You may have heard mountain dwellers utter the phrase, “come for the winter, stay for the summer.” But why? What makes the mountains in the summer as good, if not better, than the winter ski season?
In idyllic mountain towns such as Park City, Snowmass, and Beaver Creek, the answer is evident just about the moment you arrive in town: dramatic views of the mountains hiding the setting sun; bikers whizzing by your side; a group of hikers settling for lunch on the mountain; a fly-fisherman readying his rod by the babbling stream; your hand out the car window, cutting the fresh, warm summer air. The real question should be: what do you want to do today?
These days, luxury hotels have become the best home base for summer mountain adventures, offering several exclusive experiences aimed at helping guests make the most of the infinite possibilities in a mountain summer.
Viceroy Snowmass, Colorado
Air, Land & Stream: With so much to offer in the destination of Snowmass, Viceroy Snowmass offers a chance to do the best of the best in just one day. This experience begins with Sunrise Paragliding, where guests begin their day with the thrill of a morning flight above the mountains. Viceroy Snowmass sets up a mountain spread of breakfast items to fuel guests before their flight. Next up: Mountain biking. Guests return to the hotel after their paragliding adventure for a quick change before an afternoon of Mountain Biking on a guide on Snowmass’ famous trails. To round-out the day of thrill-seeking activities, the final activity is a late afternoon fly-fishing experience in a secret local hotspot, accompanied by Viceroy Executive Chef Will Nolan. As the ultimate cap to an extreme Colorado-filled day, guests join Chef Will Nolan in the kitchen for a private lesson and gourmet meal involving the evening’s fresh catch.
Waldorf Astoria Park City, Utah
Bait-to-Plate: Utah is one of the preeminent fly-fishing destinations in North America, and, as such, Waldorf Astoria Park City’s new Bait-to-Plate experience is sure to provide guests with the angling trip of a lifetime. The offering begins with a private guide, who leads guests to favorite fishing holes at some of the most prosperous and beautiful rivers in the surrounding area. Then, after either a full or half day on the river, guests return to Waldorf Astoria Park City where a local trout is then prepared into a gourmet dinner by the head Chef of Powder. For added exclusivity, guests can even choose to have the chef prepare the meal in their guest suite.
Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, Colorado
Pitmasters: Overlooking the scenic Beaver Creek Mountain, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is known for its beloved s’mores programs that allows guests the chance to create their own gourmet s’mores around the five outdoor fire pits. This summer and fall, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is expanding their fireside food & beverage with an interactive fireside service that allows guests to be their own Pitmasters.
Smoked Ice Cocktails — A Park Hyatt Beaver Creek bartender will be on hand to show guests how to smoke their own ice over an open fire. Selecting from oak, hickory, and mesquite wood chips, guests will be able to truly customize the flavor profile of their ice, imparting unique smokey flavors that complement the final product. As the ice melts in the cocktail, the drink will increase in smokiness, highlighting the local bourbon and unique mezcal that the bartender will use to create their custom cocktails on a fireside bar cart.
Smoked Mac n’ Cheese — Guests are given individual pans, filled with their noodle base. A cart complete with an array of cheese — smoked cheese sauces and crumbled toppings including parmesan, goat cheese, blue cheese, gouda, parmigiano-reggiano and more — and a selection of additional ingredients such as bacon, broccoli, mushrooms, chives, and sausage will be on hand for guests to customize their individual dish. The pan then gets placed over the open fire to cook, revealing the perfect, melty, gooey, personal pan of mac n’ cheese to pair with the smokey cocktail.