Just returned from a week-long ski vacation in Park City over Christmas week. Our family of 6 shared two connecting rooms at the Hotel Park City. I chose the hotel because I had stayed there 2 years prior and recalled it to be an elegant and had top-notch service. On this trip, the experience was inconsistent and it felt to us that for a hotel of the level they portray, there should be more to offer.
Shuttle Vans--In the winter, the hotel caters to skiers. Guests must travel from the hotel to one of several ski mountains nearby. This is fine, but we depend heavily on the hotel’s complementary shuttle vans for transport. (The hotel advertises this service). The shuttles were often unavailable or and sometimes over-crowded causing guests to either have to make their own arrangements (taxi, limo) or wait 20-30 minutes for the next van. On several occasions, when the shuttle van was not available, the staff would offer to call us a “taxi”. I agreed as it is a standard $12 taxi fare around town, only to find out at the end of the 5 minute trip that they had contracted their in-house limousine service (still using a standard van) which charged $35 and up per trip. Making several round trips per day (skiing, restaurants, shopping, etc.) would cost a fortune at $35 a pop. So I mentioned to the Bell Captain that I felt this “bait-and-switch” was unfair. He apparently appreciated my comment for he “found me” a hotel courtesy shuttle on our next trip, but the substitution practice still continued.
Housekeeping—our family needed to use the pull-out sofa bed each night in both rooms. The housekeeping would prepare the bed about 50% of the time. The times they did not, our calls for the service were met at least on two occasions with no-one showing up to make the bed. This isn’t the end of the world, but at 11pm at night with children wanting to go to sleep, it can be very frustrating, especially when all it takes is a note or schedule by housekeeping to include it in their turn-down routine. Another surprise was that housekeeping would not remove dirty plates and service from room service.
Ski valet—we did not use this service extensively, but friends had their skis misplaced for an entire morning, missing their day's ski opportunity. Stories of mixed-up, lost, and even “extra” ski equipment were plentiful
Food service—the hotel has what I would describe as limited food/restaurant options. When I stayed there 2 years ago, they operated a full-fledged dining room/restaurant in which one could get the three meals and snacks in between. Subsequently they contracted with Ruth Chris’ Steakhouse to operate their only dining room in the evening. Unless a guest wants to dine at Ruth Chris’s for dinner, there is no other restaurant. We were shut-out of Ruth Chris’s on the evening of our arrival due to being “fully booked” (even though the hostess initially told me that they had open tables and just needed to juggle servers—her manager over-ruled her). We avoided the restaurant from that point. The hotel uses the same Ruth Chris-space for a nice breakfast buffet (included with the room rate) and rely on a small sandwich shop or “luncheonette” and room service for the remainder of the day. In my opinion, a top-class hotel should have a legitimate dinning room and service. For what it’s worth the room service and snack shop food was pretty good.
Hotel Layout is Odd—to get to the health club and spa, one must go to the basement and walk through a stark, unappealing parking garage. The health club itself is nicely equipped and those of my family who used the spa services seemed to like it. But the hotel layout does not lend itself to its comfortable use. Another example is to get to from the lobby to the luncheonette or golf pro-shop/cross country skiing, one has to take an elevator up a floor, walk a corridor, and then take an elevator down (or walk around the outside of the complex) all to go what should be a short distance on the same level. Keep in mind that this would not be horrible if one weren’t in layers of outdoor clothing and ski boots having come from or going to these activities.
Main lobby/Great Room—The hotel has a very nice Great Room with a large fireplace and ample lounge seating. It’s the only common area in the hotel that I am aware of. You’d think with the hotel’s built-in shortcomings, the owner/management would strive to enhance the only central gathering place in the entire hotel. There is a single checker/chess board in the vast room. One evening our family sat around and played a “round-robin”. The fireplace had gone out. We asked the Bell Staff if they would re-light the fire, and were told that it was past “burn-time”. He explained that the hotel’s Homeowner’s Association put a prohibition on burning logs past 8:30pm due to the high expense of wood. After he explained the “company line” he winked and “snuck” a log on the fire for us. As absurd as this was, it became a running joke throughout or stay. If you tried to relax in the lobby after “burn-time”, expect to do so without the warmth of the fire, ski lodge or not. There is no “hotel library”, no gift shop, no activity room for younger kids, etc. It is a very stark experience compared to many equivalent hotels. It is possible that the hotel’s limited accoutrements stem from the fact that a large share of their rooms are in separate “cottages” and not in the main hotel. Perhaps the designers and management depend on these guests to be somewhat autonomous from the main hotel and not rely on its services as much as in a traditional hotel.
On the plus-side:
--The staff all have great attitudes and seem to sincerely try to overcome some of the structural and management shortcomings of the place. What they lacked in experience they more than made up for with enthusiasm.
--The company operating the cross country skiing concession does a great job. Our family used them for lessons and a day of skiing across several well-done courses (on the golf course and surrounding land) and it was a great experience.
--The hotel is still more luxurious that some of the chain hotels in the area
--The rooms are appointed very nicely and are comfortable. They all have a kitchenette with a refrigerator, microwave, sink, etc. making in-room snacks convenient.
--Park City is a nicely laid-out town with great restaurants (expensive) and fun shopping
I am not sure if I would stay at this property again. I got the feeling that they had slipped in quality since my original stay in ’06 and I have no reason to expect things to improve. In my opinion, if one wants to ski Park City, and put up with the hassle of not having ski-in/ski-out, the property should be top notch and above reproach. The Hotel Park city is not that.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- All suite ski, golf and spa resort. Located at the base of Park City Mountain ski resort directly on the 18 kilometer Nordic ski course within the heart of Park City. Other amenities: Ruth's Chris Steak House for fine dining, ski rental, outdoor heated pool and hot tub, Room Service, complimentary Starbucks coffee service in the lobby daily. AAA Four Diamond rating. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Park City, Autograph Collection Utah