The Teton Teepee is not your typical hotel experience, even in ski country. This charming throw-back to the 70's is in a great location, with great prices, and makes for a memorable visit. Read on for more:
The Teton Teepee Lodge is about 1/3 of the way up Ski Hill Road between the town of Driggs ID, and the Grand Targhee Resort & Ski Area. From the Idaho Falls airport, it's a bit over 90 minutes by car, assuming the roads are clear. It would be a little quicker, again depending on roads, from Jackson Hole. Once there, you're a quick 6-mile drive up the mountain to Grand Targee, and less than 10 minutes back into town for dinner and shopping. NOTE: Getting to Alta WY can be difficult at times, if there are snow storms. Routes 31, 33 and even the larger Routes 20 and 26 are prone to road closures during heavy snow. So plan your path (and alternate routes) accordingly, if the weather in the passes is inclement.
The Teepee was built sometime in the 70s, and in concept remains frozen in time. As you enter past the reception area, you find yourself in a large circular common room with plenty of tables, games (foosball, ping pong, ...) and a fire pit surrounded by padded benches. The "teepee" description isn't that far off! Each of the 17 guest rooms are located around the edges, and each room has a locking double door. Up in one loft is a pool table and television room, and also offers a shelf full of board games and movies. In the other loft are large windows with fantastic views of Grand Teton when weather permits, and a bar area that is currently closed (but will hopefully reopen soon!)
The rooms are small but laid out perfectly for a ski lodge. Outside of your door, vertical pegs can hold shoes, boots or ski boots, and do so directly above a heating register, which will dry your boots out overnight. Inside the room, similar thick pegs hang on the wall for coats and other gear. There is no closet, but there is a storage area with several cubbyholes of various sizes for all your small items, and a hanger area for garment bags or individual hung clothes. The beds are comfortable and clean. The bathroom area has a sink/vanity outside of the main bathroom, and then the bathroom itself contains a sizeable shower stall and toilet. There is a vent, as well as heat lamp in the bathroom itself, again for drying winter gear better.
The room was comfortable and just the right size for two people. The bed was fine, though the pillows were a bit thin -- extra pillows or thicker ones would have been welcome. There was plenty of hot water available at all hours, though water pressure could have been better especially in the mornings.
In addition to the items previously mentioned, all rooms come with a complimentary continental breakfast in the morning. Fresh fruit, toast & bagels with a variety of spreads, instant oatmeal, cereals & cereal bars, coffee, tea, juices and milk were all available. Breakfast is self-serve.
The Teepee is really a very social place. Unless you're going to hide in your room, the common area becomes a very friendly place in the evenings. The staff and other guests all congregate, often around the fire, to read, play games and just chat. We spent hours one night talking over a bottle of gin, and the next night with other guests over a bottle of wine! Great stories from fun people. The good news is that when you're done, the double-doors to your room block out most of the sound. Despite the group in the common room, we never were kept awake (or woken up) by noise.
Finally, the Teepee offers meal delivery from many of the best restaurants in town (Driggs). Place your order by 5pm, and they will bring your meals back for you to eat at the lodge. They'll even add the cost of the meal to your room tab, to settle upon check-out. We didn't use this service during our stay, instead choosing to go out to eat, but after a long day of skiing at Targhee, I can see how this would be a great service!
In a lot of ways, the Teepee is more like a B&B than a hotel. The staff take pride in the quirky history of their lodge, and treat visitors like family. They handled all of our questions and request promptly and professionally, and were a great bunch to talk to. Top marks for service and friendliness.
The lodge was closed for about 18 months for remodeling and upgrades, and only re-opened this ski season for business. So, at least for now, the Teepee is a little more quiet and subdued than in its heyday. In addition to the 17 guest rooms, the Lodge has split-gender dormitories in the basement, with built-in bunk beds and storage lockers. They used to pack this place full of ski bums -- some paying for private rooms, while others opting for a cheap bed in the dorm. Due to building & fire codes, they can't re-open the dorms anytime soon -- 1970's construction didn't really take 21st-century fire codes into account! So that little piece of history may be lost forever, but in the meanwhile, the refurbished and re-opened Teepee does manage to recapture a bit of its former magic.
Overall, we were very pleased with our stay! Give it 4-circles, since it's a great lodge but definitely not a luxury experience. The Teepee has unbeatable prices though, especially compared to staying up at the Grand Targhee resort, and a friendly and welcoming experience you won't find many other places.
Absolutely recommended to anyone visiting the area, but especially those skiing during the season. We will be back, without question!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Just 6 miles down the mountain from Grand Targhee and only 2 miles from breathtaking Teton Canyon, the Teton Teepee Lodge, family owned since 1974, offers you a one of a kind mountain lodge experience. Gather around the sunken, central fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa and share stories of the day, play a game of pool, ping pong or foosball, or just cozy up in one of our 18 private guestrooms with a good book. Whatever your pleasure, the Teton Teepee is the perfect place to kick off your boots after a day of adventure in the Tetons. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Teton Teepee Hotel Alta
- Teton Teepee Lodge Wyoming/Alta