Newly Renovated Boutique Hotel within Walking Distance from Sun Valley Resort
In 1935, Union Pacific Railroad hired Austrian Count Felix Schaffgotsch to find an ideal site for the next grand American resort. Arriving at the small mining town of Ketchum, Idaho, he wrote in a wire that he had found "more delightful features than any place … in Switzerland, Austria, or the U.S. for a winter resort." Amid the Rocky Mountains, generous snowfall, and abundant sunshine, the resulting Sun Valley Resort became the nation's first destination ski resort, attracting the likes of Clark Gable, Lucille Ball, Ernest Hemingway, and world-champion skiers. Today, Knob Hill Inn, a boutique mountainside hotel, sits in the heart of the luxury resort, offering majestic views and alpine recreation.
The hotel's recently renovation added the lobby's double-sided fireplace, constructed from Boulder Mountain flagstone and flanked by leather ottomans. The modern updates continue in the king rooms, where marble-tiled bathrooms feature radiant floor heating, frameless glass showers, and fiber-optic dental floss. Shared wooden balconies look out onto Sun Valley's forested hills.
The onsite Grill at Knob Hill uses tree branches and earthy tones to evoke the hotel's natural surroundings. Diners enjoy pancakes and yogurt parfaits during a complimentary breakfast, and the culinary team prepares sophisticated Northwest fare such as Idaho rainbow trout and lollipop lamb chops for dinner.
Ketchum, Idaho: Small Country Town Surrounded by World-Class Outdoor Attractions
Located just east of the sprawling Boise National Forest, Ketchum is best known for the Sun Valley Resort and the diverse terrain of Bald Mountain. Stretching to the edge of Sawtooth National Forest, "Baldy" covers more than 2,000 acres with intermediate skiing and snowboarding trails. Sun Valley also accommodates beginners on Dollar Mountain, the resort's lower-elevation peak. Between runs, skiers can defrost with a mug of hot cocoa at The Roundhouse or ascend 8,800 feet for views from the wraparound deck at Seattle Ridge Lodge.
Eight miles north, Sawtooth Wilderness features hiking trails, pine forests, and more than 300 alpine lakes. The jagged peaks of Sawtooth Mountains rise up more than 10,000 feet, and deep, sheltered valleys protect the habitat of fish, moose, and alpaca. To the southeast, the Craters of the Moon National Monument makes for an excellent day trip, as the preserve's volcanic terrain is ideal for cave tours, bird watching, and filming fake moon landings.