Dakota Mountain Lodge is at the brink of something big. Geographically speaking, the Park City, Utah, hotel sits at the edge of the Canyons, the fifth-largest ski area in the United States. And while the Canyons has never been as fashionable as the nearby Deer Valley and Park City Mountain resorts, the 3,700-acre property is poised to take its place among the country’s top ski areas.
Opened in August, Dakota connects to the Canyons via a gondola. Even the hotel’s Golden Door Spa offers ski-in/ski-out access. "A ski valet escorts you from the gondola," says spa director Sharon Ogawa, "so the experience is seamless."
Dakota’s timber-and-stone facade makes a similarly smooth transition to an elegant lobby (shown) with twin crystal chandeliers. The hotel wraps in a U shape around a pool area, affording views of the Canyons’ peaks from several of the 175 guest rooms.
The foothills bordering Dakota are alive with activity. In addition to expanding its terrain by 425 acres, the Canyons is developing its base area with new hotels, shops, and attractions such as a golf course that will weave right past Dakota’s pool. Dakota Mountain Lodge & Golden Door Spa, 435.647.5500, www.dakotamountainlodge.com ($180–$3,000)