Right now, out-of-town visitors are supposed to be at the Sundance Film Festival, attending screenings and red carpets, exploring the town’s famous ski resorts and packing bars and restaurants. This year, however, the festival is all virtual, highlighting the challenges that hotels, resorts and restaurants are facing this winter. The St. Regis Deer Valley has faced these challenges head on, opening a new Yurt Village, building nine new residences and continuing to serve both locals and tourists at four restaurants. So, on a beautifully snowy day, I drove to the resort to see the new changes.

St. Regis Deer Valley, Snow Park Residences
The view from the Snow Park residences. Courtesy St. Regis Deer Valley

The Residences at The St. Regis Deer Valley Snow Park is the first expansion to the residences since the hotel’s opening in 2009. The nine new condominiums are right next door to the original hotel. Construction is not quite finished on the residences, but the building’s modern mountain design, a collaboration between Kate Norris Design and Lisa Synder Associates, is already apparent, as are the spectacular mountain views. (The scenic surroundings can be enjoyed from a heated balcony.) The properties include every amenity you can think of and some you probably couldn’t. A ski concierge is available to help you put on their boots, get the kids ready to go and place your equipment right on the mountain. If that’s what my ski trips were like growing up, maybe I’d go more now. After the residences are finished, St. Regis plans to open an Italian restaurant in the building, which will be open to the public. One of these condos can be yours—if you have several million dollars to spare.

Rime, Rose
Rime, Chocolate raspberry cake

One of St. Regis’ trademarks is fine dining. The hotel boasts four restaurants and bars, including Rime, led by local chef Matthew Harris. Harris, who owned Park City’s Tupelo, replaced French celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, bringing his own local interpretation of contemporary American surf-and-turf. The entrance of the restaurant offers a sneak peak of an impressive wine selection, which includes thousands of bottles. (In pre-pandemic times, the resort hosted wine tasting nights, where winemakers would share personal favorites from their vineyards.) The food is equally impressive—this is hearty mountain fare, with generous portions ready to fuel the rest of a ski day, or, maybe just a long nap. The highlight may have been the garlic crab cakes, which was served on a gorgeous bed of candied lemon with espelette remoulade on the side. For the main course, I had a well-seasoned flank steak, and my friend ate an indulgent, buttery lobster roll, which I definitely would have stolen a bite of if we weren’t wearing face masks between courses. For dessert: an (almost) too pretty to eat slice of chocolate raspberry cake, which found the balance between decadent and not-too-sweet. The St. Regis also Brasserie 7452, serving French comfort food; Terrace Cafe and a bar and lounge.

St. Regis Deer Valley, Yurt Village
The interior a yurt in the village. Photo courtesy St. Regis Deer Valley

New this year is the Yurt Village, St. Regis’ novel solution to outdoor dining in the middle of a mountain winter. Three yurts, or round tents, have been constructed for private dining in their outdoor patio space. (Yes, they are heated.) The yurts are appropriately named Aerial, Mogul and Slalom, corresponding to Olympics events held at the Deer Valley Resort in 2002. Each structure has its own unique decor—my personal favorite was a blast from the mountain past, with vintage skis and trail signs adorning the walls. Nearby is a full prep tent where all of the food is plated from the main kitchen. Up to eight guests can reserve a yurt and served a prix fixe menu for lunch, aprés or a five-course dinner—though I was told that visitors have used their reservations for all sorts of things, including a marriage proposal. The slopes are literally a ski-length away. As the pandemic forces creativity, the Yurt Village is a novel solution that may last far beyond COVID-19. Who doesn’t want to embrace the mountain setting with an intimate, cozy dinner?