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“Great Place to Stay in Sun Valley” 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
NewYork
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Great Place to Stay in Sun Valley”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2013

My wife and I recently stayed at the Sun Valley Lodge. We were in Sun Valley for a wedding, but added a day or two of vacation before and after the wedding. This is a lovely hotel in wonderful Sun Valley.

The bellmen and the front desk staff were very friendly and helpful upon check in. Our king bedded room was spacious, very well furnished, extremely clean and had a great deal of closet and draw space. (We had a corner room which we believe is larger than other king-bedded rooms, so our suggestion is that upon booking ask for a corner room).

The facilities at the hotel were excellent. The spa is beautiful and the massages were very good. We saw an ice show (in the hotel's ice rink) which was really nice (however, the bleacher seats are somewhat uncomfortable) and attended a very good, FREE, concert at the symphony pavilion on the hotel's property. The restaurants at the hotel are good, but nothing outstanding. They provide a convenient place for breakfast, but we suggest that you also try some of the restaurants in downtown Sun Valley and Ketchum for breakfast and, for that matter, for dinner as well. The property that the hotel is on is really beautiful.

You should be aware that there is a daily resort fee ($11.70 per day at the time of our stay) to cover the "free" services such as valet parking, wifi, and the hotel's facilities including the swimming pools, tennis courts and paddle boating.

Our only complaint was with the concierge service. The concierge did not have a good knowledge of the activities in the area and was even uncertain about such things as the hours of the hotel's restaurants. We suggest that you do your own research into activities that you are interested in before you leave for Sun Valley. We recommend, a drive to Red Fish lake, going to the hot springs (Sunbeam hot springs, if you are willing to take the 1 1/2 drive from the hotel -- combine it with your drive to Red Fish Lake -- are usually not crowded), the gondola and chair lift up the mountain and horseback riding.

Room Tip: Request a corner room which is probably bigger than other rooms.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
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202 reviews from our community

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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
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013 via mobile

Our stay here was fabulous. We arrived mid afternoon on a Friday, walked past the beautifully manicured grounds into the Lodge, were checked in and ready to explore in less than 5 minutes.

My first thought was that we had arrived at the western version of Kellermann's (the fictional resort where the movie "Dirty Dancing" was set).

The hotel maintains its roots in a classy fashion. It seems that everything has been restored to its 1936 splendor with a few modern tweaks.

We loved the grandness of the public areas, the black and white photos of its star studded past, the outdoor pool (which is 3 feet deep on the perimeter and 10 feet deep in the center, has lots of cushy chairs and chaise loungers, and a poolside bar), the ice skating rink (it was cool to ice skate in shorts and a tshirt), all the restaurants and shops nearby, the friendly swans cruising the front pond, the chocolates they deliver each night, and the view of the "Sun Valley on Ice" show outside our window on Saturday night...

Had we been able to stay longer, we surely would have made use of the bowling alley, the spa, and the available bike rentals to peruse the many trails within a stones throw of the property...

In addition to the resort, when in Sun Valley, make sure to find time to look up late at night (the mountains are hauntingly beautful at dusk and the stars are as clear and bright as any you'll ever see), and walk along the Big Wood River (it's clear and cold and beautiful and the smell of the plants near the river is amazing).

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
New York, NY
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
172 helpful votes 172 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013 via mobile

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
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
14 helpful votes 14 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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
50 reviews 50 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
19 helpful votes 19 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 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
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 Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 Specialty Lodging in Sun Valley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sun Valley Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 148
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sun Valley Hotel Sun Valley
Sun Valley Lodge Idaho

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