Hot springs and cold beer
The word “resort” used to conjure up images of over-crowded chlorine pools, bad buffets, outrageously expensive alcohol and a cookie-cutter commercial feel. But then we stayed at Saratoga Hot Springs Resort, home-base for our winter reunion. It was a splurge—we definitely couldn’t have afforded to stay here as undergrads—but every cent was well spent. For starters, Saratoga Hot Springs Resort’s pools are natural mineral hot springs. In fact, the Native Americans who first discovered them believed they had healing powers. The kids didn’t even care that there weren’t slides or diving boards. They are still talking about the tepees covering the pools and how much fun they had floating around in their own private forts.
Second, Saratoga Hot Springs Resort is home to one of America’s only hot springs and brewery. It’s the perfect combination (especially if the brewery has growlers like Saratoga Hot Springs Resort so you can enjoy a cold one while you soak in the hot springs.) If the kids didn’t get why the adults were so excited about sampling paddles of craft brew, they didn’t show it. They were too busy enjoying The Snowy Mountain Brewery & Pub’s pretzel bites. Made with grain from the brewery, they’re so tasty they don’t need the accompanying beer cheese sauce (not that we were complaining).
In college we drank the cheapest beer we could find. At the resort, we savored the flavor of seasonal beers. We also played pool and cheered the kids on as they dominated their Moms at foosball. As neat as it was to sit at the bar in stools made out of saddles, under wildlife mounts, it would be cool to come back in the spring, summer or fall when the adjoining biergarten is open.
“Well, are you a resort fan yet?” asked my wife Nadine when we settled into our lodgepole pine bed later that night. I told her I was. As long as the resort had the words “Saratoga” and “hot” and “springs” in front of them, I was president of the fan club.