Inspired by the golden era of ski hotels and the craftsmanship of mid-century Americana, Caldera House is born of the same pioneering spirit as the resort of Jackson Hole itself. The task of creating the hotel’s alluring look fell to LA-based design collective Commune, who looked back to the archives for inspiration, channeling the glamour of Sixties and Seventies ski hotels as they honed their inch-perfect interiors. A team of designers and architectural studios were brought in to work on each of the suites, which feature furniture from across the Americas and work from creative heavyweights like John Pawson and Patricia Urquiola. But as any resident of Wyoming would tell you, good looks can only get you so far in these mountains, which is why the owners partnered with one of Jackson’s best-loved restaurants and snagged an expert concierge team, ensuring Caldera House is so much more than a pretty face.
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from £1686.04 ($2,200), including tax at 10 per cent.
In winter, rates include breakfast; in summer months they don’t ($35 a person). All stays include dedicated concierge and butler service; and non-alcoholic drinks and snacks from your minibar.
Hotel guests get access to the Members Lounge, the mid-century haunt of the hotel’s Alpine Club. A continental breakfast is served there each morning, and you can order food through from the restaurant later in the day. A copper-clad bar keeps the drinks in healthy supply, including Irish coffees, which are best enjoyed on the mountain patio.
The hotel is closed each year from 1 October to 23 November and from 8 April to 31 May.
At the hotel
Fitness studio; luxury ski room; sports shop; free WiFi throughout; laundry. In rooms: flatscreen TV; iPad-controlled sound system; minibar; Nespresso coffee machine; kettle and tea; kitchenette with top-of-the-range appliances; wood-burning stove; Le Labo bath products.
Our favourite rooms
One thing's for certain: there’s no such thing as a dud room at Caldera House. Each of the eight suites has been designed down to the finest of details – whether that’s the lustre and rich grain of a wooden floor, the texture of a stone wall or the colour of the crockery, chosen to match the kitchen and dining room. We could wax lyrical about all eight of them, but in the end, choosing one will come down to the size of your party and the design that grabs you the most.
There’s a large, infinity-edge hot tub on a terrace overlooking the valley – the perfect spot for your apre-ski or post-hike soak. In the depths of winter, order a whiskey or two for added warmth.
Having limbered up in the plunge pool, step into the spa, where there’s a cedarwood sauna and a treatment room. The therapists are experts in restoring muscles that have been tested by Jackson Hole’s mountainous terrain, and can tailor massages to specific problem areas. The facials are also geared towards the alpine climate, using cutting-edge technology to rejuvenate skin that’s been put through its paces by cold or dry air. If you want to save yourself a walk, individual and couples’ treatments can be done in-suite.
Don’t forget your GoPro. In summer, you’ll capture first-person views as you clamber over precipitous peaks; in winter, film your death-or-glory descent into Corbet’s Couloir, Jackson Hole’s most (in)famous run.
All the public areas are wheelchair accessible, and the Yellowstone Suite is ADA compliant.
All ages are very welcome. Both the two- and four-bedroom suites have ample room for families, and there’s no shortage of activities to keep little Smiths occupied. Babysitting is available for $60 an hour; a day’s notice is needed when booking.
Go for one (or two) of the half-moon booths, which make for a particularly sociable dinner.
Channel the Sixties and Seventies apre-ski looks that would have graced the cover of a magazine – off-white turtlenecks, mohair and anything Moncler.
The Old Yellowstone Garage was a Jackson mainstay before the days of Caldera House, but the hotel’s arrival marked an opportunity for it to ascend to new heights. Like the rest of the hotel, the ‘OYG’ will delight design devotees but still manages to exude cosiness, helped on its way by warm-toned wood, henna-red half-moon booths and a shimmering bar front. Executive chef Paulie O’Conner describes the cuisine as ‘new world Italian’, focusing on comfort food that’s underpinned by quality ingredients and time-honoured cooking methods. The salads are juicy, the meat succulent and the pasta fresh but not over sauced, proving that even the basic ingredients get their due. The Southcable Cafe is the hotel’s casual eatery, perfect for a quick bite or round of beers before heading up the mountain. If you’re keen to hit the slopes first thing, swing by for a breakfast burrito, which rivals any in the village.
The bar is part of the Old Yellowstone Garage, but that doesn't mean it plays second fiddle to the food. Rows of fine spirits are arranged along glass shelves suspended above the shimmering bar, but its the curved glass wine cellar that takes the Oscar, displaying each bottle as if it were a prize exhibit. Whiskey and bourbon have feature roles too, ensuring you can try a different nightcap every night of the week.
The Old Yellowstone Garage serves breakfast from 8am to 10pm, lunch from 11am to 4pm, and dinner from 5.30pm to 9pm. The bar is open from 5.30pm to 10pm. The Members Lounge is open from 8am to 10pm; food can be ordered from OYG restaurant.
Room service can be ordered from 7am to 10pm; the menu is a reduced selection from the Old Yellowstone Garage. Snacks from your mini bar are free, and include elk jerky, chocolate chip cookies, protein bars, popcorn and crisps.
Caldera House is next to the cable car station in Teton Village, the gateway to the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
Jackson Hole Airport is closest. Flights from the UK and Europe involve a change – Denver, Houston and Dallas are all popular. It takes just over 30 minutes to drive from Jackson Hole Airport to the hotel. Private transfers can be arranged for $84 each way.
You won’t need your own set of wheels if you plan on staying inside the resort and valley, but if you want to explore Teton and Yellowstone national parks, it certainly won’t hurt to have your own. (If you decide to hire, the Smith24 team can arrange it.) The hotel offer free valet parking throughout your stay, so you’ll never need to walk to your car.
Worth getting out of bed for
Right next door to Jackson Hole’s iconic ‘Big Red’ cable car, Caldera House couldn’t be better placed for exploring the mountains on its doorstep – but that doesn’t make it any easier to tear yourself away. Not only have you got the siren call of your inch-perfect suite to contend with, there’s also the lure of the lobby, with its supple leather lounge chairs, sculptural lighting and wooden ceiling that’s such a rich auburn it seems to smoulder in the firelight. Pull up a stool at the copper-clad bar in the members lounge and you may find that time skips forward a few hours – these things happen when you swap stories through the glow of a whiskey fog. (Take it from us, the collection here is well worth a little amnesia). Add to that a seductive spa and the lure of the Old Yellowstone Garage, one of Jackson’s best-loved restaurants, and you’ve got a iron-clad case for staying home.
Then again, this is Wyoming, home to some of the most stirring landscapes in the West. Glancing out of the window is enough to give anyone a thirst for natural thrills, which is why Caldera House has an expert concierge team to help you make the most of your time. In winter, these movers and shapers will help you get the best of the snow, whether that means organising lessons in the resort, guides for a backcountry expedition or a chopper for a day’s heliskiing. If you’re after something a little different, try dog-sledding or fat biking (mountain bikes with thick, studded tires for tackling winter conditions). Once the snow melts, there’s even more on offer as the landscape opens up – white water rafting, hiking, rock climbing and horse riding with cowboys are just a few of the options. It’s not all strenuous, either: those looking for a more leisurely pace will find it bathing in hot springs, going stargazing or taking a photography class. And if Teton national park isn't enough to contend with, Yellowstone, with its steaming geysers and vivid hot springs, it’s just up the valley.
Persephone Bakery is Jackson’s favourite brunch spot, known for its fluffy pastries, sugar-dusted waffles and maple-doused French toast. If you tend to swing towards the savoury side, the omelettes, salads and grilled sandwiches will keep you right. The hot drinks are the other big draw – there are drippers and cold brews for the coffee aficionados, and winter warmers like turmeric lattes and chai for the tea fiends. If you’re looking for a fragrant lunch, try Teton Thai, sought for its spicy noodles, vibrant stir fries and classic curries like massaman and panang. Many of the dishes pair best with beer – go for a brew from a Jackson Hole micro brewery or an import from Japan, then round off the meal with sake from Shimane or Kyoto. Trattoria Glorietta brings a touch of old-world Italy to Jackson, pairing soulful food with an early 20th-century aesthetic – grainy wall panelling, gleaming white tiles and globe lamps. Start with plump olives and antipasto, then follow with one of the handmade pasta dishes – try the ricotta cavatelli, made with spicy sausage, brown butter and sage – or the rabbit confit, served with capers, lemon and shallots.
If you’re willing to make the trip into Jackson, speakeasy-style bar The Rose is the place for all things shaken and stirred. Their craft cocktails are easily some of the best in town, made with plenty of fresh ingredients. If you’re keen to check out the local aprés ski, try the cavernous Mangy Moose saloon, where the walls are decked with Americana and the namesake moose is suspended from the ceiling. It’s at the foot of the mountain in Teton Village, making it a breeze to arrive and little more than a stumble to get home.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this slopeside hotel in Wyoming and unpacked their GoPro camera and elk jerky, a full account of their wilderness break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Caldera House in Jackson Hole…
Stood next door to the bottom station of Jackson Hole’s iconic cable car, you can’t help but think that Caldera House is right where it should be. Not only were both designed to scale new heights, physical or otherwise, they also share something in their DNA: a touch of continental glamour borrowed from the Alps. Back in the 1960s, Jackson Hole’s owners chose to build a cable car precisely because it would give the resort a European feel (cable cars are few and far between in North American ski resorts). The decision more than paid off, helping to put the resort on the map – or at on least postcards, anyway.
All these years later, a hotel has moved in next door that shares this Euro-flecked makeup and desire to take things all the way to the top. Every room is a design-lover's delight – one glance is enough to see that every shade of wood was pored over, every thick-piled rug sourced to match its surroundings to a fault. But while the hotel may have roots in Alpine design, it’s also very much born of Wyoming, incorporating that all-American lodge style that’s synonymous with these mountains – a look that’s cosy yet rugged at the same time. Add to that the warmth of the hospitality and an expert concierge team who know the area like the back of their hands, and you’ve got a standard-setting hotel that captures the spirit of these beautiful mountains.
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