Destination Guide

Park City

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Courtesy of Washington School House

No longer a secret among well-heeled families, Park City is home to some of the top ski resorts in the U.S., and luxury hotels, restaurants and amenities are raising the bar on and off mountain.


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glass and pine domes with a table inside overlooking a ski mountain

Stein Eriksen Lodge

Ever since Norwegian Olympic gold medalist Stein Eriksen opened his five-star lodge, it has been the top address on the mountain for those seeking a classic mountain-resort, ski in/ski out experience. There’s always a fire blazing in the lobby, beneath soaring rock walls, a copper chandelier and large elk head that hangs over the mantelpiece. At Christmas, mantels and doorways are framed with pine boughs and twinkling lights and a massive Christmas tree bedecked with ornaments and surrounded by beautifully wrapped presents dominates the lounge. Stein’s ski rental shop, complimentary lockers and Deer Valley ticket window are mere steps from the slopes, and are complimented by a coffee shop serving pastries that are easy to grab and go in the morning. While it is simple to click on your skis and head down to any of five lifts, the Stein Eriksen Lodge does command a perch above them, so a short lift is available to deliver you right to the ski lockers at lunchtime or the end of the day (although it is a relatively short uphill walk, for those so inclined).

Many of the 175 rooms are suites with fireplaces, balconies, kitchens and living rooms; some can be connected with adjacent rooms for as many as fourteen people. All have a cozy and charming mountain aesthetic, with lots of polished pine furniture and wood-burning fireplaces, lending the place an old-world–yet updated–feel, and bathrooms boast Molton Brown products.

Glitretind, the hotel’s gourmet restaurant, frequently wins awards for its “global cuisine” and extensive wine list, but many prefer to grab a table by the fire in the Troll Hallen lounge and order a Stein’s burger or grilled cheese. The lunch scene is renowned with a bountiful skier's buffet served every day in Glitetrind with carving and made-to-order stations, hot options and salads. The desserts are also plentiful, and the pastry chef is known for his homemade caramel chocolates, which can be ordered online by guests who crave them when they get home. There’s a large gym, two outdoor pools and renowned spa, where guests can get treatments with organic products.

The several-year-long expansion that began in 2017, brought a number of exciting additions to the property, including Stein Alpenglobes, located on the deck outside the Gitretind. These are sleek glass and wood domes available for après ski and dinner reservations, offering the same menu but with a private experience and mountain views. Families love the addition of the movie theater, which operates on a first come first served basis and screens Sundance films during the festival, as well as the new Champions Club (the Stein Eriksen’s answer to the Montage’s Daly’s), which offers classic pub fare and complimentary arcade games. Right outside the Champion's Club is the newly redone outdoor plaza with heated patio with fire pits for s’mores, as a well as a new family-friendly pool added beside the original (although all ages are permitted in both). The extension also included expanding the wine cellar and the private tasting room, and giving the main lounge a facelift that preserved Stein's Norwegian charm. A similar plan update will be given to the Glitretind, and the lodge is currently in the process of redoing most of their rooms to give them a more uniform look while maintaining the classic Stein feel.

For travelers looking to day trip to another mountain in the area, Stein offers vehicles that can be rented out for the day. Staff-driven vehicles (which are linked to Uber) are also available to take guests to and from downtown Park City and Park City Mountain.

large entry hall with polished wood and a ski statue

Montage Deer Valley

Montage is a relatively young luxury hotel company—its first property opened in Laguna Beach in 2003—but one with a major reputation for lavishing attention on very spoiled hotel guests in Southern California. So the owners of Montage Deer Valley don’t just aim to be the best ski property in the West—they need to live up to their brand’s own standards.

In Montage’s case, how you arrive at the hotel distinctly affects your impression. As a hotel guest, you drive high up the mountain to Empire Pass and pull up under a massive porte cochère with stone columns, soaring wood beams and flickering flame heaters. Valets usher you into the lobby, a Craftsmen show-stopper with wide wood floors and a bronze statue of a skier to remind you why you came. The hotel mascot, a Bernese Mountain dog named Monty, may also be present. Check-in is done in advance so you are whisked right up to your room, which has a residential mountain décor and fireplaces in every bedroom. The effect: a warm welcome. If you arrive from the slopes, however, what you notice is how massive the building is. The main building is ten-stories, with rooms, suites and residences across all floors. A ski valet will help you with your skis but you must climb steps in your ski boots to reach one of the restaurants or the lobby.

Among the draws for families are a pub with bowling alleys, dart boards, pool tables and video games, a kids’ club, indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs, a sledding run and a 35,0000 square-foot spa (complimentary locker access to all 18+ and pool and fitness center access for all 16+). The sledding run can be rented out and the experience is complete with hot chocolate, hot cider and s’mores at the fire pit. A highlight is Paintbox, the kid’s program for ages five to twelve that includes games, crafts and movies and is open to entertain until 4pm, with Kid's Night Out on weekends from 6pm to 9pm. In the winter, the Paintbox staff will prepare the children for skiing before bringing them down to their lesson, returning at the end of the day with a report card and a map of where the child skied. In the summer, activities for all include hiking, biking and fly-fishing. Want to rent skis, book an instructor or buy gear? You can ride the elevator from your room to the ski shop, which provides lockers for all ski gear, warms boots overnight and will have your skis waiting out front for you.

The staff still has trouble managing crowds at peak times (to snag a table at Daly’s pub, you better arrive before noon), but they are friendly and plentiful. Touches like the superb hot chocolate served in the cafe (the secret recipe of the chef’s mother) that comes piled with mini marshmallows, whipped cream and chocolate shavings soften the frustration of the kinks. Well-selected coffee-table books and oil paintings of Western landscapes adorn the public spaces as well as the 154 bedrooms and 66 suites and residences that range from one to four bedrooms. The Western rustic décor continues in the guest rooms, all of which have patios or balconies and mountain views and feature signature Montage comforts like large stone bathrooms with heated floor tiles and Italian soaps, great linens and LCD TVs. The Vista Lounge, complete with stunning views of Park City and beyond, is perfect for an après ski snack, remote work or pre-dinner cocktails and features live music for après ski daily.

Overall, the Montage’s scale is imposing and unless it’s full of bustle, it can feel like you are alone rattling around in a cavernous space. However, the staff really knows how to spoil its guests and cater to families. In fact, it has the promise of becoming a great Western lodge, much in the vein of grand old family resorts, like the Greenbrier or the Breakers. Don’t miss the excellent, on-site restaurants, including Apex, Daly’s Pub & Rec and Vista Lounge.

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