An elegant castle in the sky at Montage Deer Valley

An elegant castle in the sky at Montage Deer Valley

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The Montage Deer Valley nestled at the top of Empire Pass. Photo by Alison Reynolds

DEER VALLEY, UTAH, March 4, 2014 – Montage Deer Valley is an elegant castle in the sky that gives new definition to the concept of the luxury resort ski experience. Located at the very end of the road at the top of Empire Canyon high above Park City, Utah at an altitude of 8300 feet, it anchors the outer reaches of the acclaimed ski mountains of Deer Valley Resort.

Maintaining the Montage tradition of impeccable attention to service and detail, this is a transformative ski-in/ski- out destination resort where the warm opulence of the amenities is only exceeded by the daily indulgent glory of skiing in the mountains surrounding it.

Opened just 4 years ago, Montage Deer Valley has changed the landscape of luxury accommodations in Deer Valley and Park City, a seamless blend of a 5 star hotel with an extraordinary skiing destination. With 154 guest rooms and 66 suites and residences, and just 40 minutes from Salt Lake City airport, it also features exceptional restaurants, gorgeous common spaces, and a 35000 square foot spa.

Arriving on a snowy afternoon is like emerging through the forest onto a glowing golden fairy castle built in the Craftsman style into the side of the mountain, where for the next four days every need will be met with comfort, style and class.

Montage has built a reputation with its Beverly Hills and Laguna Beach incarnations, and it extends that pedigree to Deer Valley in an exceptional reincarnation. The lobby is a welcoming rotunda, warm and comfortable. It opens up to the airy expanse of the Vista Lounge, which covers the entire center of the hotel on the 6th floor with gorgeous high ceilings and fireplaces, leading to outdoor terraces on either side.

The Vista Lounge has multiple seating areas filled with plush couches, and features live entertainment on a regular basis. The Yama Sushi bar is located on one side of the room, the casual Vista Lounge bar at the other end, and in between is a beautiful space that often hosted private concerts throughout the Sundance Film Festival.

Comfortable and welcoming, it is the center of activity as an apre’ ski spot, and families gather on the deck just outside each evening for a daily treat of designer s’mores over an open fire.

Rooms at Montage are particularly lovely and comfortable, with sumptuous linens, stylish seating areas, large balconies, gas fireplaces, and impeccable views of the ski slopes, the mountains, and the valley below. The sense of being in an immersive winter wonderland is palpable.

Apex, their aptly named fine dining restaurant, has crafted a brilliant gastronomic experience under the direction of Chef de Cuisine David Mullen, with a wine list to match. Sommelier Colton Short graces the meal with a fabulous Williams Selyem 2011 Sonoma Coast Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir.

Buffalo rib eye is a mastodon of wonderful medium rare flavor, succulent and tender. Gnochi with a short rib ragout is simply phenomenal, and seared scallops are perfectly cooked. The atmosphere is cozy, the meal is delightfully romantic, and the hours pass with gentle splendor.

Spa Montage is a 35000 square foot extravaganza that occupies the entire 4th floor of the hotel. With loving attention to comfort and detail, its steam and sauna area is as impressive as the full size indoor swimming pool lovingly reminiscent of William Randolph Hearst’s indoor pool at San Simeon. A couple’s massage at the end of a long day of skiing is the perfect precursor to a romantic evening.

On the grounds are several large heated outdoor swimming pools, in addition to several outdoor Jacuzzis. Down below, along the edge of the outdoor patio, a fire pit glows with the warming blaze of burning wood as the snow falls.

One of the things Montage does particularly well is to have numerous facilities and activities for families, including an arcade, a bowling alley, a tubing hill, daily s’mores parties, and a fully dedicated children’s play area, The Paintbox. The point is to provide a support system for family entertainment so that parents can know the kids are taken care of so they are free to enjoy their vacation too.

Then there is the skiing. Deer Valley is one of America’s finest ski resorts, and has the added luster of being a ski only resort, with no snowboards allowed. The ski center at Montage, Compass Sports, has a team of people who provide personalized service, helping with boots and lockers, while slope side the ski valet has the skis and poles at the ready outside by the lifts.

For skis and boots Black Tie Ski Rentals is a wonderful concierge ski equipment rental company that comes to the hotel room to fit its clients with the latest boots and skis, in this case some Atomic 176 parabolics. They then check the equipment into the hotel ski shop, and pick it up when your visit is done.

Now in Park City, Telluride, Crested Butte and many other ski resorts, Black Tie Ski Rentals is an indispensable service for whenever top of the line ski equipment and individual attention is desired.

The Empire Express lift just outside of Montage takes you up to 9570 feet and an area of advanced skiing. The Ruby Express lift takes you to the top of Flagstaff Mountain and a series of family friendly runs. From there it is a short lift up the Sterling Express to Bald Mountain at 9400 feet and Deer Valley’s most innervating double blue and black diamond runs.

The days are filled with wonderful skiing on a range of challenging slopes from 9 am until almost 4 pm. At the end of an exhausting but exhilarating day the ski valet at Montage takes the skis, poles, and boots and stores them until morning. The sky is ablaze with a stunning sunset as the Vista Lounge fills with the apre ski crowd for hot toddies, drinks, and s’mores.  It is, indeed, a winter wonderland come to life.

Rooms start at $865, and suites start at $1590 a night.


Joel Berliner is a travel writer based in Los Angeles.





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