Archive for category Family Winter Vacation Ideas

Bragging Rights Well Deserved at Teton Springs Lodge

Well, it’s official. Grand Targhee and Jackson Hole just surpassed 200 inches of snow for this winter ski and snowboard season, and we’re just getting started. It’s especially striking when you consider many Rocky Mountain resorts are still looking to push their total to 100: year-to-date total of the white gold. It appears that once again both of these Wyoming areas, with the Grand Teton Mountains as their spectacular backdrop, will leave most of their North American competitors in the dust, the white fluffy dust that consistently defines this Yellowstone-Teton region.

These fabulous conditions make it especially challenging for our guests at Teton Springs to decide what activity to sample on any given day. Not such a bad problem to have. With the snow filled Big Hole Mountains flanking the west side of Teton Valley, and the frosty Tetons rising from the valley floor on the east, all winter activities are in full bloom. That also includes the ultimate in winter sports indulgences – heli skiing. Any day now the folks from High Mountain Heli Skiing will be onsite at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, standing at attention and ready to personally escort our guests to the waiting chopper. But first, a word to the wise. With great snow comes equally as great demand. Don’t be left standing on the flats with powder boards in hand, reserve your heli seat sooner than later.

Unlike most heli ski operations in the lower 48, at Teton Springs there’s no schlepping for miles by car to reach your personal chariot with wings. Here in the heart of Victor, Idaho, you’re literally steps from the launching pad, whether you’re relaxing in a sumptuous Lodge Suite, or in one of the luxurious Handpicked Homes, the 3, 4 & 5 bedroom dwellings that totally redefine one’s vision of the “log cabin.” In fact, you can watch the whirlybird land while you’re savoring the last sips of a Starbucks vanilla latte in the Lodge’s Storehouse, the resort’s new gathering spot.

Located on the ground floor of the lodge, and just steps from your accommodations, the Storehouse is a warm & cozy café featuring the hearty breakfast items you’ll need to fuel your next outing and dinner is served following an exhilarating day exploring this magnificent region.

And while we’re on the subject of what’s new and exciting at Teton Springs. The Outfitters also just enjoyed a grand opening in the Lodge and features just the gear and accessories you’ll need to tackle any outdoor adventure in style and comfort. A sampling of the brand names you’ll find in this retail store includes Mountain Hardware, Smith Sport Optics, Chums and Hydroflask. You can also rent your snowshoes at the Outfitters for that trek into the adjoining Caribou-Targhee National Forest.

It’s tough to take a break from the thrill of sliding downhill or simply playing in the snow, but there are other experiences to pursue, more of the sensory type. This doesn’t mean we have to forgo a day in the most beautiful mountains that surround Teton Springs, it simply means having a different kind of thrill, or even better yet, a chill day in the Stillwaters Spa & Salonn. During the month of January, feel yourself sink into a deep relaxation with a complimentary Hot Stone Foot Massage! Yes, it’s absolutely FREE when you book a luxurious 90 Minute Massage. How do you think this combo will feel after a day tackling the slopes?!

There’s also no time like the present to finally figure out the mysteries and magic of Yoga, with a private Yoga class no less, and coupled with a glorious 60 minute massage. This stretch, breathe & relax special would be a particularly fun outing with friends or family but the spa staff is happy to accommodate individual bookings as well. It’s no secret that a daily dose of Yoga is just as important as eating our fruits and vegetables, and that the best athletes in the world have Yoga at the top of their daily “to do” list. The Stillwaters Sap staff will get you started in style. Classes for the more advanced Yoga practitioner available as well.

If you still have a spring in your step after ripping the pow in the Tetons, be sure to check out the top notch accommodations in the two other world-class winter destinations operated by Natural Retreats, Taos, New Mexico and Winter Park Colorado. Winter never felt so good.

We look forward to welcoming you to Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, a Natural Retreats property.

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An Exciting New Year on the Horizon at Teton Springs

This holiday season at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, the classy hotel that some would rightly consider the Grande Dame of the delightful Teton Springs Resort, there is plenty to be both grateful for, and excited about. Of course, when you live in Teton Valley, or have plans to visit this glorious place during the holiday season, the gauge that more or less measures the general mood, and peoples actual mental state, is determined by how much snow blankets our neighboring ski mountains. It’s why we’re here and we’ve been apply rewarded thru the years; we don’t accept mediocre conditions very well. We don’t have to.

The Snow is Out of This World – Grand Targhee and Teton Village

Grand Targhee, our home resort, opened to rave reviews pre Thanksgiving and basically never looked back. Jackson Hole, the Wyoming giant just 40 minutes or so from Teton Springs in the other direction, is also posting big numbers on their snow stake. Both areas are indeed in North America’s exclusive club, the one that doesn’t accept many members, the few that ultimately will report over 500″ of total snowfall before the winter season is over. This is chest thumping snow and we’re right in the thick of it, and so it appears once again, that our guests have chosen the optimum winter vacation destination. It’s like getting something extra in your Christmas stocking.

Speaking of Christmas. It appears that lots of us are getting smarter when it comes to what we give and receive this holiday season. In speaking to friends & family, there seems to be less of the stuff we really don’t need under the tree this year, or for that matter, even want. As we get older, our expectations change, and hopefully we become a tad more practical. It’s usually not the wall-to-wall gifts that give us the most pleasure but rather spending time with loved ones. Any maybe, regardless of whether we’ve been naughty or nice, be on the receiving end of that one special item, a gift definitely worth giving and receiving.

Heli Skiing – Soar Over the Teton Mountains

Our resort guests seem to echo this sentiment. One particular family staying in a beautiful Handpicked Home during this festive season is literally skipping with joy. I’d skip too, jump up and down and even do cart wheels if a heli ski trip had my name on it. The matriarch of this clan decided to forego the usual frenzy and frustration normally associated with Christmas shopping. She decided to make it simple, asking herself: what would my kids enjoy more than anything? It’s not complicated. I guess I just never thought to ask Santa for a whirly bird powder trip into the wild and wonderful Teton Mountains.

Along with constant snow flurries, something else is in the air at Teton Springs, and that’s excitement. With a new year on the horizon, it’s impossible not to reflect on the significant changes that have been swirling about Teton Springs over the last 8 months or so, both for the Lodge & Spa and the Headwaters Golf Club. In April we announced a new operating agreement with Natural Retreats, a global leisure travel company that offers extraordinary experiences in the most spectacular settings worldwide.

South Fork Snake River Fly Fishing – It Doesn’t Get Any Better

Natural Retreats even gave us a sister, a neighbor we have always admired – the spectacular South Fork Lodge, located on Idaho’s most scenic and world-famous fly fishing Mecca, the South Fork River. With Natural Retreats at the helm, our guests will enjoy unprecedented access to 65 miles of private access to the South Fork, but also new and planned services and amenities for everyone who visits this Yellowstone-Teton region. Corporate gatherings, brides and grooms, families; virtually everyone will feel and experience the dynamics of the “new” Teton Springs Lodge & Spa.

For starters, the Lodge just announced the GRAND OPENING of the “STOREHOUSE,” an intimate & warm café just steps from the Guest Check-In desk.

Now open 7 days a week:

  • 7:30am to 11:00am – serving breakfast and proudly serving Starbucks coffee and specialty drinks.
  • 3:00pm to 8:00pm – Serving a light dinner (soups, chili, Panini’s and an extensive wine list and full bar).

And to ring in the New Year, Join us this Wednesday evening December 31st for a New Year’s Eve Happy Hour from 4-8pm with ½ off Appetizers.

And, that’s just the beginning! The Headwaters Club also has new proprietors. An organization called the Hero Partners recently purchased this unforgettable course set in the Northern Rockies most spectacular setting (and let’s not forget about the unique 9 hole Par 3 course as well). Honestly, it’s hard to fathom how anyone could make any physical improvements to this Byron Nelson designed masterpiece but I have a strong suspicion that this organization will indeed try.

By all appearances it’s just how they do things, and their company’s moniker, Hero Partners, is not a name intended to stroke this organization’s ego. It’s simply paying tribute to an entrepreneurial imagination & spirit that they feel is our nation’s economic backbone.

However some things won’t change with new folks at the helm and that’s the uncompromising commitment to provide personalized service, and genuine western hospitality, to everyone who chooses Teton Springs as their vacation destination.

The future shines bright at Teton Springs. Happy New Year!

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Snow from the Heaven, Not Hoses!

Going back, way back, to the late 70′s in fact, one would see Grand Targhee bumper stickers adorning just about every vehicle in Teton Valley, sporting the slogan “Snow from Heaven Not Hoses.” It was a time in North America when just about every resort was forced to install expensive snow making systems, simply to ward off an early season business bust. It would be years later when even powder king Grand Targhee took baby steps and installed a few snow guns. It was a meager investment really, with snow making restricted to their beginner hills at lower elevation, although some would argue that a base area at 8,000 feet is hardly lower elevation. This insurance policy, if you will, pretty much guaranteed November turns. Frankly, it’s a shame they spent the money.

This season Mother Nature has once again treated our guests at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa with the early-season goods. So, I would venture to guess that Targhee‘s snow-making machines have pretty much remained idle this season as they have most years, simply gathering dust as their throttle switch remains in the “off” position. After all, Targhee does average 500″ of snow each year. In addition to the real white stuff, there’s basically nothing artificial about this resort sporting Teton views, a quaint base village, and long, sweeping slopes that are considered near perfect for every level snow slider. Guess that explains why Grand Targhee has most recently received a nod from Forbes Magazine, named in the “Top 10″ list of ski resorts in North America.

Speaking of accolades from Forbes, our other notorious neighbor to the east, the Wyoming giant Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is only 22 miles from Teton Springs and was designated the “Number One” resort in the country. There’s nothing like good neighbors!

The folks who built Teton Springs Resort obviously appreciated that an idyllic location in the heart of Teton Valley, would spell success on many fronts. The award-winning Headwaters Golf Course anchors this 800 acre property but that’s only one chapter of this story. Teton Springs is a year-round resort and visitors quickly discovered that a winter visit to this Yellowstone-Teton region is equally as magical to summer trips here, when there’s almost too much to do, if that’s possible. Snowshoeing in the Teton Valley is some of the best in scenery in the country!

If you’re a guest in one of the deluxe Lodge rooms or suites, or staying in one of the Handpicked Homes scattered throughout the resort, you simply need to step outside your accommodations to revel in some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Northern Rockies. The Headwaters Golf Course is transformed into a groomed Nordic track and snowshoe treks into the adjoining Caribou-Targhee National Forest are but a few of the activities onsite. The other distinct plus to booking a winter visit to Teton Springs is affordability, with a capital “A.” You simply won’t find more elegant accommodations in Teton Valley at the reasonable rates offered by these folks, in both the Lodge and the ultra deluxe Handpicked log cabin Homes.

A nice finishing touch to a day of exhilarating time outdoors is a trip to the Stillwater’s Spa & Salon. My favorite treatment this time of year, after an exhausting day of making perfect turns on Targhee’s rolling landscapes, is the Hydra Quench. Ah, we’re literally talking heaven on earth. So, ditch the ho-hum sweater or scarf gift idea this year and treat the person you love with a visit to this very tranquil place. There are plenty of holiday specials at the Spa, including their new discounted Gift Cards. Now that’s a gift worth giving!

Given this early season snow, it’s also worth mentioning, again, the heli ski operation at Teton Springs. Wipe the sleep from your eyes and stumble out to the waiting chopper, literally steps from your Lodge room. It shouldn’t be this easy to access over 305,000 aces of the most incredible terrain in the Tetons and surrounding mountains but it is. And, it looks very promising given the current snowfall that we’ll be hearing those delightful words, “all aboard” sooner than later.

See you in the Tetons!

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