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“A Sociologist's Dream” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sun Valley Lodge

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Sun Valley Lodge
3.5 of 5 Lodge   |   1 Sun Valley Rd, Sun Valley, ID 83353   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
New York, NY
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
173 helpful votes 173 helpful votes
“A Sociologist's Dream”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

The Sun Valley Lodge offers the intrepid visitor a rare and thrilling opportunity: the chance to unobtrusively observe that rare and imperiled species, the American Leisure Class, in its natural habitat. The decor might discreetly be described as overstuffed Republican, with plush leather arm chairs and an encyclopedic array of plaids. Across the expansive and manicured lawns, tow-headed armies of children frolic, secure in their second tier Ivy League destinies, as somnambulant Mommies in Lily Pulitzer absentmindedly push Graco carriages past the reassuring windows of the Day Spa. In the dark man cave of the bar, beneath penetrating portraits of famous golfers, husbands nobly staving off middle-aged spread swap scores of their respective amateur sports leagues. Guests can take a short drive into nearby Ketchum to watch these majestic, haunting creatures at play: buying Orvis fly fishing gear, or eating prime rib under giant, taxidermied effigies of the cattle whose slaughter so magnanimously provided the pink slabs of meat on their plates. In trendy coffee houses, distressingly thin women in spandex mid-drifts buy incongruous amounts of pastry. Fascinatingly enough, consumers pay for everything (no matter how nominal the cost) with credit cards. The purchase of breath mints, chewing gum or bottled water require a laborious swipe, a signature, and correlative I.D. Cash exists as mere nostalgia. In spite of its striking mountain setting, the Lodge is unmistakably suburban in feel, from the ethnic homogeneity of its placid staff to its condominium-style dwellings. Prepare to be hermetically sealed in the reassuring embrace of Eisenhower's America, before the discombobulating impact of progressive politics and the unseemly tumult of social change. Rest securely in your innate sense of privilege. And extend your stay indefinitely, to ward off the corrosive bolts and jolts of a world hellbent on marginalizing your place in it. Here, in this buttery enclave, rest assured that you will forever be the majority.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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204 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (54)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

A world renowned resort property that returns one, delightfully so, to another era with all of the subtly of a homemade time machine can be excused for showing its age. The bellman who greeted us upon our arrival at Sun Valley Lodge was a dead ringer for Buddy Ebsen's 1970s Barnaby Jones character, but he managed to drag our several pieces of luggage onto a valet cart and reunite us with them a short time later.
Furnishings in the rooms, the main lobby and the famous outdoor veranda adjacent to the lodge's signature ice rink probably are 5-10 years past their prime. Still, charm and authenticity come with an inherent degree of fraying and fading.
We've passed through the lodge several times across the past quarter century, so we knew what to expect. The principal expectation is a professional, attentive staff made up of a roster of young enthusiastic types and well entrenched gray hairs. Service is not compromised at the lodge or its surrounding properties, including a $20 million golf clubhouse with an immaculate backdrop that is just a few years old. It's a great lunch spot even if you have no golfing inclinations.
Probably what most tested our patience during a two-night stay down the road at the lodge were the shockingly outmoded plumbing, bathroom fixtures and in-room electronics inside a two-room "family suite" that, despite its name, has precious little seating/lounging area.
The shower head in the main bath (there is also a vanity "bath" with sink only) was positioned during an era when average height must have been around 5-5. Only a yoga instructor could have achieved the required contortions to enjoy a comfortable shampoo. They ought to relocate this shower to the jockey's room at Santa Anita Park. But it gets worse: separate knobs for hot and cold water. Hot turns to the left. Cold turns to the right. Should you confuse that sequence when attempting to shut off the water, the result is shocking if not painful.
At north of $500/night, I don't think I should have to be twisted like a scalded pretzel to exercise personal hygiene in a shower, which is, by the way, concealed by a flimsy 1950s-style "Psycho" shower curtain.
One final annoyance was the window looking out onto the beautiful front lawn and swan pond. Each morning, we opened the curtains to take in the splendor, but the glass was so spotted and unclean the natural beauty was unnecessarily obscured. What a disappointment.
How to recover? The answer reveals why Sun Valley is Sun Valley. Head down to the veranda in back of the lodge around the cocktail hour. Sit back with an adult beverage. Watch the ice skaters. The rink has been the venue of choice for generations among Olympic champion headliners picking up pay checks to perform in the once-a-week ice show.
Both evenings we were observing, my family had the pleasure of seeing a legend gliding over the ice -- 1984 Olympic champion, TV commentator and cancer survivor Scott Hamilton. He was not performing. Just hanging out with his wife and kids, largely without interruption from the public.
At the Sun Valley Lodge, celebrities fill the hallways, captured in framed black-and-white photos. But, if you're lucky, they just show up while you're having a drink.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dick a, Manager at Sun Valley Lodge, responded to this review, July 27, 2013
Thank you very much for your response. We are addressing the problem where some of the rooms have a lower than normal shower head.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kaysville, Utah
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

New plants, walk ways, always a pure delight with exceptional service. We were offered an upgrade into a suite, room 306, which has two balconies and a sitting room with a fireplace. OMG!!!! The bed was heavenly; absolutely difficult to get out of. The rooms were spotless. The grounds very, very well manicured. The chocolate croissants to die for just in time for an almond one. Try out the hot chocolate. We will be back without a question. This Lodge always is a treat. You can walk, shop, sit and always feel safe. Hats off to the owners. They are exceptional!

Room Tip: suite 306 is an absolutely joy. It has a large bedroom with a balcony with an adjoining room with fi...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Fran
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

Lovely resort property in a beautiful location. Mostly friendly, attentive staff. A few issues, however, keep it from being perfect:

They charge a resort fee, which was not clearly spelled out on the web site when booking. It seems to sneak in between the "Average Daily Rate" and the "Room Subtotal". If your going to charge these inane fees, be completely up-front and transparent about it.

Housekeeping knocked at 9:30am to check about cleaning the room, despite the "do not disturb" sign on the door - which the cleaning person even pointed out as she was asking about cleaning the room!

The pool was way too warm to be comfortable. Not hot enough to be a nice relaxing soak, but muggy and definitely not refreshing.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dick a, Manager at Sun Valley Lodge, responded to this review, June 20, 2013
Thank you for the kind words regarding our staff. Our goal is always 100% guest satisfaction. You are absolutely correct about the resort fee. It shows at the bottom of the rate page, but is not listed on the rate calculation page. It is simply included in the subtotal. Our programer will be changing that in the next few days where it will be listed. The pool temperature is always a change in Sun Valley between the ever changing weather and guest preferences. We will always respond to our guests requests, but it takes several hours to warm or cool the water. We will continue to work on this. Our housekeeping staff is taught never knock on a door showing a Do Not Disturb Sign, but obviously this maid was confused and we will emphasize this in our training. This review was very helpful for all of us in Sun Valley where we are always trying to improve on our guest services.
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Austin, Texas
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

The staff at the Lodge was amazing. They have free shuttle and if the shuttle couldn't take me, the staff would drop you off or pick up. The property is beautiful. The skiing was super great and within a 5 minute shuttle ride. Great place!

Room Tip: All of the rooms are great.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013

Historical photos of celebrities who have stayed here over the last 9 decades line the hallways and give you a sense of tradition. The rooms and suites are lovely. We had a suite with a view of the ice rink and mountains beyond. The staff was friendly and helpful. Be sure to go to the Konditorei Cafe in Sun Valley Village for a coffee and pastry!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boise ID
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

One of the most pristine locations to vacation!!! The staff is incredible, they truly make you feel that you are their primary concern. I felt pampered beyond my expectations. A member of our group became sick and was sent to the hospital. They called and wanted to make sure that he was ok and that they had handled the guest properly. AMAZING!!! This place has beautiful rooms, fantastic food, amazing landscape and amenitites. I will always want to go back!!!

Room Tip: They are all AMAZING!!!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sun Valley Lodge

Address: 1 Sun Valley Rd, Sun Valley, ID 83353
Location: United States > Idaho > Sun Valley-Ketchum > Sun Valley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Spa Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sun Valley Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 94
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Also Known As:
Sun Valley Hotel Sun Valley
Sun Valley Lodge Idaho

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