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“Great Hotel, staff so gracious” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

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The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   13031 Ritz-Carlton Highlands Court, Truckee, CA 96161   |  
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High Sierra Golf Package
Ranked #1 of 14 hotels in Truckee
Top Contributor
178 reviews 178 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
“Great Hotel, staff so gracious”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

Although it rained the whole stay, we loved the Hotel. Mike the valet, Matt at Reception, Greg at the lobby bar, Stephanie in Manzanita, and Jennifer in the Spa, all such great hosts. Greg's muddled fresh Blueberry martini is superb. Loved our in room fireplace, too. Most comfortable bed ever.

Room Tip: Apparently the number of nice view rooms are more limited than one would expect. At this resort, ge...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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328 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (91)
Date | Rating
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English first
Sacramento, CA
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

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.

Room Tip: Don't ask for a view of the slopes, take advantage of the painting like views in the east facing...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Irvine, California
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

We just came back form Tahoe staying at ritz Carlton residence club. We stay at the 3 bedrooms apartment. We love everything about it from the check in to check out. We went there to ski and the ski valet is wonderful and convenient. Everyone at the residence club was very friendly and professional. We would love to go back again.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Lake Tahoe, California
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

Great views - incredible service - super friendly staff. The rooms are incredibly comfortable and you have all the special touches of turned down beds and chocolates in the evening while you enjoy the fire in your own fireplace. VERY NICE!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Half Moon Bay, California
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

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.

Room Tip: Mountain View Room or Mountain View Suite. Don't book any other room type. Make sure the Gondola...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

My husband and I went back over the Veteran's Day weekend to celebrate both our birthdays. Like last year, we had a very nice time, however, I was disappointed in the gift shop and their lack of supply of personal products. Normally, hotels would have a shop with snacks, gifts,personal products, etc. On our departure date, I needed to purchase women products. When we went to the gift shop all they had was a small basket with sample sized products. I recommend if you go, that you bring enough of aspirin, stomach meds, tampons, etc. just in case. I asked the lady there if she had a particular item that most hotel gift shops would have and she said no. My husband and I went to drug store on the way home. I know this is a high end hotel, however, they should have these types of products especially if its snowing and you don't want to leave the property to buy it elsewhere.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

The food here was amazing. It was honestly some of the best food I've had at any hotel. I can't speak to the cost of it, however, but the quality was great. Eve things that they represented as basic box lunches were really amazing.

I'm a platinum Marriott guy and have states at many top marriotts and ritz hotels but this was truly a world class experience.

Rooms were dead silent, bed was great. Tv was good.

The drive up to this place is a bit much but I wouldn't factor that into my review, many people want this isolation and its the only way you can get this kind of location.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

Address: 13031 Ritz-Carlton Highlands Court, Truckee, CA 96161
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Lake Tahoe (California) > Truckee
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Ski-In / Ski-Out Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 14 hotels in Truckee
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe 5*
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

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