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“Beautiful location, in the middle of ski slope” 4 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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Ranked #1 of 14 hotels in Truckee
Trinidad
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Beautiful location, in the middle of ski slope”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2012

We stayed at this hotel in the beginning of November, before the ski season started. The hotel was quite empty and maybe because of this we got a great corner room overlooking both the ski slope as well as the pool area. The room had a great fireplace and was up to Ritz Carlton standards. Spectacular views.

During our stay there was a fire alarm which went off around 6am causing us to rush outside in the cold. The staff however were there with hot coffee to keep us warm while he fire department cleared us to re enter. I thought that they may have offered us breakfast or some other offer to make up for the cold early morning intrusion, but it was not to be.

It really is a beautiful location with well appointed rooms and very good service. The hotel is about 8 to 10 minutes from the lake if you want to take the time to explore the beautiful Tahoe area with its breathtaking scenery.My one issue is that the restaurant selection was a bit limited, but maybe is was because we were pre season.

I look forward to returning to this hotel sometime during the season. Lake Tahoe is a beautiful place, and the Ritz Carlton is an ideal place to enjoy it from.

Room Tip: The corner rooms are excellent
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  • 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
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (87)
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English first
Singapore, Singapore
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2012

I stayed here after staying at the Marriot Grand Residence at South Lake Tahoe. I got stuck in a snow storm on the CA267 on the way there - a scary experience for someone not familiar with driving in such conditions. The car was sliding from side to side and we had to pull over to the side. I had snow chains but did not know how to put them on - for visitors from places that don't snow - make sure you have snow chains or a 4WD with snow tires. An amazing American Chinese lady stopped to actually help me to put them on (yup, in the middle of a snow storm). Called the hotel initially to tell them my predicament but the best they could suggest was to give me the number of someone who could help me chain the car up.
That was the not-so-nice part but it proved a blessing in disguise as this was the first big snowfall in days which meant great skiing for my sons aged 14 and 8. I must say that the ski valets are amazing. Andille in particular was full of enthusiasm and would rush to meet my sons to get their skis from them.
It's almost ski out and ski in (you have ski down a short distance to the lifts but you can ski back to the doorstep (and are met by the ski valets). Getting kitted out with rental ski gear and lift passes was effortless and seamless as it was all done at the hotel. They also arranged a great coach in Randy Bell for my sons.
If you don't ski, you have to trudge down about 100 yards to the ski lift area. The hotel has a snow mobile standing by to give you a lift from the hotel to the ski lift area too. The slopes near the hotel were pretty quiet so it was nice for skiing. Overall the hotel was also pretty quiet - I saw perhaps only about a dozen other guests on any one day. There is some downside to this - the breakfast buffet wasn't operating and the hotel car that brings you down to the village wasn't as frequent as perhaps I had anticipated it to be. Note that you are a bit of a captive in this luxury fortress mid-mountain. The gondola to the village wasn't running (I read anotheer reviewer who said that it hadn't been for almost a year for financial reasons) so the only way to get down to the village (a 15 minute drive away) is either to drive yourself (rather tiresome) or take the Hotel's Cadillac SUV. They told me that it would run every 15-30 minutes and so I took it down to the village. I waited over 30 minutes at the village to return later on and had to call (twice). The car duly came in the 15 minutes or so it takes to get down. I guess it wouldn't have made sense for the driver to make 15-30 minute loops with no passengers on some of the runs - so if it's quiet, it's best to call the hotel to tell them you've been waiting than wait indefinitely for the car to get you back up.
Northstar village is small. cosy and modern but things probably get kicking in the evening and night. There were a couple of restaurants. I ate in the hotel for my 2 nights there and the food at Manzanita was divine (I'll review that seperately) but it would have been nice to have a bigger choice of other food outlets easily accessible (as one reviewer mentioned - no matter how nice the food, you'll probably like a change after a while).
Check in and out was very quick and everyone ever so nice. I had two rooms facing the mountains (odd numbered). If you want to face the ski slope, you'll need an even numbered room.
They have smores at 4pm every day and it was wonderful for visitors to experience this. It was quiet so there were almost as many hotel staff setting things up as guests.
The room was luxurious - what you'd expect of a Ritz Carlton but the bed didn't really suit me - it had this underlay which made me feel as if I was floating on something squishy whilst asleep. I preferred the matress at the Marriot's Grand Residence - someone should have a mattress menu just as they have a pillow menu. The fireplace was nice in the room but beware the ledge - my wife, son and myself knocked our feet on the fireplace ledge at some time or other. I liked the complimentary water and the twice a day housekeeping.
Overall, great experience to be pampered but of course it comes at a cost. Will try to come back to stay here.

Room Tip: Ask for an even numbered room if you want to face the ski slope
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Top Contributor
174 reviews 174 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 70 cities Reviews in 70 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, CA
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
61 helpful votes 61 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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Irvine, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 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
22 reviews 22 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 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
57 helpful votes 57 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.

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Additional Information about The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

Also Known As:
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe Hotel
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe Hotel Truckee
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 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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