It’s very unusual to find a single country that offers great skiing as well as desert exploration, never mind a single state, but that’s Utah for you! Fly to Salt Lake City via Dallas and then it’s just a 35-minute private transfer to Deer Valley up in the mountains. Deer Valley gets an average of 7.5 metres of snow a year, covering six mountains. There are ski trails for all abilities, but beginners to intermediates will be right at home. If you’re an expert, there are the mogul runs used for the 2002 Winter Olympics.
from downhill racing to a luxurious desert spa in America's south-west
The Montage is a ski in/ski out hotel on top of Empire Pass, so it has stunning views too. It’s next to three high-speed chair lifts, which means you get instant access to the slopes. It’s a luxurious hotel, but also great for families. Everything you might want to do can be organised on site: ski rental, slope passes and lessons, snowmobiling, sleigh rides, even a go on the bobsled course. The hotel’s got the biggest spa in the area, with an enormous outdoor heated pool. There’s also live music every evening.
The drama of skiing in luxury on beautiful quiet slopes to being in the middle of the desert at Amangiri resort later the same day is incredible. All you have to do is pick up a rental SUV for the most scenic six-hour road trip you will ever take, past the red rocks of the Wasatch Mountains and down through Zion National Park, which is a great place to stop if you want to do some hiking. From Amangiri you can take a private speedboat around Lake Powell, or go rock climbing in the desert.
Amangiri blends into the landscape. It’s a real architectural masterpiece. The central pavilion has huge sofas and big picture windows so you can watch a desert sunset with a cocktail in your hand – try the Prickly Pear Margarita or Sage Mojito. The pool is sunk into a courtyard and winds around the rocks. There’s also a hot tub, so you can relax under the stars even in winter. The accommodation wings lead out into the desert, and each suite has a private courtyard, bedroom and living area, and glass doors onto a desert lounge with a central fireplace. The Native American-inspired spa at Amangiri does colour therapy-enhanced flotation treatments and has a watsu pool. The hotel can also organise day trips to the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, with private sightseeing flights if you want to see them from the air. Page Airport is 20 minutes away and you can fly home via LAX.
Scott Dun Ski Consultant Charlotte Austin
A six-hour drive from Deer Valley to Amangiri
Utah Combo, from £4,940pp for 10 nights, including flights
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For further information visit scottdunn.com/utahcombo
Images: Aurora Photos