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“Great Winter Vacation and Stay” 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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Spring Spa Getaway
Ranked #1 of 14 hotels in Truckee
Greenville, South Carolina
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great Winter Vacation and Stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

Cant say enough about the customer service at the ski rental and ski valet area. Great aspect and deserve to be tipped well. We loved the outdoor fireplace, indoor room fireplaces, and club level.

Eventually, had a room facing slope side after the first room offered was of the backside resort, no issues with changing that. Sad we weren't offered the first one to begin with given the prior contact with concierge, rewards members status, and frequency of stay with the Ritz but again no issues and very little time wasted changing.

We ate lunch at Manzanita and the food was good, the setting great. Other times we just enjoyed Club or went off property. Maybe it's because I'm from the South but the fried chicken wings from room service far exceeded my expectations.

The "magic refrigerator" in Club was always stocked with quality beverages and all our travel companions had to do was ask for Grey Goose and grapefruit, for well drinks. A bit expensive but for the location and the luxury that close to the slopes, harder and harder to find these days.

Spa service and amenities were great, too.

Room Tip: All rooms have fireplaces. We enjoyed slope side.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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 (87)
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English first
Auburn, CA
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013 via mobile

While its true this is not a budget-level place to stay, you do get outstanding service and comfort here. Yes, there is a resort fee but wifi is included as well as water, pool towel service etc. $35usd/day valet, and a ski valet by these are inline with other top notch ski resorts. Service from valet, ski valet, baggage,check in, dining, in room dining all were top notch. If the fees mentioned above bother, there are other resorts in the area you can stay. If you want impeccable service, convenience, location... This is the place. We had a 1 room suite which is perfectly set up for a family of 4- two beds, tvs and 2 bathrooms... One of the beds was a sofa bed but very comfy. Would get this type room again... This was our second stay and confirmed this place is expensive but delivers ...

Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

We have been going to Lake Tahoe for years. We have been skiing in Utah and Colorado many times as well. We have never had a better experience than staying at this hotel. We have stayed here three times, so this review reflects more than one stay. hotels are difficult to manage and resort hotels, even more complicated. i cannot imagine a more complex operation than a ski mountain hotel, but these folks have perfect execution. Friendly, helpful staff. Perfect location. True ski in, ski out location. Not only ski in/out, but how about 20 steps from elevator to ski valet area. Ski valet puts my wife's boots on and then another 20 steps to skis laid out and ready to snap on for a short downhill to an express lift. Really skiing ten minutes after leaving our room! No effort in getting started at all. We had 10 runs in before stopping for breakfast back at the hotel. I will leave a review of the Northstar Mountain to others, but Vail's ownership really shows and there is plenty to ski here for three days for beginner through advanced intermediate. A beautiful setting.
After a day skiing, the spa awaits and unlike most resorts, you do not have to have a treatment to enjoy a really fantastic , but separate by gender spa services. Hot tub , steam, sauna, 126 jet wave shower etc. Really nice. Rooms are all good and well furnished. You get a mountain or Martis Valley view. We like the more expansive valley view, but personal preference dictates. Lobby areas are mountain dramatic. Hotel has been open probably four years and not showing any age. Manzanita is a good restaurant. It does have a limited menu and is expensive as others have noted. While family friendly,this is an adult hotel. You are located at mid-mountain and getting to the village located down the mountain a bit to skate or alternative and less expensive restaurants is via a slow, but short Ritz gondola or shuttle. We always rented condos with the kids and schepped all the gear to the slopes.Tired before we started skiing. Now we enjoy the luxury and pampering of places such as this. The staff truly are friendly and act like they really enjoy working at the best hotel in Tahoe.
Expensive. Yes , there are many places in Tahoe to stay where you can spend less, but if you want a luxury , no hassle experience consider the Ritz. Do shop the hotel website for prices. many include a $75 credit for breakfast- yes, you can spend that much at Manzanita. Also, resort fee $25, includes spa access, wifi, internet outdoor pools and spas. Parking at $35 is indoor, Close in, outside parking at Northstar Village costs $25 and you still have a long walk to get to the gondola. Luxury well executed.

Room Tip: Can't go wrong. Mountain or Martis Valley views. Almost all have fireplaces (gas).
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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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California,USA
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

My wife and I stayed at this hotel on January 2012 for a week end. If you sky, this is the hotel for you!! Renting sky equipments is very easy and you will find your skis waiting for you outside the hotel. Rooms are well kept and clean (the only improvement area is the AC….pretty noisy) and the staff extremely friendly . If you stay at the club level, breakfast, aperitifs, etc are included and, by the way, pretty good too!
We had a couple of dinners at “Manzanita” (the hotel restaurant). The restaurant is nice, food is pretty good but the menu is very short…something to improve too.
Last words: the location is superb and you will have a great view of the surrounding mountains!!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
96 helpful votes 96 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

We just stayed at the Ritz Carlton for 3 night after the New years buzz was over. Our two tween sons could have not been happier. The rooms were superb, even though they could not accomodate our initial request for 2 Queen beds, they made our boys very welcome with comfortable roll aways. The room was not to cramped, as I first was worried about. Comfy beds, roomy bathrooms, and roomy closet. Imagine that! For all that ski gear!. Manzanita restaurant was superb and they were very kid friendly without loosing style. Breakfast buffet was amazing. The best was the concierge ski service. At first I thought it was a gimmick, but quickly realized how nice it was to have my ski's waiting for me and hop on and off without having to carry them around.It made for a very stress free skiing experience. You can ski right up and hop off to lunch without looking back, now that is a vacation, mom not having to track every piece of equipment! Loved the spa, I used it twice. Very good massages. In the evenings we hung out in the spacious lobby by the fireplaces. It was truly a relaxing holiday cant wait to get back next season.

Room Tip: we had the 'Not so desirable" view away from the mountain, but even that was nice. There se...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
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San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

My husband and I spent 5 nights at the Ritz Carlton North Star over Christmas. It is a beautiful hotel and overall, the friendliness of the personnel stood out.

The property is impressive with with ski-in/ski-out and a convenient ski concierge. There is also a gym, yoga room, spa (with gender-specific saunas, hot tubs, steam rooms), outdoor swimming pools (lap & regular). In the afternoon, there is an opportunity to make smores over a fire and we had fun making a snow man.

The dispute over the gondola seems to be ongoing with North Star and the Ritz blaming each other. The reality is, the gondola was not turned on for the first few days and taking the small bus down to North Star in the blizzard was not a fun experience. The bus driver dropped us off, telling us pick up would be in the same spot. I think the reality is, they don't have an assigned pick up spot, so we had to be on the lookout to not miss the bus on the way up, as it stopped somewhere entirely different. While they say they have three busses running, we waited quite a while (more than the supposed 15 minutes) and an older man said he waited an hour. When he asked the bus driver he pretty much ignored him. Not up to Ritz standards.

The outdoor hot tubs are too far from the actual hotel. When it was snowing, we could not actually make it there without sliding and freezing, as it's a long way to go through a high cover of snow. Other ski hotels we have stayed at in Colorado usually have the hot tub right next to the hotel exit. It seems this hotel is more built for summer guests.

Unable to get to the outdoor hot tub the first few days, we had to sit alone in our gender-separated hot tubs in the spa. At least a gay couple friendly atmosphere.

We ate at Manzanita three times, the best restaurant at the hotel. Otherwise, there is the "Living room" a sitting area that is too small when the hotel is busy, and the menu is very short. If you have any kind of dietary restrictions, you are almost out of luck, e.g. gluten free, low fat.

The coffee shop is nice but a bit disorganized; no gluten-free food here. Back to Manzanita, the two dinners we had were ok. For the very steep prices, it was disappointing. There was no real holiday menu, even on Christmas day there was no turkey, ham or anything of the kind to be found. If you compare Manzanita to the restaurant at the Ritz in Half Moon Bay, there is just no comparison. If you charge me a fortune, live up to it.

Breakfast was good, although we only noticed that there was a buffet on the way out. Nobody mentioned it. They were able to get me a boiled egg after I asked, in a coffee cup. An egg holder would have been a nice touch.

The spa was nice and I really enjoyed the yoga room where they have mats, bolsters etc. and the lady working there was very helpful. The view from the room on the mountain is unbelievable.

Skiing out as great but skiing back was a bit surprising. My husband hurt himself and it was a very challenging way back to the hotel; certainly not for beginners. Not sure how they get back.
The snow was the best I have seen in Tahoe, powder!

We ended up in a Mountain View room, as all other rooms had been booked for $670 a night. Of course, you have to add $25 spa fee, $35 parking fee, and a bunch of other fees for breathing the air and walking through the hotel. The room was VERY nice, spacious, with a big bed and lovely bathroom. We looked out right on the slope. I think the secret is to be on a high level. You can't put anything in the fridge, as it is one of those automatic charging ones, but in the winter you can just put your champagne on the small balcony ledge :-). We also had a nice fireplace.
The temperature was a challenge. We like to sleep in a cold room. When you turned off air-conditioning, it was still warm. When you turned the air down it was very noisy and kept running like it never reached the temperature. We ended up sleeping with a slightly open balcony door - but it ended up snowing in and we kept opening and closing it. Not ideal!

I am starting to think that the Fairmont is overtaking the Ritz with their service. Last year we stayed at the Fairmont Whistler, and they had some free offering in the lobby every day, like chestnuts or other treats. The Ritz had hot cider late in the afternoon, one day it was almost cold. The first few days they had cinnamon sticks but once more people arrived they did not refill them. That was a nice touch.

It happened to be my husband's birthday during our stay. A few days before our arrival, we got contacted by a service representative of the Ritz. It always makes me laugh, as by that time, most people have everything booked up; it would be too late for Xmas dinner reservations etc. One should really get contacted right after booking. Anyhow, I decided to get my husband a massage and mentioned his birthday. Kevin, the representative, offered to send a free cake to our room as a surprise. He said it would be there by the time we get in.

The day before we arrived, I remembered that my husband eats gluten-free, and send a note to Kevin, asking if it was too late to send something else. If it was, no problem. Turns out Kevin had an out-of-office response for the time of our arrival. Well, my bad.

We arrived, and no cake was in the room. A few days later, Kevin emailed me, asking if everything went well and he was sorry he could not send anything gluten-free as he only got the note. I responded saying, unfortunately. nothing had been sent at all (and I had told my husband and we were excited to get SOMETHING free from the Ritz). Well, I never got any response after that. Disappointing!

Overall, I am not sure I would come back. It's just so overpriced. For almost $800 a night, I do expect a lot and it was just not enough. For the same money, I could rent a VERY nice large cabin in Tahoe, which is what well probably do next time. We picked the Ritz to be spoiled be luxury and great food, but it was just ok. Beautiful setting but the rest underdelivered.

Room Tip: Try to get a high floor or you won't see anything. They call Mountain Room also Preferred Room.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corona del Mar, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

We did not stay at the Ritz but we played there as we were at the Constellation at Northstar and they share services. Staff is superb and the food at Manzanita is terrific! Mitchell treated us like kings/queens (manager of Manzanita) and we would go back just to eat at his fine restaurant as long as he was still there!
Fitness club perfect and the spa staff/facilities A+++
ONLY ONE COMPLAINT..PLEASE SPEND THE MONEY TO UPGRADE THE GONDOLA FROM THE HOTEL TO THE VILLAGE!! IT GETS STUCK A LOT AND IS TERRIBLY SLOW AND SCARY AS A RESULT. FIX THAT, AND PERFECTION EXISTS AT THE RITZ.

Room Tip: View of the valley is the best
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
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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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