Here are a few of my favorite things: girls' trips, skiing, skiing on girls’ trips, mountain towns, and boutique hotels. Combine them all and you get one of the best budget-friendly getaways in the Mountain West: The Anvil Hotel in Jackson, Wyoming.
Hi, again! Madeleine here, PLEIN AIR Founder. If you didn’t catch it, I recently attended the Elevate Women’s Ski Camp with my best friend, Maura, where we spent four back-to-back days skiing and improving our skills at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR). To read more about the camp experience, you can check out the review of it here— TL;DR: it was a blast and I highly recommend everyone attend a ski camp with their bestie at least once in their lifetime. If you need a bestie to go with, I’m planning to go again next year and would love to see you there!
Speaking from experience, Elevate is a great camp to start with because, aside from the world-class instructions, you get to spend the week in the iconic wild-west town of Jackson, Wyoming. Can I get a yeehaw?! I’ve taken a girls' trip to Jackson annually (sometimes twice a year), for the past five or so years now, so I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert when it comes to staying in this popular ski destination. I’ve stayed in town, in the village, and in the nearby Wilson neighborhood. There are of course pros and cons to all stays, and we’ll get to those in this review, but for a girls’ ski trip, I recommend staying in town within walking distance of all of the best bars and restaurants. Here’s why:
If you’ve never been, it’s important to know the ski resort is a solid 20-minute drive from town, without traffic, meaning you’ll either have to commute to the village for skiing if you’re staying in town or commute to the town for dinner and nightlife if you’re staying in the village (or elsewhere). After a long day of skiing, I’ve always found it easier to hop in the car right away and get back to town— if I spend too much time off my feet, there’s no chance I’m making that drive to town. Thus, it’s better to stay in a location that’s central to the best après (and après-après) happenings.
Enter: The Anvil Hotel. Situated just one block from Jackson’s Town Square, this renovated rustic-modern motel has everything you need, and nothing you don’t for a great trip with the girls.
I like to classify this stay as a beautiful, practical, budget-friendly haven— It has the aesthetics of a beautifully designed hotel, the practical amenities you need for a ski trip, and none of the frills that run up the cost of your stay. So let’s get into the nitty-gritty, shall we?
The Many Pros of Staying at The Anvil
1. Comfortable Western Quarters
When you’re headed on a trip out west, you want a hotel that fits that part, don’t you? Fully renovated in 2017, this hotel holds true to Jackson’s renowned Western design style. After purchasing the property and making plans for a new look, the owners, Jackson and Erik Warner, required their Brooklyn-based design team to live in Jackson for a calendar year to fully understand the town’s culture and style before making any changes. The best part? They didn’t sacrifice aesthetics for storage or space when refreshing these rooms. I’m a certified over-packer and I found there was ample storage space for all of my ski gear and clothing in the deluxe double queen room. With a ski rack for gear, shelving and hangers for clothes, a shoe rack for clunky winter boots, and additional storage space under the sink— I found it easy to stay organized during my week-long stay.
2. The Town’s Best Italian Restaurant
Part of what makes Jackson Hole such an iconic mountain town is the elite offering of casual and fine dining options. Ask any local and they’ll tell you Glorietta is one of the most beloved dinner spots around. Located on the Anvil property, this cozy Italian restaurant is the perfect place to post up after a long day on the mountain. Not only is the food to die for, but your tired legs won’t have to walk far given it’s a few steps from the hotel rooms. Plus, the homey atmosphere makes it even easier to unwind as you indulge. I’ve had the pleasure of dining here on many trips to Jackson and it is hands-down one of my favorite places to eat. The menu changes seasonally, but my most recent favorite items were the Ricotta Crostini, the Casarreci Pasta, the Prime NY Strip, and of course, the Tiramisu.
3. Location Location Location
As mentioned, staying in a central location to all of the bars and restaurants in town is ideal for exploring all Jackson has to offer. Geographically speaking, it’s best to situate yourself as close to Town Square as possible. You know those famous antler arches that you see in every tourist photo? Those arches adorn the four corners of the Town Square and serve as a marker for all things shopping, dining, and entertainment, like The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. The Anvil Hotel is situated just one block away from the North East arch, making it (almost too) easy to trot over the Cowboy Bar every night, a ritual I became well-accustomed to during my stay.
4. Cozy Lobby for Lounging, Shopping, and Coffee-Sipping
While this property was once a motel, you wouldn’t guess it from the cozy lodge feels coming from inside the lobby. On cold wintery days, guests can relax by the wood-burning fireplace and enjoy complimentary drip coffee while reading or playing board games. The lobby Mercantile also offers beautifully made boutique goods for when you’re too cozy to go shopping in town. If you’re working remotely at all during your stay, this lobby is a great place to hunker down and get some work done.
5. Budget-Friendly Rates
Jackson Hole is infamously known as a millionaire’s (often billionaire’s) playground and because of that, the local lodging rates can reflect as such. Luckily, The Anvil Hotel makes it easy to find a more affordable stay without sacrificing on quality or comfort. Room rates vary by season, but as of now, nightly rates in February are starting at as low as $156/night.
The Few Cons of Staying at The Anvil
1. No On-Property Hot Tub
There is, unfortunately, no hot tub on the property, so if soaking in hot water is part of your après ski recovery routine, I would recommend springing for a room with a bathtub, like the deluxe double queen that I stayed in. Additionally, you could also make time to visit any one of the nearby hot springs, like the Astoria Hot Springs or the Granite Hot Springs (Keep in mind: in the winter, the road to the Granite Hot Springs is limited to snowmobiles, dog sled tours, fat bikes, and cross-country skis).
2. Low-Level Sound-Proofing
Since the hotel structure was originally built as a motel, the soundproofing between rooms is somewhat lackluster. Luckily, the hotel does a great job of policing its quiet hours and has an after-hours security service on call to enforce them. We experienced a nearby neighbor playing loud music well past the quiet hours and security quickly took care of it. If you’re a light sleeper, I’d recommend packing earbuds or a noise-canceling sleep mask just in case.
We loved staying at The Anvil Hotel, and hope you will too! If you do stay there, don’t be a stranger — tag us in photos of your stay (@intopleinair and @anvilhoteljackson.)