Having stayed at the Montage property at Laguna Beach, our expectations were high. And we were not disappointed. Many other so-called luxury properties only feign what the Montage resorts do flawlessly.
A professional group I belong to held it's March meeting at the property. The Montage definitely made it feel like it was far more "play" than "work." Check-in was quick and efficient and our bags were delivered to our room promptly. It was a long flight and although the drive from SLC only took about 35 minutes to get to Park City and another 10 to wind up the mountain valley to the Montage, we were tired and wanted to get settled quickly. This was effectively accomplished.
The room was sumptuously appointed, better than our home I think. The gas fireplace that is turned on by the flip of a switch was a welcome comfort in the alpine setting. The bathroom was on the other side of the entry foyer of the room and included a shower and a separate bath. The bed was extremely comfortable but maybe a bit softer than I prefer. The view was not exceptional (looked out over the entrance to the hotel and the ski slope across the way) but I think the best views are reserved for the condos you can buy at the hotel. I believe the least expensive condo starts at $1,350,000 - out of the question for us - so just staying there is a sufficient taste of what the uber-rich enjoy. Plus, the rest of the hotel has views throughout so although not enjoyed from our room, the hotel delivers on breathtaking vistas.
Speaking of vistas, most people go to this resort to ski. And I must say, it is the most pampered ski experience that I have ever enjoyed. You can buy your lift tickets where you rent and put your equipment on in the hotel. (Lift tickets are $104/day/person, $17 less for a half day but you can only buy half day tickets after 12:15.) They keep your boots in a locker and heat them up for you before they assist you in putting them on. Then you walk outside the door and the ski valet lays your skis down for you to step into and off you go about 50 yards to the lifts. The walk from the room to the ski locker room is only a short, two-minute walk. Conveniently, the resort is right at the base of part of the Deer Valley Mountain ski complex with three lifts very close that give you easy access to the rest of Deer Valley's lifts. Cautionary tale: read the trail map before you get on the lifts. We didn't, assuming all of the lifts had "green" trails for my novice wife. Well, the Empire Express has only intimidating blues and blacks. For beginners and intermediates, it's best to ski down to Lady Morgan or over to Ruby Express which is right next to Empire Express.
Upon skiing back to the hotel, yes the valet is there again to take your skis for you and when you go inside, assistance is offered to remove your boots. Then, they bring you hot cider and a cookie. By the way, we rented equipment from the resort and although expensive, it was one of the most comfortable and quick fitting experiences I've ever had.
Speaking of expensive, everything here is expensive - you're going to spend a lot of money here from the rooms, to the food, to the skiing, to the spa. Definitely a "splurge" experience for us. We even did the sleigh ride dinner that starts from the base of Park City.
Other "pampering" includes, at the end of a ski day, complimentary s'mores. Well, one day, we happened to miss the s'mores by a few minutes. One of the staff overheard our conversation and offered to go to the kitchen and get us a couple. She did and we sat outside and toasted our marshmallows and constructed our s'mores over an open flame while looking out over the mountain. Perfect. And it is worth noting that there seemed to be a staff member at every corner of the resort that seemed to be sincerely interested in helping us with anything we wanted. Felt like we were in a mansion with a complete personal staff.
We rented a vehicle to get to Deer Valley but I'm not so sure that taking one of the shuttle services from the airport wouldn't be a better idea. We didn't use the Ford Explorer the entire time we were there. By the way, the strategy for renting at SLC is to reserve something inexpensive. Unless there is a major snow event when you land, they usually will upgrade you for only $10 more per day for a 4X4 vehicle that is usually 3 or 4 times as high as a regular car if you reserve it ahead of time. But if you do have a car, a trip down the mountain, only 10 minutes away to Park City, is good to do for shopping and dining. We felt no need to go outside of the resort except for the sleigh ride and we went by bus with the other people in our group.
We ate breakfast daily in our morning meeting. Very good. "Gained 5 pounds while I was there" good. All of the food at the resort was top-notch and I/we had no complaints whatsoever.
Almost forgot: the spa. Yes, my wife and I did the one hour massage (about $200/person including gratuity) and it was heavenly. I'm not much of a spa guy but the entire spa complex was impressive. And the staff was very professional and efficient. I'm not a patient person: when I relax, I want it done promptly. Which, I guess, is why I need to relax more often.
There is no question my wife and I would like to return to the Montage Deer Valley. Whether we can afford to is another question. I investigated taking our three daughters back for Christmas week this year. After looking at the price for the five of us, I told my wife "well, honey, it looks like if one of our girls can forgo a year of college, we can go to Deer Valley for Christmas!" High season at the resort is beyond our reach.
Perched at the highest point in the valley surrounded by homes "from $5.6 million to $44 million with heated driveways," the Montage is definitely suspended in rarefied air, but worth the splurge of an occasional visit. For those like us who would rather spend 4 days at a resort like this rather than a week at a lesser psuedo-luxury location, the Montage makes our case. A visit to a Montage property should be on everyone's bucket list.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Montage Deer Valley, is located in the year-round community of Park City, Utah, is one of North America’s finest mountain resort destinations. Reminiscent of the great mountain lodges of the West, this refined mountain craftsman resort is less than five minutes from Park City’s celebrated Main Street where leisurely strolls reveal an eclectic array of al fresco cafes, local art galleries, gourmet restaurants, and specialty boutiques. With time being the most treasured asset in today’s world, the resort is well positioned just a 40 minute drive from Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC). Resort guests will enjoy a coveted location atop Empire Pass, unrivaled ski-in / ski-out access to North America's No. #1 ski resort, and amazing year-round activities including hiking, biking, golf and fly-fishing. After a day of mountain adventure, guests can retreat to the 35,000 square foot alpine inspired spa offering 29 treatment rooms and an indoor mosaic pool. True to the Montage commitment to culinary expertise, dining rises to an art form at Montage Deer Valley. From the refined indoor settings of Apex and its mountain side terrace to the fun jovial atmosphere of Daly's Pub & Rec, with its very own bowling alley. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Montage Deer Valley Hotel Park City
- Montage Deer Valley Park City, Utah