When choosing where to stay in Sun Valley, the obvious choice seems like it would be…well, Sun Valley. But the “Sun Valley” area actually encompasses four distinct towns—Bellevue, Hailey, Ketchum, and Sun Valley—all with their own distinct places to stay, restaurants for dining, sites for visiting, and room to explore.
The heart of it all, Ketchum will give anyone staying here the feel of what it’s like to really live in this area. Whether summer or winter, the close proximity to Bald Mountain allows visitors quick access to skiing, hiking, mountain biking, or even just a gorgeous gondola ride to the top. Ketchum is also easily walkable so no need to rent a car to explore the town. And while the price for accommodations here might be a little higher, they’re definitely worth it.
Ketchum’s newest addition to the hotel scene, Hotel Ketchum is a modern, boutique hotel located on Main Street within walking distance of all that Ketchum has to offer. The completely remodeled building now features beautiful community spaces including bar “The Hangout”, a fitness center, year-round outdoor heated swimming pool and hot tub and is home to events like pop-up shops and live music in summer as well as a rousing weekly trivia night on Wednesdays. Leave your gear in the hotel’s gear garage and get ready for their on-site ski shop, coming winter 2019. An on-site restaurant is set to open summer 2019 but in the mean time, enjoy Paddles Up Poké, where delicious bowls of this Hawaiian classic are available for lunch and dinner. Dogs are welcome!
With locations in Aspen and Snowmass, the Limelight Hotel chain has recently added their third location in Sun Valley. Located right on Main Street, the 93 room (and 6 suite) hotel is in a primary location for seeing all Ketchum has to offer. Its close proximity to the River Run side of Bald Mountain and their on-site ski, snowboard, and bike rental shop makes it a breeze to get active. With a lounge serving three meals a day and a happening après scene with live music, games, and a full bar, everything you need is right at your fingertips. And traveling with your furry friends? Limelight is dog-friendly!
For those on a budget, look no further than Ketchum’s only hostel, the Hot Water Inn. Literally across the street from the Warm Springs Base of Bald Mountain, this is a primary spot for those looking to crush runs on the mountain all day. The Inn also boasts quite a scene aside from its amenities as a hostel. Enjoy nightly entertainment from live bands to open mic night to bingo and swing dancing. The ground floor boasts a small bar, breakfast, and a rotation of pop-up culinary experiences (from ramen to Jamaican jerk cooking) coming from their kitchen. Its location on the local bus line makes going into town and coming back a breeze. If town is too far, try Apple’s Bar and Grill down the street for yummy lunch or hot dog stand Irving’s. Dogs are also welcome at the Hot Water!
A boutique hotel located just on the north side of Ketchum, the Knob Hill Inn is an exquisite stay complete with fine dining, a full bar, indoor heated pool and hot tub as well as a sauna. The Inn was recognized with a 2018 Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice Award as one of the top 25 small hotels in the United States. Their 29 guestrooms and suites offer a variety of options and their proximity to both Ketchum and Sun Valley can’t be beat. Dine at the Grill at Knob Hill, owned by Bob and Jolie Dunn, formerly of Warm Springs Ranch Restaurant, for sophisticated, northwest cuisine.
With two locations in town, Best Western is a great option for those looking for moderately priced accommodations within walking distance of Bald Mountain. The Kentwood Lodge is located on Main Street within walking distance of both everything in Ketchum and is an easy 2-minute bus ride to the River Run Side of the mountain. Wrap City Café is located next door and guests get $5 coupons to eat there. This location also boasts an indoor pool, spa, fitness room, and free lockers for ski and snowboard gear. The Tyrolean Lodge is located right at River Run base, a coup for those looking to get as many ski days in as they can. This Austrian-style, 52 room lodge has an outdoor, heated pool, hot tub, complimentary breakfast, exercise facility and even offers a local ski shuttle. This is as close to the mountain in Ketchum as you can get!
The Tamarack is located in the heart of downtown Ketchum, with numerous restaurants and shops located in the same block and many more to explore the further one wants to go from this Ketchum mainstay. The hotel has just completed part one of a two-part design remodel, giving the hotel a modernized ski lodge appearance while maintaining the Tamarack’s classic architectural elements. The hotel has great indoor pool, outdoor hot tub and is pet friendly.
Sun Valley is its own town with the resort itself making up a majority of the experiences to be had including ice shows, bowling, dining, golfing, skiing at Dollar, and more. A stay in Sun Valley is an all-encompassing experience; everything you need is located right within Sun Valley. Located only 1 mile from Ketchum, Sun Valley provides a great place to stay without being in the hustle and bustle of Main Street.
The main spot for staying in Sun Valley, the recently renovated Sun Valley Lodge is an icon for the area—even writer Ernest Hemingway used to stay here. With 108 rooms, a 20,000-square-foot spa, fitness center and yoga pool, and a glass-enclosed outdoor pool and café, the Lodge is a destination, luxury hotel. Enjoy bowling on the lower level of the lodge as well as dining at restaurant Gretchen’s and drinks and food at the famed Duchin Lounge.
Located in the heart of the Austrian-themed Sun Valley Village, the Sun Valley Inn is another newly remodeled icon of the area. Opened in 1937, the Inn’s European-inspired décor blends into the theme of the village and will leave you feeling like you’re staying at the foot of the Alps. The outdoor décor remains the same while the 97 rooms and other interior spaces have been updated to a more modern feel. Connected to the Inn are restaurant and bar The Ram and the new Village Station offers family-friendly food and fun.
Located 12 miles south of Ketchum, Hailey is where the majority of locals and their families set up shop, giving those who stay here a feel for the working class of the Sun Valley area. With its close proximity to the airport, Campion Ice House, Croy Canyon biking and hiking trails, and award-winning food from restaurants like CK’s and Zou 75, Hailey is truly its own experience.
Located on Main Street in the heart of downtown Hailey, the Wood River Inn & Suites is Hailey’s premier hotel. A recent remodel updated the hotel with more modern design as well as changes to be more environmentally-friendly such as switching all lights to LEDs, installing energy-saving thermostats in all their rooms and adopting a large scale solar panel project. The Inn has an indoor heated pool, hot tub, business and fitness centers and is one of the most pet-friendly hotels in the area by offering dog beds and bowls for canine family members.
Part of national franchise by Wyndham Hotels, AmericInn prides itself on the addition of Hailey, Idaho as one of their destinations. Located on the south end of Main Street in Hailey, the hotel is just minutes from the airport as well as Ketchum and Sun Valley. Enjoy amenities like free breakfast, an indoor pool and fitness center and explore all Hailey has to offer.
The Airport Inn Hailey is a welcome respite for weary travelers. Located just 0.8 miles from the airport, the newly-remodeled rooms at this Hailey hotel are available in several sizes and come with full kitchenettes.
This luxury bed & breakfast is a gem hidden in residential Hailey. The historic, 9-room inn features gourmet breakfasts, a study full of books, a sunroom, and on-site tennis courts, giving you the luxury of a world-class hotel in a more intimate setting.
While the town of Bellevue doesn’t get the kind of press that Ketchum and Sun Valley do, Bellevue has its own charms and sites and is reminiscent of Ketchum in its days before Starbucks and festivals. With close access to Silver Creek Preserve and Craters of the Moon, Bellevue is also only five miles from Hailey and 17 from Ketchum. You’ll enjoy all the amenities of the Sun Valley area at lower cost.
A brand-new boutique hotel, the Silver Creek has 56 rooms that combine comfort with modern luxuries and local services. Enjoy mountain views from the year-round, solar-heated outdoor pool and hot tub or enjoy your complimentary buffet-style breakfast and coffee bar. Pet friendly!
This no-frills motel is for the budget-friendly traveler. Rooms are available with kitchenettes and come with wi-fi. Enjoy a snack bar and outdoor bbq facilities.
For information on more experiential spots to shack-up, check out our story: