The nightly ritual of après-ski is a romantic notion that has lost some of its sentiment of late, as champagne and schnapps have given way to brewskies and nachos. But the luxurious mountain ski resort town of Park City, Utah, knows a thing or two about the importance of rituals. A siren still blares from the whistle tower nightly at 10, installed in 1901 during the town’s mining days to test the emergency fire alert, and later used as a curfew. But locals love to say it was a reminder to the day-shift miners to get out of the bars and brothels — a cheeky tale, yet the urbane urban legend endures. Today, Park City continues its tradition with these high-end nightly rituals.
When You Want S’more
The luxury and warmth of the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Montage Deer Valley can even be felt outdoors on a snowy winter’s evening during the resort’s happiest hour. From 4 to 5 p.m. daily, hotel and restaurant guests gather at the campfire just outside of Four-Star restaurant Apex for complimentary s’mores beneath the stars. Beginning December 7, the gathering moves to the fire pits just outside the Vista Lounge and Terrace. Once you’ve had dessert, head inside to the resort’s newest dining venue, Burgers & Bourbon (which just opened December 6), for a mountain-inspired burger (think bison; this town is big on bison) and a High West Manhattan.
The motion is akin to a tennis stroke, the arm extending away from the body, the sharp steel sabre sliding along the champagne bottle to connect with the neck, causing a solid “pop!” as the neck and cork shoot into the horizon, leaving the good stuff behind. Bottle sabering is a tradition at many St. Regis resorts, but at the Four-Star St. Regis Deer Valley, you’re a vital part of that ritual. Every night at 5:30 (6:30 p.m. in summer), a bartender from J&G Grill trained in sabrage leads bar patrons onto the patio, where he explains sabering’s Napoleonic origins (the general’s cavalry liked to show off), then pops the top on a bottle to celebrate the transition from day to night while guests toast with a complimentary glass of bubbly.
Best of Both Worlds
For a happy marriage of fireside treats and exhilarating champagne experiences, there’s the Four-Star Waldorf Astoria Park City, where you can roast your own gourmet s’mores, then get cozy under a fur blanket with a glass of champagne in a lounge made of ice. Every night at 7, you will find a complimentary spread of graham crackers, housemade marshmallows in a variety of flavors and fine chocolate at the luxurious outdoor fire pit outside the Four-Star restaurant Powder. When you’ve had your fill, slide over to Powder Ice Lounge, a 14-foot outdoor carved ice bar with sculpted ice furniture, opening at 6 p.m. on December 20. There, you can continue the alfresco adventure with champagne by the bottle, glass or flight (starts at $45), as well as passed hors d’oeuvres and live entertainment. Garnish your bubbly with your choice of fruit and mixers such as raspberries, strawberries, olives and juices.
Photos Courtesy of St. Regis Deer Valley and Waldorf Astoria Park City