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The Sundance Film Fest Is Back! Where to Eat, Stay and Après in Park City

The 10-day festival is back after two years. Here's everything you need to know to treat your inner cineaste in style.

Main Street in Park City, Utah during the Sundance Film Fest Getty Images

Long before a little-known film festival called Sundance, and legions of high-profile magazines started referring to it as a “mecca for skiers,” Park City, Utah was known as a scrappy silver mining town gone bust. That town of course struck gold again when it was elected to host the 2002 winter Olympics, and the blitz of glitzy hotels and a never-ending stream of tourists soon followed.

Teeming with thousands of miles of powdery terrain, it’s the sort of place people tell you they came one ski season and—after falling in love with the blue skies and Wasatch Mountains—never looked back. Today, Park City has maintained much of its mining-era heritage and historic charm as evidenced in the saloons and custom cowboy and craftsman shops lining Main Street. As for that little indy film fest, Sundance has grown into one of the world’s most prestigious annual showcases for silver-screen storytellers, celebrities, and cinephiles. Every winter they return, packing the town’s historic theaters for 10 days of private screenings, panels, pop-ups and star-studded soirees.

After a two-year pandemic-induced hiatus, Sundance is back on a hybrid in-person and virtual basis this year, and spread between Park City and Salt Lake City. The latter, by the way, was actually the original home to Sundance when it was then known as the Utah/US Film Festival, before Robert Redford got his hands on it and the fest was renamed for his character in Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. If you’re heading there, or if you’re looking for the best screening spots to après, here’s a luxe look at everything, everywhere all at once from Park City, Salt Lake City, and Deer Valley right now.

Where to Stay in Salt Lake City, Deer Valley and Park City

Pendry Park City Hotel Exterior
Pendry Park City Hotel Pendry Park City

Nestled amongst 3,500 private acres of ranch land along the Wasatch Mountains, The Lodge at Blue Sky blends rustic luxury with five-star service. The 46-key retreat offers everything from heli-skiing, fly fishing and a private sporting clay shooting range to one of the most scenic spas and wellness experiences at their cliffside Edge Spa. This year, in honor of Sundance, The Lodge will also be offering a series of screenings, fireside chats and chef tastings tied to the fest.

Breathing in fresh mountain air into the Canyons Village resort area, Pendry Park City opened in February and with 153 stylish suites and ski-in-ski-out access. Standout amenities include a chic rooftop pool and lounge at Pool House, as well as dedicated ski valets, full-service spa, and spacious outdoor living room to soak up all the mountain vibes.

One of Deer Valley’s most beloved locales, Austrian-inn-inspired Goldener Hirsch recently underwent a major refresh, and now all 18 rooms come furnished with wood-burning fireplaces, antique hand-painted furniture, and a two-bedroom signature suite that occupies the entire fourth floor. Just in time for Sundance, guests of the golden deer will also have access to the “Plunge” tub on the resort’s rooftop, which includes a heated pool, hot tub and sauna.

A suite living room at the Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City

With so much of Sundance taking place in Salt Lake City this year, Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City opened this fall, and with views of the Wasatch Mountains, this shiny new downtown locale is home to Mar|Muntanya, a stylish fine-dining Spanish spot serving tapas along with a signature elk tenderloin, slow cooked sea bass and not to be missed paella mar. At the adjacent (and aptly named) Sundance Terrace, guests can enjoy cocktails by the fire pit with 180-degree views of both the skyline and surrounding mountains. 

Where to Eat & Drink

Laziz Kitchen’s Lebanese fare is not to be missed.

Ever since it opened in 2016, Laziz Kitchen in downtown SLC has been serving up a scintillating menu of Lebanese dishes from Spiced Labneh, harissa guac and halloumi. And now, dinner just got spicier with the recent opening of Back Door, a speakeasy lounge serving an ever-changing menu of craft cocktails and mezze.

La Stellina opened this month at The St. Regis Deer Valley, and from whole roasted branzino and bucatini all amatriciana, this new high-design Italian spot is serving old-world glamour to the recently opened Snow Park building at the resort. Otherwise, warm up over a bowl of French onion soup or nosh on black truffle pizza at the St. Regis Bar, which is always a fashionable spot to post up thanks to the supple leather seating, two-sided fireplace, and massive triptych mural that pays tribute to Park City’s mining history. Whatever you do, don’t miss their best-selling cocktail, the 7452 Bloody Mary, named for the altitude of the resort. 

The bar at the Backdoor speakeasy lounge.
The bar at the Backdoor speakeasy lounge.

In Canyon Village, Powder at Waldorf Astoria Park City has a limited-time Sundance menu inclusive of a Wagyu tomahawk, caviar service and daily Amuse Bouche. Voted Best Ski Hotel in the US in 2022 by the World Ski Awards, Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley’s six private dining Alpenglobes are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner this winter, and while the menu includes their signature Stein cheeseburger. If you really want to go for the gold, save plenty of room for the baked Alaska and a dark, milk and white chocolate trio for the absolute win.

The sister restaurant to perennially popular Handle in Park City, HSL (the acronym for Handle Salt Lake) is a gorgeous, chef-driven spot in downtown SLC helmed by executive chef Briar Handly whose locally sourced dishes and impressive cocktail program are always a sure fire bet.

The interior of Handle Salt Lake

Last but not least, Oquirrh Restaurant, named for the snowcapped mountains separating Tooele from the Salt Lake Valley, is run by husband and wife team Angie and Andrew Fuller. From the homemade sourdough bread and house churned butter to locally sourced ingredients and dishes like confit chicken pot pie and rigatoni pasta with braised lamb, this casual fine dining is sure to hit the spot.

Where to Après

The Vintage Room at the St. Regis in Deer Valley
The Vintage Room at the St. Regis in Deer Valley St. Regis Deer Valley

Like any good mountain town worth its powder, après is very much a part of the culture in Park City and Deer Valley, starting with The Vintage Room with a slopeside raw bar and a brand new outdoor deck that will surely be a big draw this season. 

Now there’s après, and then there’s The Apres Lounge at Montage Deer Valley, where the Veuve Clicquot-themed party yurt is a sight for sore eyes after hours of screenings. With a menu of gourmet bites including caviar, local cheeses, charcuterie, smoked fish, and of course plenty of champagne to go around, if the yurts are not quite your scene, the hotel’s great room at Vista Lounge & Terrace is a great spot for live music and fondue by a roaring fire.

Where to Pamper Yourself

Silver Aspen Spa
A couples treatment room at Stein Eriksen’s Silver Aspen Spa Silver Aspen Spa | Stein Eriksen Residences

In Deer Valley, The St. Regis Spa is splayed across 14,000 square feet, and from the outdoor waterfall runs through the center of the spa to treatment suites complete with fireplaces, soaking tubs, alfresco patios and views of the Wasatch Range. Beloved celeb hot spot, Silver Aspen Spa is strictly by appointment only, and if you can grab one, which you should, spend a blissful few hours enjoying a CBD massage and a soak in the sumptuous heated outdoor infinity pool overlooking the valley. A short uber ride from downtown Salt Lake in the Federal Heights neighborhood, The Kura Door is a holistic day spa with a mix of Japanese-inspired treatments, massages and ofuro soaking tubs infused with essential oils, herbs, and sea salt—the perfect remedy pre-or post-flight out of town.

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