Sundance: Falling in love with one of Utah's most famous resorts

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  • Mount Timpanogos / Image: Diana Boren Mount Timpanogos / Image: Diana Boren
  • Sundance Mountain Resort / Image: Diana Boren Sundance Mountain Resort / Image: Diana Boren
  • Sundance Spa / Image: Diana Boren Sundance Spa / Image: Diana Boren
  • Sundance Spa / Image: Diana Boren Sundance Spa / Image: Diana Boren
  • Mandan Cottage / Image: Diana Boren Mandan Cottage / Image: Diana Boren
  • Sundance Suite / Image: Amelia Ames Sundance Suite / Image: Amelia Ames
  • Sundance Deli / Image: Amelia Ames Sundance Deli / Image: Amelia Ames
  • Caprese panini from Sundance Deli / Image: Amelia Ames Caprese panini from Sundance Deli / Image: Amelia Ames
  • Foundry Grill / Image: Diana Boren Foundry Grill / Image: Diana Boren
  • Foundry Grill Sunday Brunch / Image: Diana Boren Foundry Grill Sunday Brunch / Image: Diana Boren
  • Foundry Grill Sunday brunch / Image: Diana Boren Foundry Grill Sunday brunch / Image: Diana Boren
  • The Foundry Grill's Vanilla Bean Cheesecake / Image: Diana Boren The Foundry Grill's Vanilla Bean Cheesecake / Image: Diana Boren
  • Sundance Art Studio / Image: Diana Boren Sundance Art Studio / Image: Diana Boren
  • The Art Shack's Glass Blowing Studio / Image: Diana Boren The Art Shack's Glass Blowing Studio / Image: Diana Boren
  • Hand-blown glass ornaments / Image: Diana Boren Hand-blown glass ornaments / Image: Diana Boren
  • Hand-blown glass from the Art Shack / Image: Diana Boren Hand-blown glass from the Art Shack / Image: Diana Boren
  • Local artisan jewelry at the Art Shack / Image: Diana Boren Local artisan jewelry at the Art Shack / Image: Diana Boren
  • Film workshop memorabilia / Image: Diana Boren Film workshop memorabilia / Image: Diana Boren
  • The General Store / Image: Diana Boren The General Store / Image: Diana Boren
  • Owl Bar / Image: Amelia Ames Owl Bar / Image: Amelia Ames
  • Ski lift and exercise yurts at Sundance / Image: Diana Boren Ski lift and exercise yurts at Sundance / Image: Diana Boren

SUNDANCE, Utah—November 6, 2013. In 1969, Robert Redford purchased a large portion of Mount Timpanogos with the dream of creating a place where art and nature could flourish and be protected together. The result of this vision is Sundance Mountain Resort, a place of beauty where nature and man coexist in harmony, nurturing artistic expression and self-exploration.

Sundance is a four-season resort with activities and events available all year. In the spring and summer guests can choose from many activities such as fly fishing on the Provo River, a premier trout fishery, alpine hiking to Stuart falls, and guided horseback trail rides.

The ski lift operates in the summer giving a lift to mountain bikers and guests who want a bird’s eye view of the rich mountain habitat. The lift also runs on select nights for an awe-inspiring view of the mountainside by the light of the full moon.

Wintertime means ski season and Sundance has plenty of that famous Utah powder. Guests can snowboard and ski 42 groomed trails in addition to pristine backcountry skiing and snowshoeing. The world famous Sundance Film Festival runs through the middle of January and offers a unique experience to meet stars and directors in intimate settings to view and discuss their work.

Those looking for a more holistic experience need look no further than the Sundance Spa. An award winning green spa, housed in a mountain cabin, the spa is intimate with just a few rooms. Due to the cozy nature of the spa, the staff can devote their full attention to the client. Indian blankets and art decorate the rooms in a Western style that is rustic and elegant in its restraint. Comforting and simple, the high quality of the furnishings invite you to linger and ponder in front of the wood-burning fireplace.

Spa at Sundance / Image: Diana Boran

Spa at Sundance / Image: Diana Boran (click to enlarge)

The staff at the spa are masters of their craft and keenly attuned to the guest’s needs. Spa treatments start with a complimentary footbath of lavender and herbs grown on site. A wide variety of treatments from waxing, manicures and pedicures, hot stone massage, deep tissue massage, reflexology, body treatments, and skin care are available.

Classes are also taught at the spa. Those looking to absorb nature at a slower pace can take the guided Sacred Nature Walk, which is both educational and uplifting. Yoga classes are held every day, and meditation and a self-awareness movement class are also available two days a week.

The artwork and décor throughout the resort is continuous in its devotion to an uncaricatured Western theme depicting the incongruity of harsh mountain life contrasted against the thrilling beauty found in such a place. Sundance offers many different room options during your stay from Standard Rooms to the Mountain Homes that can accommodate up to 15. Rough-hewn wooden construction harmonizes with the mountain artifacts and Native American baskets and blankets immersing the guest in a nature experience indoors and out.

Three restaurants at the resort offer exceptional dining at three different price ranges. In keeping with the Sundance tradition of sustainability, they buy local and organic when possible. The Sundance Deli offers organic specialty drinks, select coffee, paninis and wraps, and pastries baked fresh every morning. 

For a casual dining experience with delicious American cuisine, the award-winning Foundry Grill is perfect for the whole family. A giant mural of horses racing across sagebrush plains painted in the colors of a desert sunset fills one wall and the opposite is covered with an array of antique farming and mining implements. An important part of the dining experience is the service given by the staff, and at the Foundry Grill, servers and chefs have got service down and top it off with a contagious cheerful vibe.

Brunch at the Foundry Grill / Image: Diana Boran

Brunch at the Foundry Grill / Image: Diana Boran (Click to enlarge)

Grilled wild salmon, seared trout, burgers and slow-roasted ribs are popular, and the chefs special is always a good choice. The award winning Sunday brunch is perhaps the crowning jewel of what the Foundry Grill has to offer with a mouth-watering array of main entrees including wagyu beef tenderloin asada, a turkey breast stuffed with gouda and spinach, and eggs Benedict.  

To balance out the meatier fare there are gourmet salads and fruits, a beautifully arranged cheese platter to make even the stodgiest of cheese critics smile, and a sinful dessert selection. Granola, toast, omelets made to order, and hotcakes are available for those who insist on maintaining the status quo.

The Tree Room, winner of Utah’s Best of State fine dining for the last three years running, offers fresh seasonal mountain cuisine in a romantic setting. The art in the restaurant comes from Robert Redford’s private Native American art collection.

Evidence of the Sundance Resort commitment to creativity and the arts is found everywhere. Readings and workshops by famous authors, film screenings, some of which are free to the public, and musical events are scheduled throughout the year. Hallways are lined with images taken during filmmaking, and acting workshops with famous directors.

The Art Shack is a hub of creativity at Sundance. There one can take classes in jewelry making from a silversmith. Throwing a pot on a wheel has a certain therapeutic quality to it. Running your hands over the clay, watching your creation take shape is a meditative act and they have a class for that too. The art pieces and dinnerware used at Sundance are created from recycled glass collected at the resort.

Artisans from Tlaquepaque, Guadalajara hand-blow pieces in the open-air studio. Visitors are encouraged to watch and can purchase items from the Art Shack shop. The shop also sells local artisan jewelry and art, and the hand-crafted soap made on site is used in all of the guestrooms.

Everything about Sundance Resort emphasizes and encourages a holistic blending of oneself into the natural mountain surroundings. Benches placed in secluded corners along the river entice you to stop and breathe for a moment, take in the scenery and contemplate life. Art classes, exceptional cuisine, and aesthetic beauty refresh and sustain while encouraging growth and discovery.

The chill in the air each morning and night carries a soothing hint of the sweet sagebrush smell so common to the mountains of Utah. The stars shine and wildlife roams freely throughout the resort bearing a constant reminder that while snug in your cabin, the fiercely beautiful wilderness lies ready at your doorstep. The spirit of Sundance leaves an indelible mark on the soul of anyone who enters and lingers to partake of one of the most renewing and refreshing resort experiences that Utah has to offer.

 

Mount Timpanogos / Image: Diana Boran

Mount Timpanogos / Image: Diana Boran


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Amelia Ames

Amelia Ames is a food writer and reviewer for Communities @Washington Times.  Her column Kitchen Journeys seeks to find the best in food, and those that prepare it for us.  Read more of her recipes, reviews and news at Gastronomy Girl. She received a B.S. in Zoology-Entomology from Brigham Young University.

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