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Lodging: Sun Valley, Idaho

Lodging: Sun Valley, Idaho

The lodging is as well-groomed as the slopes at this classic resort.
By Risa Wyatt
posted: 09/29/2008

America’s first destination ski resort (est. 1936) remains one of its finest. But visitors, confronted with its unusual layout, may need guidance finding the perfect place to bed down. Skiers choose from two locales: Sun Valley, a shuttle ride from beginner-friendly Dollar Mountain; the classic resort village experience; and Ketchum, a 19th-century mining town at the foot of Bald Mountain, the main ski area. No ski-in/ski-out lodging, but no worries: Shuttles run between the village, Ketchum and the slopes.

LUXURY: Sun Valley Lodge

Sun Valley Inn Rack your skis where Sonja Heine skated in Sun Valley Serenade and Ernest Hemingway wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls. Set in the resort village, the Lodge (1936) and the Inn (1937), both recently remodeled, convey Golden Age graciousness with coffered ceilings, marble bathrooms and snowy snapshots of visitors such as Clark Gable and Lucille Ball adorning the corridors. Dine at The Ram, where pianist Larry Harshbarger has entertained for 30 years. Tip: Since the two properties offer 10 different room layouts, call to book your stay instead of using the Web.

$180–$640; http://sunvalley.com/SunValley/Index.aspx target=_blank>sunvalley.com; 800-786-8259

ROMANCE: Knob Hill Inn

The Arlberg meets Idaho at this hotel on Ketchum’s Main Street. A kacheloven (wood-burning stove bedecked with colorful tiles) warms the lobby and kaiserschmarren (an Austrian pancake) is a staple on the breakfast menu. Although the architecture is alpine, room décor recalls the California coast with bleached woods and pastel fabrics. Windows face the Sawtooth Range or the trails on Baldy. For a good value, book one of the four fireplace rooms, each with a wood-burning hearth.

$250–$500; http://knobhillinn.com/ target=_blank>knobhillinn.com; 800-526-8010

CONDO: Thunder Spring

When you need a little more space, these apartments minutes from Bald Mountain and Ketchum are a good option. Unlike most condos, Thunder Spring comes with a concierge who can book ski school and stock up on your favorite beer. But the best perk is full access to the adjoining Zenergy Spa, where you can soak in the huge outdoor whirlpool.

$600-–$2,000; http://thunderspring.com/ target=_blank>thunderspring.com; 800-405-8494 l

ALSO CONSIDER>>>

Condo: Premier Resorts; $95–$1,350; http://www.premier-sunvalley.com/resort.php/SUN_VALLEY/OVERVIEW target=_blank>premier-sunvalley.com; 800-635-4444

Luxury Homes: High Country Resort Properties; $300–$8,500; http://highcountry-rentals.com/ target=_blank>highcountry-rentals.com; 800-726-7076

Family: Best Western Kentwood; $170– $220; http://www.bestwestern.com/ target=_blank>bestwestern.com; 800-780-7234

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