Imagine arriving on a non-stop flight to Salt Lake City, and a brief thirty-five minutes later, you pass through an unassuming gatehouse to arrive at a home outfitted to the finest detail. From groceries to toys, mountain bikes to skis, your private concierge arranges for everything. Your secluded getaway sits on over four acres of mountainous terrain and the only sounds you hear are birds and wind brushing through the trees. Few outside of Park City know this special place.
Park City is home to world-class mountain biking, stunning hikes, and The Greatest Snow on Earth. In any given season, there is something for everyone. It's also home to one of the most beautiful and exclusive ski-in/ski-out communities in the nation, The Colony, which happens to be conveniently located smack-dab in the middle of the largest ski resort in the country. Safe to say, with Park City Mountain's 7,300 acres as the backyard, there's plenty of space for play—both winter and summer.
Each home is privately owned, however, a select few are available as vacation rentals through Resorts West, which manages some of the finest homes in Park City and Deer Valley. This means visitors have an option that provides both unprecedented access and exclusivity. Additionally, Resorts West offers an experienced concierge team to handle every detail of your stay. From childcare and groceries, to reservations at the most popular Bill White restaurants, they have the knowledge and connections to get it done.
I'll confess, until last week I knew almost nothing about this community, it's highly exclusive, and I never had an occasion to visit. However, I was invited to tour several homes in The Colony in preparation to write this article. I also interviewed some of the Resorts West team about their services. Impressive isn't a big enough word to describe what I found. Here are the details:
The ambiance of The Colony is what you make it. The homes range from expansive and contemporary, to warmly cozy and welcoming, yet they have two things in common — privacy and access. Each home sits on several acres of land with true ski-in/ski-out access in the winter, plus convenient access to hiking and biking all summer.
View from the main house (White Pine Retreat North) looking towards the guest house (White Pine Retreat South).
The location of The Colony is the real story. It winds up the midpoint of the Park City Mountain, the largest ski resort in the nation. Yet, once you pass through the guarded gate, it feels like another world. No crowds, no lines, just natural beauty with custom homes tucked unobtrusively into the trees.
Each home has access to a lift-served ski run. And I'm not referring to access via a long hike…I mean true direct access to a legitimate run. The resort and the community are entwined in each other with cross-access agreements facilitating the ski area's runs through the community.
While the advantage to skiers is the obvious story, the fun doesn't stop when the snow melts. The entire mountain is prime hiking and biking terrain.
By staying in a home you have the freedom to eat in or dine out. There's an abundance of shopping and restaurants nearby, or you could have the concierge arrange for grocery delivery or a private chef. If you choose to dine at one of the more popular restaurants, be sure to make a reservation or ask the concierge to set up the details during your pre-arrival itinerary creation conversation.
Absolutely! Many of the Colony homes are ideal for multi-generational families and large groups thanks to split layouts with game rooms and kid-friendly rooms on a common floor. The home we stayed in featured a lower floor with a pool table, foosball, giant-screen television, movie theater, fireplace, open play area, and a large custom wet bar. Off of the play area were multiple bedrooms and baths for playful guests. This arrangement means there's always something to do, even after sundown.
The bunk room at Snow Wonder is perfect for kids.
Each home is different but they tend to have a few common features such as kid friendly areas, ample kitchens, fireplaces, and decks leading directly to trails. Some homes sit back a little further than others offering more privacy, but only adding 2-3 minutes of time to the run.
This makes it exceptionally easy to take mid-day break for lunch, hot cocoa, or a nap. It's also ideal for parents who want to switch-out hanging with the younger set while the other plays outdoors. Simply ride a lift to the top of the run your home is located on, and ski straight to the door. In summer, you could hike or bike directly to and from the home to access miles of trails including the popular 23-mile Mid Mountain Trail, designated an "Epic Trail" by the International Mountain Biking Association.
All Resorts West homes meet minimum requirement standards and include conveniences such as linens, dishes, and cookware. If you need anything special, you can ask your Resorts West concierge to arrange it for you. "If you don't see what you need on our list of services, please ask. Our lists are only to spur ideas. There's no way we could list everything we can arrange for our guests," explained Lauren Fielding, concierge for Resorts West.
The home we stayed in, White Pine Retreat – North, sleeps 12 and includes two fireplaces, multiple seating areas on the main floor, plus an open kitchen and dining area. This floor also has bedrooms off of the social area. A long deck overlooks the canyon—an incredible view at sunrise.
View of the living room from the top floor at White Pine Retreat North.
The upper floor of White Pine is where the magic happens. Exit through double doors onto a deck and then ski or ride past the outdoor fire pit and hot tub to the trail. When you feel like a break, you could return for a snack or hot drinks at the wet bar and seating area just inside. A luxurious master suite, with a jaw-dropping floor to ceiling view, is located at the far end of the upper floor.
White Pine Retreat – South (Guest House)Don't let the term "Guest House" deceive you. At 6,400 sq. ft. this custom 3-bedroom home sleeps 10 people and includes a private theater, custom surfboard bar, pool table and basketball court. Soak in the outdoor hot tub after a day on the slopes then spend the night hanging out in the lounge. White Pine Retreat South can be rented out on its own or in conjunction with White Pine Retreat North for a total of nine bedrooms.
White Pine Retreat South (guest house).
The game room at the guest house (White Pine Retreat South).
The Cottage at Canyons, is cozier and perfect for groups up to 10 people. It is nestled in the trees on seven acres and has a rustic cabin feel. My favorite features are the welcoming living area, huge fireplace, and tall ceilings. The owner shared that they'd been listening to the elk calling during the night and hiked to the ridge above the house for an overnight campout among the golden aspen the night before. This home stole my heart.
The Cottage at Canyons.
Yet another incredible home, Snow Wonder, sleeps 16 and features huge living areas, sweeping balcony views, warm décor, and tons of privacy indoors and out. My favorite room sits over the garage with large windows on three sides. It felt like a writer's retreat.
Den area at Snow Wonder with custom bar, pool table, television and hearth.
Guests can either ski directly to the run, or hop on the QuickSilver Gondola just a few hundred feet away, which provides access to the Park City side of the mountain. This area of the mountain could take a skier over an hour to reach from the Canyons Village base, but The Colony is situated at the midpoint of Park City Mountain.
Park City Mountain is home to over 7,300 skiable acres with a mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced terrain. In 2015, Park City combined with Canyons forming the largest ski area in the United States, with over 7,300 acres, 300+ trails, 41 lifts, eight terrain parks, 14 bowls, six natural half pipes, one super pipe and one mini pipe. Park City offers year-round activities with three distinct base areas, from skiing in the winter to mountain biking and hiking in the warmer months.
"Summer and fall are spectacular in Park City. Yes winter skiing is incredible, but once you visit in summer or fall you'll return again and again. The air is cool, there are a ton of activities, and the views rock."
For more details and information on the entire selection of homes, visit the Resorts West website or call: 877-214-0103. Additionally, the concierge may be reached at 435-649-0974.
This post is a sponsored collaboration between Ski Utah and Resorts West.