When it opened in December 2003, the 124-room/suite Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole was the first slopeside, ski-in/ski-out Four Seasons in the world. Almost a decade later—a decade that has seen several other luxury properties open in the Teton Village base area—the cowboy-chic Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole is still the hotel all others are measured against. The only thing better than its location—a snowball’s throw from the Teewinot Lift and only slightly further from the Bridger Gondola—is its service—accommodating and attentive without being suffocating. We wonder if the word, “No” is even in the resort’s vocabulary.
Whether you’ve just driven the 22-miles from the Jackson Hole Airport or the 12-miles from the Wild West town of Jackson, the Four Seasons greets you like a long lost relative. Twinkling white lights wrap the trees lining its drive all the way up to a gigantic Porte-cochére. Before you’ve had a chance to open your car door, a valet attendant is there to help.
After handing over your keys and entering the resort’s wide double-doors, don’t expect giant logs or stuffed animals in the lobby. Four Seasons Jackson Hole isn’t the Hollywood western cliché; it features warm woods, copper, leather details, an abundance of fireplaces and stone that create a comfortable contemporary western character. The resort’s 2,000-piece art collection doesn’t include cowboys and Indians, but rather 18th and 19th century European masters and 20th century surrealists (The concierge desk has iPods with an hour-long guided tour of the collection that guests may borrow).
Checking in, your luggage is loaded on one transport and your ski gear on another. The latter will be taken directly to the ski concierge. Staff will escort you to your room. Walking towards the elevators, they’ll point out the resort’s three restaurants, including one opening in December 2012, The Handle Bar, a project of the Michael Mina Group, or, if you’re staying on the other side of the hotel, the library and spa/fitness center.
The 124 guestrooms and suites here are large. Even the smallest, a standard room, is a comfortable 550-square feet. Suites are between 750 and 2,200 square feet.
The standard room has a sizeable foyer/entryway. Walking down the entrance hall—tiled with limestone—you’ll pass the bathroom and a walk-in closet before reaching the main living area, which is carpeted rather than tiled. Rooms are outfitted with an espresso machine and a hidden mini fridge full of drinks and snacks (for a fee), a sizeable work area, a 36-inch flat-screen LG television, a DVD player (there’s a DVD library for guests’ use), a gas fireplace or a balcony (if you want both, the next room level up, deluxe, is what you want), 300-thread count Egyptian cotton linens, a couple of lounge chairs, a down comforter and a mattress custom designed and made by Sealy for the Four Seasons
Every bathroom has a deep soaking tub and a walk-in shower. The toilet has a water closet of its own. The marble-topped double vanity is stocked with L’Occitane products and the deep soaking tub is just as divine as you would imagine.
In-room technology includes all the usual suspects of a luxury hotel—an iPod dock/alarm clock, an in-room safe, etc… but it’s another piece of technology that in-room diners rave about. The hotel created Microsoft tags for the more popular menu items on its In Room Dining Menu. Scan the tags with your Smartphone and you’ll see a photo of the item—say the BBQ short rib sliders—and also get a detailed description and a list of ingredients. There’s also a tag for daily deals and promotions.
The only amenity better than the hotel’s location—100 feet from the Teewinot lift and 300 feet from the Bridger Gondola—is the resort’s recreation staff. As soon as you interact with one—whether the ski concierge calls your room to advise that the edges of your skis are covered in rust or whether the demo center staff rents you the perfect snowboard—you’ll surely agree.
The ski concierge will take your skis, boots and poles when you arrive and check them in; before skiing each morning you’ll collect everything from them, walk directly out onto the slopes and jump on a lift. When you’re done for the day, you’ll return everything to them. While you enjoy resort amenities or head into town, they’ll dry your boots with room-temperature air and everything will be waiting for you again the next morning.
The ski concierge is a full-service premium demo center and retail shop. It doesn’t sell any equipment or outerwear, but anything else—goggles, hats, baselayers, sunglasses, gloves, POV cameras—is there.
The demo center doubled its snowboard fleet and installed a new boot fitting area in 2012. “I’ve been in the ski industry for 23 years now and have a serious background in boot fitting,” said Dave Dussault, the resort’s Director of Outdoor Recreation. “It’s not like we just built a boot bench. This is a service we know and have figured out the best way to offer it to our guests.” The shop fits Intuition liners and DFP foot beds.
If any work needs to be done on your skis, from a simple wax to a high-performance tune or, Ullr forbid, repair of a core shot, the Four Seasons shop can handle it.
Ski lockers just outside the shop are available for guests for free on a first-come/first-serve basis. This area was expanded in 2012.
Outside of the ski shop, an outdoor heated pool and three hot tubs help to sooth your screaming muscles. It’s possible to sit in the pool and watch beginner skiers fly by on the lower slopes of the JHMR. There’s an oversized—even for Wyoming—outdoor fireplace by the pool’s entrance and one of the hot tubs. The best hot tub though is tucked up in the far corner above the other end of the pool. It’s so tucked away most people don’t even realize it’s there. Of course the resort has heated towels for swimmers and hot tubbers to use.
THE BOTTOM LINE
There are so many things for skiers and riders to love about Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole. We’d stay there forever if we could. (Some people do; this Four Seasons is not only a hotel, but also has Four Seasons Residences, just in case you’re looking.) Like Four Seasons the world over, its service is unparalleled and friendly, and no demand is made to feel unreasonable. Unlike most any other Four Seasons, it has ski lifts just out its back doors and an outdoor recreation staff waiting to do everything from tune your skis to fit your boots. When your legs need a rest, or you just feel like exploring the area, the town of Jackson is an easy drive away (the resort can arrange for a cab or shuttle), Grand Teton National Park is less than two miles away, and you can hit Old Faithful in Yellowstone via a day-long snowmobile tour.