Park City is one of the best all-around ski towns in North American and is a perfect destination for a luxury ski weekend due to its ease of access, excellent restaurants, lively nightlife and two world-class ski resorts. Originally an old mining town, Park City is a charming town with a historic district that has preserved the town’s Old West character. In addition, for film buffs, Park City is home to the Sundance Film Festival, one of the top international film festivals.
The Park City area has a number of luxury hotels and resorts but our two favorites are the St. Regis Deer Valley and Montage Deer Valley, both of which are located slope-side at the Deer Valley Resort. These ultra-luxury hotels were built in the last decade and offer exceptional levels of service. If you plan to ski at the Deer Valley Resort, both hotels offer direct ski-in / ski-out access to the slopes.
The Montage Deer Valley, offering 220-rooms, suites and residences, sits in a valley at the base of Deer Valley Resort, providing ski-in and ski-out access to over 2,000 acres of ski trails. The hotel has five restaurants, a bowling alley, a 35,000 square foot spa and excellent fitness center. We highly recommend the King Suites with over 1,000 square feet of living space, a separate living room and an enormous marble bathroom with deep soaking tub and heated bathroom floors. In the evenings, you can relax in the hotel’s enormous great room with its roaring fireplace while enjoying hand-crafted drinks from their excellent bar, Burgers & Bourbon, with over 100 bourbons and American whiskies.
Montage Deer Valley // 9100 Marsac Ave, Park City // website
The St. Regis Deer Valley, which is a little smaller with 181-rooms, is located on the top of a ridge overlooking Deer Valley, Park City and the surrounding area (you access the resort by taking a funicular up the mountain). The St. Regis also offers ski-in/ski-out access to the Deer Valley Resort but it is slightly less conveniently located to the center of Deer Valley resort. The hotel is beautifully designed as a mountain resort, with extensive use of enormous logs and river stone masonry. The suites are large and include a kitchenette, separate living room, gas fireplaces and enormous bathrooms. The hotel also offers a 14,000 square foot Remede spa and excellent restaurants, including Jean-George Vongerichten’s J&G Grill Park City.
St. Regis Deer Valley // 2300 Deer Valley Dr E, Park City // website
Both hotels offer a complementary ski valet service, which completely eliminates all equipment hassles – they will keep your ski boots on heaters overnight so they are warm in the morning, assist you with putting on your ski boots and storing your shoes in private lockers, and bring your skis to you slope-side. Once you experience the convenience of a ski valet, you’ll be spoiled for life.
After getting settled into your hotel, head down to Park City’s historic district (a 10 minute drive from Deer Valley) to explore its cute boutiques, art galleries and excellent restaurants, including the ever-popular Atticus Coffee, Books and Teahouse (great independent bookstore), Root’d (home décor), Burns Cowboy Wear (unique Western clothing since 1876) and Gallery MAR (contemporary art).
While in Park City, look for the handful of graffiti paintings by British graffiti artist Banksy, who clandestinely painted them in 2010 when he was in town for the debut of his film at the Sundance Film Festival. One of our favorites, the “Cameraman and Flower,” can be found on the side of a building across the alley from Chimayo restaurant on Main Street.
For a pre-dinner drink, stop by High West Distillery & Saloon, located in an old historic building at the bottom of the historic district. The distillery is known for producing small-batch whiskeys and vodkas, which you can sample at the saloon. They also prepare excellent cocktails, and are especially known for their creative whiskey-based cocktails.
High West Distillery & Saloon // 703 Park Ave. // website
One of our favorite restaurants in Park City is Zoom, opened in 1995 by Robert Redford. The restaurant, located at the bottom of Main Street in the former Union Pacific Railroad depot, preserves the feel of an old train depot. The restaurant serves delicious and hearty American cuisine, including their popular fried brussels sprouts and delicious truffled mac and cheese, as well as their wood-grilled filet and buffalo ribeye.
Zoom // 660 Main Street // website
After dinner, we will often stop by the old Egyptian Theatre on Main Street to see what’s playing. The theater offers an eclectic mix of programs from comedians to aging rock bands to local theatrical productions. The Egyptian Theater also serves as one of the primary film venues during the Sundance Film Festival.
Egyptian Theatre // 328 Main Street // website
Before heading out for a day of skiing we suggest fueling up with a hearty breakfast at the Montage or St. Regis hotels, both of which offer lavish breakfast buffets offering fresh pastries, yogurt and fresh fruits and traditional breakfast foods, including an omelet station.
One of our favorite ski resorts in the U.S. is Deer Valley Resort, which consistently ranks among the top all-around ski resorts in North America due to its exceptional level of service, on-mountain food and dining and excellent slope grooming. While not as challenging as nearby Snowbird or Alta, Deer Valley’s terrain offers enough challenge for most skiers. Also, since Deer Vally limits the number of tickets sold, it never feels crowded and the lift lines are always quick. Note that Deer Valley does not allow snowboarding, which is a blessing for many skiers.
Deer Valley Resort // 2250 Deer Valley Dr S // website
There are three excellent on-mountain dining options at Deer Valley Resort. We recommend all of them and usually make our choice based upon where on the mountain we expect to be around lunchtime (though be sure to make prior reservations since all of these restaurants are very popular and fill up quickly). Royal Street Café is located at the Silver Lake lodge at the base of Deer Valley and offers soups, salads, sandwiches and burgers, but is best know for their delicious and hearty turkey chili. If we are skiing over by the St. Regis Hotel, we head to the excellent outdoor buffet at the St. Regis and order their fabulous Bloody Mary (called Mary 7452), which is made with vodka from Park City’s High West Distillery with a vial of celery-wasabi foam and a glass rimmed with black lava salt. If skiing over by the Montage, we will go to Burgers & Bourbon for their exceptional burgers, particularly their bison burger and big-eye tuna burger.
After a full day of skiing, there is nothing better than a relaxing massage to loosen your tired muscles. Our favorite spa in Park City is the Spa Montage Deer Valley, a 35,000 square foot wellness retreat located in the Montage Hotel. The hotel’s extensive spa facilities include numerous serene treatment rooms, an indoor lap pool with spectacular views, relaxation rooms with crackling fires to relax after your massage and well-appointed locker rooms with Vichy showers, saunas and steam rooms. Make sure to book early since the prime après-skiing slots are very popular.
After a relaxing massage, return to Park City and stop by the No Name Saloon & Grill on Main Street. The No Name Saloon, located in a 1905 building with barrel vaulted ceiling and decorated with eclectic “vintage” décor, is popular with Park City residents and visitors alike. The bar, somewhat of a local institution, offers an excellent selection of beers on tap and cocktails.
No Name Saloon & Grill // 447 Main Street // website
For dinner, one of our favorite Park City restaurants is Riverhorse on Main. The restaurant’s large second floor dining room is comfortable with high ceilings, exposed brick, dark hardwood flooring and floor-to-ceiling windows. The restaurant is known for their grilled dishes and attracts a lively crowd. A couple of standout dishes include their signature macadamia nut crusted Alaskan halibut and their perfectly grilled filet steak. Note that, even with a reservation, during busy times they are sometimes running behind schedule but they have a nice bar to enjoy a drink while waiting for your table.
The Riverhorse on Main // 540 Main Street // website
If you are a strong intermediate or expert skier, we highly recommend a day of back-country helicopter skiing with Powderbird, one of the few heli-skiing operators located at a major U.S. ski resort. Powderbird operates out of the Waldorf Astoria Park City Hotel in the Canyons Village (as well as next to Snowbird in Little Cottonwood Canyon). The day starts with a hearty breakfast during which you will meet your guides and fellow skiers, followed by a safety briefing. The guides, who are experts in finding the lightest and deepest powder imaginable, will have already selected the best backcountry spots in the Wasatch range based upon the current snow conditions. The helicopter will ferry you to the top of a peak and the guides will lead you down run after run of pristine snow. The day ends with a delicious late afternoon lunch with the group where animated conversations will relive the day’s experience and the guides will share stories of other epic ski adventures. This is a truly exceptional experience.
Powderbird // 2100 Frostwood Drive // website
If you prefer a day of resort skiing or snowboarding, head to Park City Mountain Resort, the largest ski resort in the U.S. with over 7,000 acres of skiable terrain and a nice mix of beginner, intermediate and expert runs Vail Resorts, which owned the Canyons ski area, purchased the Park City ski area in 2014 and invested over $50 million to combine the two ski areas and substantially improve the facilities. As a result, Park City Mountain Resort has become a truly world-class ski area.
Park City Mountain Resort // 1345 Lowell Ave. // website
For tonight’s dinner we suggest Jean-George Vongerichten’s J&G Grill at the St. Regis Hotel. Access to the hotel, which is located at the top of a ridge with spectacular views of Deer Valley and Park City, is provided by a funicular that ascends up a steep slope to the hotel. J&G Grill is elegant without being stuffy, with lots of dark woods, walls lined with river stone and an enormous fireplace warming the room. The menu features many of Jean-Georges' most-popular appetizers, side dishes and main dishes from his restaurants around the world. The restaurant also offers a deep wine list to accompany the sophisticated cuisine.
J&G Grill // 2300 Deer Valley Dr. E, Park City // website
Sundance Film Festival
Held over Martin Luther King holiday weekend, the Sundance Film Festival was started by Robert Redford over 40 years ago to showcase independent films. Today, Sundance has become a major international film event with almost 50,000 people descending upon Park City during the week-long film festival. One of the nice things about this star-studded event is that screenings are accessible to the general public, as well as industry insiders. You can purchase tickets to individual screenings but serious film-buffs should purchase a Festival Pass, which provides priority access to screenings.
Getting hotel and restaurant reservations in Park City during this period can be challenging so, if you are planning a trip to Park City for the film festival, consider engaging a concierge service for assistance. For hard-core skiers, this film festival week can be an excellent time to visit Park City since the ski slopes tend to be deserted.
Sundance Film Festival // website