Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

Park City, a hot spot for celebs, movie stars and indie filmmakers, it screams glitz, glamour, and oh yes, a hefty price tag. But fear not, travel mavens, it’s not only for Access Hollywood regulars, and it’s actually not the unattainable destination it seems to be. Enter stage right, Zermatt Resort & Spa, a new luxurious resort and spa sans the luxe price tag.

Located 25 minutes outside of Park City in Midway, Utah, the setting is the picturesque Heber Valley. Although I was there with my husband for a belated wedding anniversary trip, I found it to be an ideal place for an affordable Girl’s Getaway.

If you think the perfect girl’s vacation would include a private villa, spa treatments, nearby activities and fabulous restaurants, then get packing.

Accommodations and Amenities

The Swiss-style resort has been painstakingly created to provide guests with a European experience. While the main lodge houses 226 rooms, for larger groups, I recommend reserving one of the 126 villas. The 3-room villas can accommodate up to 12 people and feature amenities such as a flat panel tv, fireplace, full kitchen with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances that will keep you more than comfortable whilst you’re away from home sweet home.

Starting at $449 per night, the cost of the 3-room villa divided by you and your 11 BFF’s will only put you back about 40 bucks per night/per chica. I found the most appealing feature to be the option to have the resort staff stock the fridge in advance of your stay. Just send them your list of “can’t live without” munchies and your fridge will be full upon your arrival. That’s cool…literally.

Additional perks include an indoor/outdoor swimming pool with a swim through rock channel. Or you can choose to soak your tired muscles in the indoor hot tub that features a cascading waterfall. The resort is also home to an on-site bakery that serves up fresh baked pastries, espresso drinks and gelato. A buffet breakfast is served each morning at Schneitter’s Restaurant which is located right on the resort property.

But the transportation to and from Park City is undoubtedly the coolest thing: no fighting through traffic, looking for parking or carrying ski gear from one end of a parking lot to the mountain. At Zermatt, you get door to door service every hour from 8 am to 11 pm.

The Spa and Wellness Center

Looking for a little peace and pampering? The Spa at Zermatt offers a full menu of tempting European-inspired spa and body treatments. So, whether you’re looking for a facial, manicure, pedicure, a massage or body wrap, the Spa at Zermatt has got you covered. After all, what is a girl’s getaway without a little “make me pretty” time?

And, if you are seeking even more “group hug” moments, you and the girls can utilize the private Room of Tranquility for group treatments such as mani/pedis. Your all girls gang can Zen out beneath the beamed ceilings and in front of the fireplace while sipping signature herbal teas or spring water. Or join your friends in the aromatherapy sauna which can accommodate up to twenty people.

The resort’s Wellness Center is state-of-the-art, providing cardiovascular and weight training equipment with a movement area offering a full schedule of classes and activities ranging from yoga to Bosu, and personal trainers. Private exercise sessions such as Pilates or yoga classes can be set up for you and your girlfriends in advance of your arrival.

Be sure to check the Zermatt website at
zermatt.dolce.com for ongoing seasonal specials and spa packages.

Activities

The Heber Valley and Park City areas are home to a full range of year-round activities. Just choose an adventure and connect with your inner “You Go Girl!” thrill-seeker! From snowshoeing and biking to helicopter skiing and scuba diving and yes, even surfing, Adventure Haus can hook a sister up. Located on the grounds of the Zermatt Resort, Adventure Haus is your one-stop shop for all of your outdoor activities. Here is a short-list of their offerings:

* Cross country skiing and snow tubing at Soldier Hollow, site of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games

* Back country touring and off-road options

* Guided fly-fishing and clinics

* River rafting or lake activities, jet skis, kayaking, boat rental, etc.

* Horseback riding, sleigh rides and western hay rides and dinners

* Hot air balloon rides

* Scuba certification

* Surfing clinics

Be sure to visit www.adventurehaus.net to get up-to-date pricing and information on activities.

Night on the Town

So, once you hang up your ski bunny boots or surf girl gear and throw in your spa goddess towel, what’s a girl to do? Well, how about an evening out and about with your best mates in Park City? May I suggest dinner at the hip and sassy Asian-fusion style restaurant, Shabu and tickets to a performance at the Egyptian Theater Company?

Have your concierge at Zermatt make your reservations and purchase your group’s theater tickets in advance of your arrival. Jump on the hourly shuttle for a quick trip into Park City for your night on the town.

Shabu

Is it just me or does everything that is Asian-inspired seem hip, cool and elegant? Or, maybe the Valaika brothers, owners of the award-winning Shabu restaurant, just know how to throw a really cool party.

When Chicago-native Kevin Valaika convinced his brother, head chef Robert, to come to Park City three years ago, they had two things on their mind: skiing Utah’s famous powder, and combining their many years of experience with Asian cuisine to create a unique dining experience for Park City locals and visitors. Their dream comes to you at Shabu, where they offer a freestyle blend of their favorite Asian cuisine, exciting and nourishing weary skiers from all over the world.

The restaurant is great for groups but reservations need to be made a few weeks in advance. While there, don’t miss their signature dishes, such as the Firecracker Shrimp and the Sweet Miso Glazed Black Cod. Our waiter Kenny told us that this dish was so good, “It’ll make your eyes water.”

Also intriguing is the Freestyle Sea Bass that is sake steamed, infused with ginger and brushed with a black bean garlic paste. Umm, yeah… can you say “Miso hungry?” While you’re at it, indulge in tasty cocktails like the Ginger Snap Martini and save room for unique dessert offerings like Tempura-fried Ice Cream.

While this eatery doesn’t exactly fall under what I would call the “affordable category”… the food is delish, the atmosphere divine and the service superb. What I’m trying to say is that dinner at Shabu is definitely worth the splurge. For current menus, visit
www.shabupc.com.

Egyptian Theater Company

The historic Egyptian Theater Company has been a Park City mainstay for nearly 100 years. The group touts itself as “Off-Broadway Style Theater.” There’s nothing like a little taste of the Great White Way to punctuate a great vacation with the girls. After all, don’t you find a live performance much more enjoyable when you don’t have to drag your signif other kicking and screaming down the aisle to another night of what he considers snooze-ville theater?

Well, don’t cha?

Tickets range from $28-38 and according to the reviews, the price is well worth it. Upcoming 2007 performances include Little Shop of Horrors, Sweeney Todd and Peter Pan. Visit
www.egyptiantheatrecompany.org for current schedule and ticket information.

So, consider yourself armed and ready for your Glamour Girl Getaway, Park City-style. On your marks, get set, You GO Girl!

About the Author

Allison Neves has more than fifteen years of public relations experience, providing strategic and tactical PR services for a wide range of clients, from actors and musicians to non-profit organizations and high-tech companies. She currently works as the Communications Director for the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which works to prevent avoidable blindness in the U.S. and abroad through public service and education. With parents from San Salvador and Hong Kong, Allison has made a personal commitment to reconnect with her roots by traveling extensively throughout Latin America and Asia. When she’s not trying to save the world one press releases at a time, Allison travels, practices Pilates, scuba dives, and hangs out with best friend and husband, Travis. A past recipient of the Bulldog Reporter’s Award of Excellence for Media Relations and Publicity, Allison has spent the last seven years volunteering as the PR Director for Little Kids Rock, a national non-profit music education program. She currently resides in the historic Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco

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