My family and I live on the East Coast and typically consider time at the hotel secondary to hitting the slopes on a ski vacation, but staying at the Montage Deer Valley turned our mindset on its head. In fact, the caliber of service, amenities and the comfortable luxury of the Montage made it a hard choice whether to ski at one of the best ski resorts in the country or to stay put and enjoy the hotel.
Other brands can learn something from the Montage service approach: 100% total focus on its customers. This was apparent at the time of check-in when we were warmly-welcomed by a hotel greeter at the hotel entrance and were whisked to our room (after our daughters were offered choice of stuffed animals,) without ever actually waiting at a reception desk. I should mention that we were also greeted by Jonas and Monty, two (very large) Bernese Mountain dogs who serve as the hotel’s (very patient) ambassadors.
On our typical East Coast ski vacations, by the time my husband and I make it to our first chair lift ride, we are already tired after lugging our family’s ski equipment and helping our children with their boots. At Compass, the Montage’s ski concierge, there are eager ski valets who assist guests with everything.
We all know about hands-free calling. Compass Sports has mastered the art of hands-free equipment handling. We even felt that we would upset them if we were to help our daughters with their boots. When we exited Compass onto the Deer Valley slopes, our skis and poles awaited us along with [two] chairlift options just steps away. When we returned, we simply left our skis and poles outside with the valet and were welcomed inside with a hot cup of apple cider and cookies.
My family and I adore skiing, but we equally cherish our downtime activities after skiing and on non-ski days. The Montage offers many activity options for families to enjoy together or separately. Before getting out of our ski clothes one day, we went to the hotel’s private tubing hill where we watched our kids by the comfort of an outdoor fire pit.
The indoor pool adjacent to the spa has family swim hours from 9-11 in the morning and 6-9 at night. We loved our indoor family swim time at night, but if you are more adventurous, you can take a dip in the outdoor alpine pool at any time which is heated to 90 degrees.
Our daily late afternoon ritual was lounging by a roaring fire in the dramatic but cozy Vista lounge where we listened to live music, played billiards and board games, and nibbled on snacks.
I love the thoughtfulness behind the layout of At Daly’s Pub where you can enjoy upscale pub food while kids play foosball, darts or various video arcade games in the adjacent game room. Families can go bowling after dessert at the Montage’s four lane bowling alley. The Montage’s focus on thinking about the experience for every guest is evident in the late-afternoon gourmet s’mores where you can hear adults “oohing” and “ahhing” about the variety of marshmallow flavors such as espresso as well as the milk and dark chocolate selection.
Paintbox, Montage’s childrens’ program, offers kids ages 5 to 12 many fun and creative activities. This is an excellent activity option for children on non-ski days. On Friday and Saturdays, there is Childrens’ Night Out where kids can have dinner, enjoy an activity and watch a movie while parents enjoy a relaxing, grown-up dinner. During Holidays and School Breaks, Childrens’ Night Out is offered every night.
The very capable concierge can arrange other activities which are available such as a horse-drawn sleigh ride and bobsledding if you can pry yourself away from the hotel and the ski slopes.
Even though most of us are always with our Smartphone cameras, the Montage even has a photographer, George, who is not intrusive at all and who was available at strategic spots of the hotel to memorialize special family moments.
After touring the Montage Spa, we couldn’t resist booking a one-hour Montage Mountain Therapy massage. I would have been content relaxing by the fireplace in the tranquil womens’ sitting area anticipating the massage treatment in lieu of my large “to-do” list that I face at home. My massage therapist was talented and by the time I took a sauna and a deluge shower, all soreness and worries floated away.
Main Street in Park City is an approximately 10-15 minute drive down the mountain, which is certainly doable for meals out, but given all of the diverse dining options at the Montage, it’s unnecessary. I mentioned Daly’s Pub with game options enabling some peaceful adult time while children play; another family dining option is Burgers and Bourbon, serving upscale comfort food. My family typically does not eat at the same restaurant in the same month, but after eating the Wagyu Nachos, we all became obsessed and ate there on consecutive nights. I also recommend the Smokehouse Burger, the S’mores Shake, and the Bohemiam Czech Pilsner.
Apex, is the Montage’s signature restaurant. The décor and furnishings are relaxed but the food is definitely upscale. We ate there with our children and Apex offers a good selection of high quality childrens’ options rather than the typical chicken fingers and fries offered at many restaurants. Apex is also a good option for a romantic adult dinner. On the night we ate there, the mix of diners included both couples and families and parents should feel comfortable bringing along their children. We had the branzino for two which was delicious and which I would highly recommend.
There is also Yama Sushi which is another great dinner option where adults can dine guilt free knowing their children are having an uber-child experience at Paintbox.
On one morning before skiing, we stopped for breakfast at Buzz where you can have something quick to eat before heading to Compass Sports. We enjoyed the yogurt parfait and our children loved the fruit smoothies, which consisted of just fruit, yogurt and had no added sugar. On another morning, we couldn’t resist the breakfast buffet at Apex where we had made-to-order omelettes, muesli, baked treats, and fruit and which eliminated the need to have lunch!
I would describe Montage’s interior as comfortable luxury, reflecting the hotel’s California roots. Our Standard Room with two double beds had very comfortable furnishings as well as a balcony overlooking the mountains. One of the most important elements of a hotel room after a full day of skiing is wonderful beds. The soft sheets and wonderful mattresses at the Montage fit the bill.
We also loved our large, marble bathroom that was able to accommodate all four of us at times getting ready for dinner. The room configuration and amenities are well thought out; ours included a small balcony, walk-in closet, nice-sized gas fireplace with multiple controls, including one that we could reach lying in bed before going to sleep, small refrigerator and other bells and whistles that you would expect in a hotel of this caliber.
The ski-in ski-out Montage is located mid-mountain, near the top of Deer Valley resort with amazing near and distant mountain views. It is worth pointing out that the hotel is at an elevation of 8,300 feet which may result in some heavy breathing for the first day or so to adjust.
The Montage is approximately a 10-15 minute drive to Main Street in Park City, which is worth a drive for shopping or dinner. What we found even more appealing is the easy 40-minute drive from the Salt Lake Airport!
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Editorial Note: Sandy was given a media package at Deer Valley Montage. As always, our opinions are our own on Ciao Bambino. Photos by Sandy Pappas and George Manlove.
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