Park City, UT, is known as a mecca for winter sports. In fact, the charming mountain town was the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics and has been a haven for aficionados of snowy pursuits for decades—the city boasts 9,326 acres of ski terrain at three award-winning resorts. Park City is also home to Stein Eriksen, an octogenarian alpine ski racer and Olympic gold medalist in the Giant Slalom event at the 1952 Winter Olympics. Though Eriksen was born in Oslo, Norway, his heart and his family have made their homes in Utah, where he is a beloved fixture on the ski scene. In fact, he is currently director of skiing at the Deer Valley Resort and also the namesake of the luxe Stein Eriksen Lodge, Utah’s Only Forbes Five Star, AAA Five Diamond retreat, which has been attracting discerning travelers for nearly 30 years. Nestled mid-mountain at Deer Valley Resort’s Silver Lake Village, the ski-in/ski-out Norwegian-style lodge features 180 rooms and suites, award-winning restaurants, a full-service ski locker room and ski valets, and The Spa at Stein Eriksen Lodge, which recently underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation that resulted in it becoming the only Forbes four-star spa in Utah.
The spa, which reopened in December 2009, now encompasses 20,000 square feet and 16 treatment rooms. “Throughout our 26 years, the Lodge has consistently raised the bar when it comes to alpine hospitality, and expanding the spa by such a large measure further demonstrates our continued commitment to providing guests with the utmost level of service and pampering,” says Russ Olsen, CEO of Stein Eriksen Lodge.
According to spa director Jill VanAusdal, the updated space now features separate men’s and women’s locker rooms, each of which includes a sauna, a steam room, and hot and cold plunge pools, as well as two Vichy wet treatment rooms and two couples’ treatment rooms, complete with private showers and tubs and a shared private relaxation suite with a fireplace. The spa also now features a manicure and pedicure area, makeup and hair styling services in the salon, an expanded fitness area, and a 2,000-square-foot build-out of the pool deck.
Still, as with the property overall, Norwegian influences and the desire to soothe the ails of alpine endeavors reign supreme at the spa. Each of the treatment rooms is named after a Norwegian god or goddess, such as Eir, the goddess of healing; Forseti, the god of peace and truth; and Baldr, the god of radiance. The couples’ rooms are dubbed Freya and Lofn, the goddesses of fertility and love, while the wet treatment room is named Vimur after a river in Norway. The menu is also full of treatments that make the aches and pains of a day on the slopes quickly fade away. Ski and Hiking Boot Relief ($140, 50 minutes) includes a scrub, a hot towel wrap, and a reflexology session that helps guests find relief and renewal for feet and lower legs, while Soak and Muscle Therapy ($200, 80 minutes) helps melt muscle aches with a sage-, peppermint-, and wintergreen-infused soak and a full-body massage that incorporates an invigorating cold-stone leg therapy to soothe inflammation and calm swelling. For guests looking for relief from the altitude, the Alpine Glow ($140, 50 minutes) involves a body wrap featuring honeybee propolis and virgin olive oil, which instantly rejuvenates dry, dehydrated skin. “Our treatment menu is focused on assisting our clientele in coping with the effects of high altitude and recovery from strenuous activities, such as skiing, mountain biking, and hiking,” says VanAusdal.
Treatments are performed using products from Éminence Organic Skin Care, Epicuren, and the spa’s enticing signature line. “We have gone to great lengths to use indigenous elements in our line,” says VanAusdal. “For example, our scrub is made from salt from the Great Salt Lake; our honey butter is culled from bees in the Utah area; and we use local sage, cedar, pine, lemongrass, and lavender. We try to use local companies as much as possible. We even carry a beautiful line of chocolates that is made by a family-owned business in Utah.”
The spa team is like a family unto itself, with most of the staff having worked there for more than five years. According to VanAusdal, the well-trained team of 50-plus in the winter and 35-plus in the summer is a cohesive unit that can smoothly handle up to 150 clients each day during the busy season. But no matter how hectic their schedules become, the staff ensures that the spa experience is warm, cozy, timeless, and comfortable. “Our exceptional attention to detail and customization of treatments work toward enhancing our guests’ overall satisfaction,” she says. “Our future goal has always been to become a five-star spa. We continually are perfecting what we offer and hope to accomplish this goal in the very near future.”