We head to Utah's Eriksen Stein Residences to discover the man who still inspires the luxury resort
From skiing's first superstar to property mogul, Sir Stein Eriksen's legacy is being honoured with his brand's latest residences
Stein Eriksen lived an interesting life. A double gold medal-winning Olympic ski champion, the Norwegian was skiing's first superstar thanks to his handsome good looks, down-to-earth charisma and penchant for daring aerial feats that revolutionised the world of Alpine skiing.
Eriksen, who was awarded the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit in 1997 for his contribution to his native country, emigrated to Utah shortly after his success in the 1952 Olympic Games. There, he became a skiing instructor, had five children with his wife Françoise, and became the purveyor of the five-star ski lodges that bear his name.
There are four properties in the Stein Collection. The newest in the portfolio, the Stein Eriksen Residences, is made up of 54 homes and condos, privately owned but operated like a luxury hotel. Arriving at the grand entrance, the sense of style and sophistication is the first and most overwhelming perception.
Like the man himself, the residences radiate luxury and comfort. Expect balconies with hot tubs, plush dressing gowns, silky soft mattresses and sheets with a higher thread count than a small country’s GDP. The facilities are also top-class, with spas offering soothing massages and the exclusive 7-8-8-0 Club restaurant serving, among other things, delicious après-ski dishes.
In terms of the design and layout of the buildings the floor-to-ceiling windows give maximum effect to the stunning vistas out over the valley below, while the warm and cosy interiors will soon have you feeling calm and relaxed. From outside, the combination of wood, stone and glass have the effect of almost camouflaging the buildings into the Utah mountainside, while also giving the properties a distinctively Scandinavian feel; a tip of the cap to the founder’s Norwegian roots. >>
By all accounts, Eriksen remained a keen outdoorsman who lived an active lifestyle until his death aged 88 in 2915. The residences do an admirable job of reflecting their namesake's energy and activity, both in the amenities on offer and the location of the resort. A well-equipped gym is available for use, while there's also an indoor-outdoor heated infinity pool, outdoor hot tubs, steam rooms and saunas.
Likewise, the attractions surrounding Stein Eriksen Residences make it a mecca for a fit and active lifestyle, with the playground that is Deer Valley Resort just a stone’s throw away. Boasting some of the finest powder on the planet, and with more than 200 acres of skiable slopes spread over six mountains, the resort is a great place for winter sports, as well as mountain biking, hiking and fishing in the summer.
Perhaps a little harder to define is the resort's ability to mirror Eriksen's ‘exclusive but humble’ approach. Eriksen moved in illustrious circles. Not only did he receive Norway's highest honour, but while in the US was a high-profile ski school director and coach. Despite these successes he was known as a friendly, approachable man, and was quoted as saying “you will never be a whole and happy person if you aren’t humble.” >>
It’s a juxtaposition that is mirrored in the resort as well as the area. Despite the properties undoubted class and sophistication, the overall ambience is one of calm and relaxation. The welcome greetings are relaxed and far from pretentious or overbearing, while the valets and staff are always attentive but unobtrusive.
Park City is the same. On the one hand it’s one of the most exclusive mountain towns in the country, with world-class bars, restaurants and art galleries, as well as property prices that will make your eyes water. Deer Valley Resort also has an air of exclusivity: it’s a ski-only resort (snowboards are banned) and there are a limited number of lift passes issued in order to keep the slopes uncrowded. However, despite its many successes and fame, Park City has managed to retain its atmosphere as a charming and postcard-perfect mountain town. It’s roots as a former mining town are visible wherever you look, and the main street has a local charm and ambience that is most endearing.
Unfortunately, Stein Eriksen passed away in 2015 in his home in Park City, but thankfully his legacy lives on in these exceptional properties that bear his name. Staying in the Stein Eriksen Residences makes for a magnificent holiday, set in a magical location no matter what the season.