hotel salt lake city

Last week I was invited to spend the night at The Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City with a few blogging girlfriends. The itinerary included dinner at The Melting Pot restaurant {across the street from the hotel}, massages and facials in the {renowned} hotel spa, and dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Ummmm. Don’t hate me. Please keep reading my blog even though sometimes I live a charmed and spoiled life. I’m still a nice, normal person with dishes in the sink when I go to bed {what, you never do that?}

Janet & Jyl at The Melting Pot

Anyway, we’ll start with The Melting Pot. Have you ever eaten at a fondue restaurant? It was a first for me and I just have one thing to say: y-u-m. My kids would go bananas in a restaurant where it’s encouraged to dip your food in cheese or chocolate until you’re ready to eat. I mean, it’s divine.

This was the plate Marie and I shared. Lobster tail, sausage, ravioli and beef, all begging to be cooked in the delicious broth at the center of the table. Can you handle it?

Marie, Carina & me at dinner

We ate ourselves silly. And then it was time for the dessert tray. Are you ready for it? Are you sure? I wasn’t. This was just for the two of us. We aren’t good at sharing our dessert, so it’s good there was plenty for Janet and Jyl to eat on the other side of the table. We dipped our way into chocolate oblivion until there weren’t any morsels left on the plate. Literally, we left nothing. Because we’re sharers like that.

Here’s what I loved about The Melting Pot:

We spent four hours eating. Honestly, we talked and ate, and ate and talked for the better part of the evening. We even outlasted our waiter. But no one tried to kick us out, we just kept chatting and getting refills on our cold caffeinated beverages and ate until they had to roll us out onto the curb to retrieve our cars from the valet. It was a hard sacrifice to make, but I suppose I could do it again if I were pressed.

If you live locally The Melting Pot is running a great promotion for the holidays: buy $100 in gift cards and get a holiday gift of 4 $25 cards to use quarterly throughout 2010. Go into the restaurant, call 1-801-521-MELT, or email to order. That would make a sweet {get it, sweet?} holiday gift.

Now onto The Grand America Hotel! While we were waiting for the valet to pull Carina’s car around to head to the hotel, {she had just driven straight from work to The Melting Pot, the hotel is just down the street from the restaurant. we’re not that lazy} I looked down and noticed Carina’s shoes:

Good grief. Never mind that I’d be 7 feet tall wearing those, I want a pair. Turquoise, blue suede platform heels? I’m all aflutter. When I downloaded photos from the weekend I found I had taken several photos of her shoes; it speaks volumes about me.

Enough shoe talk, it’s hotel time. When I first found out where we were going to be staying I was like:

*Uh, THE Grand America? The one that was built specifically for visiting dignitaries of
the 2002 Winter Olympics? The one where Pioneer Woman stayed when she came to town for her book signing? Yeah I guess I can find a babysitter, but just this once.*

The hotel is amazing. Regal, oozing with sophistication, gorgeous in every way, amenities in every corner. When we got to our room we found this waiting for us:

Just a little snack. Some chocolate and sparkling lemonade to help us get through the night. It helped. I mean the night was hard, what with the hundreds of square feet of beautifully carpeted floors, balconies overlooking the outdoor pool, and a full-sized kitchen, but somehow we managed and I like to think the chocolate helped.

I’ve never stayed in a room with a full kitchen before. There was a dishwasher opposite the side-by-side refrigerator and a full service of dishes in case we wanted to throw a party. The fridge looked a little lonesome though, so I put a few things inside.

Aaaaaaaah, much better.

Our suite also had its own washer and dryer. Um. Yes. Also a first for me. I wanted so much to do a load or two of laundry, just because it was possible but I restrained myself. There was a lot of girl talk to catch up on and I can do laundry any old time I want at home.

The bathroom was outstanding. Too bad I didn’t get to spend much time in there. Like, any time at all. Sad. Marie was foxying it up for the weekend, doesn’t she look adorable?

And I have a weakness for good hotel toiletries. I can’t help myself, they’re little bottles of perfection!

We hung out and gabbed well into the night {Jyl and Janet literally talked all. night. long} and had a ball. People Magazine was passed around like contraband and we discussed the merits of short hair vs. long hair and whether or not Tiger Woods deserves to be clobbered over the head with a golf club {I vote yea}.

It was wonderful. Five girlfriends at the nicest hotel in Salt Lake City for the night sans kids, bellies stuffed to the brim, and a spa day just on the horizon? Delicious. Escape with your friends as soon as you can for whatever fills your cup. Seriously.

The next morning we lounged around the room until it was time to head to our spa treatments. I wish I had better photos of the spa but it had happy lighting and happy lighting isn’t always conducive to great photos. Suffice it to say, it was the most beautiful spa I’ve ever seen. The staff were outstanding in every way, the facilities were immaculate, and the atmosphere was beyond relaxing. I felt sedated just walking through the door, and who doesn’t want that on a Saturday morning, I ask you?

After everyone enjoyed what were deemed “The best *fill in the blank* treatments we’ve ever had, we spent some quality time in the sauna and the steam room before ordering room service.

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Oh the sauna. I’d like one installed in my basement immediately. Maybe Viktor can be coerced into moving all my {dusty} exercise equipment into the garage to make room for a sauna. It’s heaven in there I tell you, pure heaven.

I want to know where this fizzy lemonade comes from so I can put it in my food storage; it’s otherworldly.

Here’s the hotel pool. Isn’t it beautiful? We spent some time in the adjoining jacuzzi before we headed down to dinner at the Garden Cafe Restaurant.

The pool and jacuzzi overlook the courtyard of the hotel. Doesn’t it look like a little winter wonderland?

Our husbands were invited to dinner at the hotel restaurant but Viktor was busy taking care of the kids. And working. Somebody’s gotta do it. I felt a little left out so I clung to Carina and ate my weight in miniature desserts from this table. They were mouthwatering.

Not that this little masterpiece of pasta goodness wasn’t; it defies description actually. I can only explain it tasting a little something like: mmmmmm, aaaaaaahhhhh, yuuuuuuummmmmmm {lip licking} ggggrrrrrr, bbbbbzzzzzzzm, mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Here are my girls after dinner. We were too sated to smile properly for the camera, but we gave it the old college try.

Thank you ladies, thank you Melting Pot, and a big huge
über thank you to The Grand America Hotel!

p.s. If you mention Social Media at the Grand America Spa you will get 20% off your services {do it, do it, do it!} and you can go here for other promotions at the hotel.

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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. Naomi :

    Remind me why I don't live in Utah again? Oh, yeah, SNOW. Other than that it looks awesome. And you gals are gorgeous! Bob and I used to go on date nights when we lived near a Melting Pot and it was so much fun.

  2. the emily :

    So 5 years ago my sisters and mom and I did that very thing–only we had to pay for it. Plus it was summer, so we spent most of our day lounging pool-side and ordering pool-side food and drinks, because we could. But I will forever be in love with the Melting Pot the most. GA charges $1 for calls…even local…so I'll take the food over that any day. :)

  3. Emily :

    LOVE the Grand America. it is one of my favorite places to go. I am glad you had a great weekened. LOVE your blog.

  4. Jyl Johnson Pattee :

    What's our next adventure? Cuz seriously… I could do this on a regular basis. Mmmmmm!

  5. Kalli Ko :

    I hate you guys, in a loving and jealous way. Seriously hate.

  6. The Breeders Digest :

    I have to be honest. I hate you just a little. and I love Carina's shoes :)
    BTW, what did you ever do about your shoe conundrum? Have you added to the collection?


  7. Marie {Make and Takes} :

    Really was so much fun. But you didn't talk about the funniest part: the server making you a crafty pic line to feed Dr. Pepper straight to your veins!!

  8. AlliSMiles :

    FYI, you can get sparkling lemonade at Sunflower Farmer's Market. We had some with our dinner last night…mmmm.

  9. Erin :

    so jealous.

  10. Petit Elefant :


    It's cold here in the winter, really really cold. But I would be the head of the welcome wagon should you ever decide to head west.


    Oh, thank you! We were dying over the Lemonade! THANK YOU!

    the emily,

    Oh, isn't it the absolute best? I'll do whatever I can to get back to that hotel as soon as I can do it. Unbelievable.


    I'm a little jealous of myself, I won't lie.


    I love it too. I had no idea what a gem was sitting in the middle of the city! Thanks for the sweet words.


    Albertson's just turned to Fresh & Easy, maybe? I'll check and stock up on the stuff! Thanks!


    You know I'm game for whatever adventure you have up your sleeve.

    Kalli Ko,

    No hating, no, no! I swear I'm nice even though sometimes I live the life of a celebrity. It's okay, I'd hate me too.

    Breeder's Digest,

    I really do have dirty dishes in my sink. As I type, really.

  11. Petit Elefant :


    I know! I had too many photos to post them all. That server clearly got me, in the best way possible.

  12. christy :

    RE: The lemonade. They also sell it at Fresh & Easy stores if you have them. They have strawberry & regular. Yummy stuff.

  13. vanessa :

    Guess what? Suede Teal Pumps at Blend Fashions under 50 I have a 30 % off coupon you can use…

  14. Anti-Supermom :

    Dying, really dying of jealousy.

    It looks like a fabulous time, thank you for sharing (even though it hurts a little bit).

    BTW blue suede shoes = love

  15. Heather at Happy Chippy Junk :

    If you have a party for SOMMMMMEEEEEE of the Utah bloggers you should invite us all!! It's just the proper thing to do!! Let me know when you'd like me to go on a crazy sleepover!! I'll start packing now!

  16. Kami :

    Take me with you next time! What a blast!

  17. Petit Elefant :


    Man, I'd take you up on the coupon if I weren't performing an exorcism of shoes from my closet. Boo!


    I know, I always feel like a bit of a loser posting about the amazing stuff I get to do.

    The shoes were to. die. for.


    I'll see what I can do. Maybe we could take over an entire floor of the hotel…..


    I'll put you in my luggage for sure!