A regular on “world’s best hotel” lists, Robert Redford’s rustic Sundance resort is unique. It sits in 6,000 acres (2,425 ha) of wilderness on the slopes of the 12,000-foot (3,660-m) Mount Timpanogos. Rivers burble and birds sing in summer; in winter, mugs of hot chocolate steam beside a crackling fire waiting for skiers to return. The cozy rooms feature American quilts and Native American wall hangings, and the food is superb, whether in The Foundry, praised by Zagat’s for its luxury brunch, or the five-star restaurant.
Winter sports remain the key draw in this area. In January, you might find yourself sharing the slopes with luminaries of independent cinema, many of whom stay here during the annual Sundance Film Festival. Out of season, the lush pastures are great for hiking, mountain biking, and riding. A luxury spa draws on the Sioux idea of Hocoka, a sacred place in which body and spirit can be revived.
Long before eco was chic, Sundance was making a stand. And a passion for the environment is carried through from the Aveda products in the bathroom to the hybrid cars and regeneration projects the resort carries out on the surrounding hillsides.