No exaggeration, I have probably declared this vacation club resort to be my very favorite at least a hundred times to various friends and clients. It’s one of the main reasons I moved my family from Hawaii to Colorado and lived in the Vail Valley for about a year. I was presented with the opportunity to work in a ski town and after a dozen trips with my family and friends to Park City over the years I decided if there was anything better than living by the beach and surfing (I had been living in Maui), it would be by the mountains and skiing.I am a self-confessed fanboy, I really don’t think I can do a review of the property justice in terms of being unbiased or even critical of Park City or the resort itself.
Of course, if I really wanted to find fault, I could, just as I could find fault in anything created by the mind and hands of man (natural setting aside). So, if you are expecting the inevitable “I loved this… but” trope – not going to happen…
What enamored me with Park City and Marriott’s Mountainside Villas?
Let me count the ways:
1: Slap on your skis on the path next to the resort’s outdoor heated pool area, and glide down to the Payday lift for a ride up to the summit. Truly ski and ski out.
2: Park City has some of the best snow on the planet. I was once told by a local that in order for snow to form, it must bond with atmospheric particles and that due to Utah’s geography and it’s the huge Salt Lake, the snow bonds with salt particles in the air and thus creates the lightest, fluffiest of ice crystals. Not sure if this scientifically proven or can even explain Utah’s Champagne powder – but I am buying it.
3: Incredible ski school with ski instructors who seem to love what they do. I had my kids in ski school soon after they were walking and some of my favorite times on the mountain were with instructors exploring hidden stashes of powder and working on my technique.
4: Food – something about skiing and it’s huge caloric burn makes everything taste great, but the food, across the board – from the upscale restaurants on Main Street to the chili served at the various cafeterias located on the mountain is consistently hearty and flavourful.
5: Access to the resort from Airport. Take 1-80 E up through the canyons and to the resort between 45 minutes to an hour. Compare that to the somewhat harrowing 2+ hour climb from Denver to Vail Valley.
6: Friendly people. If you have visited Utah, you will know that Minnesotans have nothing on Utahns. Maybe it’s easy to be nice when you get to live up in the beautiful mountains of Utah, but coming from the East Coast, I sometimes thought people were yanking my chain with their genuineness. I rarely perceived any pretense or irony and consistently enjoyed interacting with them. Also, there is a very large influx of young people from South America who spend their summers manning the lifts, serving food in the cafeteria and on mountain instructing. A really great mix of people manning the resort, mountain, shops and restaurants.
7: Vibrant downtown. Main street is where you will find so many enjoying a·près-ski, shopping and dining. Every January, the famous Sundance Film Festival takes over the town for ten nights, downtown filled with famous celebrities and slopes emptied of skiers.
8: Skiing: Did I neglect to mention how incredible the skiing is in Utah? Do you prefer groomed runs free from reckless snowboarders? Head up to Deer Valley. How about some really macho skiing in the rugged natural setting of Alta or Snowbird? Or want a mix of challenging bowls and beautifully groomed corduroy runs – Park City Mountain is perfect.
9: Marriott’s Mountainside Villas amenities. Great activity center with games, movies, model building, fitness center to get the legs warmed up for a day on the slopes and outdoor heated pools and hot tubs to relax in after your done.
10: I just scratched the surface on what Park City, Marriott’s Mountainside Villas and Utah have to offer and what makes it such a special place for me. You can go bobsledding at the Olympic Park, scuba dive in a hot spring, heli-ski, check out the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, shop, dine and snowshoe through pristine Mountain valleys.
While I worked for Marriott in Maui, I constantly kept my eye open for opportunities to work for Marriott’s Mountainside Villas. Maybe it’s a good thing that I never had a chance to live and work in Park City, perhaps some of the magic would have been lost due to the grind of everyday living? Who knows, but right now I am imagining myself gliding and pumping down Jupiter Bowl, champagne powder flying in my face, a smile on my face, hooting with exhilaration. Maybe I can return this winter? I just need to find the time and cajole my aging knees to comply 🙂