A 365 destination

Salt Lake City was long known as the crossroads of the West, where travelers migrated through on their way to somewhere else. In 2002, the Winter Olympics put the city at the base of some of the finest ski resorts in the world on the map for many. On a recent visit, I found that the urban outpost has come of age as a year-round destination with a refined culinary and arts scene, a diverse population and fresh meeting spots.

Meet and Stay

hotel lobby with large window
The Grand
America Hotel

A lot of the excitement in the meetings world centered around Salt Palace Convention Center’s 700,000 sq. ft. of meeting space where Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City opened in 2022 with 60,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and a welcome 700 guest rooms. It is the first convention hotel in 20 years to come to the city and the modern, 25-story building optimizes the views of the mountains with floor-to-ceiling windows. Inside, tech features include smart mirror vanities and World of Hyatt’s digital room entry and a Broadcast Lounge designed during the pandemic to facilitate hybrid events. A rooftop restaurant boasts Spanish specialties, private cabanas and fire pits.

Over in the West Quarter, a dual-branded Marriott property, Le Méridien Salt Lake City Downtown and Element Salt Lake City Downtown opened their doors last February. Element’s distinctive wellness brand plays out in the residential feel of the 126 guest rooms, filtered water in all faucets, nature-inspired décor and fully equipped kitchens. Rooms also offer access to complimentary Rise Breakfasts with made-to-order eggs and healthy options. In the evening, wellness teas and Westin Heavenly Beds await. I love that.

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Downtown, The Grand America Hotel does everything big. With 75,000 sq. ft. of meeting space indoors, 35,000 sq. ft. outdoors, 775 of the largest guest rooms in the area and an abundance of pre-function space to facilitate room-turn logistics. The elegant European-style spaces were renovated in 2019 and natural light and access to outdoor terraces are features in many of the breakout rooms. I appreciated the elevated touches such as the signature miniature chocolate grand piano with a freshly cut rose, luxurious bath products in the executive suites and HydraFacials and CBD body treatments in the spa. The property is so elaborate that I recommend an ambassador tour so you don’t miss any details.

Across the street, The Little America Hotel Salt Lake City offers classic design elegance and 850 generous guest rooms with 25,000 sq. ft. of chandelier-enhanced meeting space.

Drink and Eat

Pizza at Level
Crossing Brewing Company

Downtown Salt Lake City is buzzing with diverse restaurant options, including an emerging microbrewery scene and a fun underground speakeasy-style bar called The Rest. Level Crossing Brewing Company in the Central City is one that participates in the city’s Brewery Pass discount program and prides itself on a celebration of hospitality and inclusion along with live music played out of a flatbed truck, made-to-order pizzas, outdoor seating and multiple IPA and lager options.

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Downtown, Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is a more upscale choice for a business dinner and offers an events and catering menu with a selection of hors d’oeuvres, multi-course meals and fine wine pairing options.

This article appears in the January 2024 and January/February 2024 issues. You can subscribe to the magazine here.