Salt Lake City's best hotels: diverse selection and mighty tough competition

When choosing a hotel in Salt Lake City, you'll first have to select your home-base location. In a city the size of Salt Lake, you'll have plenty of neighborhoods to choose from depending on the purpose of your visit. Whether you're in town for work, to visit family, or to relax and enjoy the mountain air, you'll find that the Salt Lake area has more than enough variety in accommodations to suit your tastes.

If you're coming to the Wasatch Front for business, you'll almost certainly stay in the downtown hotel district. With an enormous cluster of national brand and boutique giants, this corner of town offers large-scale hotels with no shortage of high-end rooms and business amenities. If you seek the finest of fine, look no further than the Grand America. This European-style boutique gem - Salt Lake City's only five-diamond lodging - would stand out in any city.

Those looking for top-notch services with a touch of fun will appreciate the Hotel Monaco, a fancy-frivolous hotel with the luxurious and fun overtones of its namesake country. Or if you're looking for high-end accommodations (but would like to spare your wallet a bit), consider instead staying at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center or the Marriott Salt Lake City Downtown.

If coming to Salt Lake City for reasons other than business, don't be afraid to venture farther afield. Regardless of season, you may enjoy a resort stay at Snowbird's Cliff Lodge or even Deer Valley's Stein Eriksen Lodge - another of Utah's rare five-diamond establishments.  


The Salt Lake City Plaza Hotel represents an excellent lodging choice for tourists and business travelers alike. Located immediately at Temple Square, this hotel offers minimized walking distances to the Square itself, as well as the Family Research Library, LDS Conference Center, and Salt Palace Convention Center. Within the hotel, all of its guest rooms boast handsome d--cor accented with overtones of classic European style. The hotel has a family-style, full-service restaurant on its grounds, and stands within walking distance of more than 80 others. The Plaza Hotel lies immediately adjacent to TRAX line. Salt Lake City's light rail service, TRAX connects you conveniently and cheaply to other downtown locations and the University of Utah.

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Hilton Salt Lake City Center
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren

Hilton has earned itself a name around the world for high-end, full-service hotels and resorts. This particular installment is just one of more than 530 Hilton hotels, spread out among 78 nations. With an emphasis on catering to business travelers, Hilton ensures a quiet, professional atmosphere with ample meeting spaces and access to state of the art communications technologies. Additionally, Hilton makes many efforts to operate in an environmentally friendly manner. This Hilton has two on-premises restaurants, one steakhouse and one breakfast eatery, as well as in-room dining. All guests enjoy overfilled down comforters, wireless internet, and 38-inch televisions. Pets are welcome at Hilton Salt Lake City Center.

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Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren

Marriott is one of the most widely spread hotel brands in the nation. Offering a reliably high level of service and accommodations, this chain hotel has earned itself a spot as one of downtown Salt Lake City's most popular hotels. Located at 75 South West Temple Street, it is one of the most central lodging options available, standing blocks closer to Temple Square and the Salt Palace Convention Center than almost every other hotel in town. A business-friendly hotel, Marriott Downtown offers more than 20,000 feet of meeting space. No slouch, this hotel has maintained a AAA 4-diamond rating for more than three decades.

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Located in Midway, the Homestead Resort enjoys the beauty of Wasatch Mountains' eastern slopes, and the simultaneous solitude afforded by its location in that small town – just south of Park City. The Homestead offers a variety of on-site lodging accommodations at this cottage-style resort. 19 separate buildings are connected by scenic walkways meandering through gardens and lawns. Each room and suite is individually decorated, and has its own outdoor entrance; many have private patios. Beyond the lodging, the Homestead Resort offers an 18-hole championship golf course, horseback riding, AVEDA Concept Spa services, indoor and outdoor pools, sleigh ridespools, hot tubs, tennis, a fitness center, an activity center, and games. .A completely unique feature of this resort is its 55-foot-tall, limestone crater filled with naturally heated water; guests can swim, snorkel, and even SCUBA dive in this Homestead Crater.

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The Stein Eriksen Lodge is one of the most famous lodging options in the Park City area, and among the finest in all of Utah. Located mid-Mountain at the very prestigious Deer Valley Resort, in the Silver Lake Village, the Stein Eriksen Lodge offers ski-in, ski-out mountain access. A AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star accommodation, this is arguably the final word in Utah luxury accommodations. Needless to say, guestrooms at the Stein Eriksen Lodge are exquisitely appointed, and range in size from deluxe bedrooms to grand suites. Guests may enjoy Regional American cuisine at the Four Star Glitretind Restaurant with a 10,000-bottle wine cellar – at which guests can enjoy a personal wine seminar conducted by one of the restaurant's four sommeliers.

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The Cliff Lodge Snowbird
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren

This incredible and enormous hotel dominates the Snowbird Resort base area. With numerous restaurants, spa facilities, and shops, this is a virtual city in and of itself. Its most famous restaurant, the award-winning, Aerie, occupies its 10th floor, and has more than 950 selections of wine. This restaurant itself is enough to draw people up-canyon during any time of year. But in any season, the Lodge itself provides enough of an excuse to escape the city and enjoy the stunning vistas of Little Cottonwood Canyon's upper stretches. The Cliff Lodge has a few random claims to fame: firstly, it holds North America's largest collection of oriental rugs. And in June of 1988, it hosted the nation's first International Sport Climbing Championship, with competitors ascending via a sparse selection of plastic holds affixed to its exterior walls.

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The Peery Hotel an Ascend Hotel Collection Member
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren

The Peery has been a figurehead of the Salt Lake hotel industry for more than a century. In fact, it is the only hotel in Utah listed on the National Historic Register. Constructed in an era when Salt Lake City's VIP guests were mining magnates, frontiersmen, and railroad moguls, The Peery has seen ever-changing generations of clients. Though today it is fully modernized to host any business person or sightseeing tourist, the hotel still maintains its original historic splendor. The Peery shares its location with Romano's Macaroni Grill. However, if you wish to expand your horizons a bit, there are nearly 70 restaurants within two blocks of the hotel.

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Little America Hotel
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren

When compared with its across-the-street sister, the Grand America, the Little America does not immediately stand out. However, once you walk past the bland brick exterior and in through the front doors, the Little America suddenly transforms into one of Salt Lake City's finer boutique hotels, utterly shattering your expectations with exquisite European-style d--cor. Offering fine luxury and excellent guest care with a lesser price tag than that of the Grand America, Little America can rightly be considered a budget-friendly luxury hotel. This large, four-diamond hotel offers a steakhouse, coffee shop, breakfast, and lunch. Additionally, Little America offers extensive business and fitness facilities.

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You must only think of the hotel's namesake country to rightly prepare yourself for the style of this establishment. Offering central downtown lodging with colorful sophistication, this hotel creates a feeling of fun within the context of high-end guest services. Surprisingly enough, pets are allowed at the Monaco. In fact, if yours has been unable to join you, the staff will bring a goldfish to your room as a stand-in. The ground floor of the Monaco is occupied by a new American restaurant, Bambara. This award-winning restaurant offers the similar style of pizzazz and level of quality as the Monaco.

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Placed anywhere in the world, The Grand America would stand out as a top-crust, luxury hotel. And in Salt Lake City it undeniably holds first place as the most grandiose and deluxe lodging option. The 24 stories of this structure contain Salt Lake City's only five-star guest rooms. Created in the tradition of fine European hotels, The Grand America utilized the talents of Frank Nicholson, designer of the Ritz-Carlton, to outfit the entire premises in resplendent detail. Each room and suite has been outfitted with Italian marble bathrooms, handcrafted Richelieu furniture, and original art pieces. Located in the southwestern sector of downtown, The Grand America stands literally 10 minutes from the Salt Lake International Airport.

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Meet Christine Balaz

Christine Balaz began her unexpected writing career in Salt Lake City with her first book on Wasatch Skiing and Travel in 2006. On the subject of Utah, Christine has written numerous...  More About Christine