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“Expensive, but allows maximum snow time!” 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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Ranked #1 of 14 hotels in Truckee
San Francisco, CA
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Expensive, but allows maximum snow time!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

We stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe during the President’s Day weekend as a family of four… two adults, and two smaller kids. Let’s get this out of the way … this hotel is *expensive*. But what you get for staying here is maximum time on skis at the fantastic Northstar ski area. It’s skiing with very little of the hassle that comes from a busy ski resort.

Here’s what you get as a skier at the Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe.
- Location. It’s located a little above Northstar’s “mid-mountain” where all the lifts start. You can ski down on your own from the hotel’s back patio, or take the snowmobile down. At the end of the day, you take the snowmobile back from mid-mountain up to the hotel. I’ve never waited more than five minutes for the snowmobile in either direction.
- Ski Valet. They store your boots and skis for you right at the back patio. No schlepping equipment. They’ll even help you put your boots on, and lay out your skis on the snow. It’s nice at the beginning of the day, but even better at the end … when you really don’t feel like carrying equipment around.
- Ski-in, Ski-Out. I didn’t understand this concept until I stayed here. Being able to leave the hotel on skis and just get going, is a huge time-saver, and considering how much lift tickets can cost, it’s always good to maximize snow time.
- Ski lessons start at the hotel. It was still crowded, but it’s nice to be able to check-in and get going right from the back of the hotel. Avoids the chaotic check-in at the bottom of the mountain.
- The “TrueNorth” ski shop. You can get tickets, rentals, and lessons right here.
- Minimal crowds. I won’t say it’s not crowded because the mountain can be busy, but it’s the best you can get in terms of not having to wait … rentals, gondolas, tickets, lessons.

Beyond the skiing, this property is still a Ritz-Carlton and delivers on the service and property expectation of the brand. The staff members through and through exhibit high levels of courteous, friendly, and attentive service. They are good with kids, and really do look to provide their guests with the best experience possible. And there are a lot of staff … it’s great to get help whenever you need it.

We had a regular room on the fourth floor. It wasn’t a huge room, but it did deliver on expectations with a well furnished and clean room, floor to ceiling windows with a sliding door to a shallow patio, and a nice bathroom with a huge deep tub. The one thing I would say is that the air is very dry … probably due to the altitude and the heater/AC system. You can request a humidifier from housekeeping, and I would recommend it.

In terms of dining, we used the “Mountain Blue” snack shop for breakfast and the Lobby Lounge for dinner. Mountain Blue has some pre-made hot food (things like egg burritos, egg-and-cheese sandwiches, etc.), drinks, and some simple snacks. Not a huge selection, but it worked for us, especially with the kids. The prices are ‘fair’ all things considered, and it probably is a lot cheaper than eating at the main restaurant. The Lobby Lounge is just that … a bunch of sofas and chairs where you can gather with family after skiing and enjoy light food and drinks. It was very crowded when we were there, but it’s also very nice to linger and be with other families enjoying time together. Both Mountain Blue and the Lobby weren't "gourmet" by any stretch, but it was fine for what it is.

A few other thoughts:
- There’s an “Indoor Campout” package for kids. Basically you get a tent, and a little featherbed and blanket inside. It was great for my kindergartener because he made it his own space, and didn’t have to sleep in our bed. Perfect for a room with only a king-bed.
- During these peak holiday seasons, it’s definitely more of a family / kids resort than a quiet adult / couples place. This isn’t a place to get away from noise

In summary, the Ritz-Carlton is a luxury hotel that enables you to maximize the enjoyment of a ski vacation, but you do pay for the privilege. The property is new and very nice, the service met my expectations of the brand, and the dining and amenities were more than sufficient for our family’s needs. I hope to be back again!

Room Tip: The indoor campout package is a fun option for smaller kids. Some rooms can be a bit of a walk from...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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329 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 (92)
Date | Rating
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English first
St. Helena, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

Our trip began during a winter storm.
We did have chains with us, but in case someone would like to know:
On highway I 80 you will be pulled over to make sure you have chains.
You can have chains installed on your car for $30.00 or do it yourself.
You can then have them removed for $15.00

After struggling to remove our chains, next time we think $15.00 is a bargain to have them removed if you are not accustomed to doing this.

The Ritz is one of the most lovely large scale resorts we have ever tried, so our experience with larger resorts is limited, that is just for your reference.

Things to know about the fees here:
1. If you travel with a dog it is $125.00 one time pet fee.
2. There is a daily fee for your car of $35.00
3. There is a daily resort fee of $25.00
4. Spa treatments, for your convenience, have a 20% gratuity added, BUT you can adjust that fee up or down depending on your experience.

On our third day we did discover that room service would deliver an order from the Manzanita restaurant. (Highly recommend).

For those who prefer their bed a little softer, housekeeping was more than happy to add another feather bed to our bed. Worked like a charm.

Now some things to consider, our room was at the far end and next to the Gondola pad and ski area. At night the snow machines do run and are very loud. If you are a light sleeper this maybe something to discuss about your room preference.

I have two requests to leave with the hotel:
1. Spa food on their in room dining menu.
2. A pet sitter or an area with kennels or a place for you to kennel your dog on the property. Since you cannot leave your pet alone in a room, which we understand, and it is far too cold to leave your dog in a car, you will be with your pet all the time. Since we love traveling with Edward not an issue for us.

And in the end…we loved our time here and the spa was all a spa should be and then some. The staff is everything people have commented on, they are caring and friendly. This was a perfect winter experience for us.

Room Tip: Ask about a room that is not near the snow machines, that make noise all night long.
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

Stayed here 6 nights during the Christmas vacation 2012
It was very busy at the hotel during that time
The lobby is hustle and bustle and fun to be in although its a bit big
The food is ok ....service is TOP NOTCH with nice people ...very nice waiters and waitresses in the lobby

The rooms are nice and new although the bathrooms are more like a Marriot ...I did not feel they were Ritz Carlton style top notch or up to par for the price we paid(Compared to a Four Seasons)
Rooms are average size...not huge but adequate
The ski valet is not up to par
They made some mistakes with out skis (mix up)
I would also say that they did not have people helping to take off the boots and there was a line to return the boots... a little annoying
The restaurant in the hotel Manzanita for diner is delicious!
Ate breakfast in the hotel restaurant each morning and it was fine
The hotel is isolated and there are not so many good restaurants in the area
The hotel is situated on a beautiful mountain called Northstar...one of the most scenic pretty mountains I have skied
The spa is GORGEOUS and they let you use it even if you don't do a treatment(well they should since they charge a $20 resort fee per room)

I would stay here again

Room Tip: mountain view rooms are pretty
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

We tried the Ritz Tahoe just for a weekend to hang out and relax. It was toward the end of the ski season, but since my wife and I don't ski, we ended up just taking it easy on the property. The fireplace and bar area are terrific for reading and people watching, and the views are spectacular. We did check out the spa one day, and I have to say - it is well worth it if you have the time to try it. Overall, we only spent a couple nights there, but have already added to our list to get back there this year for some R&R.

Room Tip: We liked the view of the mountains overlooking the pools and hot-tubs. While considered the back of...
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  • Stayed April 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.
California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

They doubled the prices over President's weekend. We are paying 6 star prices for 4 star amenities. The evening turn down came at 9pm when we were ready for sleep after a full day of ski, we didn't receive new shampoo etc, new coffee for the morning, or new bottles of water. We expect these small luxuries especially when paying 6 star prices.

The only nice thing was the mountain concierge. They were attentive, but then again this is expected at double the prices during this long weekend.

We are a family with 4 children so the turn downs should have come earlier. The food was mediocre as well.

Just had higher expectations.......

Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RIchmond, VA
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

The Ritz Carlton, located at the middle of Northstar Ski Resort is a great place to stay. They continually run specials that make it more affordable to stay at this luxury resort.
Everyone was very friendly and we first thought it would be a little "stuffy" but happily the people working plus the guests were very friendly.
The service was great from the ski valet (complimentary) to the stores and restaurants. The rooms were very comfortable with large bathrooms which made it nice coming back from a day of skiing. They have a outdoor pool which is heated to 94 degrees and stays open year round, a large fitness center and a spa which my wife said was excellent.
The food was a little expensive and there is a resort fee of $25 per day but overall it was worth it.

Room Tip: Rent a car, drive 10 minutes to the North shore of Lake Tahoe and experience some great dining with...
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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.
Medford Lakes, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013 via mobile

This hotel is breathtaking. From the moment you pull up and see the property on the mountain to the views from the rooms! We stayed on the club level and the service was incredible. The concierge was very attentive and personable. We enjoyed sitting with him and listening to stories about his life. He was new and did not have business cards yet but delivered personalized letters to us with his contact information. They knew the named of everyone in our party when we walked into the lounge. The staff was willing to do anything for us- even made fresh iced tea when my daughter asked if they had some. The rooms were incredible. We had two adjoining rooms with a foyer connecting the two. The restaurant was wonderful and the pool area and hot tubs were spectacular with the fire pits and the view. We would live to experience this property in the winter also. This is definitely a Ritz Carlton property

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.

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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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