and the meal in the rustic cabin is warm and cozy – a Sun Valley treat.
Downtown Ketchum has more diverse dining from western saloons like Pioneer and Roosevelt to Sushi and Starbucks, plus ski shops and glamorous boutiques to satisfy the most well-heeled.
Returning to the four diamond Sun Valley Lodge at night, there is a band playing in the Lounge, and turn down service has placed chocolates on your pillow in your guest suite. Rest well, for tomorrow another Sun Valley day awaits.