A Tale of Two Park Cities

The glitterati and indie film crowd descend on Park City each January for the Sundance Film Festival, a great time to see and be seen. Naturally, for a place used to hosting Hollywood royalty and prima donnas, Park City knows how to roll out the red carpet with plenty of luxe accommodations, Platinum Card-worthy dining, and skiing that's fit for a king (and his queen and all their little princelings).

Most mere mortals will only glimpse the opulence of the haute side of Park City as they schuss past grand chalets shadowing the slopes and hogging the best promontories. But even without a gated mansion within sight of a chairlift, you'll still find Park City caters to the taste for the luxuries in life.

The Slopes

Utah's powder is world-class white gold, nowhere more so than at Deer Valley (800.424.3337; www.deervalley.com), which will leave you powering through dump-filled glades and imagining you're in a winter wonderland of Narnia proportions.

And if luxury's your aim, this is your place. Period. This 1,750-acre resort pulls no punches in its raison d'ĂȘtre: to provide the most sumptuous ski experience possible (no snowboarders allowed!). All of which is to say, expect perfectly groomed trails, immaculately mannered staff, a dearth of serenity-shattering sound systems, luxe fittings and finishings, and award-winning cuisine that wouldn't be sniffed at by an Upper West Manhattan snob fest. In fact, Deer Valley's daily skier limit tops out at 6,500, a number based on the resort's restaurant capacity. You just know you'll eat well when a place goes to those lengths to keep your stomach and your claustrophobe tendencies happy. Lift tickets for the 2006-07 season start at $77.

With 91 runs to choose from, the skiing at Deer Valley is no slouch either. Cruise your way down pleasing groomers on Flagstaff Mountain or Little Baldy Peak, or up your game on Empire Canyon, where the double-black chutes will elicit less than polite cussing -- and maybe even some rebel snowboarder antics.

A little closer to the Main Street action, Park City Mountain Resort (800.222.7275; www.parkcitymountain.com) is the place for true ski-in, ski-out ambience, including a small tramway that sifts skiers from the downtown hotels right to the base lodge. Daily lift tickets start at $69.

Finally, word to the wise: to experience chichi Park City's skiing at its very cushiest, hit the slopes during the Sundance Film Festival when the great and the good are too busy striking deals -- the slopes are empty and your lift ticket will suddenly seem worth twice as much.

The Crib

After a day of pampering yourself on Deer Valley's slopes, spend a night pampering yourself at the equally cushy, slopeside Lodges at Deer Valley (800.782.4813; www.lodges-deervalley.com). A hotel shuttle will whisk you and your gear all of 500 meters to your lodging, and you'll be sprawled on your massive, ache-busting bed before the sweat's had time to evaporate off your back.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
Grand Prize Winner
Anuar Patjane Floriuk/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
PHOTO: Researchers working with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy identified two great white sharks on July 28, 2015.
Wayne W.Davis/Atlantic White Shark Conservancy