Hotel Terra, Jackson Hole, WY

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Leaving the Jackson Hole Airport and heading to the town of Jackson you pass the National Elk Refuge, home to 5,000 wintering elk. Real cowboys in thick leather chaps ferry tourists in horse drawn sleighs for up close looks at these magnificent creatures. However, the real work of these cowboys is preserving and protecting the world's largest wintering concentration of elk.

Cowboys in the old west were a very environmentally conscious breed - they had to be - they knew their lives and livelihood depended on the replenishment of nature's bounty.


Jackson Hole Mountain Resort wears it's western heritage as a badge of honor and it is no surprise that it is the home of arguably the world's premier eco-luxury resort hotel and spa - Hotel Terra.

What puts the Hotel Terra at the top of resort hotels striving to be green is that staying at the Hotel Terra you are so lapped in luxury you forget you are surrounded by conscious and countless choices made on your behalf that benefit the health of our planet.

As you may guess I am, of course, going to make you aware of many of these eco choices of the Hotel Terra and for one very good reason - so you know it can be done and so you can demand it be done and you can choose to stay where it has been done.

Western Eco Chic

21st century western homes of distinction architecturally seem to stretch from the tried and true rough hewn log frames to more landscaped stone and brick. Both impart the builders and owners attachment to nature and the modern interior furnishing also move to subtle tones of faux and natural skins done in various shades of earth tones.

This theme plays through the common area and the in-room furnishings at the Hotel Terra and comes to life more as you appreciate the essence of the materials.

From the 100% recycled "Eco Shake" roof shingles over your head to the Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) carpets under your feet to the mattresses under your body you are surrounded with tasteful and comfortable furnishings.

I am not exaggerating on the comfort. Stay at the Hotel Terra and I guarantee you will never again think 'going green' means sacrifices. For me, the number one test of a hotel's comfortableness is in the mattress. The Hotel Terra's 100% natural mattresses - made from a combination of recycled steel springs, natural latex and organic cotton and each saving 60 lbs of petrochemicals from going in to the environment - provides a peaceful full night of rest. For me, in the mountains, this is highly unusually and highly prized.
This is a perfect example of a hotel being green from the ground up and from the footprint to finish.
In-Room Eco Modern

Recycled glass in the bathroom counter tops, recycled skyscraper glass in bathroom soap dishes, bamboo wastebaskets, coffee tables built with natural bamboo, 100% organic linens and towers - you never would have known.
The suites are high tech and well engineered with all concealed wiring, a nice feature I always notice. A surround sound Bose system with iPod player, flat screen TV, gas fireplace, stainless steel and granite in the kitchen and comfortable and fashionable furnishings decorate in the modern Western style. Ours included two full bathrooms, one with a jetted tub.
The hotel offers cheerful valet parking and a ski valet, so you won't have to worry about parking or leaving your skis in a locker.

Eat In All Day

When you're heading to the slopes you can grab a quick breakfast at the Terra Café. The breakfast menu includes bagel egg sandwiches, crepes, burritos, home baked goods, fresh fruit and snacks. Lunch is on the menu too, with fresh sandwiches, salads and soups.

ll Villaggio Osteria, located on-site has a terrific Italian menu including pizza, pasta, chicken, fish, and game. you can really eat here every night of your stay and not be bored. Do make a reservation for dinner - it fills up fast.

There's a rooftop pool - great for the kids. And, for the grownups, the full service Chill Spa has 6 treatment rooms, including a couple's treatment room, the Sky Lounge, for pre and post-treatment relaxation, and an Outdoor rooftop hot tub and deck with Men's and Women's locker rooms with steam rooms.

Hotel Terra, as it should be, beckons year round and offers a variety of specials for skiers.

Families are welcome of course, but I think this a most creative, modernly cozy, relaxing and romantic - resort in a resort - that you will want to especially share with your favorite chairlift partner.

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.
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