For me, there’s nothing quite like skiing or riding with other women. My girlfriends offer motivation, inspiration, and camaraderie that I just can’t get anywhere else. And Sun Valley is the place for women to shred, whether it is with one of the specialty programs, a great clinic, or just because. This week, I had the opportunity to connect with a group of terrific women mountain enthusiasts as part of the popular DIVAS program. DIVAS, or the Die Incredible Vimin Alpine Shredders, is for intermediate to advanced women...
Every year at Thanksgiving, the Madsen family of Hailey plans a getaway to a luxury hotel to relax and recharge ahead of the busy holiday season. Most years, their itineraries take them outside the Wood River Valley. This year, though, with the gorgeous renovation of the Sun Valley Lodge, the family booked into the property for two nights to enjoy dinner at Trail Creek Cabin and to take advantage of everything a Sun Valley vacation offers.
Parents Peter and Tori checked into the Marilyn Monroe Suite with their teenage son and daughter on Thursday and were tremendously pleased with their room. “We really hadn’t been to the Lodge since the renovation,” Peter explained. “When we saw the suite we were so impressed with how spacious and elegant it was. We were excited to take advantage of the large sitting room, luxurious bathroom and even two balconies. We stayed at the Lodge a few years ago and the new rooms are almost not recognizable. All the photos of Marilyn Monroe and her ties to Sun Valley really made the experience special, too.”
“The view from the Marilyn Monroe Suite wasn’t too bad,” joked Peter Madsen who enjoyed Thanksgiving weekend – and the spectacular view -- in the luxurious accommodations with his family
But this active family didn’t linger in their room too long – there was too much else to explore. A walkabout took them through the lobby of the new Spa at Sun Valley (“beautiful” according to Tori) and to the Bowling and Game Center where they spent some quality time. “Our daughter, in particular, loved the bowling alley,” Tori explained. “She kept telling us what a great spot it would be for a birthday party!”
That evening, the Madsens dressed for dinner and grabbed a hotel shuttle to the rustic and lovely Trail Creek Cabin, to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast. “It really was a perfect Thanksgiving,” Peter said. “The food was fantastic – traditional but flavorful and interesting and the portions were very generous. We were impressed.” Tori added, “They have added specialty cocktails to the menu, too, and the one I had was delicious. It added to the festivity.” The cabin, built in 1937, welcomed this family and many other diners with a roaring fire, rough hewn furniture, and a decidedly sophisticated mountain vibe.
The ‘staycationing’ family enjoyed a bountiful Thanksgiving feast at Trail Creek Cabin, taking in the ambience and delicious food
Friday, it was time for the kids to head to Baldy for the first runs of the year. “We booked an early season stay and play package which came with a lift ticket so it was great to be able to take advantage of that,” Peter said. “The kids headed over to the mountain and spent the whole day skiing with their friends.”
In the meantime, the parents enjoyed a leisurely Lodge day. The late morning was spent in the large hot pool, the inviting steam dissipating into the cold winter air with Bald Mountain’s snow-covered runs rising majestically in the distance.
I met up with the couple as they made their way to the Lodge lobby to enjoy a light post-Thanksgiving lunch at Gretchen’s. Chef Derek Gallegos’ fare was exactly what they hoped for. Peter tucked into a fresh Maine lobster Caesar salad full of big chucks of lobster while Tory opted for the baby golden beet salad with Tuscan kale, chevre, pumpkin seeds, sundried figs, and a light apricot vinaigrette.
Their afternoon was spent relaxing a bit more and meeting up with their children to compare notes. The group then walked to dinner at The Ram in the Sun Valley Village, a meal that Peter called “amazing, with excellent service.”
The iconic hot Lodge pool is a wonderful way to get outside on a cold winter’s day to enjoy the view, the sun, and perhaps even a cocktail
The Madsens final morning at the Resort was spent lingering over breakfast at the Konditorei in the Sun Valley Village, taking a final dip in the pool, and then heading home.
“I’m so glad we spent Thanksgiving at the Sun Valley Lodge,” Tori enthused. “Even when you live here it is a real getaway – so different than our daily lives. The room was beautiful, we ate great food, and enjoyed all the Resort amenities. Everyone should do it.”
“We were really impressed with the service at Sun Valley,” Peter added. “In particular, we’d like to acknowledge the drivers, valets, and doormen. All were exceptional.”
Despite the “15-minute commute” that Peter joked “was grueling,” the Madsens, and many others, may have a new holiday tradition.
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