For skiers and nature lovers, there are few places in the world that can compare to the Tetons, a spectacular mountain range (part of the Rockies) in western Wyoming. The mountains surround Jackson Hole, a valley that is the gateway to some of the nation's most ruggedly beautiful national parks, including Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and National Elk Reserve. Skiing is the area's main draw, but hiking, biking, river rafting, and camping attract active travelers year round.
Many visitors opt to stay in Jackson, where in the span of a few blocks, you'll find lively Wild West taverns, high-end day spas, gourmet restaurants, and kitschy cowboy bars with locals and skiers nursing beers. Other travelers prefer Teton Village, a small ski village and summer resort area at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Teton Village offers far fewer attractions and eating and drinking spots, but its location means guests can wake up, strap on their ski boots, and be on the challenging slopes within minutes. Though winter is Teton Village's peak season (expect hotel rates to soar), summer sees plenty of travelers who come to this side of Snake River to enjoy the rafting trips and hard-to-beat views.
Both Jackson and Teton Village are chock-full of lodge properties, so we've done the legwork for you and identified the 10 best ones to help you narrow down your options.
Our Picks in Jackson:
Rusty Parrot Lodge and Spa is tucked into the northwest corner of town, in a location that’s steps away from Jackson’s main square, but notably quiet. The upscale, 32-room property hits all of the requisite apres-ski marks: it offers an ornate reading room with heavy leather chairs, an outdoor lounge deck with a hot tub and fire pits, and a stylish bar manned by knowledgeable mixologists. Even though the on-site restaurant Wild Sage has delicious food and a cozy, fireplace- and stone-wall-clad atmosphere, guests are only a short walk from Jackson’s wide range of restaurants, shops, bars, and day spas.
The lobby at Wyoming Inn of Jackson Hole is spectacular, with intricately carved woodwork, a huge wood-burning stone fireplace, a striking antler chandelier, and museum-quality photography of majestic landscapes and wildlife. Some of the boutique hotel’s 68 spacious guest rooms have gas fireplaces and sleeper sofas, and all units come with flat-screen TVs, Keurig coffeemakers, microwaves, mini-fridges, and free Wi-Fi. Features include a well-equipped fitness center, free laundry facilities and parking, and a nice restaurant with locally sourced, organic food. Rates are competitive, but they don’t include breakfast and there is no pool.
In a town where rustic-chic is the name of the game, the log cabin ethos of the Cowboy Village Resort doesn’t necessarily stand out — but that’s a good thing. A sharp contrast to the frequently pricey upscale hotels, the simple and homey atmosphere at this central Jackson property is a real plus for the many guests who flock here. All 82 free-standing cabins have woodsy charm, modern kitchenettes, flat-screen TVs with cable, free Wi-Fi, sofa beds, and porches. Some units also have beautiful mountain views. The complex also has an indoor pool, a hot tub, a fitness center, and a computer corner. Most of the major ski resorts are within a 15- to 20-minute drive, and the hotel runs free shuttles to nearby resorts in the winter. With its humble style and often reasonable prices — not to mention cabins that can sleep up to six in many cases — this homey campground-like hotel draws plenty of families, though couples frequently find their way here as well.
The Lodge at Jackson Hole is a quaint, rustic gem with a beautiful lumber and stacked-stone exterior that fits perfectly with the scenic mountain views surrounding the property. Taxidermy animals and life-size wooden bear sculptures decorate the lodge-style interiors. While the carpet and some textiles feel a little outdated, they maintain the warm color palette of the Native American patterns found throughout the hotel. The property has 154 contemporary guest rooms outfitted with modern comforts like iHome docks, large plasma TVs, and Keurig coffeemakers with Starbucks coffee. Some rooms have fireplaces. On-site features include a spa, restaurant, bar, and lovely indoor/outdoor pool. Rates tend to be high, plus there’s an obligatory resort fee that covers the free breakfast buffet, shuttle service, fitness center, and Wi-Fi.
The 89-room Lexington at Jackson Hole Hotel & Suites‘ has several strengths, including clean and spacious rooms and personal touches, such as homemade chocolate chip cookies served in the afternoon. The Lexington offers other conveniences, too, like bike rentals, free breakfast, and free airport and ski shuttles. One small pool is the extent of the facilities, though; there’s no spa or restaurant here. But the hotel is a few blocks from the town square, so there is plenty to do within a quick walk.
Spring Creek Ranch is officially part of the town of Jackson, but it feels like it’s in a whole different world. This sprawling property is perched some 800 feet above the downtown area, in a secluded and quiet spot that feels removed from the rest of the valley. Far from being a downside, this is actually what makes this property special — the views of the Tetons and the stars at night can’t be beat. However, the quality and design of the 125 hotel rooms and condos vary greatly, making staying here a game of hit-or-miss. While some condos are luxe, others are plain and come with basic amenities, and most standard hotel rooms are in urgent need of renovation. The delicious, popular restaurant and jaw-dropping views of the Tetons are wonderful, though.
Originally built as condos, The White Buffalo Club has a luxurious, apartment-like feel. The restaurant is only open to guests and members, but as a small property (there are 30 rooms), the hotel often closes the restaurant early and there is no room service. All rooms have large flat-screen TVs, washer/dryers, and slate-and-granite bathrooms with soaking tubs, but the decor feels a little bland. The hotel has a 24-hour fitness center (complete with a yoga studio) and a deck with mountain views.
Our Picks in Teton Village:
The area presents some of the most challenging skiing and hiking trails in the world, but Four Seasons Resort and Residences ensures that downtime between rugged expeditions is downright luxurious. Guests enter a lobby of rustic stone, fireplaces, and soft leather sofas with Navajo-print fabric armchairs. There’s a ski concierge available, for a fee, to transport equipment and dispense advice on snow conditions and trails. All of the food and drink areas have terrace dining (with heaters, when necessary) and views of the mountains. In the spacious rooms, western-mountaineer-themed decor includes natural stone fireplaces, art depicting local flora and fauna, and fine wood furniture. Each room has a balcony with views of either the resort and valley or the mountains, as well as a Nespresso machine, humidifier, MP3 docking system, mini-fridge, and Cache Creek Apothecary toiletries in the bathrooms.
Massive wood beams, rustic style, and cavernous ceilings all help foster the cozy, mountain-lodge feel throughout Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa. If the property’s 145 rooms weren’t so well-supplied with upscale furnishings and modern amenities and kitchen appliances, you might feel as if you were staying in your own remote log cabin. (Most nearby restaurants and bars are expensive, so the full kitchens — in all units but the Lodge Room — help to combat the high prices.) Guests here can enjoy free concierge services and access to the hotel’s rooftop hot tub with incredible views, but access to SpaTerre’s facilities (indoor and outdoor pools, whirlpools, and eucalyptus steam rooms) cost a fee.
Hotel Terra Jackson Hole is a trendy, eco-friendly ski lodge with decor that combines characteristic touches, like fireplaces and antler-adorned walls, with modern details. The rooms are sleek, with flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and organic toiletries in the bathrooms (which also have heated floors), though standard rooms are a bit cramped. Perhaps most importantly, the hotel is just a short walk from the slopes and has on-site ski rentals and a ski valet. Hotel Terra is a LEED-certified hotel — one of just a handful in the country.
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