This summed it up fairly well, until they hit middle school and the burden of homework increased. Suddenly, our kids weren’t as interested in missing school. So, when the opportunity arose to take a long weekend as guests of Alta Lodge, I approached our boys gingerly. “Would you consider missing a Friday to go to Alta?” I asked. The answer was a resounding “YES!”
Off we went to make some memories.
The Alta Lodge Experience
Picture this: One place, a special place, where everything you need for a family ski vacation is on site. It’s not a mega-resort, but an intimate, cozy ski lodge. It’s not a cookie-cutter corporate destination, but a family owned and operated inn, with large, comfortable rooms and striking mountain views.
There’s a dining room serving fresh, delicious food (think of that – the only decision you have to make is what to eat, not where to eat!). For après ski fun there are two indoor hot tubs, with floor to ceiling views, a large deck room with a big screen TV, as well as comfy couches on which to read together and tables where you can play games. The main lobby has a roaring fire and upstairs, just for adults, is the classic après ski Sitzmark Club bar.
And just for kids, well, downstairs is where it happens for them. Beginning at 4:30 each afternoon, guests between the ages of 4 and 12 can meet at the Kids’ Club to play supervised games, hang out, make crafts and enjoy being kids. There is even a special kids’ dinner each night in the main dining room.
After dinner, the fun continues with games, ping-pong, movies and more until the program ends at 8:15 p.m. And it’s all free, provided by the Lodge for the enjoyment of their youngest guests (and let’s be honest, the parents like it, too!).
Come morning, the Alta Lodge provides a free shuttle to and from the ski school and Alta Childrens’ Center. All mom and dad have to do is get the kids ready to go by 8:45 a.m. Then it’s time to dash off for first tracks or slow down for a leisurely breakfast before heading out to ski.
Options for Everyone
The beauty of the on site Kids’ Club is that it gives families options. Parents can enjoy an après ski beer in the Sitzmark, while their children make Christmas ornaments (at least during December) with Lauren, the supervisor/fun specialist. The family can reunite for dinner one night. On another night, the kids can eat and play together, while the parents have a romantic dinner together. Everyone is cared for, everyone is accommodated, everyone is happy.
This is the Alta Lodge experience: World-class skiing, top-notch accommodations, fine dining and wines and an atmosphere that is both subtly elegant and so casual that families feel totally at home.
All that’s left up to you is having fun and making memories, together.
A Little History
If you haven’t been to Alta, a bit of background is helpful. Alta is, simply put, a legendary ski area. This season, the mountain celebrates is 75th birthday, commemorating January 15th, 1938, the day when Utah’s first chairlift began turning.
The Alta Lodge opened the next season with 12 rooms, a bar and a dining room. The Levitt Family purchased the Lodge in 1959 and their children were raised in Alta, working in the family business and enjoying the unique pleasures of growing up in a tiny, isolated town with no school building, but some of the best skiing in the world. Their father became Alta’s longest serving mayor and the family continues to run the Lodge.
Make It A Tradition
The Alta Lodge has a long family tradition – both in ownership and in emphasis. Many guests have returned to Alta Lodge for decades, booking the same week year-after-year. While we were visiting, we met Naomi. Before we met her, we knew she would be special. She has her own room in the newer wing, and we saw her at most meals, pleasantly holding court with other guests, waving at newcomers and sharing her zest for skiing. When we met her, we were amazed to learn that she is 90, going on 91, and skiing almost every day. She’s been coming to Alta since 1965.
We’ve been coming to Alta since 2007. I can only hope that when I’m 90, we will be able to meet our sons and their families for skiing, fun and memories at The Alta Lodge.
When You Go…
Children 12 and under stay and eat free at The Alta Lodge during early and late season with a four-night minimum. Take the kids out of school and go! You won’t regret it.
This winter, early season runs through December 15th (that means you can go this weekend or next!). Late season is April 1-14th.
During the rest of the season, the price per child is $55 per night for ages 4-6 and $85 per night for ages 7 – 12. For older kids sharing a room with their parents, the charge is $105 per night. Children under 4 are always free.
Room choices range from large corner rooms with three beds (PERFECT for a family!) to smaller rooms in the old Lodge, and everything in between. Room rates are based on double occupancy and all guests receive a full breakfast, with cook-to-order options, afternoon tea (save room!) and a gourmet four course dinner. An à la carte lunch is also served each day.
For more information, please visit AltaLodge.com.
- Alta, Utah: The Ski Gang’s All Here, December 4, 2012.
- The Five Alta Lodges: History, Charm and Family Fun, February 7, 2012.
- Ski Trip Report: Alta Moguls, Ski School and More, December 20, 2011.
- What’s New At Alta? You’ll Have to Look Under the Snow, March 31, 2011.
- The Pineapple Express Diary, Part Three, Skiing Alta, December 29, 2010.
- Alta: Wild, Wonderful and Welcoming (Unless You’re a Snowboarder), November 17, 2010.
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