My family (2 adults and 2 kids) stayed at the hotel with another family over the Labor Day weekend. While the location is great, and the property is very beautiful, the overall service from multiple departments was miserable.
Before I get into the service problems, let me say that I would be willing to give the hotel a 2nd chance. My family greatly enjoyed the larger size room (we stayed in a Deluxe Fireplace Valley View room), and also had a great time at the pool with its multiple jacuzzis and water slide. I live in the Sacramento area (about 1.5 hours away), and so we frequently travel to the Tahoe area to enjoy the blue sky and fresh air.
The room had a great view of the mountains. It was approx. 600 sq. feet and was comprised of two rooms - a living room with comfortable chairs and sofa, and a bedroom with a King bed. The larger than average bathroom featured a dual shower head which was nice. The room also had a small kichen. My only complaint regarding the room was that there was not enough lighting - and so the rooms were dark especially the bedroom. My recommendation is that the hotel add recessed lighting in the ceiling.
Basically, most everything was great at the hotel and met our expectations - except for one very important element.....the lack of service from the hotel staff and management.
First service problem - upon checking in, the front desk person gave my friend incorrect information about the details of his special "golf and dining" package - essentially reducing the benefits of the package. After asking to speak with the manager-on-duty, she reluctantly agreed to correct the problem so that the package details agreed with how the package was marketed on the hotel's internet site.
Second problem - The next morning (Sunday morning) at the restaurant, we were told the wait would be 20 minutes; however, it was over 90 minutes. Apparently, the hotel had sold numerous "Labor Day" packages that included free breakfast buffet; however, the restaurant did not have enough space to handle the guests, nor enough restuarant staff to handle the volume of people and turnover the tables. The anger of multiple guests could easily be heard throughout the hotel lobby as families requested to get an honest answer to their questions about wait times. It was very clear that the hostess was very confused and uncertain what to do.
Third problem - On the second morning of our stay, we again ate breakfast at the restaurant. To handle the number of guests, the hotel had adjusted by increasing their seating capacity; however, they did not appear to add any restaurant staff - so again, slow or missing service was experienced such as not getting dirty dishes cleared from the table, not getting beverages filled, having to track down the waiter for the check, etc.
I believe that the hotel was almost at capacity both nights, and that the service problem were related to understaffing; however, being full doesn't explain all of the service problems.
Fifth problem - At the spa, I treated a friend to his first massage. I made special arrangements with the spa to have my friend's treatment charged to my account as this was a "gift" to my friend. I was very precise in my instructions and even signed the spa bill which listed my room number. However, upon checking out from the hotel, I discovered that the hotel had charged the spa treatment to my friend's bill.
Sixth problem - Finally, when we went to check-out, I discovered that my bill was incorrect and that I had been overcharged by the hotel. The "billing" problem was not unique to me as the other family that was with us was overcharged by close to $1000. This overcharging was because the hotel failed to adjust the bill for items included in the special package price (e.g., valet parking, dining credit, golf credit, etc.). After discussion with the front desk, both my bill and the bill of the other family was properly adjusted. My advice would be to very carefully check your bill before leaving this hotel.
During the numerous service problems, the senior management staff of the hotel seemed to be absent. Both the dining problems and the overcharging that I experienced were significant issues, yet nobody from the senior management staff stepped forward to offer an apology - leaving us feeling unimportant to the hotel as well as feeling bad for the front line staff that were left to handle numerous angry guests.
The hotel advertises that it has a 4-star rating; however, in comparing to other 4-star resorts where I have stayed, I would only give the resort 3-stars - comprised entirely of its ambiance and the view. Perhaps the resort makes most of their money during the ski season, and so in the off-season of the summer, service is allowed to be missing.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Luxury mountain resort located at the base of Squaw Valley USA, five miles from the shores of Lake Tahoe. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Resort At Squaw Creek Hotel Olympic Valley
- Hotel At Squaw Creek
- At Squaw Creek Hotel
- Resort Squaw Creek
- Squaw Creek Resort