Written by { Angela Fairhurst

At the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon and snuggled in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains, Alta has been a playground for skiers, hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, birders and nature lovers for decades. Now, those who like a little pampering with their outdoor pursuits can check into the first luxury year-round resort in town, Snowpine Lodge, a modern reimagining of the historic lodge that has occupied the site since 1938. 

The Snowpine Lodge is the brainchild of real estate developer Brent Pratt, who acquired the property seven years ago. After a $50 million renovation designed by his daughter, Courtney Pratt, the resort has four new floors and 78 rooms, 19 of which maintain an Alta tradition of bunk beds. Each floor has a cozy living room area with comfy couches, sumptuous throws and glorious views of the mountains. Rooms have a rustic feel, with contemporary, comfortable furniture, neutral-tone textiles, barn-style doors, antiques, beautiful light fixtures and local art. Thanks to its own lift and ski lockers, as well as access to all mountain recreation, Snowpine Lodge is the height of convenience. 

Locals and visitors are invited to enjoy the elevated cooking of Chef Shawn Smith, who is at the helm of the lodge’s two dining establishments. Trained at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, his presence at Snowpine Lodge ensures the food here surpasses the typical ski lodge grub. Chef Smith says his menus feature “approachable cuisine using trusted quality products.” He likes to cook in the same style that he eats. 

The Gulch Pub showcases creative takes on comfort food (pickle-brined fried chicken, nduja pizza, Calabrian chili sausage) using locally sourced ingredients. The most popular craft cocktail after a day on the slopes is the soul-warming El Santo, a mix of Oaxaca mezcal with fresh lemon and lime, an amarena cherry, Old Bay salted rim and Laphroaig rinse. 

Swen’s is a casual yet sophisticated eatery featuring a globally inspired, seasonally changing menu, thoughtfully chosen wine list and well-rounded selection of beers. Swen’s features private and communal tables, an open kitchen and floor-to-ceiling windows that make the most of the jaw-dropping vista.  

The Stillwell Spa is a place for rejuvenation of mind and body, with six treatment rooms, a full-service salon, sauna, steam room, indoor grotto and men’s and women’s lockers. Certified professionals offer a range of services, including massages, facials, waxing and other beauty treatments. A signature facial, Polished Perfection, relieves the effects of a high-altitude environment and targets the signs of aging by incorporating lavender and ginger essential oils. The peel uses layers of enzymes that exfoliate the skin, leaving it renewed and radiant. Nourish and Balance is a head-to-toe treatment, beginning with a cleansing lime and ginger foot scrub followed by an Elemis body nectar nourishing wrap, and finishing with a relaxing scalp and facial massage.

The spa also includes an oxygen bar, where guests can detoxify the body and cleanse the blood after a day of breathing Alta’s alpine air. Sessions are available for 10, 20 or 30 minutes. There’s a relaxation room with cozy seating areas for use pre- or post-treatment, and day passes are available. 

Located on the second floor of the Snowpine Lodge, The Nest is Alta’s first fully stocked game room, providing guests of all ages a lively place to hang out and enjoy friendly competition as they play foosball, pool, ping pong, Pac-Man, board games and more.  

In addition, members of The Snowpine Club, a private lodging and recreation organization, are entitled to a host of exclusive amenities and services, such as access to a club lounge, two weeks of both peak winter and summer accommodations in Club Suites and private round-trip airport shuttles. Free ski tune-ups, ski valet and lockers, complimentary continental breakfasts, beverages and snacks are also available in the ski locker room.  snowpine.com