In honor of ski season, we've put together everything you need to know (and what to pack) for a
fun and memorable vacation on the slopes!
- Kate & Beth
We grew up skiing on mountains (well, hills) in Pennsylvania. It was one of our favorite high school activities. A big group would head up on Friday nights and we’d ski under the lights, egging each other on to tackle the “big” runs. Looking back, the runs weren’t that steep or long, but they were very icy and ice is tough to ski on. Thankfully, we had no idea that not all mountains had ice and it was a great training ground to becoming decent skiers.
We’ve passed our love of skiing to our kids (our husbands not so much) and gone on enough family ski trips out west to confidently recommend Deer Valley as a near perfect family ski retreat. There are many variables when planning a trip, from airport proximity (you often have two flights plus a long drive to good mountains), to ski in/ski out options (skiing to the lift from your lodging is priceless), to the quality of the slopes, to the dining and activities.
The Montage Resort in Deer Valley, Utah is an easy 40‐minute drive from Salt Lake City International Airport, and sits less than five minutes from downtown Park City. It has unrivaled ski‐in / ski‐out access, a great spa, world class dining, and lots of fun activities. We’ve tried Beaver Creek and Aspen, and Deer Valley is the clear winner.
One of the best aspects of The Montage is that you don’t have to leave the resort if you don’t want to. It’s really time consuming and cumbersome to drive to a mountain, dress yourself and your kids, and haul equipment to and from the slopes. All of these pain points are removed at The Montage, starting with the indoor ski shop / ski valet where you can rent or buy skis, store your personal skis and accessories during your stay, and have expert staff help you and your kids slip into them before hitting the slopes which are just steps outside. There are lots of hotels with a “ski valet” but most are crowded, understaffed, and chaotic. Not at The Montage. The service is perfect even on crazy holiday weekends when the hotel is full.
Fun Fact: Deer Valley is one of the few North American ski resorts that is ski-only, no snowboards permitted. This is a controversial topic but there is no denying that negotiating around snowboards on a mountain can be tough, especially for young ones. The good news is that Park City Mountain is literally right next door and they do allow snowboarding. Deer Valley also limits the number of skiers, so it never feels crowded and there is terrain for everyone, from chutes, to off-piste, to beautifully groomed runs.
Dining at The Montage is another huge plus with lots of options: A a gorgeous breakfast buffet, a pub with its own arcade and bowling alley, a burger restaurant, sushi restaurant, plus a Veuve Cliquot yurt slope side, and a sledding hill for the kids. Not to mention the daily afternoon hot chocolate and smores.
What’s the catch? It’s expensive. You pay for all of these amazing amenities, but if you want great skiing with a top spa, dining, and lots of fun activities, you can’t beat Deer Valley.
of our favorites for both style and function.