Recently my family discovered the relatively undiscovered little town of Brian Head, UT. At 10,400 feet in elevation, the town receives 350 inches of snow per year, making it ideal for snow sports. During the summer and fall, tourists use Brian Head as home base for exploring Southern Utah’s national parks such as Bryce Canyon and Cedar Breaks. As a matter of fact, Cedar Breaks is a short ten minute drive up the road. The Doubletree Resort in Spa in town served as our home for 2 nights while we enjoyed a winter wonderland during our kids’ Spring Break.
I have stayed at a few different Doubletree properties and this may have been the nicest. I loved that this resort had a definite ski lodge feel. There were plenty of exposed wood beams and stone fireplaces to get us in the mountain mood. The hotel features two restaurants, Leany’s Steakhouse and The Lift Lounge and Patio. We ate at The Lift Lounge for dinner both nights for two reasons: #1 We enjoyed our experience the first night and #2 dining options are quite limited in Brian Head. Outside of a Mexican restaurant (which got mixed reviews on Yelp) and a Pizanos Pizzeria (which was very good), there isn’t much else other then hotel or ski resort dining. We enjoyed the casual atmosphere of The Lift Lounge and my son really appreciated the pool tables! The food was pretty good too. We enjoyed the hamburgers, chicken sandwich, Italian nachos, and the avocado rolls. My kids ate chicken fingers, mac and cheese (Kraft), and grilled cheese off the kids menu with no complaints. Kids meals are $5 and include fries and a drink. When the weather is warmer, there is a large patio with massive firepits that looked like a great place to spend the evening.
Our room was a standard hotel room with two queen sized beds. Suites are available and the resort is pet friendly. Everything in our room was clean and contemporary. Wifi was free but we did find it to be a bit slow and spotty at times. Our bathroom had a shower only instead of the bath/shower combo which was fine for my family but families with tiny kids may want to request a bathtub. There is a full spa which offers massages and facials as well as a fitness center. I didn’t have the opportunity to enjoy either.
The highlight of this hotel for our family was the pool. There is an indoor pool with a waterfall which my kids loved. There is also a small indoor hot tub. I, however, was absolutely smitten with the outdoor hot tub. The hot tub is partially covered by an awning but the exposed are is the ideal place to sit during a snowfall. I can’t tell you how cool it was to sit in the spa with snow falling all around us. It was so cool that I sent my husband upstairs to grab the camera so we could have pictures of our family sitting in the spa with the falling on our heads. Several other families seemed to be just as thrilled by this experience and we all were taking family shots for one another. I should mention that nearly every group I saw staying at this hotel was a family with young kids. I am sure part of the reason is because it was our visit occurred during Spring Break but I also think that both the property and destination are genuinely family-friendly.
Bottom Line: I loved both Brian Head and the Double Tree. The vibe was so relaxed and family-friendly and the snow was a huge hit with my Southern California kiddos. I especially enjoyed the fact that the destination was only an hour further from home than Mammoth but the cost was significantly less. We will be back!
Disclosure: My stay at the Double Tree was paid for by the Iron County Tourism board. I appreciate them getting me out to their neck of the woods because I it was wonderful but all opinions are always my own.
Set amid towering aspens and cool mountain air, the Double Tree Resort & Spa by Hilton Brian Head is a good lodging option for outdoor loving families. My family of 5 enjoyed a spacious two room, one-bedroom suite in July while exploring this beautiful area.
The resort offers several lodging options for guests from standard guest rooms, to suites. We stayed in a two-room, one-bedroom suite and really appreciated the extra room that this spacious suite gave our family of five. This suite opened up to a large dining table and kitchen area. Note that the kitchen was not a kitchenette. Despite the plethora of kitchen cabinets, the kitchen only offered a microwave and mini refrigerator. The adjoined living area sported a gas fireplace, flat screen television, and desk area. Our suite would have easily slept 6 with 2 queen beds in the bedroom, and a queen sofa pull-out in the living room. The beds were comfortable with nice linens, and the bedroom also had a flat screen television.
WHAT WE LOVED
• Warm chocolate chip cookies upon check-in.
• The indoor pool with both an indoor and outdoor Jacuzzi hot tub area. The pool is small, but dips down to 5 foot deep, and offers plenty of fun for crazy kids to cannonball when no other guests are using it. If other guests are present, you may need to tone down the rowdiness.
• We loved the surrounding area. Not only does this resort reside within the Brian Head ski area, but it is the ideal location for families to stay when visiting Cedar Breaks National Monument. The large dining area and extra kitchen space was convenient for casual meals and snacks. It’s utterly impossible to eat lunch in standard sized hotel rooms that only offer a tiny coffee table.
• The gas fireplace was very inviting. Although we visited in July, we still lit a fire in the evening as the temperatures were online in the mid-50s due to the fact that this resort sits above 10,000 feet in elevation. There is cool weather in every season at Brian Head.
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
• Purchase snacks at stores in the Cedar City or Parowan valleys before you drive up to Brian Head. There are not too many places to purchase groceries, and the places that do exist are pricey.
• Bring pool toys and flotation devices for the kiddos. The pool is proudly displayed near the lobby and every time you return to the hotel, kids will be begging to go swimming.
• Bring long pants and jackets even if current temperatures are searing. We experienced 100 degree weather in the Cedar City valley on one day, and then 55 degree weather at Brian Head the following day!
• The resort does not offer a complimentary breakfast. There are two in-house restaurants; Leany’s Steakhouse serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and The Lift Lounge and Patio, a casual restaurant serving lunch and dinner. We did not eat at either of these restaurants, but the atmosphere of The Lift Lounge and Patio is very nice, with outdoor fire pits and views of Brian Head beyond.
• Take a drive up the graded dirt road to the top of Brian Head peak at over 11,000 feet. The views are spectacular.
• Look for the cute marmots scampering across the rocks behind the hotel’s rear parking lot!
The Doubletree at Brian Head is a good option for outdoor recreation loving families looking for comfortable accommodations. Enjoy nature, enjoy the views, but be prepared for the high altitude. Finally, opt for one of the hotel’s suites if your family if particularly large or appreciates the extra space.
Disclosure: Although I received complimentary lodging, my reviews are always my own opinions and are not influenced by resort staff or its affiliates.