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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.

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 

The Grand Lodge

The Grand Lodge
grand lodge
The Grand Lodge spared no expense on décor, with hand-hewn alderwood beams, Brazilian slate floors and Italian marble countertops in its 27 residences.

Seated at the base of the Northside Express chairlift and close to the Lady Morgan Express with access to Empire Canyon area trails, The Grand Lodge features ski-in/ski-out access—and swanky décor in 27 residences: hand-hewn alderwood beams, Brazilian slate floors, and Italian marble countertops. The lodge also features heated patios with grotto spas, stone fireplaces and gourmet kitchens. Three- to five-bedroom and penthouse units also come with access to ski lockers and a fitness room.

Black Diamond Lodge

Black Diamond Lodge
With its ideal location for families—ski-in/ski-out at the base of Wild West run—the Black Diamond offers 32 roomy one- to four-bedroom condos. The Children’s Center, base for ski school and daycare, is a stroll away at the Snow Park Lodge. Condos each have a full gourmet kitchen, fireplace and outdoor deck. A continental breakfast is served in the lobby lounge, where you can watch while the ski valet lays your skis on the snow outside. Click in and go. It’s that easy. $630–$3,815; blackdiamond-deervalley.com; 888-976-2732
This ski-in/ski-out location is ideal for the whole family.

 

 

Lodges at Deer Valley

Lodges at Deer Valley

$290–$760; www.lodges-deervalley.com; 800-453-3833

- SKI Magazine, November 2008
Deer Valley Resort aims for the stars. And it often reaches them, especially where lodging is concerned.

An Olympic Legacy at Deer Valley

Our friends at Deer Valley sent us this story about the Olympics, the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup, and history.

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