My 24-hour vacation

You have arrived at the Lodge!

You have arrived!

I live, year-round, approximately five miles from the Sun Valley Lodge. While I am at the Resort almost every day, dropping my kids off at skating lessons or hockey; enjoying a meal; shopping or picking up my mail, this weekend I decided to treat myself to a night at the Lodge — the full guest experience — because, well, it is a terrible waste to live next door to a world-class resort and not check in once in a while. Enjoying turn down service is good for the soul.

It is amazing how, in those five short miles, my mind quickly turned from the never-ending “to do” list to a manicure, a glass of wine and a seat by the fire.  By the time I parked and walked to the Lodge’s front door, overnight bag in hand, I already felt like a guest.  The always handsome and polite doormen swung open the doors in tandem, welcoming me to Sun Valley. I made my grand entrance into the warm lobby that twinkled with lights and home felt like a continent away.

Checking in at the Lodge

Be our guest

The pleasant women at the reception desk also welcomed me with open arms (though they probably wondered why I was so giddy at 3 p.m.) and gave me the keys to the kingdom – room 165.  I have stayed at the Lodge a few times, but so far, room 165 is my very favorite.  A corner King room, three large windows flood the space with light and look out over the Sun Valley Ice Rink, Bald Mountain and the Pavilion. A room with a view, indeed! But luxuriating in 165 would have to wait until later.  My poor neglected fingers and toes demanded immediate attention.

I scooted down the hallway, surrounded on all sides by fabulous black and white photos chronicling the Resort’s storied story, and turned into the newly redesigned Salon and Spa. Soft lights, a spice colored carpet and gleaming surfaces greeted me, as did my nail technician, Christie.  Christie is newly arrived in Sun Valley and her broad smile and sweet laugh made me forget to be embarrassed by my “mountain feet.”  As I soaked in the hot rose-colored water and chatted with Christie, vacation-mode took over. An hour later, my feet were reborn. Christie provided the best pedicure I have had since I moved from New York City a dozen years ago. And that is no exaggeration and no small, um, feat. An equally transformative manicure followed.  No question, I will be back for some pre-holiday pampering in a few weeks’ time.

Christie, my great nail technician

Let the pampering begin

Next stop?  The famous outdoor Sun Valley pool. This mammoth, steaming circle of water is really a soaking tub of epic proportions. It was raining steadily that evening, the cold mountain drops mingling with the very hot water. A group of locals, all staying at the Resort for the Firefighters’ Ball, chatted with hockey players in town for a tournament, everyone submerged and sipping drinks, seated on the bench that rims the entire inside wall of the pool.

Sun Valley's famous year-round outdoor pool

The famous year-round outdoor pool

Later, the group reconvened at the Lodge’s Duchin Room, securing a cluster of high tables in the back and enjoying a light dinner. Then, onto the Ball at the Limelight Room for a great night of dancing and back to my very cozy room by the stroke of midnight. Eggs Benedict at Gretchen’s the next morning was the perfect ending to the stay.

Part of the joy, part of the fun, of living in a resort town, is the resort itself.  Many locals enjoy a “staycation” in Sun Valley.  One friend and his wife recently celebrated their 10-year anniversary with a night at the Lodge. Another gathers a group of friends for her birthday each year and checks into one of the spacious cottages for a getaway without the getaway.

Life in a small town like Sun Valley can get surprisingly busy and stressful, just like anywhere else.  But with one of the most beautiful resorts in the world in our backyard, why not play “guest” once a in a while? When I awoke to a spectacular view of Baldy, covered in snow and gleaming in the sun, I appreciated Sun Valley anew and returned home truly grateful for where I live.


Room with a view

Room with a view

My home away from home

My home away from home, room 165

Room from the Resort: The Symphony Cottage

The Symphony Cottage is nestled just down the hill from the Sun Valley Pavilion

As regular readers of this blog will know, I hail from the old country, where if you told someone they were going to be staying in a cottage they would expect a quaint, cozy abode complete with a chimney, gabled windows, and maybe a picturesque thatched roof. If they were planning on staying in Sun Valley Resort’s Symphony Cottage however, they might need to change those expectations.

For our fourth installment in the Rooms from the Resort series (where I take a peek inside the accommodations on offer at Sun Valley Resort, providing you with a traveller’s-eye-view of your Sun Valley vacation), we are pushing the word “room” to its limit.

A 7 bedroom mansion, the Symphony Cottage is pretty awesome. From a hot tub to a sauna, marble bathrooms to a wet bar, English country cottages would quake in their foundations at the sight of this palace.

At least one part of its name is apt however, the “cottage” sits right next to the Sun Valley Pavilion, making it the perfect accommodation for (a large group of) symphony-goers or any party looking to enjoy the summer’s many performances in the state-of-the-art facility, just steps from their front door.

Here are some pictures I snapped from inside the grandest accommodation on offer at Sun Valley Resort:

The "cottage" door is a beautiful piece of art work.

The interior of the door features a stunning sun motif, which is carried on throughout the cottage.

An elaborate stone fireplace (one of three in the house) dominates the living area.

The large split-level living room is decorated in traditional Lodge style.

One of the seven bedrooms in the cottage.

This tub could fit the entire Sun Family!

The spacious deck/patio area offers a great space for entertaining while listening to the sounds emanating from the nearby Pavilion.

Despite being located in the middle of the resort, there's a real feeling of rural living in the "cottage," with lovely views of Dollar Mountain over Sun Valley Lake.

If you are planning on staying here, drop me a line, I’d love to come hang out!

Happy trails!

Mrs. Sun

Details: Priced from $1,000 – $2,200 a night (price varies based on season and weekend versus weeknights), the cottage is newly renovated and offers seven bedrooms, lake view and hot tub, and a sunken living room complete with a wet bar. The 7 bedrooms include 3 King, 2 Queen, 2 Doubles and 1 couch bed. For more details click here or call 1.800.786.8259.

Room from the Resort: The President’s Cottage

Step back in time in the President's Cottage

Welcome to the third installment of Mrs. Sun’s Rooms from the Resort series, where I take a peek inside one of the many varied “rooms” on offer at Sun Valley Resort. The aim is to provide you with a traveller’s-eye-view; meaning totally spontaneous, no pre-prep or fancy lighting, just exactly what you’ll see as you open your door to your Sun Valley vacation.

In the shadow of the grand Sun Valley Lodge sits a quaint little cottage. Seemingly plucked out of a chocolate box scene depicting a mountaintop Austrian village, this two bedroom abode is one of the original Sun Valley Resort buildings. And if I had my choice of anywhere on the property to spend a little downtime (especially during Sun Valley Summer Symphony season), this would be my pick.

The two bedroom cottage is situated between the Harriman and Guest cottages, on the edge of the lawn that boasts the multi-million dollar Sun Valley Pavilion, making it an ideal getaway for a symphony-loving couple, imagine whipping up a simple meal in your fully-equipped kitchen and then relaxing on the delightful patio as the sounds of Bach waft over you.

Here’s a quick picture tour of the President’s Cottage:

The inside of the President's Cottage is deceptively spacious. An open floor plan connecting the sitting area, dining room and kitchen is enhanced by a giant picture window that welcomes in the famous Sun Valley sun.

This is the smallest of the cottages on offer at the resort, and, while it’s not exactly off-the-beaten path (being located right by the road that runs behind the Lodge, and come symphony-time you won’t have that large lawn all to yourself), it is one of the most historic. So step back in time (while still enjoying flat screen TVs and granite countertops), and imagine you’re an East Coast socialite, honeymooning with your hunky new Austrian ski-instructor husband… .

With two small, but well-appointed bedrooms, it's the view and spacious outdoor patio that make this historical hideaway my top pick of the Sun Valley Resort rooms.

Happy Trails!

Mrs. Sun

Details: Priced from $600 – $1,100 a night (price varies based on season and weekend versus weeknights), this two bedroom, two bath cottage includes a kitchen, living room, dining room and fireplace, plus, for two weeks a year, a free symphony! For more details click here or call 1.800.786.8259.

Room from the Resort: A Lodge Apartment


Welcome to the second installment of Mrs. Sun’s Rooms from the Resort series. Each week I’ll take a peek inside one of the rooms on offer here at Sun Valley Resort, and provide you with a traveller’s-eye-view; meaning totally spontaneous, no pre-prep or fancy lighting, just exactly what you’ll see as you open your door to your Sun Valley vacation.

This week we’re going inside a Lodge Apartment. Lodge apartments are condominiums situated next door to the Lodge, so have all the amenities of a Lodge room. The main advantage is space, and lots of it, making it perfect for families or groups of friends vacationing together. I especially like the available outdoor space of the ground-floor apartments, ideal for just pulling up on your bikes after a leisurely mountain bike ride through the White Clouds Trails. So come on in and take a look:

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Lodge Apartments run from $249-$549 a night for a one bedroom suite ($339-$659 for two bedrooms, $429-$769 for three), prices vary according to season and day of the week. The individual room (with no suite) is also available from $149-$229. For more details call 1.800.786.8259, or click Reservations

Happy Trails!

Mrs. Sun

Room from the Resort: A Lodge Balcony Room

The reason for a Lodge Balcony room: the best view of Baldy in town!

It may be just me, but one of my favorite moments of a vacation is when you open the door to your hotel room. It’s a moment of blessed relief that you’ve finally arrived, tempered by trepidation at what might be behind that door. The disappointment of a terrible room can completely destroy all the hopes and dreams you had for your vacation (not that that ever happens here!).

But in today’s age of the smart-phone and TripAdvisor, the traveler has a lot more recourse to find out what’s behind that door before they actually arrive, so I convinced Sun Valley to let me inside some of its rooms and provide you with a traveler’s-eye-view of the resort. The result will be a new Valley Sun blog series, Rooms from the Resort, featuring holiday-style snaps and quick hit videos from a selection of the abodes available to guests here. The content will be totally spontaneous, no staging or pre-prep just the god’s honest truth of what you’ll see when you open that door to your Sun Valley vacation. (And for the curious locals around here who’ve never stayed at the hotel in their hometown, such as myself, this is your chance for a free peek).

Here we go with our first room, A Sun Valley Lodge Balcony Room:

Background: This Lodge Balcony room is in the Sun Valley Lodge, the original hotel at the resort, and runs $339 a night for weekdays, $359 weekends. There are seven Lodge Balcony rooms that feature either a king bed or two queen beds in a medium size room with French doors leading to a balcony. The 148 room Lodge was built in 1936, and boasts the Duchin Lounge, Gretchen’s Restaurant, the ice-rink, a glass enclosed outdoor pool and the resort’s spa among its on-site amenities. Call 1-800-786-8259 or click here for more details.

If you’ve stayed at the Resort and have pictures or videos of your own in-room experiences, I’d love to see them – upload them here and then post a comment below. I’ll feature the most creative in a future Room from the Resort blog post and award my personal favorite with a prize.

Happy Trails!

Mrs. Sun