Have never written a review online for anything (although have read and heeded many!). Our experience at Granlibakken this past week was so great I felt obligated to give my input. We stayed here over Christmas not knowing what fully to expect. I'd done countless hours of research and finally made our plans for Granlibakken, but did so with limited expectations. Turned out this place could not have been better for our family and our needs, and far exceeded what I'd hoped for.
A perfect combination of hotel amenities (maid service/maintenance staff, 24hr front desk, on site dining, etc) and private space as if renting a vacation home from VRBO or the like (privacy, spacious, freedom of walking around grounds, etc).
Tons of things on-site to do although we did not take advantage of all. We were snowed in quite literally, and yet we were able to walk through the winter wonderland easily to the main lodge for breakfast and for dinner. Couldn't have been easier to wake up and roll out to the ski area. Sled hill was super, and the ski hill was PERFECT for our family of 6 to enjoy-- my black diamond skiier husband enjoyed playing around at the steepest portion (was it heart-pounding challenging? no). My intermediate skiing self had plenty of challenges. My kids, all the way down to my 4 year old, had a great skiing experience with the bunny hill and beginning heights of the main hill. The ski area accommodated all of our varying skiiing skills allowing mom and dad to have fun skiing PLUS allowing us to see the kids at all times and have them occupied
Old-fashioned sled hill with no bells and whistles-- refreshing to see in today's day and age. Relaxed ski environment with common-sense rules, but nothing else. They trust you to ski at your level and pretty much just leave you alone unless you want help with something.
What could be better than having this kind of snow play literally in your back yard, and reasonably priced?
Is the resort a little old-fashioned in architecture and a little dated? Sure. But it's charming, and has history. It's 1970's feel only adds character and intrigue in my opinion. The entire resort was also spotless. I'm hardcore into cleanliness and will notice anything I find gross. Supremely impressed by the cleanliness of everything--even one of the more remote bathrooms I found myself in down a corridor in the main lodge. Spotless. Could have eaten my breakfast in there.
Staff was incredibly helpful and friendly (save for one woman we briefly encountered at one early point). Overall far above the call of duty and incredibly accommodating to our weather-related change of plans. Katie at the front desk was so helpful that she actually gave me a tour of possible accommodations a la a realtor once we realized we may need to alter our stay dates.
We were in a suite-- and it was great. I should point out that which particular unit/suite you are in can make a big difference in the satisfaction of the accommodations themselves. They are generally owned privately and thus can vary greatly. Walls are pretty thin in any case though so go in with proper expectations (and earplugs if you have extreme issues with that).
SO many lovely extras-- A wonderful Christmas Eve celebration at the ski hut with Santa and REAL presents for the kids (not McD's happy meal things), and mulled wine for adults, etc. A lovely festive Christmas dinner for the family in the ballroom.
Breakfast each morning was wonderful to look forward to. Although the food quality itself was only average (for both breakfast and dinner), the convenience of the meals far outweighs my gripes about the lack of gourmet.
Could go on and on about things I loved about our stay. That said, I want to point out that this place is NOT ideal for a family who has hard-core skiiers or who likes very fast-paced vacations. If you're heading to Tahoe to get Northstar slopes and crowds and shopping and high-energy buzz, then go to Northstar. Or something similar. You would not at all be satisfied with Granlibakken. But for our family, it was an absolutely perfect environment.