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Travel

Ski Patrol

Travel during the pandemic is far from normal, but that doesn’t mean your annual ski trip has to suffer.
David Keith
As we reported at the start of the season, mountain resorts across the country opened with a comprehensive focus on safety and an acknowledgment that this ski season was going to be different. Top hotels were offering coveted lift tickets and sanitized shuttles to the slopes. So we didn’t hesitate to head to Utah’s Montage Deer Valley resort in Park City where we were able to take a (masked) breath of relief as soon as we arrived, knowing this year’s ski trip would not be postponed thanks to the extensive health protocols in place at the property.

Even before guests arrive, Montage is making sure visits will be germ-free. All associates take an 8-hour training session on how to keep everyone safe and comfortable. Every morning, an email reminder of the 8-step “Peace of Mind Commitment” is sent to the staff. And associates take an online test to ensure they have no symptoms. The test gives them a colored badge that allows them to enter the building. Temperatures are taken upon entry via a thermal camera that’s so sensitive associates cannot hold a coffee cup while it scans them. Hand sanitizers abound at each touch-point, and even the employee cafeteria has been set up for social distancing. Guest areas are sanitized hourly.

Guests arriving by car are greeted by mask- and glove-wearing valets who use plastic seat covers to park vehicles, and each car is sanitized every time it’s returned to the owner. During check-in, IDs and credit cards are scanned with UV light to prevent germ transfer, while masked and gloved desk clerks are stationed behind plexiglass partitions. The same procedures are used at the Concierge desk. Mask use is required with no exceptions and gentle reminders.

In order to maintain social distancing, occupancy is limited to 400 guests. Room cleaning is optional: If a guest elects it, a 3-person team comes in to remove garbage, sanitize all surfaces, and change linens and towels. Each room is fumigated after checkout and a “Be Healthy Kit” from Gilchrist & Soames that contains a cloth mask, hand sanitizer, and sanitary wipes is a featured amenity.

Another great amenity at the Montage Deer Valley is its spa; after a day of skiing, a massage and a hot tub session are just the thing for those aching legs. Spa Montage has made sure to provide a safe and healthy space for recovery and relaxation. Upon entering, each guest’s temperature is taken. For massages, both the therapist and guest wear masks. Relaxation rooms are set up for social distancing and all amenities, including drinks and snacks, are available upon request. Similarly, the lockers are spaced apart, and appointments are limited to allow for distancing. The hot tub and pool are open but limited to 4 and 10 occupants, respectively; as is the full-service gym where each machine and station is sanitized after every use.

Montage’s outstanding restaurants, including Burgers & Bourbon (delicious chili, top-quality burgers, and an extensive bourbon list), Apex Steak (Niman Ranch lamb, Wagyu steaks, and an anchovy-laden caesar salad), and Yama Sushi (featuring the freshest fish in Park City), operate at 35-percent capacity and close between meals for one hour of full disinfection. Tables are bare until diners are seated; menus are scanned or covered in plastic for easy cleaning. Servers change their gloves each time food is served, and during peak occupancy, restaurants are restricted to hotel guests.
Alpenglobes at Vista Lounge

New this season are the Alpenglobes at Vista Lounge. They offer a cozy and private dining option on the terrace with stunning views of the valley. The enclosed, climate-controlled enclaves allow groups of up to eight with reservations and offer a unique alpine menu that features delicacies like Tsar Nicoluai Caviar and Valrhona Chocolate Fondue.


When the time has come to return home after days of skiing Deer Valley’s groomed slopes, Montage continues to provide 24/7 virtual care services, including those related to COVID-19, to all guests through its partnership with One Medical, offering a membership that lasts for 30 days to ensure coverage for any health emergencies. It’s just that extra step taken to make your ski trip the best it can be. From $1,100 per night; montagehotels.com

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