words and photos by: Andrea Peterson
There just doesn’t seem to be relief in this Salt Lake City heat. Though the snow stuck around in the mountains longer and kept the valley cooler through spring, the Utah summer has wasted no time in hitting the century mark. I’m a Utah transplant and no fan of high-desert heat. Give me the snow any day. When you’re cold you can always add an extra layer, but when you’re hot you can only get so naked. (Let’s all be honest.) So when the temps start creeping up the gauge I start creeping up the mountains. And I have found my new favorite staycation. Hyatt Centric Park City, located just above Canyons Village has everything I need to escape the summer heat.
A short drive up Parley’s Canyon, Hyatt Centric Park City is nestled in the foothills of the the nation’s largest ski resort—Park City Mountain Resort. The drive up Parley’s Canyon without snow is so easy. And right now, the hills are a vibrate green. My car’s external temperature gauge dropped degree by degree as I climbed to the pass. As you wind your way up through the Canyons Village area, I was excited to see the hotel perched at the top. That meant I was going to have the best view of any resort in the area. Even from the front door, there are endless views of the East Canyon’s rolling hills that’d you’d only have if you were atop a ski resort.
Though the hotel is not a true all-inclusive resort it felt like one. From the moment I arrived, I left my car with the complimentary valet and disappeared into my weekend. The front desk hosts, Liz Wardley and Joanne Chessen, are incredibly kind and helpful and I felt right at home, right away. The biggest reason is because this hotel is—wait for it—DOG FRIENDLY! Ok, if you aren’t a dog owner, you may not understand the struggles that come with visiting the outdoors and not being able to bring your dog unless you’re tent camping or staying in a dingy motel. Finn, my Australian Shepard/Golden Retriever mix, felt right at home as well. The Hyatt Centric Park City has a little doggie bag for all their furry guests including treats and a map of dog friendly trails. This hotel is definitely Finn approved.
The hotel is a mountain retreat if there ever was one. The rooms are spacious and comfortable. Almost every window you look out has either a jaw-dropping scenic view of the canyon or the sight of the quaking aspens and towering pines. I felt like I was tent camping among the alpine landscape. Thankfully I wasn’t because the bed was snuggly, the fireplace cozy and the the decor modern mountain chic. (One of the chairs had a cute pillow in the shape of Utah.)
After dropping off my stuff and pulling myself out of the cushy furniture, I made my way down to the restaurant and bar for an early evening snack and cocktail. But on the way, I met a cute couple from Los Altos, California. Karl and Marguerite Hasen were on a week-long trip to the area for some fishing and hiking. I asked why they didn’t just head to the Sierras or somewhere closer? “Why drive 8 hours to the Sierras when you can take an hour and half flight to Salt Lake and then drive 30 mins up to Park City,” Karl explained. “We can be up in the mountains so much quicker this way.” I have a feeling we may have more California visitors when word gets out about how easy it is to enjoy our outdoors.
Oh, have I mentioned the views? I can’t get enough of the views! Naturally, I sat outside and enjoyed my nibbles on the bar patio. I’ve been to too many hotel bars where the food is so-so and the drinks, meh. But not at the Hyatt Centric Park City. I couldn’t get over the creativity of the drinks.(You’ll notice that “The Prospector” makes an appearance in many of my photos.) The drinks were all refreshing and imaginatively mixed. I almost changed my plans to head to into Park City for the evening because the food and drinks at the hotel were so good.
Remember how I mentioned feeling like I was at an all-inclusive resort? Well, the Hyatt Centric Park City offers a shuttle to main street Park City. I didn’t have to worry about driving, finding parking—or drinking too much, for that matter. The shuttle runs on average every 30 minutes from the hotel’s front door to main street. And if you are as lucky as I was—you’ll get Brad Libin—my personal tour guide. He told me all about all the different restaurants, bars and on the town things to do. I hated hoping out of the shuttle because I would’ve loved to just see the town with him the rest of the night.
People associate Utah, particularly Park City, with colder snowy months because of the abundance of ski resorts, but once you get past the “mud season,” the mountains come alive. Since I was up the mountain and not sweating like crazy, I was incredibly excited for an active Saturday. But first this foodie needed some sustenance before heading up the mountainside. I started by trying some breakfast dishes at the Escala Provisions Restaurant. I have the hardest time deciding what to eat in the morning. I finally went for sweet, with the Cinnamon and Orange French toast and savory with the Huevos Rancheros Tostada. Yum!
After such an amazing meal, I needed to break out of my food coma, so I headed down to the Wasatch Adventure Guides—which sits right in the lobby of the hotel. Matt Mravetz was amazing suggesting all the great secret trails of the area—from mountain biking to hiking and even fishing. It was so nice to have an insider’s perspective and knowledge of the area. His recommendations made me feel less like a tourist and more at home. Having the guide in the hotel was convenient and useful in planning my day. I rode the Red Pine Gondola up the mountain and hiked around all morning, grabbed a nibble at Canyons Village for lunch and enjoyed local music in the afternoon.
Aside, from the shuttle to main street—which isn’t even that far—I hardly strolled from from the hotel and the surrounding areas. It was literally a ‘staycation.’ Although, I’m a transplant, I am a resident and the Hyatt Centric Park City offers Utah-resident rates. And if timing works out, I hope to find myself at the hotel again before the weather turns cold.
For as low as $139 per night Utah Residents can escape to the cool mountains and enjoy a wide array of outdoor activities including mountain biking, hiking, concerts and festivals. If you are traveling with your canine complain be sure to ask for Ellie’s welcome bag at check. Booking Code UTAHRR
June 9th – Aug 27th
Deluxe Guest Room $159
One Bedroom Suite $239
Two Bedroom Suite $339
Aug 27th – Nov 15th
Deluxe Guest Room $139
One Bedroom Suite $199
Two Bedroom Suite $299