Waldorf Astoria Park City takes ski vacations to the next level

Grand Entrance /image: Murphy O'Brien

PARK CITY, February 3, 2013—A flurry of snowflakes and Park City, Utah comes alive. This laid-back little resort town cradled in the Wasatch Back revs up the energy level and preparations with that first sign of snow. Currently, Park City has just entered the post Sundance Film Festival recovery phase, but there are still plenty of Olympic level winter sports and winter activities to tempt vacationers.

Park City has many great restaurants and ski resorts, and the Waldorf Astoria Park City is one of the newest and most luxurious. A cobblestone drive leads to the grand entrance at the porte cochere where waiting valets spring into action, gather up your luggage, hold doors, and whisk you inside before your toes have a chance to feel the first tingle of winter chill.

Cognac toned leather chairs, couches, and ottomans provide ample seating in the lobby area which includes a chess table. The feel is inviting and comfortable and guests read papers and check their email in front of the enormous hearth. It is perfectly acceptable to clomp across the marble floors in your ski boots or wander down to the spa in your bathrobe because everyone does.

Suites are cozy with fireplaces and posh furnishings, Viking appliances in the kitchen, and sleep from 4 to 16 people. Bathrobes and slippers, extra blankets, and a humidifier should you need it are located in the bedroom closet. As an added bonus and proof that they really have thought of everything, suites have a bathroom right by the entrance so you can shed your cold wet ski clothes and hop into the shower without tracking slush all over the carpet. Not to worry if you want a warm bath, a jetted tub is located in the master bathroom and comes complete with a loofah, a TV, and a remote.

The Waldorf Astoria Spa is on the main floor and guests are encouraged to use the top-of-the-line gym equipment or indulge in one of a multitude of natural and organic spa treatments provided by expert staff. The spa also has a sauna and a 16 jetted shower available to all guests. Soaking in a hot tub while snow gently falls is magical, but if you would rather play chicken in the pool with your kids you can because it is heated and comfortable though outside air may be below freezing.

During your stay you should save an evening for dining at Powder located on the main floor where executive Chef Clement Gelas serves up authentic mountain cuisine of the Alps with a dedication to the farm-to-table concept. Rib-sticking entrees like roasted lamb shank with polenta and mussels in beurre blanc will have you braced and ready for another day of skiing. Powder has got your nightlife covered as well with an ice bar outside on the balcony complete with ice sculptures, a designer champagne bar, and hors d’oeuvres.

Crave is located next door to Powder and opens early for a quick pastry or organic juice before your next adventure. For a more leisurely breakfast choose Powder. Blueberry pancakes never tasted so good until they were served drizzled with lavender maple syrup. The true mountain breakfast plate has locally sourced bacon, turkey sausage and cold smoked pork and a couple of eggs any way you want them that will bring you to your happy place.

If you are always on the go, and you need a vacation to escape life’s daily hustle, this resort just might be the answer. There is a dedicated gondola to the Canyons which offers 158 skiing trails in total with 58 of them groomed. A few minutes’ drive toward the mountain is the Waldorf’s wedding and event venue, the Ranch at White Pine Canyon. You can immerse yourself in luxury and this place is so self-contained that going anywhere else is optional. If you want it, they’ve got it. Top of the line spa, hair and nail salons. Check. Gym. Check.  Fine dining. Check. Ski and winter sports. Check. Pool and hot tub. Check.

But what about adventure you may ask? If you want adventure you will have to leave the resort, but you won’t have to go far. The Waldorf, in an effort to provide a total vacation experience has exciting majordomo packages. Packages start with a one bedroom suite at $869 and experiences can be booked online for an additional charge.

For something a little more wild that will take you deep into Utah back country, a dog mushing majordomo experience is a must. Swooping through two-foot-thick pristine and untouched powder behind a team of well-trained and highly-social sled dogs is the experience of a lifetime. Learn various commands, interact with the dogs, and receive pictures taken during the ride as a part of the package. Neal Bowlen, chief dog musher and owner of pawsatch.com, will educate you on the ins and outs of dog mushing and dogsled racing as you see the snowy wilderness from a whole new perspective. This add-on is $735 per person for two hours of fleet-footed dog sledding that will leave you wondering if perhaps you were meant to live as they do in the frozen north in a cabin, transported by high-energy pooches.

Other majordomo experiences include private ice skating and speed skating lessons with a US national speed skating team member, or a custom made ski stylist experience where you can get outfitted with the latest alpine designer threads and ski/snowboarding gear.

For a luxury vacation that is sure to be packed with memorable experiences , Park City and the Waldorf Astoria are a prime destinations. Excellent skiing, grand accommodations, delicious food, outdoor adventuring, combine into what might be the best winter vacation ever.

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