When Edgar J. Stern founded the resort in 1981, it was on the principle that a ski vacation could be every bit as service-oriented as a cruise or a luxury beach resort. He believed that the food, lodging, amenities, and staff are what would transform a ski trip into a true vacation. According to many of our readers, he was right. Says one: “The only place you truly feel like you’re on vacation while skiing.” Stern would be proud to read that, as well as the many other raves about his resort’s pampering chops. Proof: No. 1 rankings in Grooming, Service, Accessibility, On-Mountain Food, Lodging, Dining, and Kid Friendliness. Those are top ranks in seven criteria. Not that this should come as a surprise to anyone who’s set ski to snow here. In the world of skiing, Deer Valley is a refined experience, catering to ski families who enjoy eating and relaxing almost as much as they enjoy skiing. Almost. At its heart, Deer Valley is a family-owned resort, and it shows in the type of people who work here. (“Best employees in the industry.”) But it’s far more than the tissues-in-the-liftline niceties that so many other resorts have adopted. It’s an attention to detail—free overnight ski storage, curbside valets, complimentary breakfast at many of the Deer Valley–owned lodges—that makes one’s vacation that much better. (“You don’t feel nickel-and-dimed here.”) On the mountain, readers gripe about “overgroomed terrain,” “short runs,” and “not enough vert,” but others are quick to point out the abundance of tree stashes, steep pitches, and freshies in the trees days after a storm. “Forget all the stereotypes about Deer Valley; on a powder day, you’re not fighting hordes, and there is big-boy terrain if you know where to find it.”
Sunset Glades, on Bald Mountain, for perfectly spaced aspens and plentiful pow at a moderate pitch, perfect for those testing the tree-skiing waters.
Snag a spot on the patio at the Terrace Café at the St. Regis with a view of the stunning Fire Garden and soak in the sizzling vibes.
Hot pretzels with three dipping sauces (the fig mustard is a must-try) and a Squatters Double IPA at The Brass Tag.
The Mariposa—excellent small plates and a thoughtfully chosen wine list in an intimate space in Silver Lake Lodge.