Like most film festivals, Sundance (Jan 18 to 28) has its share of velvet ropes and invite-only parties. Where to spot celebs when your name isn't on the list? We've compiled a list of 8 Park City hotspots where you can mingle with the festival's big players— no sneaking in required.
The St. Regis Deer Valley
After a long day of movie previews and screenings, cozy up at the St. Regis Deer Valley, a luxe mountain resort with private butlers, fireplaces, an outdoor heated swimming pool, and a pampering spa. You can warm up with a cup of hot cocoa in the hotel’s intimate library, where more than 200 pieces of original art grace the walls, then rub shoulders with the festival’s A-listers at the St. Regis Bar. The best celeb-spotting goes down at the J&G Grill, a sophisticated space that offers elevated farm-to-table cuisine like black truffle pizzas and cheeseburgers with Beehive cheddar.
Riverhorse on Main
During Sundance, it’s next to impossible to land a reservation at this stylish restaurant, whose airy, upscale dining room—all soaring ceilings, blown-glass light fixtures, white linen, and exposed brick walls—is invariably swarming with publicists, celebrities, and big-name directors. But if you’re among the lucky ones to get in, we’d recommend sinking your teeth into the pistachio encrusted local rainbow trout with a side of pomegranate salsa, or the pan roasted pork tomahawk and apple corn bread.
Camera shy? Escape the crowds at this rustic winter cabin, which is hidden at the foot of the 12,000-foot Mount Timpanogos, and happens to be owned by Sundance Film Festival founder, Robert Redford. Inside, the vibe is Wild West meets adult summer camp, with exposed beams, colorful wool blankets, woven Native American bowls and cowboy paraphernalia—plus, high-end touches like fireplaces and large picture windows with dead-on mountain views. Skip a red-carpet event to catch a free screening in the resort’s private theater, or forego films altogether with a horseback excursion or guided nature walk.
This Western-style saloon is located next to the town ski lift and bills itself as the world’s only ski-in distillery. It’s usually booked solid for high-profile events most nights of the festival, so set aside time to go at lunch and sample the expertly-aged whiskey, bourbon, and rye blends (all made on the premises), and the family-style small bites (think: caribou sausage rolls and bison cottage pie).
Spa Montage Deer Valley
Subzero temperatures may make for great skiing, but there’s no question that they spell disaster when it comes to skincare. Where the celebs go to tune up their complexions pre-red carpet? The Spa Montage Deer Valley—a 3,5000-square-foot sanctuary with fireside soaking tubs, a mosaic pool, and a roster of skin-perfecting treatments like oxygen facials and body sculpting wraps. Also on offer: hair services at the Kim Vö Salon, one of just four salons owned by the celebrity stylist.
Atticus Coffee, Books & Teahouse
Movie-watching isn’t typically an exhausting activity—except during film festivals, when it can feel like a high-endurance sport. Keep your energy up by paying a visit to this funky café on Main Street, where you’ll find strong coffee and more than 70 loose-leaf teas. There’s also a selection of newly-released reads, if you want to pick up the book version of that great blockbuster you just watched.
Local and regionally-inspired dishes are the specialty at Handle, a buzzy Main Street restaurant with a friendly, casual vibe. Plates are designed to share, which makes the place perfect for catching up with friends after festival-filled days. Start with the blue cheese-topped buffalo cauliflower (a veggie take on buffalo hot wings), then move on to the succulent fried chicken, which comes over a root vegetable puree and with a side of bacon braised greens. Finish the evening with the so-good-you’ll-like-the-plate-clean corn cake crème brûlée.
Shop the Style
You can't go to Sundance without playing the part. With these Southwest-inspired accessories (see above), you'll look effortlessly cool--and stay warm--while you work the room.