It feels like forever since we’ve taken a proper roadtrip! One of our favorite places to staycation is Sun Valley, Idaho. Ernest Hemingway lived and tragically died here. He finished For Whom the Bell Tolls in Suite 206 of the Sun Valley Lodge, our favorite place to stay while we’re there.
It’s just a three hour drive from our place so we love to pack an overnight bag and head over to get a taste of the good life and if you’ve been there, it’s easy to see why it’s a favorite of celebrities and billionaires alike!
Of course a lot has changed since Ernest Hemingway lived in Ketchum.
But a lot hasn’t.
My favorite part of course are the gardens. It’s sooo beautiful and everywhere you turn is like a picture postcard. There are flowers EVERYWHERE. Our last trip was two nights in early June last year and it was just gorgeous.
Even the dining area, which overlooks the Sun Valley ice skating arena (which is open year round and is often used by Olympians and other world class skaters), is framed with loads of flowers.
Because of COVID a lot of the amenities were off limits so we spent most of our time just wandering around the landscaped grounds, admiring the beautiful views.
We stayed one night at Knob Hill Inn in Ketchum, too, and the view from the balcony is just as beautiful (and also framed with flowers).
Some may find it a bit creepy that the Ketchum cemetery and Ernest Hemingway’s final resting place is below, but I don’t mind at all.
Hemingway house, where his suicide happened, is a landmark in Ketchum, too.
Just down the road from the lodge he loved so much is a memorial in his honor.
The Sawtooth Botanical Garden is also just down the road from the lodge, and it’s just brimming with more flowers than you can ever wish for. The day we went it was pretty empty of people so we felt like we had the whole place to ourselves.
Speaking of wishes, there is a gorgeous Tibetan prayer wheel hidden among the flowers.
According to SunValleyMag.com:
Hand-crafted by Tibetan monks in Dharamsala, India, this extraordinary work of art (one of only two such wheels found in North America) was donated to SBG in 2005 to commemorate the Dalai Lama’s visit to Sun Valley. Although aesthetically marvelous, true enjoyment of the wheel must be accompanied by an understanding of its spiritual purpose.
According to the SBG’s executive director, Kathryn Goldman, “The idea is that there are mantras and prayers captured in the wheel and that when you turn it, you release the prayers contained inside.” In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, turning a prayer wheel has the same laudable effect as recitation. Given that Sun Valley’s wheel holds two million written mantras, every rotation results in the oral equivalent of a lifetime. “Since we’re at high altitude, having the wheel here is supposed to help send the prayers across the world,” Goldman explained.
We added our prayers to the wheel while we were there. I won’t tell you what I wished for, but I can tell you that if I were to make a wish again, it would be to go back to Sun Valley soon because, as you can see, it is such a beautiful, special, magical, flower-filled paradise!