Hot Spots

The It List 2009

by Ondine Cohane

Utah

Hungry for adventure in your own backyard? Many travelers are looking to Utah, with no less than five national parks and wildly diverse landscapes from the Rocky Mountains to the Desert Southwest. Skiing, whitewater rafting, fishing, hiking, and mountain biking are just a few of the adrenaline-oriented activities on offer here. While many visitors opt to pitch a tent, we're more tempted by the luxury pads springing up. This spring Amanresorts founder Adrian Zecha—the godfather of minimalist design—is opening his latest retreat, Amangiri, in southern Utah, within striking distance of the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Monument Valley. If you can drag yourself away from the villa with views of red sandstone and sharp-blue skies, you might heli-ski at Dunton Hot Springs, take hot-air balloon rides over rugged canyons, or raft down the Colorado. Meanwhile, the first ski resort from Hilton's Waldorf-Astoria brand, the Dakota Mountain Lodge, is slated for a March opening in Park City. It's next door to the new Frostwood Gondola, which leads to the Canyons Resort, and also has a Golden Door Spa for sore muscles afterward. And a 181-room ski-in/ski-out St. Regis, Deer Crest, debuts in Deer Valley in August with a split-level infinity pool, butler service, and huge spa and gym. (In 2010, a Montage outpost will also open there.) With the recent Delta-Northwest merger, the Salt Lake City hub is that much more accessible, and 2009 will see construction on a light-rail system connecting city and airport.

NEXT: Acapulco. Yes, Acapulco. >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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