Two weeks ago my wife surprised me with a birthday present I didn’t expect: a two-night stay (without the kids) in Springdale, UT at Watchman Villas, the town’s newest and nicest vacation rental. Though I’ve experienced many a Zion lodge in my days, I had heard a lot about this one and driven past multiple times but never stayed the night. I was very much looking forward to the experience. I’m going to tell you all about it, but before I do that, I’ll skip to the end for just a moment and let you know that the place is incredible. Everything about it exceeded my expectations.
First of all, the location. It’s perfect. My wife and I basically walked everywhere. A few minutes of walking in one direction put us at the front door of the Switchback Grille and Jack’s Sports Bar. We ate two different meals there including dinner on Super Bowl Sunday. A few minutes of walking in the other direction takes you to Springdale’s grocery store, Sol Foods Supermarket, which was extremely convenient considering we were staying in a vacation rental that was more like a home than a hotel room. Those who choose Watchman over a Zion lodge during extended stays will find the close proximity of the grocery store very beneficial. Within a comfortable walking distance also lies a number of restaurants, including Meme’s Cafe where we ate a delicious meal as well. We also spent some time in a couple of nearby art galleries. And the fact that Watchman Villas shares the property with the Springdale & Zion Canyon Visitor Center came in handy, as well.
Inside The Pinyon (so named and designated as Villa #2, where we stayed), we found a spotless and luxurious living space with an incredibly open layout. The main room was enormous, significantly larger than the living room space of any hotel or Zion lodge I’ve ever stayed in. Here are some memorable amenities and features that I vividly recall: the modern, chrome appliances were sleek and attractive, my bare feet loved the soft, plush carpet, the couches were extremely comfortable (one of which could be turned into a bed which we didn’t use), the fiber-optic wifi was extremely fast, the mounted tvs were equipped with mobility so you could raise/lower/turn them, the thermostat and air conditioning system in the unit worked like a charm, the extra blankets that we found in the closet were surprisingly and unexpectedly comfortable, the paintings hung sparingly throughout the unit were stunning (and for sale!), the bathrooms were huge, the backyard patio area was secluded, peaceful, and mostly hidden from outside view, the parking was plentiful and directly next to the building…I’ll stop there. But know there’s a lot more that could be said.
One aspect of Watchman Villas that I had never experienced during a stay at any other Zion lodge was the keyless entry. I was shocked at how convenient it was! When staying at almost any traditional hotel, one thing I’m always saying to my wife is “Do you have the key”? I never had to worry about keys at all due to the keypad on the door. It was great and gave me a feeling of being pleasantly spoiled.
Honestly, I can’t think of anything that was underwhelming or disappointing in the slightest. The minds behind Watchman Villas truly thought of everything that would make the perfect home-away-from-home experience for anyone visiting Zion National Park. It’s going to be difficult to choose any Zion lodge over this during future trips to Springdale.
Review by Greg Knell, a content writer for zionnationalpark.com and St. George, UT resident.
Two Nights at Watchman Villas: A Review
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