Let's get this out of the way at the top of this review: there is not a finer lodging establishment anywhere in Lake Tahoe than the Ritz Carlton at Northstar. The hotel sits at the peak of a mountain road completely separate from the Northstar Village. You're actually about 1k feet in elevation above the village. When I arrived early in the morning I was greeted by multiple staff members looking to park my vehicle, tend to my bags and get me on to the snow asap. My snowboard was waiting for me on the run outside the hotel. The hotel called my cell phone when my room was ready. Can't ask for a better check-in experience than that.
The room is spacious and feels like a modern mountain lodge. The fireplace puts out plenty of warmth if you want to dry out your gear. The TV was a problem. Several channels didn't work. I asked the bellman for help and an engineer promptly arrived to fix it. Next day, same issue, but I didn't call for help. The bathroom is very nice, though the shower head was a disappointment. There just wasn't enough pressure in the shower for a good shower experience. The bed was luxurious and made getting out of bed a challenging negotiation with myself.
The pool deck is convenient, nothing really special. The jacuzzi at night could have been a touch warmer. The fitness center looked to be quite well done, but I did not partake. The Mountain Concierge is a great setup and they will take great care of you and your gear. Every part of the snow sports operation appears to be well thought out and executed flawlessly. Who doesn't love leaving their snowboard with a guy in a suit and snow boots?
My big complaint, if I have any, is that the gondola from the hotel to the village was not operating. This meant a 15 minute ride in the hotels Escalade. Not nearly as efficient as the gondola service that I had expected, especially when you spend 15-20 minutes waiting in the cold for the hotel car. Worse when there are more people waiting than can be accommodated in the Escalade. Going down to the village for drinks, dinner, skating would be much more enjoyable with the gondola running. That staff was very apologetic about the situation and the bartender made me a delicious Hot Apple Pie cocktail to warm me back up.
The bars and food are well done. If you're thinking of spending the cash for the Epic Burger down at the mid mountain lodge, skip it and spend the same dollars for the burger at the Ritz Carlton. It's very well done, a nice char flavor on the meat. Also try the truffle parmesan fries, they were amazing. The bar does a great job. You can expect cocktails made from scratch that are very well done. The service in all of the food establishments as excellent.
So that's the Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe experience; exceptional in many ways and just a few letdowns, but there is no comparison in the Lake Tahoe area.
- Also Known As:
- The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe Hotel Truckee
- The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe Hotel
- 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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