Last year, the Sun Valley Lodge was being renovated, so, deprived of our customary summer retreat, we decided to take our extended family to another Idaho resort. From Boise, a scenic two-hour drive along the Payette River brought us to McCall, a remote town with around 3,000 inhabitants set at the edge of snow-fed Payette Lake. (It is also possible to fly there via private or chartered jet.)
A resort since 1948, Shore Lodge, as its name suggests, is situated lakeside and offers 77 rooms and suites, 62 of which have water views. In 2008, the resort, along with the nearby Whitetail Club residential community, was a sentimental purchase by Joe Scott, grandson of grocery magnate Joe Albertson. He wanted to modernize the lodge while maintaining the charm and family-friendly appeal that he remembered from his childhood. An investment of more than $10 million has resulted in comprehensively upgraded rooms and an excellent spa.
The property offers accommodations on three levels, with the lower level opening onto groomed sandy beaches — a nice feature for younger children. We stayed in a spacious Lake View Suite on the third floor. A living room featured large bay windows and a small terrace overlooking a marina. The dining room had a mini-kitchen area with a Keurig coffee machine and a large wooden table. The bedroom was windowless, which was disappointing. The bath came with a walk-in shower and tub, but was very dark, owing to its green marble and brown wallpaper. Executive Suites are worth the upgrade alone for their larger, nicer baths done in cream-colored tile.