There aren’t a lot of options for sleeping slopeside at Idaho ski resorts, but the Humbird Schweitzer Hotel is a recent addition that offers a stylish and upscale option at one of the region’s largest ski resorts.
I’ve been on two Idaho ski trips and have hit the slopes at 10 different resorts in all. Schweitzer is one of the best I experienced for its challenging 2,900 acres of terrain and a village at the bottom where you can grab a drink or something to eat. There are homes nearby and three hotels now that Humbird is open, so it feels like a living and breathing community rather than a place where everyone comes for the day and then drives home.
On top of that, Sandpoint Idaho is just down the mountain, visible from some of the slopes, and that’s an attractive small town with a “Main Street USA” feel and a great brewpub housed in what was a historic post office building. (Read my whole story about touring the area here: Skiing on the Surface of the Idaho Panhandle.)
Design-focused Humbird Hotel at Schweitzer
This innovative hotel next to Schweitzer’s ski lifts is not your typical hastily thrown-up cookie-cutter hotel that looks like the big bad wolf could blow it down if he huffs and puffs enough. It’s like a modern interpretation of the great timber lodges of old, except that this time the wood beams are compressed and pressurized, making them as strong as steel beams but more attractive and warm to look at.
The hotel is named after a lumber company that was the largest employer in the area for decades and you can’t look in any direction without seeing wood, a nice change from many new hotels where it’s all wallpaper and paint on drywall. There are a lot of historic photos as well as subtle design touches to take in as you explore. For instance, if you know Morse Code, you’ll see a message spelled out in the lights along the length of the bar.
While this isn’t a huge hotel, they’ve also designed it to be innovative when it comes to the public spaces on offer. Instead of meeting rooms, there’s a co-working space designed for those who want to extend their vacation and live out the remote work version of a ski bum. The “Glass Room” is a space with floor-to-ceiling windows that has a free-standing fireplace, a big TV for sporting events, a foosball table, and games. It’s a great spot for private parties.
I didn’t use the fitness room, but it’s a well-equipped gym with brand-new aerobic machines, weight machines, dumbells, balls, and yoga mats. This hotel has found an innovative way around staff shortages: the front desk where you check in doubles as a good coffee shop, where you can get your latte to go.
When I stayed in March of 2022, parts of the hotel were still under construction, namely the hot tub area where you can go loosen up your muscles after a day of skiing. It’s supposedly open now, but the PR person couldn’t come up with a photo and there’s still nothing on their website, so you’ll have to take it on faith that you can add that to your itinerary.
Meanwhile, guests of Humbird have access to the facilities of older slopeside hotel Selkirk Lodge. That one has a large outdoor hot tub and the heated pool you see at the bottom of this review.
Walk to the Lifts at Schweitzer Ski Resort
This hotel isn’t quite “ski-in, ski-out,” but almost. You’ll only have to carry your skis for a few minutes through the village area to reach the lodge and lifts of Schweitzer. Then you have access to what is billed as the largest ski area in Washington and Idaho. Despite that, lift tickets are still reasonable by Colorado or Utah standards: $110 if purchased in advance, $100 to reload.
When you walk over to where the clock tower is, where they ring the bell each morning when the lifts open, you can go straight onto one of two quad lifts or head to the beginner’s area for lessons. There are multiple places to stop for lunch, not just in the village but on the mountains as well.
Humbird Hotel Rooms
Rooms at Humbird have a Scandinavian minimalist vibe, everything in its place and well-chosen. There’s lots of blonde wood furniture, including the dressers, bedside tables, and platform bed with a quality mattress.
Offsetting this is gray carpeting with a subtle pattern and a nice leather armchair and window seat to enjoy the natural light streaming in. Although you probably won’t use the wooden stool to get long bouts of work done (hey, you’re at a mountain resort anyway), you do get nice terrycloth robes and a big flat-screen TV.
Lighting is good and easy to figure out, including reading lights on each side of the bed. There are plugs there too for charging your gadgets. A tea kettle, safe, and fridge are in place. (A coffee shop and mini mart across the street has food and drink items to go.)
Bathrooms are standard size and outfitted with gray tiles and glass. The rain shower is joined by a hand shower and all the bath amenities are in refillable large glass bottles to keep plastic waste to a minimum.
Dining at the Crow’s Bench
The Crow’s Bench restaurant is intentionally spare in design, with the focus being the fireplace at one end, the architecture, and the plates of food coming out from the kitchen.
The menu is surprisingly sophisticated, with a central European leaning, but still meant to give you some filling options after a day on the slopes. I went for the maultaschen appetizer that featured forest mushroom dumplings, serrano ham, and parsley sauce, which was delicious. Other starters include a vichyssoise, elk carpaccio, and meatballs made from bison, elk, and wild boar.
For a main dish, my table ordered all four items and shared so we could try the wiener schnitzel, pork chop, roast game hen, and dry-aged steak.
Booking a Stay at Humbird Schweitzer
For now anyway, the only way to book a room at Humbird Hotel at Schweitzer is through the official website here or through the ski resort’s site. Perhaps because they only have 31 rooms, they don’t have to try very hard to fill them, so they don’t want to share the revenue with the likes of Expedia. For many of the dates I spot-checked, they were already sold out. If you have your own wheels, check availability at the lovely Talus Rock Resort outside of Sandpoint.
Assuming there’s an opening, rates start at around $220 and junior suites at around $350, but these go up on busy holiday weekends. Schweitzer has mountain biking, hiking, and other activities during the warm months so the hotel is available then as well.