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Deer Valley

It’s unclear whether the reader was applauding or shaming Deer Valley with his comment that a vacation here is like “skiing in the lap of luxury.” No matter. Because it is clear that Deer Valley’s faithful fully embrace the resort’s pampering ethos, which is the basis of its repeat no. 1 ranking. Its consistent success is built from the bottom up, as “these guys understand how important it is to manage the details." To that end, the mountain crew coddles the snow as if each flake were a Fabergé egg. Not surprisingly, ripping down groomers is “like driving a Ferrari.” And more often than not, dining out is akin to visiting a four-star hotel. However, Deer Valley’s particular insight isn’t that service matters—that’s no secret—nor is it the fresh dill chèvre, nor the army of smiling ambassadors perpetually at the ready. The difference here is the sincere business belief that attitude and effort trump all. Yes, that’s the president of the resort stopping to reunite you with your skis after a tumble in the Centennial glades. To be sure, Deer Valley’s top ranking—fueled by setting the standard in Grooming, Service, Dining and Lodging—peeves alpine purists, who would rather measure a mountain’s success in vertical feet skied and toenails blackened. Fair enough. On the other hand, “this is a resort that perfectly knows its niche.” There's no shame in that. —Greg Ditrinco

Off-the-Map Trail » Venture into the unmarked X-Files glades. Go left off the Empire Express and follow Orion as it slides by Daly Bowl and the Daly Chutes. The trees—and the conspiracies— thicken on your left. Drop in.

Après Spot » Ride the Funicular from Snow Park Lodge up to the St. Regis Deer Valley and head to the Terrace Café’s outdoor patio. The views are spectacular, and we’ll let you see for yourself how the Garden of Fire got its name.

Don’t Miss » Fireside Dining at the Empire Canyon Lodge is one of those experiences you take home. Dishes from the Alps are served from five stone fireplaces as you circulate from hearth to hearth, wondering why you would ever want to leave.

Deer Valley's Turkey Chili

Deer Valley Chili Sponsored Story
Deer Valley Chili Sponsored Story
If you haven't tried Deer Valley's Famous Turkey Chili, it's time you did.

1. Après-ski at Edgar’s Beers & Spirits (EBS) Lounge with a cocktail and Turkey Chili Nachos, served with freshly grated cheddar cheese and cilantro sour cream.

2. Pick it up frozen or ready-to-eat at the year-round restaurant, Deer Valley Grocery~Café and enjoy it in the comfort of your condo or hotel room.

The Mariposa

The Mariposa
Deer Valley's Mariposa
Because a good meal is an integral part of any great ski day.

The resort's flagship Zagat-rated restaurant inside Silver Lake Lodge exudes rustic elegance complemented by Chef Clark Norris's classic yet contemporary menu. A Wine Spectator award-winning wine list enhances a meal that is not to be missed. Try the signature dish, pan-roasted sea scallops with house-cured bacon-chive risotto and granny smith beurre blanc.

deervalley.com

Seafood Buffet

Seafood Buffet
It’s a tie. Deer Valley’s seafood buffet costs $60 a head, but nearly every non-mammalian ocean dweller is available for your eating pleasure. If crustaceans make you feel like Captain Nemo, Crested Butte’s Slogar will thrust you into a mash-up of Victorian-era Colorado and Colonel Sanders’s ranch. For $16, Slogar patrons get half a skillet-fried chicken and bottomless dishes of creamed corn, buttermilk biscuits with honey butter, mashed potatoes with chicken gravy, butter pickles, and cinnamon-poached pears.

Honorable Mentions:
El Chubasco (Park City, Utah)
Sushi Village (Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia)
Pugsley’s Pub (Sunday River, Maine)
The massive seafood buffet at the Snow Park Lodge is not to be missed.

Zagat rated the Titantic-sized Seafood Buffet in Snow Park Lodge as one of the Salt Lake City area’s top 10 restaurants this year. The buffet boasts a bounty, from fresh Dungeness crab and tiger shrimp to Pacific oysters and crab risotto cakes with lemon-ginger aioli—even Thai seafood chowder. A summer remodel of the restaurant’s architecture aims to give this season’s guests more opportunity to interact with chefs. Adults $62, children 11 years old and under $34; deervalley.com 

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