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I had heard about the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley, Utah, decades ago. When I was growing up in Salt Lake City, having skied at the area's resorts since I was 5 years old, the very name of Utah's only Forbes-rated five-star hotel conjured luxe après-ski images in my mind. Though we're Americans, my family had moved to the region from Europe, where my parents skied the Matterhorn, and whether it was an accurate notion or not, I always pictured them sitting fireside, eating fondue, and drinking mulled wine after a day on the slopes.
Stein Eriksen, a Norwegian-style lodge (oversize leather furniture, fireplaces, Wasatch Mountain views) always dangled that tantalizing Old World idea in front of me, but with extravagant extras, including private hot tubs and heated sidewalks between the lodge's buildings.
The resort sits right on the Deer Valley slopes and includes a phenomenal spa and fine dining, making it the top pick for skiers.
But on my most recent trip to Utah, this time for my 20-year high school reunion last summer, I was finally able to sample the resort myself, and I found it a great, if unexpected, option for spring and summer trips to the mountain town. The area is gorgeous in summer, and the Stein's charm and its staff's attentiveness don't wane in the warm weather, when the hotel hosts outdoor concerts and beer tastings amid the wildflowers and aspen trees. SteinLodge.com