Utah – famed for its extreme sports and rugged wilds – has a significantly softer side too
The dramatic backdrop to everything from HBO’s hit show Westworld to America’s last Winter Olympics, Utah is rightly renowned for its statuesque mountains, sprawling desserts and sensational Mighty 5® national parks.
But behind the epic mountain biking, awe-inspiring hikes and thrilling skiing lies the perfect antidote to adrenaline – some of the finest luxury accommodation North America has to offer. And in a few sweeter-than-sweet spots, you can seamlessly blend the two – extreme sports and extreme luxury.
These are the holiday hotspots where you can go hard and then go home – to impossibly soft linen, sumptuous spa treatments and world-class cuisine. Once you’ve checked in, it’s up to you which of the two you prioritise.
- SUNDANCE MOUNTAIN RESORT
The Sundance Kid himself, Robert Redford, is a regular sight at this five-star mountain retreat. Well, he owns the place after all. The accommodation is astonishingly good, as is the dining – particularly in the spectacular Tree Room Restaurant. Plus, you’ll have free run of Redford’s private ski resort, and the petrifying series of zip-lines criss-crossing its peaks. www.sundanceresort.com
- MONTAGE DEER VALLEY
After hitting Deer Valley hard – on horseback, cross country skis, snowmobile or even the infamous Alpine Coaster, all of which the concierge can arrange for you – this is the hotel you’ll want to come back to. The refined mountain retreat has an outstanding spa and wellness programme, as well as five excellent restaurants to pick from. www.montagehotels.com/deervalley
It looks completely out of this world – and boasts levels of luxury to match. Amangiri is, quite frankly, incredible. If you can tear yourself away from this sensational hideaway resort, you can try everything from hot air balloon flights to martial arts training, before returning back to an award-wining hotel that leaves no heated stone unturned. www.aman.com/resorts/amangiri
- SORREL RIVER RANCH RESORT AND SPA
Situated near Moab – one of the world’s most famous mountain biking magnets – Sorrel River Ranch is also within easy striking distance of two of Utah’s Mighty Five national parks – Arches and Canyonlands. The resort will arrange everything from sky diving above the spectacular scenery to off-roading through its red, dusty heart and horseback adventures. All followed, of course, by bespoke treatments at its outstanding spa, including its signature ‘Hiker’s Heaven’ massage. www.sorrelriver.com
- WALDORF ASTORIA PARK CITY
In winter 2015, Park City became the biggest ski resort in North America, and the Waldorf Astoria is the jewel in its crown. Depending on the season, you could spend your days here skiing with an Olympian, racing Lamborghinis, river rafting or plenty more besides, before returning to the longest spa menu in Utah, and the hotel’s cloudlike beds. www.waldorfastoriaparkcity.com
- ZION MOUNTAIN RANCH
The accommodation here is almost as spectacular as the scenery in Zion National Park itself. And after a day spent exploring the otherworldly beauty of the park’s steep red cliffs, waterfalls and forested trails – from the saddle of a mountain bike or the end of a canyoneering rope, both of which the ranch can arrange – you’ll have earned a massage in your private luxury cabin. www.zmr.com
Becky Johnson, Senior Global Manager for the Utah Office of Tourism, Film & Global Branding, comments: “In Utah we believing in playing hard –and relaxing harder. A lot of the adventure sports which attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to Utah every year – particularly skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking – inevitably mean sore feet and aching limbs at the end of a fun-filled day. That’s where our multiple luxury accommodation offerings come into play – most of them handily positioned in the heart of the action. It’s the ideal holiday combination: pure adventure and pure relaxation.”
Live a Life of Luxury in Utah
Southern Utah Autumn Holiday: Abercrombie & Kent (01242 547 717 / www.abercrombiekent.co.uk) has a seven-night luxury holiday to southern Utah available from £4,895 per person. Valid for travel in October 2017, the price includes seven nights’ accommodation (three B&B at Zion Mountain Ranch, two full board at Amangiri and two B&B at Sorrel River Ranch and Spa), return economy flights from LHR to Salt Lake City with Delta Air Lines and 4×4 SUV rental for the duration. The price is based on two adults travelling, sharing accommodation. The total price for travellers wishing to include business class flights is £7,995 per person.
Northern Utah Winter Holiday: Scott Dunn (0208 682 5050 / www.scottdunn.com) has a seven-night luxury holiday to northern Utah available from £3,400 per person. Valid for travel in low season (winter 2017/18), the price includes seven nights’ accommodation (three at Sundance Mountain Resort, two at Montage Deer Valley and two at Waldorf Astoria Park City), return economy flights from LHR to Salt Lake City with Delta Air Lines and car hire for the duration. The price is based on two adults travelling, sharing B&B accommodation. The total price for travellers wishing to include business class flights is £7,200 per person.
For more information on Utah, visit www.visitutah.com
Image Credits (From L-R)
Waldorf Astoria Park City, Zion Mountain Ranch, Amangiri Resort, Montage Deer Valley/Chamaway, Sorrel River Ranch and Sundance Mountain Resort