As soon as you pull into Stein Eriksen Lodge’s grand roundabout (7700 Stein Way, 800.453.1302, steinlodge.com), adorned with a bronze statue of its alpine-legend namesake, you know you have arrived. This year (as it has annually since 2002) the iconic lodge achieved the coveted Forbes five-star status—Utah’s only hotel to do so—and in 2014 it was named the best hotel on the planet by the prestigious World Ski Awards.
As Stein Eriksen Lodge attests, the five-star designation owes not to any one feature, but to the sum of exquisite details: extras like children being greeted with a stuffed animal at check-in, V chocolates and caramels gracing the turndown service, and the valets considering every request as if it were coming from Eriksen himself. And though Stein’s (as it is referred to locally) is one of the country’s quintessential wintertime getaways—with its laundry list of lodging packages, luxurious guest rooms, and eclectic events—summer may be the best time to check out what “five stars” means for yourself.
Stein Eriksen Lodge and Park Meadows Country Club penned a management agreement earlier this year, allowing lodge guests the opportunity to play this previously members-only Jack Nicklaus–designed track. Not a golfer? No problem. A few other ways to pass the time at Stein’s this summer include horseback riding (wranglers arrive at the back door of the main lodge with horses, ready to hit the trail); Hops on the Hill, a beer-and-barbecue Tuesday-night concert series (July and August); and, believe it or not: day trips via a six-passenger luxury plane to Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon, and even Mount Rushmore.
Not only did Stein’s bag five stars for its hotel, but the 23,000-square-foot spa is also the only one in Utah to earn the same coveted Forbes ranking. You can’t go wrong with any of the treatments here, which include those specially tailored for men and teens. New this summer is the Soulstice Retreat (July 18−21, soulsticeretreat.com), four wellness-focused days of classes ranging from boot camp and trail running to meditation and photography. Also, unlike at many other hotels, every guest here receives complimentary access to the spa, including the robust fitness class schedule. Sunrise yoga on the lawn, anyone?
After a day spent on the mountain or on Main Street, slipping between the Mascioni sheets and reading the turndown story or poem left by your bedside each night is an apt and indulgent end note. The rooms here are in the midst of a multimillion-dollar renovation project headed up by Park City–based Juxtapose Design (435.962.8479, juxtaposedesign.com). Each room is appointed with all of the amenities you’d expect (and then some, of course), but go ahead and splurge for a suite: each has a private deck with hot tub and a master bedroom with a fireplace.