My husband and I stayed at this resort with my mom and her husband who are owners of the Diamond Resort timeshare system. They used their points to get us a two bedroom suite.
Driving to the hotel from Reno was simple. Highway 50 up to Lake Tahoe is four lanes and really quick. We drove past the big hotel/casinos at the NV/CA stateline and pulled into our place only about a mile past that. You could tell how close it is to the California Lodge at Heavenly Ski Resort just by looking at the view from the front entrance.
The first room (304) was nice, with views of the California side of Heavenly. I got the king bed while my mom took the room with two doubles. My assessment of this room is that the beds were uncomfortable enough to not get a full-night's sleep, the jet tub in the master bathroom was big enough for two and awesome after a day of skiing, my mom could hear pipes running in the walls at night, the kitchen was well-equipped, but not alot of counter space. The fridge did have an ice maker. I liked the decorations and ambiance in the room and the regular television sets were adequate, but limited channels. My husband ordered wireless internet service for around $7 a day and it worked in the room. The pans and dishwear were all clean and convenient for making breakfast.
Two days into the trip, my mom and her husband were (miraculously!) talked into "upgrading" their points when they went to the timeshare presentation. We were moved into an "upgraded" brand-new two-bedroom suite (134). The room's decorations, furniture, bathrooms, and dishwear were all in modern style and immaculate. It compared to the other room in the following ways: the beds had the same comfort level, there was a queen instead of two doubles in the second room, the jet tub and refridgerator were smaller and no ice maker (had to go to second floor for ice), flat screen tvs with satellite reception, but NO wireless service in the whole wing. My husband quickly got a refund for the paid internet service. This was inconvenient because he had to take his laptop to the loft above the lounge area to get online and the service was intermittent. They had to reset the modem up there a of couple times. The only real disappointment about the upgraded room was that the first floor did not afford any views except piled snow, and beyond that, the maintenance workers entrance and workshop. The distance of the room from the lobby / pool area was understandable because it is a big place.
Other comments on the hotel in general is that it has a great concierge service. They are always available to help and knowledgable of the local attractions. Discount tickets are also ready for purchase there. There is a free self-serve laundry room, which we used. The pool/spa area was surprisingly impressive. It looks small from pictures, but it's not really. There is an indoor section of pool that has a water channel through a plastic barrier (like the plastic that hangs in the butcher section of the grocery store) to the outdoor pool section. It was fun going back and forth into the cold winter air. There is also an indoor jacuzzi, which is very hot and an outdoor jacuzzi, which is cooled off a bit by the cold temperature and very comfortable. There's something about sitting in a warm jacuzzi with snow all around that is just so cool!
The valet service seems to be the most complained-about thing on previous reviews. I can understand that. There is simply not enough parking around the resort to accomodate all the guests, so you have two options: pay $10 a day plus tips for valet and have your car waiting at the front door for you, or pay $10 a day for self-parking and walk nearly three blocks in freezing cold weather to a garage to get your vehicle. We chose the valet service and made the pact that we would tip $2 every time they brought our car to us, but not when we dropped off. Besides, when we dropped the car off, we usually just got out and brought the keys to the valet window. They weren't opening our doors for us or anything. We did a lot of back and forth to the hotel and if we were going to be in the room for under an hour we asked them to leave the car close and we'd just get the keys from the window, which they did and we traded a buck for them.
There are shuttles to all the ski resorts at certain times of the morning. We liked Sierra better for it's beginner slopes as opposed to Heavenly for its convenience to the hotel. Getting to the casinos at Stateline was easy with plenty of parking at them.
In the end, my mom did cancel the upgrade to her points in the timeshare system. They still honored her upgraded stay in the second room and covered all the valet parking as promised. I love Lake Tahoe and would stay at this resort in the future if the price were right.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.