Have you ever had one of those “pinch me, I must be dreaming” moments? That is the only way I can describe my experience visiting Three Forks Ranch & Spa.
I’ve heard the term “all-inclusive” bantered around resorts in the United States, but there are always many things that come under the banner of what is really included. I expected that to be the case when I actually arrived at Three Forks with my friend Lynn. It couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Lodge Manager Jennifer Brenneman picked us up from Steamboat Springs, Colorado, airport and drove us to the ranch, which straddles the borders of both Wyoming and Colorado. We were welcomed by more staff and told that we were the only ones staying during these four days (the lodge never has more than 30 people anyway). We had this tremendous mansion, 200,000 acres and a full staff to cater to all our needs and it was hard to stop smiling!
Our trip was at the end of the winter, a season which includes unlimited, complimentary skiing (on their own private mountain), snowmobiling, sledding, and practically any other winter activity you could think of. In the summertime, you can do all the fishing, hiking, horseback riding, biking, swimming and wildlife tours you’d like. There is also a working cattle ranch to check out. And, in both seasons, you can partake at no charge in one of my favorite activities – spa-ing!The relaxing spa at Three Forks Ranch has an indoor/outdoor pool, Jacuzzis and treatment rooms. It was in that sanctuary that I enjoyed some of the most relaxing time I’d have in years. During my trip, I had a Swedish massage, Chocolate Scrub, Aromatherapy Wrap and a Hot Stone Massage. Lynn did most of the same, but chose a reflexology treatment instead of the scrub and called it ‘heavenly.’
As if the spa and exploration of the grounds (we took a snowcat up the mountain and a sleigh ride) wasn’t heaven enough, there was also the food. The meals were all gourmet and delicious and, of course, all included, as were the wine and cocktails. One of my favorite parts of the trip was actually the cocktail hour we had each evening with the staff. We got to know them, the ranch and discuss what we wanted to do the next day.
We also sampled some delicious hors d’oeuvres before dinners such as eggplant lasagna, seared lamb chops and chicken scampi in a formal dining room filled with beautiful art. Lunches were also good, with adjustments made to give us the perfect salad or sandwich, followed by fresh from the oven cookies. Breakfast was a treat of whatever you could think of for your morning plate and the staff was more than happy to provide coffee, tea or nibbles any time of day or night between the meals.
The rooms in the lodge contained everything you could want. Lynn and I had two of the largest and they came with fireplaces, a hot tub on the deck, and a bathroom that had heated floors that led to the Jacuzzi. The views from my large circular window were breathtaking and suite was always stocked with wine, soft drinks, water and snacks. There was also an IPad 2 loaded with information about the ranch for my personal use.
Each day, upon my request, I would receive an early morning tray of coffee and scrumptious freshly baked bakery items to hold me over until my full breakfast with Lynn later on. It was one of the personal touches that made this place so special. Everything was truly “all-inclusive” with the only exceptions being a few clothing items sold in the small lodge store and some high end wine and champagne available to purchase.
On our final evening, Lynn and I heard a storm was coming in and both voiced our thoughts that we could get stuck at Three Forks a few more days. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, but I hope to get back there again for what was definitely ultimate girls getaway experience.
After many years as one of the top tennis writers in the country, Marcia Frost now devoting most of her time to travel writing, with a focus on food, wine and spirits. She has her own blog at WineAndSpiritsTravel.com and does weekly columns for Inspirato on Sonoma and Paris (two locations she visits often). Marcia also freelances for many other outlets, including Yahoo!; AOL; Michigan Avenue; Rum Bum; Los Angeles Confidential; Travel, Food & Drink; and Air Tran’s Go! Magazine. She has been contributing to Girls’ Getaway since 2010. For more information on Marcia, visit her website MarciaFrost.com.