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How to Experience Sundance in Style

By Kathryn Romeyn | January 24, 2019 | Lifestyle

In between Globes and Oscars, Utah is the place you oughta be. Do it right.

Thank our lucky stars for Sundance. In the midst of the suffocating madness of awards season, Hollywood’s swell set needs a little blast of fresh air. The 2019 festival (January 24 to February 3) tempts A-listers with indie cred out of Oscars-prep mode into a week of promoting their latest projects—and partying in decadent style—in the powdery bliss of Park City, Utah. Last year, Robert Redford’s brainchild—the president and founder of Sundance Institute established the fest in Salt Lake City in 1978—saw nearly 200 feature-length and short-film screenings, as well as a glittering gob of attendees including Claire Danes, Idris Elba, Jon Hamm, Keira Knightley, Spike Lee, Naomi Watts, Ethan Hawke and even the Notorious R.B.G. herself, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Buzzy brand activations are plentiful: Among those this year is The DIRECTV Lodge, presented by AT&T, with pop-up dining by LA celeb favorite Jon & Vinny’s, along with premiere parties, cast dinners, panel discussions and an always busy photography studio for top talent and filmmakers. For Industry greats and plebes alike, the festival is a prime opportunity for an idyllic-meets-scene-y snow-coated vacay with Industry bashes and early-bird access to films your friends won’t know about for months. Here’s how we do it.

Come Sleep With Us

montage-deer-valley.jpgThe views at Montage Deer Valley are almost as spectacular as the celeb sightings at the superdeluxe resort.

The tony no-snowboards-allowed Deer Valley tends to fill up with a glitzy guest list during Sundance—think Quentin Tarantino and the Kardashians. Hyperplush Montage Deer Valley, opened in 2010, is partnering with skincare brand Tata Harper this festival (January 25 to 26) to provide gratis facials at the spa and also debuts its Future of Rental concept, using a 3D foot scanner to achieve perfect-fitting ski boots. Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley is another classic, superdeluxe overnight option in that enclave if Montage is booked up. Rejoining the scene this season is Grand Summit Hotel, A RockResort, fresh off of a $15 million renovation that amps up the chic factor for this ski-out-the-door property in the heart of Canyons Village. Snowpine Lodge, bowing in January at the powder-filled Alta ski resort, is a new go-to for ski-in/ski-out access alongside a slopeside heated pool, fire pits, oxygen bar and the only truly luxury spa in Alta. Sounds like a slam-glam dunk.

Feast Accompli

high-west-distillery.jpgSki in straight from the slopes for a midrun drink (or two!) at scene-y High West Distillery.

The St. Regis Deer Valley’s J&G Grill is a favorite of A-listers for its phenomenal views and impeccable cuisine, which ranges from black truffle pizzas to slow-cooked local fish. The tasting menu makes for a rich, satisfying evening—think roasted lobster bisque and bone marrow. Reservations are nearly impossible during Sundance for anyone who’s not someone at Riverhorse on Main, the rustic-chic resto where directors, publicists and talent mingle nightly over fresh rainbow trout. For a more casual bite, there’s Main Street’s Handle, offering trendy shareable plates like blue cheese-accessorized buffalo cauliflower. The always buzzy High West Distillery, a ski-in distillery making aged rye, bourbon and whiskey in-house, is often taken over at night for special festival events but is a real treat if you can sneak in for lunch. Caffeine cravings are soothed at Pink Elephant, and for a nightcap, hit OP Rockwell, a speak-easy-style lounge and music hall with an outlaw theme.

Lights, Camera, Activity!

veuve-clicquot.jpgThe Veuve Clicquot Après Lounge at Montage Deer Valley is the perfect place to wind down and warm up post-run.

The fire-warmed Veuve Clicquot Après Lounge yurt is the ultimate see-and-be-seen spot to sip bubbly and schmooze after hitting the slopes or post-premiere. Montage’s 35,000-square-foot spa is where afterparty recovery happens, via a full schedule of mountain wellness classes and pampering massages in the Serenity Suite (which features a pair of lovey-dovey fireside copper tubs). Look into a stand-up paddleboard yoga session in a heated 10,000-year-old crater with Washington School House, the 12-room boutique hotel patronized by Matthew McConaughey, among others. Overnights at The Lodge at Blue Sky, an Auberge property hyping panoramic views and lush creature comforts, won’t be possible until May, but during Sundance, the resort’s five-star adventure amenities are available to preview via heli-skiing with CloudVeil, natural horsemanship lessons with the owners, sporting clays, tastings with High West Distillery—popping up on site—and Western-inspired meals with a side of spectacular panorama at the Refectory restaurant. Who needs movies?!