by Diana Lambdin Meyer
The sanctity of Mother Earth is the focus throughout Hotel Terra, a somewhat European-style boutique hotel located in the heart of Teton Village. Opened in 2008 with an additional wing completed in 2009, Hotel Terra is 100-percent LEED certified, which makes a visit here a healthy choice for your family and one that engages your children in environmental discussions. For example, if they’ve never used a dual flush toilet, you’ll have to show them which button is for what, and then explain why. Hotel Terra is proud that the installation of these toilets saves about 18,000 gallons of water per year.
Hotel Terra is just a few steps from the gondola and tram, taking guests to the top of the ski slopes, and a ski valet is one of the treasured amenities that many previous guests rave about. The hotel is also centrally located in the midst of Teton Village, an energetic and compact community of shops, restaurants, hotels and year-round amenities right at the base of the mountain. If there’s something you want or need that is not immediately available at Hotel Terra, the concierge will immediately connect you to what you want, just a few footsteps away.
Adults will appreciate the convenient and free outdoor parking year-round. In the winter, your vehicle will like the valet parking in the heated underground garage.
The entire property is smoke-free, and the strong Wi-Fi signal is complimentary. One of your favorite places to check in online might be on a cozy couch in the lobby living area in front of a warm, welcoming fire.
The sixth floor’s rooftop deck is considered the best spot in Jackson Hole to watch the Fourth of July fireworks, or to do a little stargazing any night of the year.
Our Editor Loves
- Eco-friendly features
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Fireplaces in suites and studios
- Horse Back Riding
- Water Sports
- Onsite Dining
Rooms & Rates
When you check in, Hotel Terra's staff will explain a few operational matters about your room that are consistent with the hotel's eco-friendly mission. One item is the master light switch that turns off everything in the room when you leave. Now wouldn't that be great at home for your kids who leave every light in the house on?
With 132 rooms on six floors, the choices for families range from small studio-style rooms to three-bedroom suites. The studio size, obviously, is small, but includes a Murphy bed and a kitchen and dining area.
The traditional guest room comes with two Queens or a King bed, and a nice space for removing snow boots, coats and other bulky items just inside the door.
Suites are available in one-, two- and three-bedroom variations, and include a number of amenities, including balconies or terraces, full kitchens and multiple flat-screen HD TVs. Ask about some of the suites that have Murphy bed options if you think your kids would get a kick out of that unusual choice.
For rooms with kitchenettes, daily housekeeping services are included in the room price. Grocery stocking services are also available.
The suites and the studio rooms have gas-burning fireplaces, and oh, on those cold mornings, the natural heat from the bathroom floors is so lovely.
Cribs and rollaway beds are available at no additional charge. Boot driers are also tucked away in the closet, and all rooms have iPod Docking stations. DVD players are available to rent at the front desk, along with a huge collection of family-friendly DVDs at no extra charge. Coin-operated guest laundry facilities are available on each floor.
As a part of the eco-friendly initiative, all beds use organic mattresses and use a salt-water based retardant, rather than toxic flame-retardants. The sheets, towels, bath mats and bathrobes are also made from 100 percent organic cotton. Bathroom counter tops are made from recycled glass.
Unfortunately, you won't be able to take home leftover shampoo, soaps and lotions. These are provided in refillable aluminum pump cans and should stay in the room. But if you really like these all-natural products, they are for sale in the Chill Spa retail area.
Hotel Terra is located right at the base of Teton Village Resort and you can ski directly to the front door and drop your skis off. One of the best restaurants in Jackson is located in the hotel. And the bar Enoteca is prime time. There is a heated pool and roof top hot tub and both are very nice. The rooms are very nice and come with ski boot driers. Hotel Terra is right in the middle of the ski village and is within walking distance from all shops and restaurants. Definitely recommend staying at the Hotel Terra.
Our experience with the Hotel Terra was as follows:
Room: We had a one-bedroom suite, which was fantastic on the inside. It was beautifully decorated in modern Western decor. There were two full baths and a gas fireplace. But the view was absolutely terrible -- our windows faced the wall of the next-door building. We should have had a much better view, given the amount we were paying. Our room would have been better suited as hotel office space.
Staff: The staff was friendly and accommodating. We found them particularly helpful with getting reservations at popular venues and activities.
Location: The location is great (the Four Seasons location is arguably better, but much more expensive). The Hotel Terra is ski in / ski out, and next door to a very nice skating rink and a snow playground for the kids. One morning, we even had three moose outside the hotel.
Pools: There are two very nice outdoor heated pools. The one on the third floor allows kids, and the one on the roof is for adults only.
Laundry: There are free washers and dryers on each floor, although both dryers on our floor were broken.
Room service warning: If you have kids who like typical kid food, the room service dinner menu probably will not work for you. It is froufrou, and does not include a kids menu or even any bar food.
Transportation: The hotel does not offer shuttle service to the Jackson town square or the Jackson Hole Airport (that is totally understandable, given the distances). For the airport, you can take a taxi, which costs $70 for two people, and $10 for each additional person. The hotel is happy to set that up for you. As to going to the town square, you can take the bus for $3, assuming you are okay with a few stops along the way.
Cancellation policy: You must take the non-cancellation policy seriously. If you cannot get to the hotel because of a canceled flight, missed flight connection, illness or emergency, you will still be charged full price for your room. So get travel insurance that covers all scenarios.
Ultimately, we recommend the Hotel Terra. But, given the terrible view from our room, we cannot give our particular experience an exception review. That being said, we will likely stay there again as long as we can get a guarantee of a better view.
Since the hotel is located about a mile from Grand Teton National Park, the variety and sheer volume of ways for a family to enjoy their stay in the area is innumerable. Therefore, Hotel Terra doesn't have a specific children's program, but the concierge is well-informed about activities around the region for all seasons. From horseback riding and canoe trips in the summer to ice-skating and snowmobile rides in the winter, your family won't lack for things to do.
Guests at Hotel Terra have access to all the public amenities of Teton Village. In fact, no other hotel in the Village is as close to the playground and spraygrounds as Hotel Terra. Parents who have asked for rooms facing the Village Commons can comfortably sit on their balconies or terraces and watch their children play. In the winter months, this Village Commons is converted into a snow castle for children to run through and enjoy.
A bungee trampoline and climbing wall for older children is a little farther away (out of sight) but still easy accessible and open to guests at Hotel Terra.
Without ever leaving the Teton Village, guests can access mountain bike trails, disc golf, horseback riding and regular golf. Plus, there's about a dozen shops for souvenir or clothing shopping. For the shopping part, however, steer your children to the coolest shop inside Hotel Terra - M.A.D.E. Keeping with the hotel's theme, the shop only sells items from local craft artisans and prefers products that use recycled materials.
The third floor outdoor pool is a delightful infinity pool with two levels created by the run-off of the infinity effect. The pool is on the smaller side and ranges from 3 to 4 feet in depth.
The Terra CafÃ©, open for breakfast and lunch, offers a healthy selection of home-baked goods, soups, salads and wraps. The intimate setting allows kids to explore a separate room where a wall-size chalkboard welcomes their creativity, and other toys entertain while mom and dad enjoy conversation or newspaper over a cup of free-trade organic coffee.
Il Villaggio Osteria is a family-friendly Italian restaurant open for dinner only. A see-through bookshelf separates the more casual bar area from a more formal dining area where floor to ceiling windows offer a view of the many activities in the village common area. However, your children might prefer a seat in the bar area right in front of the wood-fired oven so they can watch their pizza under construction.
Otherwise, at least a dozen more dining choices are located throughout the Village, all within easy walking distance from Hotel Terra.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Tucked away, just out of sight behind the registration desk at Hotel Terra, is a big basket of little stuffed animals. A bison, a bear, an elk and an eagle are among the little furry friends that are offered to your children at no charge when you arrive.
If it's summertime, your family will receive a big bag filled with the ingredients for making S'mores in the Village Commons' fire pit, just through the hotel's back door. Also in the summer months, Hotel Terra hosts feathered friends from the nearby Teton Raptor Center in presentations a few times per month.
Because this is a vacation/resort community, babysitting services abound throughout the area. Hotel Terra contracts with several highly rated companies for their guests. Talk with the concierge about your needs and please allow at least 24 hours notice.
The Chill Spa is arguably the premiere spa in the region, and is for adults only, however, children and teenagers' spa requests may be accommodated at the nearby (walking distance) Teton Mountain Lodge, Hotel Terra's sister property. Because of its eco-friendly nature, manicure services are not offered here either. Finding a nail polish with appropriate ingredients has been a challenge.
The gym is open to any guest 14 and older. In the summer months, yoga and Zumba classes are available as well.
The Art of Smart Timing
The busiest time at Hotel Terra is when the snow is deep on the slopes of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. That's usually Thanksgiving until late March/early April. The winter months are when the majority of rooms at Hotel Terra are filled with families.
Of course, with its proximity to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone a little farther away, Hotel Terra is also very busy in the summer months.
As always, the best rates are in the off-season and for Jackson Hole, that's the months of April and May and September to mid-October. Specifically Hotel Terra closes for about three weeks in mid-October, opening up again just before families arrive for the Thanksgiving holiday and hopefully an early snow on the slopes.
Hotel Terra is located in Teton Village, which is about 15 minutes from the town of Jackson in Wyoming. The Village is about 30 minutes from the Jackson Hole Airport (JAC). Shuttle service is provided to the Village during ski season.
For Mom and Dad
The Chill Spa has a lovely couple's massage room that includes a whirlpool tub and fireplace. You'll also find some lovely intimate apparel for sale in the spa gift shop. Otherwise, the roof top hot tub is quite large and for adults only. It is open only until 7 p.m., so plan your time accordingly.