In celebration of a dear friend’s pregnancy, myself and 5 friends embarked on a midweek getaway to the Shore Lodge and their private spa, The Cove.

Nestled just outside of the resort town of McCall, Idaho, Shore Lodge was built in 1948 and boasts newly renovated guest rooms and a restaurant and bar space. The décor reflects the rustic nature of the building but has great modern touches that make you feel as if you are high in the alps. There are 77 guest rooms and suites in total at Shore Lodge.

For the 6 of us we took up two of the double queen suites as they each had a pull-out couch for the third guest. While we were all there to celebrate the upcoming birth of our friend’s baby, we aren’t savages! Everyone is always happier with a little bit of their own space.


The Shore Lodge beds were great and had all the pillows you could ask for, if that’s your thing. I love pillows and blankets and always appreciate when extra are provided for everyone’s comfort. Towels and linens were also soft. Plenty of towels were stocked for three girls to each have at least two and a hand towel of their own.

Every night the hotel provided a turn down service with cookies. Although they were not freshly baked, they tasted great and were a welcomed treat. In addition to the chocolate chip cookies, The Shore Lodge offers s’mores at the outside fire every night. A fun event for kids and adults alike!

Because we had ditched the kids and husbands for three days, we booked the Shore Lodge’s private spa for a wide range of services. With the purchase of a service at The Cove you can lounge in the spa area for the whole day.

The Cove

Within The Cove, there are two salt water pools, one inside and one outside. Each pool comfortably holds about 10 people. The inside pool area would comfortably seat about 25. Outside is a large gas fireplace and wooden lodge chairs. It is here that we ate lunch during our spa day. The Cove has a separate menu from the rest of the hotel and can provide both vegetarian and vegan options.

The pools were perfect for warming up our muscles and relaxing in before our treatments. At check in, you are given a locker and a large, warm, soft robe to wear while you are letting the stress melt away. Because the pool area is co-ed swimsuits are required.

For the first part of the morning we had the entire place to ourselves and it was just what we all were looking for.

You know you are with the right people for a trip like this when you can all sit back in your chairs and no one needs to talk. With books and freshly brewed teas in hand we all rested our brains and minds from the stressors of the outside world.

I booked myself a “big game” massage which was advertised as a deep tissue work. Normally I gawk when a spa advertises a deep tissue but my massage therapist, Dara was right on it! Her elbows got into fascia I didn’t even know was tight. Thankfully, about an hour after the massage (and LOTS of water) I soaked in the salt pools again. The next day I felt looser and taller after my treatment and if there had been time, I probably would have booked another massage. There is massage targeted for only your feet and lower legs that I would like to try next.


For dinner, we reserved a large table in The Narrows. In 2018 the bar and restaurant area of Shore Lodge was extensively renovated and The Narrows was born. The Narrows provide panoramic views of Lake Payette from every table in the main dining room. If you are looking for something more private, a secluded wine room is available for up to 16 people.

For dinner, we shared oysters on the half shell, each had a salad and an entrée. Dessert was champagne and lots of laughs. The sunset this night was stunning on the Payette Lake. We vacation quite a bit to McCall during the summer months and I have seen many, many sunsets. This time the sky was purple and bright orange. A combination we don’t normally get.

Would I Return?

Yes. Shore Lodge is a great hotel for families and couple trying to escape the craziness of the city. The list of amenities is extensive for this property and the quality matches the price. Rooms can start at $260 and climb steeply after that.

Parking is free if you are a guest or if you are dining with Shore Lodge for the night. The hotel pools are heated even in the winter so you can plan to play outside while the snow is falling or even after a day on The Brundage Mountain slopes. A large grocery store and the heart of McCall, Idaho is just a quarter of a mile away. It’s a little tricky to walk into town because the sidewalks don’t line the streets, but if you travel just one block north, you can safely ride bikes or walk. In fact, leaving the hotel a small heard of deer crossed the road right in front of us.

The appetizers and small plates in the bar area were very tasty. I high recommend the duck quesadilla and the flatbreads. One of the girls ordered a margarita and it was made with Mescal. After a sample of it, it became mine and we had to order her another.



Amenities available to guests:

o Complimentary Shuttle Service to Brundage Mountain Ski Area and throughout McCall

o The Mercantile gift shop and store with the finest mountain couture in McCall via luxury fashions from Patagonia, Carve, Adventura, True Grit, Dakota Grizzly and Pistil

o Complimentary Cruiser Bicycles for the whole family

o Winter Equipment (Ski) Valet with waxing station

o Snowshoe rentals

o Year-round outdoor pool and hot tub

o 600 ft of Private beach o Marina with boat, Hobie and kayak rentals

 o On-site, 43-seat movie theater with concession stand

o Kid’s Camp – “Camp Sharlie”

o Dog-friendly guest rooms

o Lakeside/beach fire nightly with complimentary s’mores

o Concierge services to plan your excursions

Why Wouldn’t I Return?

When booking our reservations, we requested adjoining rooms to make it easier to spend the short time we had together. The rooms we had were 7 doors away. The hotel felt very quiet while we were there so it didn’t make much sense as to why this request couldn’t be honored.

When booking the spa, it was very difficult to get everyone the services they were requesting with a timeline that worked for everyone. We later found out that two of their technicians were out for vacation time so they were short staffed. Also, it wasn’t made completely clear that the card you reserved your service on was not the card they would charge. I had to leave the spa to grab my wallet and The Cove’s front desk attendant made me feel like I was going to walk out on the bill. It made for an uncomfortable interaction. When I returned with my card to pay for the service her greeting was, “I see you found your wallet”.  Another guest in our party had a massage therapist stop halfway through the service to tell her she needed a “scrub treatment” because her lotion was clumping. She was so embarrassed she left The Cove spa area.

The food in the spa was tasty and there were enough options that the guests with allergies could order as well. The food took forever to come and at one point, an entire food order wasn’t placed correctly and we finally cancelled the order because we needed to get ready for dinner.

We made reservations for The Narrows once we all arrived and decided to stay in the hotel and eat. Again, making the reservations were difficult and we felt as if they were doing us a favor by opening a table up for us. Our server was fantastic and very attentive but the food was boring. While the offerings were creative, the dishes were lack-luster in flavors. However, the wine selection was great! They even had one of our favorite wines, Leonetti out of Walla Walla, Washington.

Overall, I would give Shore Lodge an 8/10 for the accommodations and amenities. It is a great retreat for couples and provides a perfect lake side retreat in the summer months for families. The bottom suites open right onto Shore Lodge’s private beach and plenty of water toys are available to rent.

Accommodations can be made via their website or by phone 800.657.6464. 

Interested in additional trips we’ve taken? Check out this link.

Safe Travels!

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