We should have stayed two nights. It’s not often I think that after only an hour at a hotel. We were settling into the Cliffrose Lodge and Garden just outside of Zion National Park. I was kicking myself for not booking a two-night visit.
Why? Well, for one thing Zion deserves more than a day. You could explore for a whole week and still crave more. Secondly, the town of Springdale, UT has grown a lot over the years. It is filled with loads of little shops I wanted to poke through and more than one restaurant that was worth a taste.
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Cliffrose Lodge and Garden
What set the Cliffrose apart from the rest of the lodging options around town? Our room was spacious, clean, and beautifully decorated with photos from Zion National Park. The room price included a hearty breakfast, and had delectable (free!) cookies and a wine bar at reception. Oh, and it was a five-minute walk from the Zion National Park Visitors’ Center.
Steps to Zion
A path ran behind the lodge along the Virgin River and brought you right into the park. The park is packed on the weekends and can get overly crowded in the summer month, which made having a guaranteed parking spot that close to the park invaluable. At the visitor center you can hop on one of the shuttles going through the canyon, which is the only way to access a large portion of the park. You can also walk to plenty of restaurants close by if you are looking for a bite to eat after a day of hiking. I highly recommend the Spotted Dog. Their eclectic menu will satisfy all of your cravings, and the food quality is the same as you would find in one of the top foodie towns in the country.
Breakfast at Cliffrose Lodge and Garden
Every guest can enjoy breakfast just across from the heated pool on the property. There is seating outside, but also covered seating with heaters throughout the room if the air turns chilly. Eggs, bacon, cereal, fruit, toast, pastries, coffee, tea and juice are just a sampling of what you will find. My boys, who were two and five years old, found more than enough to eat, and my husband and I were just as satisfied. The staff is constantly bringing out more food. If you see something is running out, don’t fret. They will have more out soon, especially coffee!
Room 44 at Cliffrose Lodge and Garden
We were lucky enough to get a two-bedroom, two-bath suite, which felt like our own private cottage. There was a great room with a massive dining room table, a living room area and a kitchen taking up one wall.
Our stay at the Cliffrose Lodge was part of our cross-country trip. During our trip we did not get a lot of room to spread out as a family. Most nights we were all in one tiny hotel room. The two-bedroom suite was a luxury I wanted more of, especially halfway through our journey. The boys shared a room with two queen beds (no more splitting one bed into two for the boys!), while my husband and I could spread out in a king-sized bed for the first time since we had packed up our own bed and sent it off with the movers.
The kitchen only had a stovetop, no oven, but there was a toaster and a microwave, which is all we needed. There was a full fridge for storing milk and yogurt, plus a freezer for our ice packs that kept our food cold as we trudged cross country.
Although I loved the beds, giant bathtub in our bathroom (there was also a shower stall in our bathroom and a tub with a showerhead in the boys bathroom), and access to a kitchen, what really blew us away in this room was the view. We walked out onto our private balcony and were greeted by the cliffs of Zion looming over us. I wanted to watch the sun rise and set every day over those mountains.
IS THE CLIFFROSE LODGE WORTH THE PRICE?
This may come as a surprise, but the Cliffrose Lodge and Garden was very reasonably priced. True, we were there in the autumn, but there were still plenty of visitors heading into Zion, especially on the weekend. We were there on a Friday night and the cost was not prohibitive. A one-bedroom ran about $250, which if you need the extra space and you consider the savings on breakfast for a family of four plus can be guaranteed parking just steps from the park, it is quite a steal. The one and two-bedroom suites are also a fantastic deal for families traveling together. We could have easily had my parents in our two-bedroom suite with us and not felt crowded. This would have split the cost for everyone and given us the benefit of a kitchen, living room and enough bathrooms for the entire family.
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Cliffrose Lodge and Garden Staff
What really sets a hotel apart from the rest is the staff. The Cliffrose personnel welcomed us with a smile, gave us great restaurant recommendations, and were knowledgeable about the area. They encouraged us to take the cookies offered in the lobby (I may have taken two), and were eager to help you us have the best stay possible.
When I wandered in after a day of hiking and asked where I could get a good steak, the receptionist on staff had three of his local favorites ready to go. He asked me a ton of questions to figure out which would be the best fit. Not everyone would have taken the time. I could tell he appreciated a good piece of meat as much as we did.
Amenities at the Cliffrose Lodge and Garden
The Cliffrose Lodge and Garden has the usual amenities you like to see when traveling with your family. The hot tub is open 24/7. The pool is open during the day, but shuts down after dinner. Check with the front desk for exact closing hours during your visit. The lodge has gardens throughout the property (hence the name) with flowers in bloom most of the year. It feels like a little oasis from the desert and one you are happy to return to each night after exploring the terrain in Zion.
We only got to spend one night at the Cliffrose. It was not enough. We felt at home in our massive suite. We had the park outside our door. I never did get to walk down the path along the Virgin River towards town. I did walked away with a newfound respect for choosing a property based on its location though, not just its price. Luckily the accommodations matched the location and our budget, making it worth a trip back for a second visit, one that will be much longer next time.
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Many thanks to the Cliffrose Lodge and Garden for hosting my family for one night for the purposes of review. As always, my opinions are my own. When they aren’t, you will be the first to know.