by Larry Berle
The difference between an outstanding hotel and an awesome one is in the service. And service is king here. They even have a butler dept. to give you that extra service you rarely find anywhere else, especially at home.
The St. Regis Deer Valley is located right at the base of Deer Valley Ski Resort, virtually in the heart of Park City and just thirty miles from the Salt Lake City airport.
Nestled into the mountain, you arrive at the front desk via a funicular. A grand entrance lifting you into the hotel. The ride up the hill welcomes you with a stunning view of the surrounding mountains and glorious skies, and its hard not to get excited about your visit to this hotel. Children and adults alike will wiggle with delight.
This is kid friendly at its best!! In fact Travel and Leisure Magazine just named this the number one family resort in America. There are almost 200 rooms here that range in rates from the low $200’s per night up to $1,200 per night during the Sundance film festival. The season dictates the rates.
Over half of the guests here are families. At check in, every kid is given an age appropriate gift. At 6:30 each night they have the sabering of a champagne bottle and complimentary glass of champagne (that is for Mom and Dad) and at 8:30 every night its s’mores at one of the many fire pits. That’s for the kids, (but I had two and made sure to be there the next night also).
They don’t use the term ski-in/ski-out, rather slopeside because you can put your skis on right here in the hotel, and the valet there will even put your boots on for you. Ski down to the lift right from the hotel and return to the mountain terrace of the hotel at the end of the day.
Jean George VonGerichten is the executive chef and has more Michelin and New York Times stars than any living chef (not to mention several James Beard awards) so come ready for a gastronomic delight. He has taken the typical kids menu to a whole new level. They have done taste testing with kids to create a menu “by kids for kids”
Here are a couple examples: Three Cheese Double Croque Monsieur with Black Forest Ham and Char Tomato braised chicken with Parmesan Grits. That sure beats chicken fingers.
Have you ever heard of butler service at a hotel? I had not. The butler service here is headed up by Alexander Mattinson a former butler at Buckingham Palace. They will do anything you request, get clothes pressed, pack and unpack your suitcases for you, go do your Christmas shopping and gift wrapping etc. They even fulfill some very unusual requests. One example Alex gave me was a woman who left a pair of shoes after check out. She called the hotel from Europe and wanted them “personally returned” Of course the hotel offered to ship them to her but she reiterated “I want them personally returned” so one of the butlers got on a plane, with shoes in hand and took them across the Atlantic Ocean to “personally return them to her.”
Robbie Preece is the family activities director and they pride themselves not only on plenty of family activities, but customizing them for your family. If you want to learn landscape painting or photography– they match you up with the right instructor. If you want to mountain bike or horseback ride they help you assess your skill level and pair you up with the proper guide. This does not even include the plethora of activities all over Park City, like the Olympic Park,where you can watch ski jumpers train or ride the bobsled run. Then there are the family traditions like an annual reading of “The Night Before Christmas” in the lobby lounge every Christmas eve or Easter baskets on Easter morning.
One more offer worth mentioning is “Exclusive Evenings”. They have a special supervised dining room for kids so Mom and Dad can go out on the town one night for their private romantic dinner.
If you find both romance and family activities appealling to you, The St. Regis Deer Valley may be the place for you.
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Larry Berle is a travel writer who writes on many travel topics but specializes in golf travel. He is author of A GOLFERS DREAM: HOW A REGULAR GUY CONQUERED THE GOLF DIGEST LIST OF AMERICAS TOP 100 GOLF COURSES. Learn more about his book at www.GolfersDreamBook.com and from there you can also access his travel blog.