On the west side of the famed Teton mountains, the living is easy at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa.
Each year, more than five million visitors succumb to the scenic allure of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, cranking its tourist trade – and accommodation prices - into overdrive. Thankfully, I recently discovered, just over the mountains, on the west side of the Tetons, slower ways and budget-friendly hospitality can still be found.
But that doesn’t mean you’re in for the cheap-seat treatment. Concierge service, 300 count Italian cotton sheets, high speed wireless Internet, gas fireplaces and fully equipped kitchens come standard in the one or two bedroom suites at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, a 52-room luxury base camp ideally situated for exploring the surrounding Teton Valley.
The friendly local staff, however, is the real amenity. They suggest the best restaurants, arrange fly fishing and horseback riding adventures, create gourmet meals and lead morning yoga sessions, custom created to limber you up for a trek in the forest or day on the slopes. And, here’s the rub, when you’ve had enough, their Stillwaters Spa therapists will rub, scrub and massage the life back into you so you can do it all again the next day.
Think Teton Valley is only a summertime destination? Think again. My October visit was perfect with its photogenic mix of autumn colors against the backdrop of freshly fallen snow. Did it stop me from casting a line or hitting the trails for horseback riding? No way. Better yet, the reward was ample wildlife sightings and a healthy dose of crisp clean air.
MUST-DOS: Take a Grand Teton National Park Wildlife Safari with resort naturalist Kurt Johnson. If there are eagles, antelope, wolves or moose to be spotted, he’ll find them. Or, try your hand at fly fishing with Worldcast Anglers for a guided adventure on the south fork of the Snake River, rated as the top cutthroat stream in the West. Book the rosemary, sage and eucalyptus Alpine Massage with Lori at Stillwaters Spa. It’s heavenly! Try the carrot ginger soup and the fish taco plate at Miso Hungry Restaurant (165 N. Main Street, Driggs, Idaho). And, OMG, don’t miss the brandy creamed local organic mushrooms with crispy polenta starter or no flour chocolate cake at the Sun Dog Deli & Café (57 S. Main Street, Victor, Idaho). Looking for the latest and greatest in adventure clothing, check out the top-name selection on tap at Yostmark Mountain Equipment (12 East Little, Driggs, Idaho).
About Teton Springs Lodge & Spa
Teton Springs Lodge & Spa is a Small Luxury Hotels of the World member property and Crown Collection lodge and spa. The resort offers 52 casually elegant one and two bedroom hotel units. The room design captures a western ambience in earth-tone palettes of color and standard amenities include a fireplace in all living rooms and state-of-the-art bathrooms with large Jacuzzi jet tubs. The resort also offers The Sage Gourmet wine and cafe bar and the 5,000-square foot Stillwaters Spa, featuring a full range of treatments and services as well as a two person treatment room with fireplace. A Swim and Fitness Center, with two tennis courts and a 25-meter pool are also located on the property, just steps away from the lodge.
The resort includes 37 one-and two-bedroom suites plus 15 lodge rooms for a total of 52 hotel rooms, a wine and coffee bar and over 2,000 square-feet of meeting space.
About Teton Valley, Idaho
Teton Valley, Idaho, had been one of the West’s best kept secrets to vacationers for many years. Located just 25 minutes from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the 4-season off-the-beaten-path destination offers an abundance of outdoor recreation possibilities. Home to 6,500 residents at an elevation of 6200 ft. it offers World class powder skiing and snow mobiling, horseback riding, fly fishing, golf, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, camping, rafting, hunting and much more.