Getting There: The Jackson Hole Airport is at the base of the Teton Range of the Rockies in Grand Teton National Park, about 10 miles from the town of Jackson and 20 miles from Teton Village and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort's slopes. There is direct air service from seven major hubs on United, Delta, American and Big Sky airlines. In addition to the major rental car companies, there is the Alltrans, Inc. airport shuttle (800-443-6133, www.jacksonholealltrans.com), which services Jackson, Teton Village, Grand Targhee and Yellow-stone. The START bus (307-733-4521, www.startbus.com) is the valley's affordable public transportation, and has routes between Teton Village and the town of Jackson.
Lodging: The 129-unit Teton Mountain Lodge (www.tetonlodge.com), a Destination Hotels & Resorts slopeside property in Teton Village (11 miles northwest from the town of Jackson), is steps away from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort's gondola. The wilderness of Grand Teton National Park is less than a mile away.
The best rooms to book are the Sundance Junior Suites, which have a fireplace, Jacuzzi tub and kitchen, yet are less expensive than the larger one-, two- and three-bedroom suites. The one-, two- and three-bedroom condos are the property's most requested premium accommodations, because they have a lot of space for families and larger groups. There are also 86 connecting rooms available at the hotel. The top premium accommodations are the Penthouse units, which can sleep a dozen, and have double sinks and Jacuzzis. All rooms on the west side of the hotel have views of the stunning Teton Range and the sunset.
The busiest times of year are July, August, Christmas, New Years and Presidents' Day week; book 90-plus days in advance during those periods. All rooms can be booked via the GDS.
The lodge's concierge service has launched an Adventure Outpost program, specializing in providing resources about a wide variety of outdoor family activities, such as guided hiking, biking, river rafting, wildlife watching and fishing in the summer and ski or snowboard lessons, snowmobiling, dogsledding and snowshoeing in the winter. They can also book adventures involving heli-skiing or climbing Grand Teton Mountain. In addition, all guests have access to the new Adventure Outpost Library, a collection of the best guidebooks and maps covering the area's national parks and national forests.
Arrangements to enjoy the destination more affordably can also be made, such as taking a hike into Grand Teton National Park, which is quite close, and having groceries stocked in the kitchen of a condo upon arrival to minimize dining out. The head concierge is Matt Cardis (307-734-7111, [email protected]).
The general manager of the lodge is Steve Santomo (307-734-6901, [email protected]); however, for VIP requests, agents should contact Tom Walker, director of sales and marketing, at 307-732-6910 or [email protected] The property is pet friendly.
The Teton Mountain Lodge is currently expanding its spa; during renovations, there are four treatment rooms available, but when the new spa opens on July 1, there will be 10 treatment rooms in a 16,000-square-foot space. The new facility will feature a larger spa menu and a new 24-person rooftop hot tub with views of the Teton Range, plus a motion studio for yoga, Pilates and aerobics. Amenities will include two couples' treatment rooms with fireplaces, in-room Jacuzzis and decks, a wet treatment room with a Vichy shower, facial and manicure facilities, interior and exterior pools, five hot tubs (two outdoor, three indoor) and a significantly expanded fitness center with cardio and weight-training machines. The renovation will also create nine new condo-suites that break into 17 individual guest rooms, increasing the lodge's total capacity from 128 to 145 guest rooms.
The spa uses Jurlique products, and its most popular treatments are the Relaxing Alpine Massage and the Hot Stone Arnica Massage. Many massages can be tailored to kids (under 16 requires parental approval). The most-requested masseuse is Dondi Tondro-Smith. The spa also offers healing therapies, including hydrotherapy treatments, facials, yoga and various day packages. Agents can book treatments for clients ahead of time, and reservations are definitely recommended. The spa director is McNeill Watson (307-732-6865, [email protected]).
The lodge is also a popular wedding venue. Contact Ashley Singleton, wedding coordinator, at 307-734-7111 or [email protected]
Nearby Teton Village Sports sells high-end outdoor apparel and gear.
Children's programs are available through the Jackson Hole Kid's Ranch, which is right across the front parking lot from Teton Mountain Lodge. Operated by Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, the Kid's Ranch offers year-round day care, ski and snowboard lessons, hiking, climbing and lessons about the ecology of the area. Visit www.jacksonhole.com/info/ski.child.asp for more details.
The 151-unit Fours Seasons Resort Jackson Hole (www.fourseasons.com/jacksonhole) is an excellent option for ski-in/ski-out luxury accommodations. Rooms range from standard to premium and suites range from Deluxe One-Bedroom Suites to the Presidential Suite and the Deluxe Four Seasons Executive Suite. The property also offers private residence rentals; the best to book for large groups is the palatial Five-Bedroom Penthouse Private Residence. The 11,685-square-foot spa facility offers 16 treatment rooms, including two private spa suites, each with a Swiss shower, fireplace and deep soaking tub. Call the property directly at 307-732-5000, or to make reservations, call 800-914-5110.
Also in Teton Village, the Snake River Lodge & Spa, a Rock Resort (snakeriverlodge.rockresorts.com), has 88 guest rooms, 57 luxury condominiums and more than 4,000 square feet of meeting space. The suites, condos and penthouses come fully furnished with a kitchen, spacious living area with a gas fireplace, private bathroom with jetted tub and utility closet with washer and dryer. The 17,000-square-foot Avanyu spa has an indoor/outdoor pool, hot tubs, sauna, Swiss shower and a variety of fitness and exercise equipment. Call 800-445-4655 or 866-975-ROCK (7625).
Dining: The Teton Mountain Lodge's Cascade Grill House & Spirits (800-801-6615) serves New Western cuisine for all three meals, as well as room service. Its full-service bar and outdoor heated patio are popular with locals for après ski. Its signature dishes are the buffalo tenderloin and the molasses-seared elk medallions.
The Fours Seasons has two excellent dining options: the upscale Westbank Grill, which has a heated outdoor terrace with its own fireplace, and serves seasonal selections of grilled meat, game and fish, and the more-casual Peak bistro, which has a mountainside terrace, table games, flat-screen TVs and a full-service bar. It serves classic American fare and aperitifs, and its signature dish is tortilla soup with shredded chicken, avocado and La Vaquita cheese. Call 307-732-5000.
For luxury dining, we recommend Snake River Grill (www.snakerivergrill.com, 307-733-0557), on the Town Square in Jackson. It serves fresh fish, free-range chicken and veal, game dishes, pastas, pizzas from the wood-burning oven, chops, steaks and various salads with fresh seasonal produce. It also has an award-winning wine list with more than 270 selections, and various micro-brew beers, grappas, ports and single-malt scotches.
For a more casual, family-oriented dining experience, recommend Rendezvous Bistro (307-739-1100), also in the town of Jackson.