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“Spectacular setting for a nice meal”

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South Fork Lodge by Natural Retreats
Reviewed August 23, 2012

(I'm only reviewing the restaurant, as we did not stay here)
When travelling through the area a year ago, tired of truck stop food, the South Fork lodge came highly recommended. We stopped and could tell that This Was The Place --- only to find that a private party had rented out the entire facility for the weekend and so the restaurant was not open.

Fast forward a year later when traveling the area again --- we came without reservations on a busy night, but they fit us in. A gorgeous setting overlooking this ridiculously scenic river. We sat in a lovely high-ceilinged dining room.

Overall, they strike that difficult balance of being fine dining but in a outdoor-oriented casual setting. Service was excellent, friendly, attentive. Menu was upscale but did not overreach. My lamb was excellent. My wife's salad with trout was similarly good.

Highly recommended, and I have to imagine the lodging is excellent as well!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Yamhillbilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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38 - 44 of 45 reviews

Reviewed July 15, 2012

I was lucky enought to stay here and definitely recommend it as a high end choice. No roughing it here, that's for sure. It is right on the Snake River approx 45 min from Idaho Falls airport, and even though the road is fairly close behind you, it was still very peaceful. Our room was very spacious as it was in one of the houses that contains several units. It had a wood fireplace and a nice balcony with great view. The food was amazing as the chef was very creative each evening. Each night we enjoyed sitting outside around the fireplace on the main deck or at the fire pit by the river.

We fished for 3 days and each day got to see a different part of the river. The scenery is beautiful and going down the river in a drift boat is a wonderful way to see it. The guides were excellent and even though it was our first time Fly fishing we got a lot of fish.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank dcrose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2011

Had a fantastic stay at the South Fork Lodge. The lodge and rooms are gorgeous! The lodge staff could not have been nicer - they are genuinely happy, lovely people and it certainly shows in the level of service provided. The food is amazing. I think we all gained a few pounds on our trip because we could not stop eating the delicious meals. We really enjoyed the trip down the Snake River. Learning to fly fish was so much fun and the guides are all just wonderful. They are so knowledgeable about the area and it was nice to do some learning about the river and surrounding areas.

This is a wonderful way to experience the beauty of the area without roughing it, and I would recommend this trip to anyone (men or women).

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled on business
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2  Thank JGator_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2010

We live in Idaho Falls and frequently go to the South Fork Lodge. It is an incredible place, from the rooms, to the food, to the service. Everything is first class and is never a disappoimentment. This is not a place with a lot surrounding it and a lot to do. But it is so peaceful and beautiful. You can just sit out by the river, with a fire, and have glass a wine and stare at the stars all night. My husband is an avid flyfisherman and this fishing is some of the best in the area. The lodge has many good guides.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Fallsandid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2010

South Fork Lodge Swan Valley Idaho satisfied our September outdoor adventure in paradise. The Lodge is everything a luxury mountain lodge can possibly offer and more. Just before sundown we spent each evening on the outdoor patio overlooking the enchanting Snake River winding from here to there sipping on our drink of choice and yummy appetizers. Our entertainment: Mama Moose and baby grazing in a nearby meadow, flyfishermen and some women floating down and casting enthusiastically for hungry trout waiting under a submersed snag or grass overhang, eagles swooping down, catching and munching on Cutthroat trout.
Our room was quiet and comfortable, our guides were attentive and knowlegable (Dirk and Sue) and the food including lunches were amazingly delicious. Uplifted by the entire experience. Thank you Bob and staff!

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled on business
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Thank KaBaTahoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2009

My wife and I take an annual flyfishing trip together, and we have now been to SFL two years in a row. The cabin room, though expensive, is as nice a romantic getaway as anyone could want. The food was exceptional and paired well with local beer selections. My only suggestion to future guests would be to ask the chef to split the dinner portions between you and your spouse unless you haven't eaten for days; the servings were huge. BTW, Chef John and Sous Chef Charlie were eager to talk about the food with us, explaining what they did, how they did it, and why. They were also receptive to any special requests we had.

The rest of the lodge staff became like family by the time we left. They were friendly and attentive beyond expectation. We are very likely to go back, although there is no much more of the West for us to explore.

As for the Outfitters, they were terrific. The shop manager called us a week before we arrived to alert us that the river might be a bit high for our trip in case we wanted to make alternate arrangements. In my book, that call did more to increase my respect for their integrity and committment to customer satisfaction than anything else they could possibly have done. We stuck with SFO, and I am glad we did.

The fishing was spectacular, the guide worked her arms off for us, and the shore lunch was excellent. In fact, we struck up such a rapport with the guide that we invited her and her husband to visit us this fall when fishing season at SFO is over. I won't name her, however, since I don't want her to be booked the next time we go!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TNTROUTTHNTR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2009

My experience could not have been more different than the previous reviewer! Our stay at the lodge -(we stayed in the cabins) was wonderful and the attentiveness from every staff member far exceeded my expectations, they truly cater to your every whim. The room was spacious, warm and very comfortable. The dining was outstanding - Chef John went out of his way each night to make sure everything was perfect! Now for they fishing guides - as I stated above, my experience couldn't be more different from the above reviewer. We had two different guides and both did everything possible to make sure we had a great time on the river, they were professional, fun, knowledgeable on all things regarding fly fishing and the abundant wild life in the area. I highly recommend the guides from South Fork and Henry's Fork outfitters as they did everything possible to please us! Yes, the Lodge is a little pricey but you get what you pay for - your accomodations at the Lodge and the fly fishing through the canyon of the south fork is a wonderful memory you'll never forget and will want to repeat again!

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank svskier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about South Fork Lodge by Natural Retreats

Address: 40 Conant Valley Loop, Swan Valley, ID 83449 (Formerly South Fork Lodge)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Idaho > Swan Valley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Swan Valley
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A stunning wilderness location, and the finest dry fly fishing waters in the USANatural Retreats South Fork Lodge rests on a dramatic bend of eastern Idaho's world-famous South Fork of the Snake River in scenic Swan Valley. This stunning wilderness location offers a perfect blend of rustic elegance, outstanding activities and exceptional hospitality. The unique setting, first–class amenities, and Natural Retreats' dedication to customer service all combine to provide a truly memorable experience for guests. Whether relaxing at the lodge, taking advantage of a guided activity through The Outfitters, enjoying a Starbucks coffee at the Storehouse, or sitting down to dinner at The Riverside Bar And Grill, The South Fork Lodge will exceed your expectations. The 65 miles of the South Fork of the Snake River is known by many as one of the best tailwater and dry fly fisheries in the US, and The Outfitters offers unparalleled unique guided fishing on these waters. Natural Retreats Concierge service is happy to arrange horseback riding, rafting, hiking, and kayaking for all guests who want to explore these adventures. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
South Fork Lodge By Natural Retreats Swan Valley, Idaho

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