Deer Valley Resort
Getting to one of America’s most elite ski towns this season is far easier than you think. Just a one-hour drive from Utah’s Salt Lake City International Airport and located in the old mining town of Park City, lies the exclusive skiers-only mountain, Deer Valley Ski Resort. The destination is ideal for winter enthusiasts who enjoy all things snow and sun, but it is also recognized for its fine-dining establishments that have revolutionized the ski industry—from low-key to luxe.
The resort was designed by the same creator of the highly notable Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain in Arizona, Bill Nassikas, who is a hotelier and proven expert in developing luxury resorts. And besides being an impressively designed and skier-friendly mountain for all ages, Deer Valley has a unique history that played a vital part in the Olympics in years passed. It was one of the venue sites during the 2002 Winter Olympics because of its spectacularly soft snow and accessibility to SLC. The region is also home to the Utah Olympic Park, which can be visited year-‘round, taking guests through an interactive museum and maybe even trying their hand at the iconic bob-sled track.
With the resort’s 2019 to 2020 ski season debuting on December 7th, we have highlighted this wintry oasis as a top spot to take some memorable turns this winter. Read on for the most iconic ways to sleep, dine, ski and explore Deer Valley Resort.
Stein Erickson Lodge
The lodge is also Utah’s only Forbes Five Star Spa, offering hardened athletes and pleasure-seekers alike the chance to rejuvenate with their selection of healing massages. Other treatment options include a Vichy shower, giving spa-goers the ultimate in hydrotherapy.
The name Stein Erikson may ring a familiar bell for avid skiers and mountain enthusiasts. The late Erikson was a gold medalist alpine skier from Norway known for his distinct style that helped progress skiing into the modern day. As the Director of Skiing at Deer Valley for more than 35 years, he became a local celebrity who is remembered for treating everyone like a friend and neighbor. His fervent passion for the winter sport and his influence on Deer Valley even inspired a luxury hotel named after him. Erikson was the voice of the company for years and represents the sports’ history in the community, which is why a stay at the infamous Stein Erikson Lodge is a must. The resort’s recent $14 million-dollar renovations include an outdoor pool and a movie theatre that warmly welcomes well-heeled travelers into a high-altitude hotel smack dab in the heart of the mountain.
Stein Erickson Lodge
Flanked by the resort’s groomed ski runs, the inclusive hotel offers an on-site restaurant, wine cellar, entertainment lounge and game room that looks out to the ski resort beyond. Their European-style, 700-square-foot luxury bedrooms are designed with fireplaces, plush beds, hot tubs and killer views of the forested landscape. The lodge is also Utah’s only Forbes Five Star Spa, offering hardened athletes and pleasure-seekers alike the chance to rejuvenate with their selection of healing massages. Other treatment options include a Vichy shower, giving spa-goers the ultimate in hydrotherapy. The “water bed” is fixed with a series of showerheads for a deeply relaxing massage. Melt away the pain from sore legs after shredding the slopes or just those persistent stresses from life.
Montage Deer Valley
A stay at the Montage Deer Valley is proof that wandering off to Utah’s Rocky Mountains is no rural camp in the woods. Perched at the base of the Empire Express chairlift and in the shadow of Wasatch Mountain, the hotel offers some of the most accessible ski-in/ski-out accommodations around. The space evokes a regal design with excellent hospitality that may only be rivaled by the impressive views of Deer Valley. Elegance opens up to guests at first sight of the luxury hotel that boasts sprawling outdoor and indoor pools, a 35,000-square-foot spa sanctuary and fabulous on-site dining, including Park City’s best stop for fresh Japanese-style seafood, Yama Sushi. Accommodations include guestrooms, suites and residences adorned with sophisticated, yet ultra-comfy interiors such as wood fireplaces, heated bathroom floors, soaking tubs and private patios to take in the crisp winter air.
Montage Deer Valley
Skiers who are amped to get up on the hill will appreciate the full-service ski concierge at the on-site Compass Sports. Premium equipment is offered as well as complimentary boot-warming, so, popping on your boots in the early dawn is a breeze. Another highlight that we are absolute fans of is the Canine Ambassador program that adopts Bernese Mountain Dogs that are at the hotel ready to greet guests with a furry embrace.
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The extreme sports media company, Teton Gravity Research, has dubbed the resort, “the perfect combination of world-class skiing and world-class service,” while documenting the resort’s ultra-soft powdered peaks in some thrilling online video content. Besides being a fan-favorite to some of the most legendary names in the ski industry (Stein Eriksen, Heidi Voelker), the resort has also been an official training site for the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team since 2013. And a recent announcement states that the resort will now be the official training home for American freestyle ski athletes through 2022.
In preparation for the Olympic Games in Beijing, athletes will practice their runs on the resort’s epic moguls and aerial sites. And for the rest of us non-Olympians, we can delight in the downhill skiing that reveals accessible groomed runs and steep chutes and bowls above tree-line that give you incredible views of the valley. Plus, there is some of the best off-piste glades that you can find in the west, letting you cut fresh tracks in-between narrow aspen trees. With 21 chairlifts and 103 runs, the mountain is ready to deliver a variety of riding for guests around the world. In between fast runs and tranquil traverses across the sweeping hillsides, you are greeted with a type of hospitality that is typically reserved for off-mountain experiences.
Deer Valley Resort
Deer Valley is only one of three resorts in America that is strictly for skiers (no snow boarding allowed) and features some seriously luxe amenities. Their free ski concierge holds your skis and poles overnight at the base of the mountain, the ski valet helps load and unload bulky equipment and there is a Cadillac shuttle service to take lodging guests to town just a few minutes away. With an assortment of high-end eateries and hideaways on the mountain, guests can take a midday break at Snowshoe Tommy’s, a cozy cabin on Bald Mountain, or they can indulge at the Brass Tag for brick oven cuisine, swing through the Vietnamese joint for a steaming bowl of pho, or settle in at the Silver Lake Restaurant for a gourmet buffet you simply can’t get on any other mountain.
For an elevated experience to shred with the best, take the fam on a ski-day with the resort’s Ambassador of Skiing, Heidi Voelker. The Ski with a Champion Program connects you to one of six world-renowned skiers, like Olympic alpine skier, Voelker, who will spend the day riding the enchanting terrain alongside you and your crew.
The Après Lounge
The Après Lounge at Montage Deer Valley is a champagne-fueled experience that takes place on the hotel’s property beneath the snow-kissed mountains.
DINE & DRINK
Deer Valley is celebrated for its famed dining options that escort you from rugged riding through untouched powder to tableside—where you can swap your black-tie attire for ski jackets and Sorel boots
The Après Lounge
The Après Lounge at Montage Deer Valley is a champagne-fueled experience that takes place on the hotel’s property beneath the snow-kissed mountains. The resort’s Veuve Clicquot Champagne tent is splashed in the iconic orange color scheme, from a pair of downhill skis hung on the wall to plush throw pillows, the place is begging to be photographed while guests sip on their champs while staying warm inside the luxe lounge. A step inside leads you to a cozy abode where twinkle lights drape from the ceiling and fur-lined furniture welcomes skiers and travelers to take a load off. Truly, there is nowhere else in the world you can have this Veuve-approved experienced.
For a dinner to remember, consider booking a horse-drawn sleigh ride to the restaurant, Fireside, nestled at the base of the mountain. Yes, it’s as romantic as it sounds, with the glittering flakes falling overhead as you journey across the snowy foothills of Deer Valley towards a dining experience that will leave you smiling and stuffed. The four-course dinner invites guests to taste a range of handmade delicacies served at different stone fireplaces throughout the spacious restaurant. Expect a roasted leg of lamb glistening against the hot fire paired with a Swiss veal and mushroom stew along with smaller dishes such as a pecan and apple salad and a plate of perfectly charred vegetables.
Finish the meal on a sweet note with a visit to the chocolate fondue station before stepping out into the illuminated winter wonderland that is Deer Valley by night.
The highlight of the evening may very well be your trip to the raclette cheese outpost, where a pound of cow-milk cheese melts beside a crackling fire. Don’t forget to top your plate off with a selection of meats, vegetables and crackers to dip into your liquid gold. Finish the meal on a sweet note with a visit to the chocolate fondue station before stepping out into the illuminated winter wonderland that is Deer Valley by night.
Located at the Inn with the same name is the Goldener Hirsch Restaurant. This must-visit dining destination is the recipient of the AAA-Four Diamond Award and the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, showcasing its affinity for Alpine cuisine that will tempt even the strictest of dieters. Locally-sourced and organic ingredients offer finely crafted dishes that includes seared meats, fresh fish, fondue (of course), Bavarian bread and decadent pastries made in-house. The setting is a sophisticated yet down-to-earth vibe inviting in the classic feel of dinner in the High Alps.
The Old West makes an appearance through the street’s traditional facades housing cafes, restaurants and breweries ready to welcome curious—and equally thirsty—visitors.
High West Distillery
A jaunt through the charming downtown of Park City will lead you through a once thriving mining town that is now home to rustic architecture renovated into modern hideaways. The Old West makes an appearance through the street’s traditional facades housing cafes, restaurants and breweries ready to welcome curious—and equally thirsty—visitors. Whiskey aficionados can’t miss a tasting at Utah’s very first legal distillery since 1870, the High West Saloon. Located on the main drag, it is a hot spot for locals to enjoy some handcrafted whiskey in their dynamic bar with a variety of rooms for both diners and drinkers. Sipping on their Campfire Whiskey introduces to the palette a rare blend of scotch, bourbon and rye whiskeys into one powerful yet smooth libation. Ask the barkeeper for an original house-made cocktail, like the Madame Pattrini, crafted with their Double Rye, sherry and a Tawny Port brewed with a chamomile teabag and fresh lemon to warm the body from the inside out.
Deer Valley Resort
Deer Valley brings a more quiet and romantic setting to a vacation in the peaks. So, to get a taste of the culture in the Wasatch Range, head to Park City where shops and eateries delight. 50 restaurants dot the downtown with a variety of options from white tableclothed fine-dining spots to relaxed coffee shops and a selection of art galleries to peruse. The high-end retailer, Gorsuch’s, is an essential stopover for skiers who don’t want to sacrifice their fashion on the slopes. Swing into their Park City location to discover luxury brands like Moncler, Brunello Cucinelli and Bogner all debuting current collections of ski attire and fashionable winter accessories.
Those looking for more adrenaline-pumping activities can head over to All Seasons Adventures, the outfitter for all of your outdoor pursuits. Cross-country skiing, fly-fishing and snowshoe tours through the towering aspen trees are just a few of their offerings. For a full-throttle cruise, you can book a snowmobiling tour through Deer Valley’s own Summit Meadows Adventures.
Photo by Beate Rohmberg /Shutterstock
All Seasons Adventures offers a very unique expedition: a dog-sledding experience that connects you to rescued Siberian and Alaskan huskies who take you gliding through the snow-covered terrain led by a professional musher. For those who choose to opt out of the downhill skiing, the more tranquil and accessible Nordic skiing is offered, where you can flex your physical abilities on both groomed and untracked trails to get some extraordinary views of the sweeping hills and surrounding mountain peaks. A family affair for all ages is their Snowshoeing to S’mores experience where guests will traverse the local ponds and afterward arrive to a gourmet s’more roasting over the open fire. Round out your trip to the legendary Deer Valley Resort by ascending the mountain by snowshoe under a full moon where you will take in the vistas under a wintry and star-speckled sky.