The Lodge vs. The Cliff Lodge at Snowbird (Honest Comparison)

If you’re planning a trip to Snowbird, then two of the resort’s properties stand out more than any other:

The Lodge and The Cliff Lodge.

Both of these places are among the most iconic, convenient, and luxurious places to stay in the entire Little Cottonwood Canyon. But, the properties do have notable differences.

Fresh of a winter ski trip to Snowbird, where I debated endlessly between the two properties and then spent a significant amount of time scoping both out in person (to see whether I made the right choice) I’ve got your back!

This post will provide a detailed (and honest!) breakdown between The Cliff Lodge and The Lodge at Snowbird.

General Overview of The Lodge vs. The Cliff Lodge at Snowbird

To start, could these places have names that are any more confusing?

Perhaps that’s why most locals refer to The Cliff Lodge as simply, “The Cliff” and the Lodge as, well… The Lodge.

(Which is also what I’ll be doing for the rest of the article, to avoid any more confusion!)

The Cliff Lodge

the cliff at snowbird

The Cliff at Snowbird is the resort’s most iconic and highest-end property. It’s the last hotel on the block, located near the Snowbird Center and Aerial Tram and nearest the Alta/Snowbird border.

The Cliff is most known for its fine dining restaurant, The Aerie, as well as its world-class Cliff Spa, where you can book massages or sit in the rooftop pool / hot tub and enjoy beautiful views of the Wasatch Mountains.

The Lodge at Snowbird

the lodge at snowbird

The Lodge seems to be Snowbird’s second most iconic property. It’s not quite as high-end as The Cliff, but still very nice. It’s located next door to The Cliff and likewise, a short walk to the Snowbird Center / Aerial Tram area.

The lodge has all the expected ammenities from a nice ski resort hotel, including a pool, hot tub, ski lockers, and a restaurant, but in general, the amenities aren’t as high class as The Cliff.

Cost Comparison between The Lodge and The Cliff

As expected, The Cliff is more expensive than The Lodge.

Exact prices vary, but when I was researching places to stay for my April trip to The Bird, I saw the following rates for these two properties:

  • The Lodge: about $300 per night for a double queen room with balcony overlooking Snowbird mountain
  • The Cliff: about $375 per night for a double queen room. No Snowbird mountain view, but views of the canyon side of the valley.

Note that these are late-season rates, when the snow conditions are a little riskier. I’m sure prices are much higher during the peak of ski season.

Location Comparison

You can see the difference in location on the Snowbird trail map:

Both properties are walking distance to the Snowbird Center, where you can board the Aerial Tram or Peruvian Express in the morning. (These are two of the main lifts at Snowbird, and where most intermediate and above skiers will want to start their day.)

However, The Cliff has a big advantage because it’s the only ski in/ski out property. In the morning, Cliff guests can ski down Chickadee to the Snowbird Center. In the afternoon, guests can ski the blue run “Who Dunnit” and then take the “Cliff Access” back to the hotel.

If you’d rather walk, The Cliff also has a really nice pedestrian bridge that connects directly to the Snowbird Center.

the cliff location
Pedestrian bridge at The Cliff

By comparison, guests at The Lodge will have to walk about 500 feet across a parking lot, then up two flights of stairs to reach the Snowbird Center. Compared to most properties at most ski resorts, The Lodge’s location is fantastic. But compared to the red carpet treatment at The Cliff, this walk is definitely a little less convenient, especially in ski boots!

the lodge location
Morning walk from The Lodge to Snowbird Center

Hotel Grounds

Both properties have charming hotel grounds, but as expected from the price tag, The Cliff’s are a little more impressive.

The Cliff – Rooms and Lobby

The Cliff recently completed a $35 million dollar upgrade to the hotel, which included major renovations to all the rooms and interior spaces. As a result, the rooms are a little fresher.

The Cliff also have a stunning “Atrium” lobby, which is nearly a 10 story wall of windows with a jaw-dropping view of Snowbird. Pictures don’t do it justice, but I tried anyway…

the cliff atrium 2

The Lodge – Rooms and Lobby

Compared to The Cliff, The Lodge rooms aren’t as new, but they are still very nice overall. For my double queen room, I was impressed with the cleanliness, large bathroom, and ample seating/storage space for taking off ski boots and drying off winter clothes.

The Lodge also has a very nice, cozy lobby, complete with a toasty fireplace and beautiful wood paneled accents. It’s not as world-class-stunning as The Cliff, but it’s still very impressive.

the lodge lobby


The Cliff has three onsite restaurants:

Worth noting is that The Aerie, in particular, is widely considered the best restaurant at Snowbird. They serve modern cuisine in a fine-dining setting. At $40-50 per entree, it’s also the most expensive restaurant at Snowbird.

Meanwhile, The Lodge has one onsite restaurant:

However, both hotels are a short walk to The Snowbird Center, which offers a whole host of additional dining options.

Plus, it’s worth noting that you don’t have to stay at The Cliff to enjoy its restaurants. Personally, I loved the beautiful 5-minute walk between The Lodge and The Cliff on my way to dinner at SeventyOne. Thanks to the pedestrian bridge, the walk is nice and easy, and during dinner time, the stunning sunset views of Snowbird and the rest of the mountain peaks are something I’ll never forget.

Amenities: The Lodge vs. The Cliff

Both properties have pools and hot tubs, onsite restaurants, bellhop service, ski lockers, and more.

But overall, The Cliff has a few extra amenities, such as onsite babysitting and more/nicer restaurants and shopping.

The biggest difference though, is probably the pool situation. The Cliff has the world-class Cliff Spa. For $30 per day for hotel guests ($50 per day for non-guests) you can take in the beautiful views from The Cliff’s rooftop pool and hot tub. The Cliff Spa also boasts a full yoga studio, fitness center, and steam room, as well as tons of services like massages, facials, manicures/pedicures, and more.

In addition, The Cliff also has a large family pool on level 3, which includes three different hot tubs. (This pool is free for guests.)

By contrast, The Lodge features a small sauna and fitness center, and one pool and hot tub for the whole property.

To be fair, The Lodge’s hot tub is still gorgeous, with direct views of the stunning Snowbird mountain. But overall, the vibe doesn’t match the legendary rooftop pool at The Cliff Spa.

Final Thoughts – Should You Stay at The Cliff or The Lodge at Snowbird?

Overall, you can’t really go wrong with either The Cliff or The Lodge.

Both properties are among the most iconic ski lodges in the entire world.

If you want the ultimate premiere experience, then the obvious choice is The Cliff. It offers higher-end amenities and a slightly better location.

That said, The Lodge is still an amazing property. On my stay, it still felt plenty luxurious, thanks to a convenient location, plenty of nice amenities, great rooms, and high-end service.