by Traci L. Suppa
Nestled in the Uinta Mountains, the only range in the United States to run east to west, the Montage Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, claims a picturesque perch at an altitude of more than 8,300 feet.
The upscale aesthetic here is refined Mountain Craftsman. At first glance, it looks like a lodge, but there’s more marble than timber, and the rustic-style fixtures are on a grand scale. Despite the subdued opulence, the Montage has a warm, welcoming vibe toward families. During our stay, we saw an equal number of families, couples and single business travelers.
High season here is winter, as this is one of North America’s top-rated ski resorts. There is true ski-in/ski-out access, with three high-speed chairlift stops on the property. Whether you’re a skier or not, there’s plenty to do the rest of the year, thanks to the full range of indoor and outdoor activities offered through the Compass outfitting shop.
With no immediate neighbors, the Montage’s mid-mountain location is serene and quiet. The views are expansive, and on a clear day, you can see the state of Wyoming 70 miles away. Park City’s celebrated Main Street is less than 10 minutes by car or via the complimentary, on-demand resort shuttle.
Our Editor Loves
- Secluded, mountainside location
- Supervised childcare program
- Indoor and outdoor recreational activities
- Children Programs
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Game Room
- Onsite Dining
Rooms & Rates
The Montage Deer Valley Resort has 154 deluxe guestrooms and more than 66 suites and residences. Guestrooms are a spacious 600 square feet, and the two configurations available include either one king bed or two queens. Rooms can be combined to create two-bedroom suites. Both cribs and portable play yards are available to borrow. Fine amenities -- including 400-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets and down bedding, bathrobes and slippers -- add a high level of comfort.
Guestrooms and Suites
The guestroom layout included a small foyer where the honor bar and fridge were located, a walk-in closet, a dedicated work space, an ample furnished balcony and a loveseat at the foot of the bed in front of the large, flat-screen LCD TV. The gas fireplace provides a warm glow with real flames, and generates a fair amount of heat. It is automatically set to turn off after about an hour. Lighting throughout the room, which includes a stylish chandelier over the bed, is ample and set on dimmers, which take some time to figure out how to use. The complimentary Wi-Fi was fast and reliable.
The bathroom was large by most standards, with a separate water closet for the toilet, a marble-surround soaking tub and a stand-alone shower. Inside the shower was a marble bench seat and two shower heads; a traditional fixture from the wall and an oversized rain shower fixture from the ceiling. An extended selection of complimentary toiletries is provided, too.
Regardless of your room's location, views will be spectacular and serene. Set into a mountain range at 8,300 feet, the property faces undulating wooded hills in every direction. With no immediate neighbors, you can sit on your balcony and enjoy the quiet rustle of leaves. The evergreens offer year-round color, while the aspen and birch trees sport changing foliage spring through fall.
Each guestroom and suite receives twice-daily housekeeping, including turndown service. Check-in time is 3 p.m.; check out is noon.
The resort offers several residence units to guests as an alternative to the traditional guestrooms. If you would like access to a kitchen, laundry facilities and other household amenities, consider staying in one of these.
On a business stay for a conference, I stayed at the Montage and the St. Regis. I would say go with St. Regis. Their rooms are so much better. While these rooms at the Montage are nice, they do not match the quality of the St. Regis rooms. Also, the service of the staff was better at St. Regis as well.
Our stay at Montage Deer Vally was outstanding. Setting and interiors are gorgeous and the level of service is essentially unmatched. Every staff member encountered was genuinely enthusiastic, friendly and eager to please. The ski attendants in Compass Sports downstairs literally put our equipment on us at the beginning of the day and took it off us at the end -- we did not have to lift a finger. We are now totally spoiled and not sure how we can ever stay elsewhere! Champagne in the orange Aprés Ski yurt behind the hotel after the lifts closed was a hoot (astronomically priced, but it's an experience). The extensive breakfast buffet was very high quality; late afternoon cocktails in front of the fireplace in the enormous high-ceilinged lounge were tasty and served with a smile. Our suite was remarkably quiet and extremely comfortable. There was always a complimentary shuttle available within minutes to drive us into Park City for dinner, with only the slight annoyance of having to be dropped off on the street parallel to Main Street instead of in front of the restaurants themselves due to increased enforcement of local parking regulations. The only mild criticism: the hot tub could be hotter. Other than that, Montage verges on perfection and we will definitely return.
With an ideal location atop Empire Pass, the Montage Deer Valley Resort is one of North America's top-rated ski resorts. Other outdoor winter recreation activities available include snowshoeing, ice skating, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and sleigh riding. In the spring, summer, and fall, guests enjoy hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, swimming, fly-fishing kayaking, rafting and golf.
In addition to the activities offered through Compass and Paint Box, two programs delighted us. Marshmallow roasting is a nightly ritual at any of several fire pits located on the property. All the makings for S'mores are provided, including homemade marshmallows in several different flavors.
Montage also has its own resident "canine ambassadors;" two well-behaved Bernese Mountain dogs. They are brought to the lobby three times a day to meet and greet guests.
The hub of all activities is the onsite outfitting shop, Compass. "Camp Compass" features 30 recreational activities on property, indoors and outdoors, which vary by season. Inside the shop is a Ping-Pong table, and just outside is a volleyball net, disc golf, horseshoes, croquet and bocce ball.
Parents are welcome to join their kids in many group activities, like outdoor photography, family yoga, guided nature hikes, fly-casting lessons, horse-drawn sleigh rides, archery lessons and outdoor concerts. With instructors on hand, several parents competed side-by-side with their kids to hit the center archery target and earn bragging rights.
The shop is also located close to the ski lift and convenient during ski season, which runs from December through March. Compass staff serves as guests' personal ski concierge and valet, by storing and preparing all ski equipment, arranging lift tickets and lessons and even warming boots.
Come spring, they offer the same level of service for biking, by providing street and mountain bikes and all necessary equipment.
Paint Box provides organized children's activities in a relatively small but well-stocked room with arts and crafts, toys for dramatic play, computers and more. This is a drop-in center for kids ages 5 to 12, which allows parents to enjoy child-free time. In addition to the indoor facility, kids are treated to supervised outdoor activities like painting, nature photography sessions, scavenger hunts, guided hikes and mountain bike treks, species spotting with a naturalist, fly-fishing instruction and picnics.
Paint Box is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kids can go for the morning session (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.), the afternoon session (12 to 4 p.m.), or all day. Each session includes a meal and snack. Evening sessions from 6 to 10 p.m. are also offered on Friday and Saturday nights. Normally it is fine to drop into any session, but during high season, it's best to reserve your child's spot ahead of time.
Alpine Pool Deck
In addition to a full-sized pool, there is a 1.5-foot deep wading pool for young children, and a large hot tub for adults with a circular stone table in the middle for resting drinks.
The chaise lounges have thick, comfortable cushions. While we were there, a water polo net was set up, and several kids were playing.
The pools are heated and open year-round from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily. The property's only indoor pool is located in the spa, and offers family hours from 9 to 11 a.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.
Daly's Pub & Rec
The most casual of all onsite eateries, Daly's offers kid-friendly fare, such as brick oven pizza and hamburgers. Two signature beers have been created for the resort using Utah hops: Monty's Belgian Ale (named after the property's canine mascot) and the Montage Mountain Ale, which is used in the batter for the tasty fish and chips.
Daly's is the place your older kids will want to spend their evenings, especially in the arcade with video games and four Wii stations. There's also a pool table, table shuffleboard, foosball and darts. We really enjoyed the bowling alley, which has four lanes available and circular banquette seating with tables so you can dine at the lane.
The resort's signature restaurant is an American grill featuring farm-to-table ingredients. Three meals a day are served here, as well as a skier's brunch in season, which allows skiers to have a quick meal. The dress code is casual by day, but dinner service is geared to adults in more formal attire. The outdoor dining facility on the mountainside terrace is heated and available year round.
Buzz Coffee and Tea
This espresso bar offers a full range of hot and cold coffee drinks, gelato and grab-and-go snack items for picnics or to take to the ski slopes. It's only open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Vista Lounge & Terrace
This space is a great room, open all day. At one end is a bar, which serves handcrafted cocktails in the evenings, along with classic bistro fare, Asian-inspired small plates and desserts. There is nightly entertainment, including a pianist.
This small eatery adjacent to the Vista Lounge is only open in the evenings during the summer and winter seasons. The menu features fresh sushi rolls and nigiri, sake flight pairings and beers from around the world.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
The Montage Deer Valley Resort sits at an altitude of more than 8,300 feet. If you're traveling there from a low-lying region, you may feel some effects of the altitude. The most prominent for us was the dry air, which lead to a near-constant thirst. More severe effects could include headaches and shortness of breath. The easiest prevention is to stay well-hydrated.
Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the resort
The Art of Smart Timing
The resort is open year round but high season here is winter ski season.
The closest airport is Salt Lake City, approximately 40 minutes away.
Utilize the complimentary, on-demand shuttle service for trips into Park City. Before you leave, grab a business card from the Resort Transportation desk so you'll have their number handy to call for your return ride. They will pick you up anywhere along Main Street, although the Post Office is a central, convenient meeting place close to the Park City Museum, a must-see attraction your children will enjoy.
For Mom and Dad
Take advantage of Paint Box, and plan to leave your kids there for a few hours so you can indulge in a spa treatment, time on the slopes or a Main Street shopping excursion. It's even open on Friday and Saturday nights, so you can enjoy a leisurely gourmet meal at Apex. The Paint Box does not take children younger than five years old, but babysitting services are available through the concierge.
The Spa, with its opulent decor, is the largest in the state of Utah. While the facility is oriented to adults, certain treatments are available for teens 16 and older. The facility's "surrender" program pairs you with a specialist who interviews you to determine what your individual needs are, and then customizes your treatments to suit.