Feb012015

Quiet Hyatt Escala Lodge Park City Utah

The second morning of my stay, awake in bed and staring up into the cavernous ceiling sixteen feet or so above the floor in the bedroom, the realization hit me there were no sounds in the hotel room. No humming refrigerator or heating unit or door slams or voices in the hall or cars outside the window. Real quiet is seldom experienced when traveling around hotels.

This week was Sundance Film Festival 2015, one of the premier US events for independent film showings and movie deals. I booked my free nights reservation last week, relatively last minute, since rooms at Hyatt Escala Lodge were nonrefundable once reserved for hotel stays during Sundance Film Festival event.

I used my one free night certificate Hyatt Gold Passport Visa credit card members receive as an anniversary benefit. The category 4 Hyatt Escala Lodge Park City Utah was available at 15,000 points per night, even for the weekend of January 23-25 when rates were over $800 per night. There is a $25 daly resort fee for Hyatt Escala Lodge.

Hyatt Escala cover

Did Hyatt price themselves out of the market for Sundance?

Hyatt Escala Lodge is an 85 units/177 key condo hotel built in 2009. I checked rates in Park City this week to see other units in the Canyons Resort area were available for half the $500 per night rate at Hyatt Escala Lodge. Although, Waldorf-Astoria Park City also in Canyons hillside ski complex area had room rates several hundred dollars higher than Hyatt.

St. Regis Deer Valley on the opposite side of Park City was priced even higher at over $1,000 per night. SPG award nights for the category 7 St. Regis were available at 30,000 points per night a couple of weeks ago, but not when I checked this week.

Free public transportation into Park City was available by complimentary shuttle directly from all these hotels during Sundance Festival. Park City area public buses are free year round to shuttle people along 15 or so miles of road where most of the ski resorts and shopping areas are located in the widespread area referred to as Park City, Utah. The Canyons bus stop is about five minutes walk to Grand Summit Lodge down the hill from the Hyatt Escala Lodge.

Hyatt front door staff were great about providing an immediate ride in the hotel van to the main bus stop at the bottom of the hill whenever I asked. I walked up and down the hill to the main bus stop area a couple of times and that was about 20 minutes with plowed sidewalks most of the way.

Park City panorama

Highway 224 seen from Park City bus heading to the Canyons ski resort area.

Quiet Hyatt Escala Lodge Park City Utah

The patio door on the sixth and top floor unit had a view to the Sunrise ski slope. At some point during my stay there was a snow tractor outside on the ski slope. The tractor was eye level when seen from the sixth floor patio.

Vail Resorts purchased Canyons Resort and Park City Resort and have submitted plans to connect the two ski resorts by gondola over the next year. There is talk about connecting the range of ski resorts across many miles on of the Wasatch Back slopes.

Hyatt 618A view

Sunrise ski chair lift outside Hyatt Escala Lodge.

In a hotel complex filled with apartment style, extended stay units with kitchens and balconies, I realized there were no children to be heard.

I had only seen one couple with two children in the independent phase of 10 to 15 years of age. The young girl, probably around ten years old caught my attention during breakfast in the restaurant by how politely she spoke to the chef using full and complete sentences when telling him her omelet order. She seemed like a young frequent traveler comfortable in a hotel.

Hyatt breakfast

Hyatt Escala Lodge restaurant breakfast buffet.

There were around ten people in the restaurant on Monday morning and I was the sole diner in the restaurant on a Tuesday during Sundance Film Festival.

Hyatt restaurant

Hyatt Escala Lodge restaurant

Hyatt Escala Lodge was quiet and relatively empty during Sundance Festival 2015 during the weekdays. This was not the case for Waldorf Astoria or St. Regis Deer Valley when I visited those hotels during Sundance. Both the Waldorf Astoria and St. Regis appeared more upscale in their lobby and spa sections, but I have no complaints about the Hyatt Escala Lodge. The suite upgrade I received at the Hyatt Escala Lodge was as upscale as I could have asked for in a stay at Park City during a major event like Sundance Film Festival.

Hyatt Escale entrance

Hyatt Escala Lodge Wasatch Building main hotel entrance.

Hyatt Escala Lodge consists of three separate buildings with underground heated garages. Wasatch is the main building with reception, lobby and restaurant. Wasatch is connected by ground floor hallway to the pool and hot tubs patio in front of the White Pine Building. Uinta Building is the third stand-alone building.

Hyatt Escala Lodge One Bedroom Suite

The main Wasatch Building is six floors. From the photo above, you can see the sixth floor has an extra high section between the balconies. This accounts for the double high ceiling I was staring up into from bed.

Hyatt Escala suite-1

Hyatt Escala Lodge Room 618A one bedroom suite.

This is probably the best suite upgrade I have had when I primarily only spent time in the room to sleep during the Sundance Film Festival.

Hyatt Escala suite-2

Hyatt Escala Lodge 618A one bedroom suite with full kitchen.

This one bedroom suite in 618A has a full size kitchen and seating for a dozen. Normally I am struggling to fit my store bought food and drink in the room refrigerator. I never made it to a grocery store in three days to buy anything to place in the room refrigerator.

Hyatt Escala refrigerator      Hyatt Escala stove

This one-bedroom suite unit could be made into a three bedroom unit via interior connecting doors.

Hyatt Escala dining table

Hyatt Escala Lodge 618A one bedroom suite with full dining table.

The unit also had a washer and dryer.

Hyatt Escala washer

Hyatt Escala Lodge 618A washer and dryer unit in closet.

The bedroom was relatively small in floor area, yet the super high ceiling made the space seem much larger.

Hyatt Escala bed

Hyatt Escala Lodge 618A one bedroom suite is top floor unit with 16-ft. ceilings.

The pillows were too foamy for my liking. I like a soft, malleable pillow for sleeping. A wall-mounted TV, dresser, closet and fireplace made up the bedroom furnishings. Park City temperatures were in the mid-40s in late January and dropped down to around 30 at night.

Hyatt Escala bedroom

Hyatt Escala Lodge 618A bedroom fireplace and TV.

Sliding patio door from the bedroom or the living room provided balcony access. My room was slope side with a view of the ski lifts and skiers coming down Sunrise trail.

Hyatt Escala balcony

Hyatt Escala Lodge Park City 618A balcony with view of Sunrise ski slope/

The bathroom consisted of a shower stall and separate spa tub. After three weeks of back pain from a hiking fall at the beginning of January when I would have desired a long hot spa bath, this week my back pain was gone. I did not take advantage of the spa tub.

Hyatt Escala bathroom     Hyatt Escala bath sink

The Hyatt Escala suite space was extremely comfortable for me and I have no complaints about the room. There were numerous TV channels in HD.

Hyatt Escala Lodge has an outdoor pool and two hot tubs.

Hyatt hot tub

Hyatt Escala Lodge hot tub.

 

Locker rooms and small fitness center are inside the White Pine Building.

Hyatt Escala pool

Hyatt Escala Lodge Park City outdoor heated pool with second hot tub to right.

Heated outdoor pools were a common feature I also saw at Waldorf Astoria, down the hill from Hyatt Escala Lodge, and St. Regis Deer Valley a couple miles south of Park City.

Exercise equipment was spread out along a hallway by the pool and a couple of rooms.

Hyatt exercise-1    Hyatt Exercise-2

There were people using another room with more equipment that I did not photograph.

Hyatt Escala Lodge Lobby

The lobby area in Wasatch Building is smaller than the lobbies I saw at Waldorf Astoria and St. Regis.

Hyatt Escala lobby-2     Hyatt Escala lobby-1

The Market Place in the lobby had groceries and items for sale. This was also a place for food orders if you did not want to dine in the restaurant. The breakfast buffet was $25 and after tax and tip about $31, if you are not Diamond elite with complimentary breakfast.

Hyatt Market Place

Hyatt Escala Lodge Market area for hot food orders and groceries adjacent to restaurant.

Hyatt Escala Lodge is a fine ski in-ski out condo hotel near Park City. My only negative comment about the property is its location at Canyons Resort means a drive to get to a regular grocery store. Not an issue if you have a car and the public bus runs every 30 minutes to Park City a few miles south or north where there are stores.

I am not sure why Hyatt Escala Lodge was so quiet during Sundance Film Festival 2015? Redeeming my Hyatt Visa card annual certificate and points for a free stay at this Hyatt Gold Passport category 4 resort when rates were running $400 to $500 per night on weekdays and $800+ on weekends provided great redemption value at more than $30 per 1,000 points.

Loyalty Traveler – Waldorf Astoria Park City (Jan 31, 2015)

St. Regis Deer Valley (to come)

Sundance Film Festival 2015 Park City poverty jet setters (Jan 29, 2015)

Stella Artois Buy a Lady a Drink for water.org (Jan 27, 2015)

Sundance Film Experienced (Jan 26, 2015)

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

Pingbacks

Comments

  1. Ric,

    Great review: as a Diamond, looking at this property for cash and points to use DSU for three days in March with wife and twin 12 year olds.
    Kids just wanna ski each day —

    1) is it easy to get on slopes?

    2) how much for lift tickets?

    3) we plan on renting a car from SLC.

    Thoughts/advice?

  2. It’s ski in ski out on the Canyons if there is enough snow. Park City has easy parking for all the resorts regardless. It’s not like Colorado that wants to charge you to Park.

    Lift tickets will cost you close to 100.00 at all 3 resorts. Park City and the Canyons are now both owned by Vail and you can save money by buying on line early. If you have multi day online maybe they get down to 70.00 or so.

    Yes rent a car for sure. It’s a very easy 25 minute drive.

    Eat at Highest Distillery, the burger is great, Chimayo, Prime and the No Name Saloon.

    I usually ski Deer Valley, but maybe try all 3. Deer Valley is much nicer than any ski resort you have ever been to and the food is amazing. Go check out the Montage is one of the nicest hotels I have ever seen. If the front desk has any they will give you kid(s) a free stuffed animal. The lunch (buffet) there (It’s on the slopes) is amazing also, but expensive.

    Had a second home in Park City that we sold last year. I know the town like the back of my hand. If you have any questions feel free to drop me an email. Ric has my permission to give you my email address.

    We have been staying at the Hyatt every time we go up since we sold the house last year. My wife has the room managers email address if you want it also. It’s only 15K points and the room run 500-700 a night also. One of the best deals at Hyatt period. We have always been upgraded to the same suite you see in the pics above.

    Good Luck

    Paul

  3. @michael
    I’ve stayed at the Hyatt escala a few times and loved the hotel. The Canyons mountain is my favorite among the dozen or so ski resorts “out west” that I’ve skied. Heading there again in march.
    Anyway, now that vail resorts owns, lift tickets are available on The Canyons website (no longer available on Liftopia) at about $100-110/day. . Also, best lift ticket prices is at a sporting goods store that also rents skis in town. I stumbled across it via a google search last week and will grab the details for myself when my trip is closer. I’ve rented cars several times from SLC. it’s easy. The only issue is whether you’d need 4wd. I wouldn’t necessarily rent 4wd unless heavy snow was in the forecast on my planned driving days to/from the airport.

  4. Mmm, I had checked in the couple of weeks before and couldn’t find anything with points for that weekend over Sundance. This would have been perfect. Ended up going to ski in Tahoe instead

  5. @Michael – Thank you Paul and Larry for the ski info. I did not look up any of that information.

    There is a chair lift for Sunrise directly outside the Hyatt Escala Lodge. There is a gondola at the bottom of the hill. Waldorf Astoria has a gondola.

    The lack of snow is an issue this year. I met a woman who works at the Park City hospital and she says the beds have been full from ski accidents on ice.

    There would have been no need for a 4WD last week with clear roads all around the areas I traveled. Ice patches from melting snow in day that freeze in evening is main issue.

  6. Ric,

    Could you kindly forward Paul my e-mail address. I’d welcome his advice as our trip nears.

    Thanks,

    Michael

Comments are closed.