We just got back from 4 nights at the Jackson Gore Inn at Okemo. We had a great time. The hill has come a long way from the ol' Poma days of yore.
The Jackson Gore inn has the feel off an off-piste Condo complex in Avon or Edwards. It has a serviceable lobby with bar, an "upscale" tavern, a cafeteria, and the obligatory italian restaurant. The hotel has an attached outdoor heated pool (all-season, with indoor entry), and two outdoor 12-seat hot tubs, one indoor hottub, a steamroom and sauna. There is a mandatory (but free) ski check. There is daycare on the first floor, and children's ski lessons meet in the building as well. There is also a small convenience store and ski shop in case you left the simple things at home.
Having all the amenities under one roof is massively convenient, especially for families. Once you have your shopping taken care of there is little reason to leave the Inn. We didn't even make it to the "Spring House" pool complex next door, since the Inn's pool was so convenient (if a bit chilly). Having the daycare and lessons meeting area in the building made mornings very, very easy on Mom and Dad. The in-Inn (hehe) eating options were serviceable, but far from fine dining. The lobby bar gets PACKED from about 3pm to 8pm - it appears to draw quite a few people who are staying elsewhere, getting their legs back before heading out to farther-flung condos.
The hotel staff seems a bit overwhelmed, but maintains a great attitude in the face of type-A NYers and Bostonites screaming bloody murder about every minor inconvenience. [We personally witnessed two parental tantrums, one of which involved a grown woman throwing her kid's skis in disgust over some miscommunication, and whining that she was "tired of picking up things." sigh...] You might wait awhile for a bellman on changeover day, and you might have to wait in a line for something. If you can't handle that, you might have problems. We found the whole experience very pleasant.
This is a tale of two rooms. The "One bedroom suite" which appears to be the most popular option consists of a "studio" and an adjoining "bedroom".
The "bedroom" is a standard-size two-double bed hotel room - Holiday Inn size. The beds are nice enough, the bathroom has a very nice deep jet tub (not luxury, mind you, but nice) and there is an area at the entrance to hang ski equipment - as well as two large closets. HOWEVER - the TV is an old tube model, housed in a wardrobe cabinet at the foot of the beds. There is no more than 14 inches of clearance between the beds and the wardrobe, making the room feel VERY cramped. It is actually hard for two adults to find space to gear up in the bedroom, let alone the 4 that could theoretically sleep there.
The "bedroom" adjoins (via two lockout doors) the "studio". This room feels like a standard condo living room, with a flat screen TV above a gas fireplace, an (uncomfortable) sleeper couch, an armchair, a coffee table, and a four-seat table. The galley kitchen is well-equipped and has a dishwasher. There is also a murphy bed housed in an attractive wooden "cabinet" against the wall. The "studio" has a standard bathroom with tub, a gear area, and two closets (one in the bathroom).
Our little family of four was pretty comfortable in the suite, with the exception of the very cramped bedroom. I honestly can't imagine packing in the 8ppl that could theoretically sleep in the four beds - people would have to sit on the floor or folding chairs, and would be all over each other in the mornings. Add to that some (apparently common) thermostat issues which kept the temp in the rooms at 74 or above unless a window was opened, and you have a recipe for a nice big family fight. Maybe a batchelor weekend or college outing could hack it, but I think 5 is about the sane limit for this config.
With a holiday-week per-night price of $750, the overall experience is fantastic, but the room itself leaves a bit to be desired for a new construction time-share property. Off season or midweek, the price drops substantially, which makes the whole package much more attractive.
A note on Okemo:
Okemo doesn't get much respect, which I don't quite understand. It is a little light on amenities for the price, and lacks the old-world charm of Stowe or Sugarbush, but it also lacks the crowds. Even during peak weeks, there is plenty of space on the mountain to find some unmolested turns, and there is rarely a substantial lift line. There is a wide variety of terrain, including glades and nicely structured bump runs. The ski school is great for kids, and the staff is uniformly pleasant and friendly. Sure, Stratton is a bit closer to NYC, but escaping the crowds seems worth the extra 10 minutes of driving. As a father of a 6yo and 3yo, the lack of finer dining options frankly doesn't bug me, either. I'm sacked out by 9pm anyway. If you are with a family and you came to ski, this is a great little mountain.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Jackson Gore Village includes a variety of beautiful, classic and luxurious residences. In addition to the original Jackson Gore Inn, the adjacent Adams House and Bixby House offer larger, more spacious units with the newest furnishings in an ideal setting. Options include standard and executive rooms, studios, one and two-bedroom suites (some with lofts), up to 3-bedroom penthouses. Most units have a jetted tub and all have entertainment centers. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Jackson Gore Hotel Ludlow