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Jackson Hole Is The New Aspen (But Please Don't Ruin It)

If Aspen has become so overexposed that its venues are easily recognizable in the momentary backdrop of an Instagram story, Jackson Hole is its half-sister who prefers to maintain a private account. A self-proclaimed quiet luxury expert on TikTok might say that Aspen is where money talks and Jackson is where wealth whispers. 

Let’s start with the Jackson Hole Airport, where you’re greeted with mimosas at baggage claim inside a gorgeous terminal. Never thought I’d see those words next to each other.

As we got into our taxi to the hotel, my husband whispered to me “this place feels like it’s dripping with money.” Not sure what gave it away, maybe the fact that the airport looks like Argestes.


[Note: There aren’t a ton of direct flights yet, but airlines have been adding more seasonal routes as the town gets more popular. I flew United direct from Newark and we landed early in both directions.] 

Before we get to the deets, it’s worth discussing the geography of the town. The name “Jackson Hole” is actually the name of the ski resort (aka the mountain itself), but it’s colloquially used to refer to the entire area. However, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is technically located in Teton Village (not in Jackson), which is about 20 minutes up the road from Jackson Town (aka downtown Jackson). It takes longer in traffic and is definitely not walkable, no matter how many steps you do a day. For ski-in/ski-out access to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, you need to stay in Teton Village. If you stay in Jackson Town, there is some ski-in/ski-out access to Snow King Mountain Resort. This is just another mountain, but people will probably still refer to the area as “Jackson Hole” anyway. Hope this saves you some googling.

Downtown Jackson: Jackson Town looks like a movie set, complete with old West style architecture and the font that should exclusively be used for the word RODEO. It’s easily walkable with lots to do and places to go out (more of these recommendations below), but it’s also the site of daily traffic jams because there aren’t many ways in and out.

Where there are many rich people, you’ll find great shopping. What sets Jackson shopping apart is that it’s almost all small boutiques, artisanal sellers, and art galleries. This is probably not going to be the site of a seasonal Louis Vuitton pop-up for a solid few years at least. 

The only “chain” that I saw was Kemo Sabe, which just opened its relatively new location (as of August 2022) and is nearly twice the size of their Vail and Aspen stores. Even though the items are pricey (an employee asked me if I’m looking for a belt closer to $1000 or $20,000), the items are highly customizable and hands-on where you can design your own belts, boots, jewelry, and Kyle Richards Rihanna hats. They also have a very cool vintage selection including re-tooled designer bags, outerwear, and furniture pieces. Kemo Sabe also prides itself on selling nothing “fake” (i.e. vegan), which is reflective of a certain Jackson Hole ethos iykwim.  

Where To Stay: Four Seasons Resort & Residences Jackson Hole

Back to our earlier geography lesson, the Four Seasons is located about a 20 minute drive from downtown Jackson, in Teton Village. Not only is it ski-in/ski-out by a matter of yards, after you get off the ski lift at the end of the day, one of the ski concierges will catch you by the entrance to the hotel and ask to take your skis while giving you slippers to switch out for your boots. I couldn’t help but wonder, is this what every minute of a billionaire’s life is like? 

I mention that anecdote because it was reflective of the level of service that defined the entire weekend, and of course, when you hear the Four Seasons, you know you’re paying a premium. (Full disclosure, I was granted a media discount.) But when it feels like everything is at a premium these days, especially travel, the best you can expect is to get what you paid for. I would feel confident recommending this hotel to even my most high-maintenance friend, and based on the amenities and quality of the service alone, this really made our weekend and allowed us to fully relax. 

The hotel will take care of all the obvious services and amenities (reservations, a full-service spa, salon & gym, extremely comfortable and spacious rooms, a very helpful ski concierge, and everything you could ever need for your pet). But where they truly shine is with the less obvious things. They’ll provide everything you need for a full work-from-hotel setup (including a desk and monitor), house calls for hydration IVs, grocery shopping, babysitting services, yoga classes, laundry, garment pressing, and a fully guided elk safari (if that’s your thing). I feel like they would’ve skied for me if I asked.

The best part is that you can request almost everything you need via text or on a tablet. The tablet let me make a surprising number of requests by just pressing a button on the hotel’s app, rather than needing to use the chat feature. I’m jealous of myself from a few days ago as I write all this out.

Activities to do (winter edition):

  • Skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort & Snow King Mountain Resort: Book your ski passes in advance because the mountain limits the number of passes they issue a day, and yes, they do get full. The other option is to purchase a seasonal Ikon Pass, which enables you to ski at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort for 7 days each season (as of this writing). Buying an Ikon Pass is typically more economical than buying individual day passes if you plan to go skiing or snowboarding at least five days in a season. 
  • Visit Grand Teton National Park and National Elk Refuge: The Wyoming scenery is really breathtaking and there are some incredible national parks nearby. These are where you want to spend time, especially if you’re visiting Jackson during the summer.

  • Western-esque winter activities: Snowmobiling, snowshoeing, sleigh rides, ice skating, and Yellowstone cosplay.
  • Explore nearby hot springs: We didn’t get a chance to try these, but I’ve heard good things about Granite Hot Springs or Astoria Hot Springs Park.

Where To Aprés

  • Mangy Moose: “The Moose” is located in Teton Village and has two spaces, a bar and a restaurant, though both serve food. It’s very casual and has live music on weekends. Also the male:female ratio was like 90:10 and most of the women there looked like they were with significant others, so if you’re trying to manifest a slopeside meet-cute, this could be a good place to start.

  • The Handle Bar: The indoor-outdoor restaurant at the Four Seasons is ideally located for mid-day breaks or to park yourself for aprés. 
  • Fahrenheit 47: Also at the Four Seasons, this Moët-decked igloo is their newly-opened champagne bar (though they stock a full bar), and is definitely one of the more relaxing and intimate spots for aprés. There are only 20 seats, and they offer a slopeside oxygen bar inside, while the hotel’s outdoor pool and hot tub are just a few steps away, as is the complimentary smores bar. 
  • Million Dollar Cowboy Bar: Better known as “the Cowboy”, this is an iconic downtown spot with nightly live music, cocktails, and the heavy food you want after a day on the mountain. 
  • RPK3: Located right under the tram at the base of Jackson Mountain in Teton, RPK3 has a large outdoor deck for aprés and a contemporary menu. 

Where To Dine

  • Westbank Grill: Since it was at the hotel, I think I ate at the Westbank Grill about four times, so I can fully endorse it as a solid option for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or room service. Or even just for sitting and staring out these huge windows at this insane view.  

  • Corsa: The food here was great, and the ambience even better. Also in Teton Village, Corsa is located inside the Caldera House, right near the tram and the Four Seasons.
  • Snake River Grill: This is the restaurant associated with Snake River Farms, which (I’m told) is a legendary meat supplier known for its extremely high quality, and specifically for its Wagyu beef. The eponymous restaurant is also a Jackson staple. This is also finer dining, so expect a heavy $$$$.
  • Teton Thai: Located in Teton Village, this spot has a reputation of getting very busy and they don’t take reservations, so while I didn’t go, I’ll assume it’s earned more than a few fans.
  • Shin Shin: Really good sushi considering the landlocked state of it all. Also located inside the Caldera House.
  • Ascent Lounge: The indoor-outdoor lounge at the Four Seasons deviates from the Wyoming cuisine and goes Pan-Asian. Ascent Lounge is the ideal spot for when you’re at Hunger Level Medium (drinks and apps). If you’re looking for the equivalent of drinks and apps on steroids, this winter they’ve also debuted a pop-up omakase residency from the NYC restaurant Taikun, where they currently offer a tasting menu at an 8-seat sushi counter built for the winter activation.
  • Bin22: A vibey wine bar with indoor & outdoor seating, as well as a gourmet marketplace. Who says you can’t have it all.
  • Piste Mountain Bistro: Located at the top of the Bridger Gondola, you’re here for the views during a ski break.
  • Corbet’s Cabin: An iconic waffle bar that you have to work for, since it’s located at the top of the mountain.
Sami Sage
Sami Sage
Sami Sage is a cofounder and Chief Creative Officer of Betches Media. In her spare time she stares at her dogs and opens and closes the instagram app continuously.