Grand Teton Lodging Company Offers Grand Hospitality in Grand Teton Nat’l Park

By on October 2, 2012

It’s our 4th day in the Greater Yellowstone area and we’re departing Teton Village, Wyoming for Grand Teton National Park. Our home for the next two nights will be the beautiful Jackson Lake Lodge. There are no spa visits on this leg of the journey, but the next three days are filled with wellness and fitness of the most natural variety. The park encourages families to exercise and remain active through healthy family initiatives.

We think our minimalistic and smartly-designed cottage room (#346) is perfect and exactly as National Park lodging should be. Ours had a small patio with two Adirondack chairs. There is no TV, A/C or Wi-Fi in the room, but we really don’t miss these all-too-relied-upon creature comforts. I am mostly pleasantly surprised by how comfortable the two queen beds are and we sleep well each night. We opened the windows and turned on the ceiling fan for climate control and I trekked off to the main lodge for my brief Internet fix each evening. Our nightly “entertainment” came in the form of taking little walks and spotting wild animals from the Lodge’s wildlife viewing platform. And watching the Teton Range in ever-changing lighting conditions never gets old.

 

Jackson Lake Lodge Lobby

Jackson Lake Lodge Lobby

The main lodge comes alive each evening, as families gather to read, use the complimentary Wi-Fi, play games or stroll the shops as they return from dinner in the Pioneer Grill (causal) or Mural Room (formal). You might even be treated, as I was, to an impromptu piano concert from very talented young guests while viewing the famous wildlife you came to see.

Grand Lodge-Guest Room

During our visit, we participated in two activities run by Grand Teton Lodging Company (GTLC), the concessioner at Grand Teton National Park. With so many activities offered directly through the park, one will never miss the TV in the guest rooms. GTLC is planning to offer the Teton Wellness Initiative with sustainable and healthy menu items and calories burned for the park activities.

On our first night, we headed down to Colter Bay Village Marina – for the best view of the Teton Range in the whole park – and boarded the Jackson Lake dinner cruise. Our first mate narrates our scenic cruise over to Elk Island, giving us the history of the Tetons, Jackson Lake and the surrounding area. After the pleasant hour-long narrated tour of Jackson Lake, we docked at Elk Island for an honest to goodness outdoor dining experience. These chefs, despite the remote location of their outdoor kitchen, go the extra mile. We feast on a fabulous meal made even more fabulous by the stunning lake and mountain views. The menu consisted of the best trout I’ve ever eaten, steak, fruit artfully displayed in a canoe, a salad bar, cowboy beans, fried potatoes and mugs of warm peach of apple cobbler to give the hearty meal a sweet finish. (Calories burned during the dinner cruise: approximately 285 for males, 255 for females. We won’t even mention how many calories are taken in at dinner.)

The hike to Hidden Falls is worth the effort at Grand Teton National Park. Credit: Michele McIntyre

The next morning, it couldn’t be easier than a few-minute walk from our cottage to the Jackson Lake Lodge lobby to board our van for a 3-hour Wild and Scenic Raft trip on the Snake River. Our driver, Justin, and our river guide, Steve, expertly led our small group of seven on a float trip that did get a bit wild at times – due to high winds – and was superbly scenic. Safety and guest comfort was their first priority, but ensuring that everyone had a good time was a close second. (Calories burned during the raft trip: – approx. 296-444 calories burned for males, 234-351 for females.)

Jackson Lake Lodge Mural Room

Jackson Lake Lodge Mural Room

That afternoon, we hike the 5.2-mile trail to the refreshing mist of Hidden Falls (Calories burned: approximately 700 for males, 550 for females.) Not an hour later, we’re experiencing fine dining while seated next to wall of windows, gazing out at jaw dropping views of the Tetons. Over dinner at the Mural Room, where the scenery is way to stunning to pass up, we munch on a basket of freshly-baked organic breads while sipping cocktails and locally brewed craft beer. Much to our delight, the chef sends out an amuse bouche of teriyaki pulled pork with mango salsa on a fried won ton.

 

We are most impressed by the table side preparation of lobster bisque. A generous portion of lobster meat sits solo in the center of a bowl. Our server pours the creamy bisque from a gravy boat that surrounds, but never disturbs the integrity of, the lobster. Another touch of creative genius is my appetizer of grilled Caesar salad with smoked salmon, garnished with artichoke hearts fried in a light tempura-style batter, stuffed into a cone-shaped parmesan crisp with a garlicky dressing. We would have been satisfied with bread, soup and appetizer, but our duo of pan seared halibut and wild caught salmon with herb polenta in a creamy sauce and melt-in-you-mouth whole roasted Black Angus beef tenderloin put us over the edge of fullness. But not before we could try one of the tempting desserts: Chocolate Fourplay – classic chocolaty desserts reimagined into unusual decadent compositions.

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was offered complimentary lodging, dining and tours for editorial consideration. While it has not influenced this review, Examiner.com believes in full disclosure.

 

Originally posted on Examiner.

About Michele McIntyre

Michele McIntyre is a freelance writer who covers spas, travel, fitness, wellness, beauty and healthy living/eating. She is happiest when lying face up on the treatment table, writing about her spa and travel experiences or testing new products to share with her readers. She lives near Syracuse, NY with her husband and son. Michele is a regular travel contributor to LivingBetterat50+ and has written for Today’s Central New York Woman Magazine and online at Tripology, TripAtlas, and Splash Magazines Worldwide. Michele blogs about the spa and travel industry, and anything else she can think of, at everythingspa.wordpress.com. When she isn't writing about or visiting spas, Michele loves traveling, hiking, skiing, camping, yoga and reading. If any of these pursuits can be combined with a visit to the spa, even better! Michele can be reached at [email protected]

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Grand Teton Lodging Company Offers Grand Hospitality in Grand Teton Nat’l Park