That’s right. After five remarkable—some would say persistent—years in a row, Deer Valley drops down a notch to the second spot in the survey. Eh, no matter. Deer Valley loyalists remain loyal, and the resort continues to build a skidom based on the steadfast belief that service trumps all, even in a sport dependent on the immutable traits of soaring peaks and mountain valleys. “Deer Valley is the Ritz-Carlton of ski resorts,” one reader notes. Actually, Deer Valley views the Ritz as the Deer Valley of luxury hotels. Either way, this is a resort as comfortable in its own skin as any. For instance, one fan lists the resort’s strengths as “grooming, no snowboarders, on-mountain food, no snowboarders, snowmaking, no snowboarders, excellent staff, and no snowboarders.” Deer Valley knows which side its freshly baked croissants are buttered on. Legit complaints include a lack of terrain parks (“It’s easier to keep little shredders two-planking if they have a place to play”) and having to show your pass at every chairlift (“Even old-school Alta uses chips in its tickets”). But Deer Valley’s sweet spot is just about everything else, as the resort brings an obsessive-compulsive’s attention to detail to, well, all the details. Furthermore, Deer Valley delivers what many skiers value most in a vacation these days: security. “Deer Valley is as close to a guaranteed good time as there is.” —Greg Ditrinco
APRES SPOT >> Named in honor of resort founder Edgar B. Stern, the intimate EBS Lounge transports you to skiing’s golden age. Order the Edgartini and ogle the cool vintage pics covering the walls.
DON’T MISS >> Grab first chair and head straight to Empire Canyon Lodge. It opens at 9:15 for continental breakfast. The place will be empty and serves homemade granola and a killer espresso.
FAMILY EXPERIENCE >> Water fountains aren’t designed for winter at 7,452 feet, so the St. Regis installed a Garden of Fire, with mesmerizing flames that will elicit a Zen-like trance in your young charges.