Review: St. Regis Deer Valley, Park City

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Full disclosure: This stay is in conjunction with the SPG Amex Stars program I’m participating in, courtesy of the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express. They covered the cost of my flights and two-night stay at the St. Regis Deer Valley. That being said, all opinions expressed are my own. Stay tuned, because you’ll have the opportunity to earn 70,000 Starpoints courtesy of the Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express in conjunction with this stay.

SPG Amex Stars program

To expand a bit on the above, as long time readers know, for the past two years I’ve been participating in the SPG Amex Stars program, which I first wrote about in April of 2012.

A vast majority of my travel is self-funded, with one of the only exceptions being stays through this program. What makes this so cool isn’t just that I get to have some cool experiences that I can write about, but that with each experience I get to give away Starpoints to a lucky reader, courtesy of the Starwood American Express.

That’s what makes this so fun, so stay tuned for that giveaway.

SPG Amex Stars peak season holiday trip challenge

For the peak season holiday trip challenge I was given 70,000 Starpoints and told to redeem them for a two night stay at a property of my choosing. I love St. Regis properties, though have stayed at many of them in the US, including the St. Regis Bal Harbour, St. Regis Monarch Beach, St. Regis New York, St. Regis San Francisco, etc.

I’m a totally warm-blooded person, so I do what I can to stay in 80 degree temperatures year-round. That being said, it has been a long time since I’ve been in snow, so I decided I’d visit the St. Regis Deer Valley, located in Park City, Utah. I’ve heard amazing things about the property, and figured it would be a great change of pace for my December, which was otherwise mostly filled with warm weather.

Redeeming Starpoints at the St. Regis Deer Valley

In a way, Starpoints are a cursed points currency, because they’re so darn valuable. While I usually have an “earn and burn” philosophy when it comes to points, I have a horrible habit of hoarding Starpoints.

That’s because of how versatile they are. At a minimum they can be converted into airline miles at a 1:1 ratio, with a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred. I value my favorite mileage currencies at ~1.8 cents each, so factoring in the 25% transfer bonus I need to get at least ~2.3 cents per Starpoint to feel good about my hotel redemptions.

The St. Regis Deer Valley is a Category 7 property, meaning a free night redemption costs 30,000-35,000 Starpoints. That’s a lot, given how valuable the points are.

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That being said, check out the paid rates for the St. Regis for my dates. The flexible rate was $981 plus tax, for a total of $1,100 per night. Even the Cyber Monday deal cost $942 per night including tax. So at well over three cents per Starpoint, this is a redemption I felt good about.

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Keep in mind that if you redeem Starpoints for four free nights, the fifth night is free.

To really zoom out and show the value of Starpoints for a five night redemption, let’s take a look at rates at this property for the five days leading up to Christmas next year.

The rates at this hotel are $1,549+ per night. So you’d pay a total of 120,000 Starpoints for five nights, or 24,000 Starpoints per night.

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Meanwhile a stay paid in cash would cost you over $8,500 — crazy!

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So while I am conservative with my Starpoints, there are some cases where high end redemptions make sense, and this is clearly one of them. For example, I was thrilled to redeem 140,000 Starpoints for a stay at the St. Regis Bal Harbour last year with my parents.

And that’s what makes Starpoints great. They’re useful for airline mileage transfers, for stays at mid-range hotels, and in many cases for stays at their high-end properties as well.

With that in mind…

St. Regis Deer Valley review

I had a friend visiting from outside the US (he calls about 14 places home), so he accompanied me on this trip.

We drove from Salt Lake City Airport directly to the St. Regis, which took just under an hour. The scenery on the drive there was absolutely gorgeous.

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Driving to Park City

I was a bit confused when we first pulled up to the hotel, because it just looked like a small lodge. It was evening when we arrived, so I couldn’t really figure out what was going on. Was the St. Regis basically just the size of a big home?

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St. Regis Deer Valley exterior

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St. Regis Deer Valley driveway

As we pulled up a bellman quickly approached and explained that we were indeed in the right place, and that we’d be taking a funicular up to the hotel, which is actually located on top of the mountain. Woah, a funicular?

Once we exited the car we took the stairs up to the second level, where the funicular departed from. There’s a small reception desk there, though it didn’t look like it was ever staffed.

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St. Regis Deer Valley ground floor lobby

There’s also a seating area, as well as one of the signature St. Regis dogs.

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St. Regis Deer Valley ground floor lobby

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St. Regis dog

Okay, so I realize I’m totally a five year old at heart, but the funicular was just too… fun! There were two of them, and there was never much of a wait. We almost always had the funicular to ourselves.

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St. Regis Deer Valley funicular

The funicular featured a super comfy leather couch.

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St. Regis Deer Valley funicular

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St. Regis Deer Valley funicular

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St. Regis Deer Valley funicular

The view from the top of the funicular was breathtaking.

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St. Regis Deer Valley funicular

Here’s a video of the funicular experience:

Who knew arriving at a hotel could be so much fun?!

From the top of the funicular it was a short walk to the cozy lobby.

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St. Regis Deer Valley lobby

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St. Regis Deer Valley lobby

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St. Regis Deer Valley lobby

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St. Regis Deer Valley lobby

The reception desk was located to the left, where we were quickly helped. The check-in experience was efficient, though the associate was thorough in going through everything. I had applied two Suite Night Awards to the reservation, so she confirmed we’d receive a Deluxe Suite with butler service.

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St. Regis Deer Valley reception

We took the elevator up to the fourth floor, where our room was located.

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St. Regis Deer Valley hallway

It was at the far end of the hallway on the left, room 402.

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St. Regis Deer Valley room entrance

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St. Regis Deer Valley floorplan

At nearly 1,000 square feet, the suite was massive. It featured a large entryway, which led into the living room.

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St. Regis Deer Valley Deluxe Suite entryway

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St. Regis Deer Valley Deluxe Suite entryway

I loved how residential the suite felt. It felt more like a nice condo than a hotel. The living room had a massive kitchen, a dining room table with a bench, and a comfortable couch.

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St. Regis Deer Valley Deluxe Suite living room

The kitchen featured everything you could need, including a full size fridge.

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St. Regis Deer Valley Deluxe Suite kitchen

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St. Regis Deer Valley Deluxe Suite kitchen

Then there was a Nespresso machine.

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St. Regis Deer Valley Deluxe Suite coffee machine

And by the window there was an “L” shaped couch.

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St. Regis Deer Valley Deluxe Suite living room

The highlight, though, had to be the fire place by the window. Clearly I spend way too much time in warm climates, as that was a novel concept to me.

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St. Regis Deer Valley Deluxe Suite fireplace

There wasn’t much snowfall while we were in Park City, so the side of the mountain we looked out over didn’t feature much snow (unlike the other side of the mountain). The room had a nice balcony, though it was a bit too chilly for me to sit out there.

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St. Regis Deer Valley Deluxe Suite view

Then back near the entrance was a guest bathroom, featuring a toilet and sink.

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St. Regis Deer Valley Deluxe Suite guest bathroom

Then a door led to the bedroom, which had a comfy king size bed, small seating area, desk, and fireplace.

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St. Regis Deer Valley Deluxe Suite door to bedroom

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St. Regis Deer Valley Deluxe Suite bedroom

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St. Regis Deer Valley Deluxe Suite bedroom

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St. Regis Deer Valley Deluxe Suite bedroom

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St. Regis Deer Valley Deluxe Suite bedroom

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St. Regis Deer Valley Deluxe Suite bedroom fireplace

The bathroom was impressive as well, with double sinks, a soaking tub, a huge walk-in shower, and a partitioned off toilet.

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St. Regis Deer Valley Deluxe Suite bathroom

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St. Regis Deer Valley Deluxe Suite bathroom

There were shutters between the bedroom and bathroom, which I quite liked. It made the bedroom and bathroom both feel bigger, and at the same time you could easily lower the shutters for privacy.

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St. Regis Deer Valley Deluxe Suite bathtub

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St. Regis Deer Valley Deluxe Suite shower

As is the norm at St. Regis properties, the toiletries were Remede branded.

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St. Regis Deer Valley Deluxe Suite toiletries

All in all I loved the suite. It perhaps wasn’t the most luxurious purely in terms of appointments, though it felt really livable and comfortable. And I really loved the two fireplaces.

Shortly after getting to the room our butler introduced herself. She explained what butler service could assist with (packing and unpacking, complimentary tea and coffee, pressing, etc.). Since we were both jetlagged and didn’t immediately want to go to sleep, I ordered some coffee, which was promptly delivered. French press no less!

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St. Regis Deer Valley Deluxe Suite coffee

The entire property is just gorgeous, and boasts amazing views. There was an outside fire pit, which I’ll write more about below, since s’mores were on offer there in the evenings.

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St. Regis Deer Valley fire pit

Then there were lounge chairs overlooking the slopes — it looked like it came straight out of a postcard.

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St. Regis Deer Valley outdoor seating

And then there was an outdoor heated pool. The water was legitimately warm, so it was pretty awesome to be able to swim comfortably while it was freezing outside.

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St. Regis Deer Valley pool

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St. Regis Deer Valley pool

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St. Regis Deer Valley hot tub

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St. Regis Deer Valley exterior

If you’re a skier, the hotel has direct access to the slopes, so you can start skiing just a few feet from the lobby. I’m barely coordinated enough to walk without tripping over myself, so I don’t have plans to ski anytime soon. 😉

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St. Regis Deer Valley exterior

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St. Regis Deer Valley skiing

In terms of the hotel’s dining options, as is the case at most St. Regis properties, there’s a J&G Grill as well as the St. Regis Bar.

We had breakfast both mornings at J&G Grill. It was a beautiful restaurant, and blended into the local environment very nicely.

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St. Regis Deer Valley J&G Grill

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St. Regis Deer Valley J&G Grill

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St. Regis Deer Valley J&G Grill

The breakfast menu read as follows:

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I selected continental breakfast as my Platinum amenity, which covered the Astor Breakfast, or otherwise a $40 credit towards anything else off the menu.

The first morning I ordered the Astor Breakfast, which came with coffee, juice, and yogurt with granola and fruit. It was surprisingly filling.

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St. Regis Deer Valley J&G Grill breakfast

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St. Regis Deer Valley J&G Grill breakfast

The second morning I ordered the egg white frittata.

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St. Regis Deer Valley J&G Grill breakfast

Meanwhile my friend ordered the eggs benedict the first morning.

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St. Regis Deer Valley J&G Grill breakfast

And then the buttermilk pancakes the second morning.

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St. Regis Deer Valley J&G Grill breakfast

We also had drinks at the St. Regis Bar. Typically I’m not a fan of hotel bars, though I find that St. Regis does a great job with their bars across the board. This one was no exception.

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St. Regis Deer Valley St. Regis Bar

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St. Regis Deer Valley St. Regis Bar

I don’t usually have bloody marys, though they were invented at the St. Regis New York, and each St. Regis has their own “signature” bloody mary. So I tried the St. Regis Deer Valley’s signature bloody mary, called the 7452 Bloody Mary (which is the altitude of the hotel).

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St. Regis Deer Valley St. Regis Bar bloody mary

We also had dinner at the bar one night, which was catered from J&G Grill. I had tuna tartare to start.

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St. Regis Deer Valley St. Regis Bar dinner

Then I had an amazing steamed shrimp salad.

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St. Regis Deer Valley St. Regis Bar dinner

Beyond that, St. Regis has their signature champagne sabering every night, where guests can receive a complimentary glass of champagne. At this property it’s at 5:30PM in winter. Here’s a video with an explanation of the champagne sabering:

As I mentioned above, The hotel also offers s’mores every night from 6PM till 8PM. It was cold as hell, though surprisingly pleasant around the fire.

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St. Regis Deer Valley fire pit s’mores

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St. Regis Deer Valley fire pit s’mores

I was quite embarrassed in my s’mores making abilities. Clearly I had a deprived childhood, because I think this was my first time. On the plus side, there were some six year olds there that schooled me pretty well. 😉

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St. Regis Deer Valley fire pit s’mores

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St. Regis Deer Valley fire pit s’mores

This hotel is of course ideal if you’re a skier, given that it has direct access to the slopes. I’m not a skier, though I certainly do love nature and looking at ski slopes, if nothing else. We took the ski lift up to the top of the mountain, which had a ton more snow than the mountain that our room faced.

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St. Regis Deer Valley ski lift

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St. Regis Deer Valley ski lift

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St. Regis Deer Valley ski lift

The ski lift also had great views of the St. Regis, which really put into perspective just how breathtaking the hotel’s location is.

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St. Regis Deer Valley ski lift

Here’s a (rather embarrassing) video of me “enjoying” the ski lift:

In terms of the hotel’s other amenities, there’s a Remede Spa, as is the case at all St. Regis properties. I didn’t have the chance to check it out.

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St. Regis Deer Valley Remede Spa

There’s also a great 24/7 gym just across from the spa.

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St. Regis Deer Valley gym

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St. Regis Deer Valley gym

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St. Regis Deer Valley gym

The hotel also has a complimentary car service which will take you within a five mile radius of the hotel, including to downtown Park City. I love when hotels offer car services, especially in smaller towns like Park City where getting a taxi isn’t all that easy.

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St. Regis Deer Valley hotel car

Bottom line

I loved our stay at the St. Regis Deer Valley. Could I ever imagine paying $1,000+ per night to stay here? Nope. But that’s the beauty of points. This hotel is a great value on Starpoints, especially if you’re redeeming for a longer stay where you get the fifth night free.

Now I just need to learn to ski…

Thanks again to the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express for making this possible, and stay tuned for the giveaway!

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Comments

  1. Great review as always lucky!!! Love your style of writing!

    Can I as a wuestion put of curiosity, are you gay lucky? I was just curious after reading comments in another post.

  2. Just realised that I can’t spell, let’s try this one again:

    Can I ask a question out of curiosity, are you gay lucky? I was curious after reading comments on another post.

  3. Great post. The word you are looking for is “ski-lift”! I love that video. I am the same way when it comes to ski-lifts. Kudos to you for posting that video.

    I know you have a lot of haters out there, but this is what I love about your blog, you are never embarrassed to post your shortcoming or embarrassing moments.

    Keep the great posts coming, Merry Christmas!

  4. Another wonderful post; I will definitely be staying here. Thanks! One quick question (I may have missed this): when were you there? Is this a normal snowfall amount for that time of year? All the best for a happy new year!

  5. Goodness, that video on the ski lift…. 🙂 I would have loved to see you riding the lift during a full-on snow storm! Even when you are decked out head-to-toe in ski gear, it’s no fun.

    Deer Valley/Park City is such a great place to ski. I really hope you spend some time in the near future to learn. 🙂

  6. That ski lift video was quite amusing. I have to admit though, going down on a ski lift sounds scary, but I’ve always gone down the fun way. 🙂 And those conditions aren’t the worst. I’ve been on a ski lift in a blizzard with white out conditions, where I felt like my face was going to freeze. Consider yourself lucky 😛

  7. Just an FYI that there is no snowboarding allowed at Deer Valley, so while the direct access to the mountain is nice, it may be appealing only to those who ski. Park City Mountain Resort closer to town permits both.

  8. As a ski racer this would be a dream trip. A beautiful hotal, in a beautiful scenery with beautiful skiing. Merry Christmas!

  9. This was not a normal amount of snowfall this time of the year. We have had a very warm end of fall and start of winter. However, today’s snowstorm will probably make up for it.

  10. @ flyingfish — Most resorts do, though in my experience some city hotels don’t. But it is fairly common across the chain.

  11. So funny that video from the ski-lift. Thanks for sharing. Not everyone has the guts to show stuff like that. Kudos. You are not afraid opening a bottle of Krug at 40,000 feet, but rattled to your core when sitting in a ski-lift only a couple of feet of the ground. Great stuff 🙂

  12. This video made my day. I am laughing out loud! Good to experience at least once. Next time, gloves and scarf for you! (Perhaps this should be a plat amenity at this property)

  13. OMG the ski lift video is HILARIOUS. I might have to make it my ringtone. 🙂

    Seriously, glad you were open to trying something new and being authentically you.

  14. @ lucky — OMG, I would of never guessed that! I’m gay too, and thought I could tell who was and wasn’t but I guess I can’t!

  15. Lucky, did you happen to learn who owns this hotel? The St Regis is one of the newest properties in Deer Valley, adding to the exclusiveness.

  16. @ Lucky — the videos are hilarious! But I imagine without proper clothing a ski-lift wouldn’t be very hospitable.

    @ JohnB — this is what I found from a press release in Dec. 2009:

    The managing member of the project is Falcon Investors of Harrison, NY. The ownership group consists of Deer Crest Associates, who is the landowner, principals of Janna Hospitality Holdings and a private investment account of Kensington Realty Advisors. Prudential Utah Properties is the marketing agent for the condominium homes.

    P.S. From reading FT thread dedicated to this hotel, when it was opened it was Cat. 6 and 20,000 points/night. Now, those were some good old days! 😀

  17. Too bad you’re not here now, snow started falling on Christmas and the mts have gotten feet of it since then. We’re headed back to Sundance today, if the canyon will allow us up 🙂

  18. Sundance was fantastic, snowed the entire day on us, knee deep powder in some places. The road nearly dumped us off into the creek a few times on the way down…but what a glorious day in the snow!

  19. Great review, great property, great location, but 30k SPG is a bit steep. Photos and write up Reminds me of the Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe which can sometimes be had for $350-400/nt in ski season. Also compare with Marriott Vail at 40k/nt last season. And of course the St. Regis Aspen is hard to top (but the connecting flights from DEN are a bit dicey)

    Personally I like the Stein Erickson @DeerValley but it kills me not to earn points at those rates. So nice to have an SPG option here.

  20. @Boraxo – What do you mean the the connecting flights from DEN to ASE are a bit dicey? As in, inclement weather can cause delays/cancellations? Or dicey in some other way? I’m heading to Aspen (via DEN) for X-games in a few weeks so your comment caught my eye.

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