I booked my most recent stay, for five nights, at this property using Ritz points. First the property had Mountain View rooms available on points online, then they vanished from being able to be booked via points (over a 5 minute period). I called the hotel directly and was informed that there were plenty of these rooms available but they weren't bookable via points any longer and nobody knew why. Not to worry, I was told, due to low occupancy, there will be plenty of rooms available and we'll "put you first in line for a complimentary upgrade"; I've got Gold Elite status and stay 50 nights a year at Ritz and Marriott properties. Ok, that sounds great! Well, I emailed our concierge just to confirm before our arrival. Well, they can't confirm before the arrival but there will be these rooms available for a "paid upgrade"... Ok, fine. Paid is fine but I want to make sure we get a view. We arrive at the hotel early... There are none of these mountain view rooms available at all. The room we got is a Deluxe Room with a view of the road and delivery trucks. Very disappointing. I'd not recommend a Deluxe Room at all, to anyone. Road noise, truck noise, snow blowing equipment, road clearing equipment early morning, and not a great view. Also, the balcony is non-existent. It's about 18" deep; like standing on a ledge off of your room. You may choose to jump after being woken up by snow clearing gear.
The service staff at this property are phenomenal! I have nothing but great things to say about the door staff, the wait staff, and Manzanita has amazing food and exceptional service. I'll do that review separately because I don't want to tarnish Manzanita by being apart of this property. That restaurant could stand alone almost anywhere in the World and be a great restaurant.
The next disappointment is the Gondola. Apparently the Gondola's have been closed most of the year. It doesn't stop this Ritz from listing it as a feature on the web site. I'd have never stayed here knowing that the only way to get to NorthStar was via a 15 minute car ride. Without Northstar, there is only really one restaurant on property (not counting the lounge) and no matter how great a restaurant, you probably don't want to eat there for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner everyday. These guys would rather have their door staff and bell staff driving people all day up and down the hill to get to Northstar rather than just pay to open the Gondola? That has to cost more in gas and lost service at front of house! I asked around and apparently it's a financial issue (more like bad management). This property is failing financially (bank owned) and they can't afford to work a deal with NorthStar to open the Gondola. One of the house cars picked us up from The Northstar Village and they were dropping off 8 people! 8 people! In an Escalade! It was like a clown car more than a town car. What a waste. This shows in other areas as well. There are the little touches that are missing here that are standard at other great Ritz Carlton properties like Half Moon Bay, Laguna Niguel, Central Park, etc. This property feels a lot more like a Marriott with a great restaurant.
My vote wouldn't be to stay here again because of the lack of the Gondola working and also because the reservation process was lousy and mismanaged and the Deluxe room is far from Deluxe. Also, my wife booked a Spa appointment today for an 80 minute massage. We were told that the Spa was offering discounts "up to 50%" booked Sun-Wed. Well, it turns out that the only time slot that was available was from 11-2pm and in that window, the discount is not offered but they did extend a 10% discount. Smells bad and feels gamey. It doesn't say "discounts except from 11-2". You get the feeling that if her appointment was at 3, it would have been, "discounts except from 12-3".
Overall, my recommendation is to stay somewhere else nearby. The Hyatt at Incline Village is a great property close-by to everything and equal in quality and nicer in some ways.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Featuring a mid-mountain location on Northstar California, The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe is the first and only AAA Five Diamond mountain resort in California. Highlights include luxurious guest rooms and suites with in-room fire places and floor-to-ceiling windows; ski-in/ski-out access on Northstar California with ski valet services; a 17,000 sq ft slopeside spa with treatments themed around water and woods; extraordinary dining in Manzanita featuring rustic California cuisine with mountain resort influences; a signature "Marshmology" experience each evening at the fire pit featuring the “Art of the S’more"; and a comprehensive children’s program allowing parents to make the most of their Lake Tahoe vacationDuring the winter season, The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe’s mid-mountain location provides for ski-in / ski-out access to Northstar California, consistently touted as one of the nation’s best family-friendly ski resorts. With a slope-side location on Northstar’s “Big Easy” run, the ski-in/ski-out access can be enjoyed by skiers and riders of any level. When you are ready for a day on the mountain, simply head down to mountain concierge where the ski valets will assist you with your boots and escort you to your skis and poles waiting on the slopes. Northstar offers world-class grooming and provides a plethora of family activities in the Village at Northstar accessed from the hotel by an intermountain gondola. At the heart of the Village is a 9,000 sq ft ice skating rink surrounded by cozy fire pits and a variety of options for shopping, dining and entertainment. During the summer months, Northstar transforms into family-friendly playground offering the region’s best mountain adventure. Families and their four-legged friends will love hiking the easy loop to Sawmill Lake. After a day on the mountain, guests can gather around the fire pit with The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe Marshmologist for complimentary s’mores, enjoy cocktails on the resort’s heated outdoor terrace or enjoy a game of bocce in the backyard. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe Hotel Truckee