By any definition, Ketchum, ID is a small mountain town. But it’s a small-town oozing with big destination appeal. The town has easy access to adjacent Sun Valley and a nearby airport (SUN) about 15 miles south in Hailey (Friedman Memorial Airport). Currently, airlines that service the area include Delta, Alaska and United with flights to hubs in Salt Lake City, Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, San Francisco and Chicago (ORD), which provides winter service.
Located in Wood River Valley beneath Bald Mountain and surrounded by the Sawtooth mountains, the area is a magnet for world-class skiing, hiking, trail riding, fishing and sports. It even has more than its share of great restaurants, art galleries and shopping. Come for the great outdoors but stay for festivals like Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Sun Valley Nordic Festival, Sun Valley Ballet Festival and my favorite – Trailing of the Sheep in October.
Limelight Hotel Ketchum
The Limelight Hotel Ketchum is a winner if you’re looking for a convenient classy hub for your chosen activities. As Senior Manager Bert Witsil explained to me, “It’s affordable luxury with a 5-star property and location with 4-star amenities and 3+ prices.” Limelight Hotel Ketchum is also known for providing superior service.
A member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, the 93 rooms and 6 suites at Limelight Hotel Ketchum are known as “Idaho’s living room” because of the cozy comfort of the lounge and fireplace, wood-burning pizza oven and a contemporary bar and music that transcends across generations. The overall lobby is light, airy and pops with color, with a contemporary yet livable feel complemented with pleasing wood and glass décor and pockets of lime highlights.
The suites are accented with their signature lime-green accents, with nostalgic toys like plastic red View-Masters just begging to played with. So go ahead and engage your inner child. Just do it. High ceilings, large windows for loads of light and granite and marble finishing helps connect with the outrageous natural environment just outside your balcony. The view from room #420, a Deluxe with Juliet Balcony, looked out at Mt. Baldy to the left and Dollar and Proctor Mountains to the right. My single king bed was very conducive to restful sleep and I discovered the work nook to be a great place for catching up on work.
Amenities include a 50- inch flat-screen HD TV, high-speed wireless internet, Keurig coffeemaker and coffee cartridges and a general docking station. The room was well designed with convenient lights where you need them and power outlets for charging all my indispensable electrical gear and camera equipment I tote around.
The included breakfast starts at 7am with daily specials, meats and bakery goods that rotate. From pancakes, French toast, waffles, eggs, pastries, yogurt, fruit, granola to chorizo, sausage and my favorite – a thick-sliced, maple-infused cracked black pepper bacon. What’s not to like?
Nighttime brings an artisan menu of creative and seasonal dishes such as elk carpaccio or roasted beet salad with oranges, hazelnuts and goat cheese. You can’t go wrong with one of the popular crowd pleasers – gourmet pizzas baked fresh in their wood-fired pizza oven.
Inside, the hotel offers clean, contemporary lines and cozy seating in the lobby and bar area as well as a living room area where nightly music entertains. The hotel is essentially a gathering place for travelers and local residents who enjoy casual gatherings in a great room setting. The vibe is contemporary and inclusive.
The hotel grounds include a heated outdoor pool & Jacuzzi, fitness and business center and even electric car charging stations. The charging stations are a first in my hotel reviews and a welcome trend toward environment and sustainability.
The Limelight Hotel Ketchum sponsors an installation of artworks that were commissioned based on the theme of topography. Referred to as the Limelight Ketchum Contemporary Art Collection, the collection is displayed on the main level and represents the works of 16 international artists with 23 major graphic works. The environmental focus seeks connection with the natural, in particular the Northern Rockies.
A resort fee of 8% includes a bunch of complimentary add-ons including airport transfers, daily skier shuttles, ski valet, fitness center, WiFi, on-property ski lockers, snowshoe tours, cruiser bikes and local phone calls and domestic long distance. Know that Limelight Hotel Ketchum is pet-friendly, however they require a daily cleanup fee of $30.
Rates fluctuate based on season, day of the week/weekend and room selection, running generally between $215 to $370 per night. You can make your reservations directly with the hotel’s website or compare rates and book through Hotels.com.
If you want unfussy luxe at value-based pricing, with little luxuries and unexpected inclusions, then Limelight Hotel Ketchum is your preferred choice.
Hotel review by Albuquerque-based travel & food writer/photographer Karin Leperi, who was hosted for review purposes. All photos and text by Karin Leperi.