Utah’s Wasatch Mountains are home to many wondrous things. The world renowned ski resort, Alta, is just one. Year round, this little swatch of paradise has some of the most breathtaking views on earth. The wildflowers in July are beyond description! I don’t have to tell you about the skiing. Let’s just say it’s a special place. In the heart of it all is the Alta Lodge. It’s been around since 1940, and it’s more than just a place to stay. The Alta Lodge is an experience.
In July of 2011, my husband and I spent our wedding night at Alta Lodge. We woke up in the mountains to amazing views just outside our window, and enjoyed the lodge’s Sunday Brunch before going for a hike. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to start my new life! The following week found us in Italy on our honeymoon staying at the Hotel Gran Ander in the Dolomites. That stay was our favorite part of the trip. The hotel was more than just an accommodation. It was run by a family and they included breakfast and dinner with the price of the room. Every day, they cooked up fabulous meals for us. We even had our own table! I remember feeling so at home there.
Recently, I had the opportunity to return to Alta Lodge with my husband for a two night stay, this time to ski. It reminded me so much of my time in the Dolomites! This ski in-ski out family-run hotel also includes breakfast and dinner with the price of the room. Just show up to the dining room, and enjoy your meal. No need to bring a wallet because it’s all taken care of. Any alcoholic beverages you might order are simply charged to your room. The food has a home cooked feel to it, and you feel very taken care of by the staff. It really was a carefree stay with nothing more to think about than that day’s skiing and what you’ll drink afterwards.
This brings me to the Sitzmark Club, the bar located in the original part of the lodge. With its slanted ceilings and wood burning hearth, it feels completely unchanged from the first days of the lodge’s service. They maintain a nice variety of beer, wine, and spirits, much of which is locally made. I was happy to see a wide selection of IPA’s from local breweries including: Red Rock’s Elephino DIPA, Squatters’ Off Duty IPA, Epic’s Escape to Colorado IPA, and Uinta’s Hop Nosh IPA. They also have Uinta beer on draught. Local spirits like High West Whiskey, Beehive Gin, and Sugar House Vodka were available alongside the typical bar favorites.
The Sitzmark Club is known for hot spiced cider, spiked with your choice of liquor, and the inviting scent fills the space. Also, “Party Margs” are a popular choice for those looking for the maximum alcohol content allowed in Utah. If you get hungry, chow down on the free bar appetizers like spinach dip and curry hummus. Sit by the fire, or choose a window seat for the views. Grab your buddy and play a game of backgammon on the old backgammon table for two. Whatever you do, no stress allowed! Relaxing and hanging out is what’s in order.
Need something to fill your flask? Alta Lodge is also home to the only State Liquor Store in the town of Alta. Find it downstairs in a tiny little general store. No shelves full of bottles, just a modest list of various liquors and wine options to choose from. The prices are the same as those in any Utah liquor store, and you’ll find a bit of everything. You can even take a bottle of wine along with you to enjoy at dinner for a small corkage fee. This may be Utah, but you’re definitely not going thirsty at the Alta Lodge!
Whether you live in Utah or just looking to visit, the Alta Lodge makes a great getaway. It’s both family friendly and drinker friendly. Stay for more than one night and you’ll start to imagine you live there! Yes, this is your life in the mountains where every need is met. You can ignore the entire world beyond this place, at least for a while. Any time of the year, escape to your spectacular mountain home, and enjoy the Alta Lodge Experience.