I usually ski at Squaw, but this year I skied at Northstar because my son and daughter-in-law wanted to ski there (they are snowboarders and they think the parks are really good). What a surprise! I hadn't been there in years, and assumed it was still rather small, run-down, and intermediate, at best. At least that's the way I remembered it from quite a few years ago. But oh, not so! This resort is FANTASTIC!
I will start at the beginning by saying that although the parking lots are a good distance from the resort, the shuttle buses from the parking lot to the resort are very frequent, and so there is no real hassle at all. The only bad part is that you don't want to leave anything behind in your car, because it is still a long trip back from the slopes. The good thing is that the resort has lockers for rent in the village and at mid-mountain: about $7. for the day (unlimited access). After getting off the shuttle bus, you walk through the village, which is super nice. There are restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, ski rental shops, ticket booths, and even a cinema and ice rink. The ambience is upmarket, and there are lots of comfortable places to sit and relax, and just take it all in. Having purchased a pass, you walk through to the other end of the village to a gondola that takes you up to the mid-mountain station. At this point, you can eat, rent a locker, or go straight on to the slopes. I noticed that this is also where the beginners and near-beginners take lessons and practice. For myself and my relatives, we got on a chair lift that took us up quite a way, but still not to the top. From that lift we then took another chairlift to the top. And then we really were at the top and actually took in a beautiful view of Lake Tahoe.
There are many more runs than there were the last time I was there (could that have been 15 years ago?), and there is even part of a mountain open that wasn't open at all the last time I went. On a powder day, there are so many places to ski that you practically always have fresh snow to yourself. And the tree skiing is some of the best I have ever experienced. It looked to me that the resort trims all the trees of it's dead branches just so the skier can have a better experience. I would say it would take you 2 days to actually ski all that Northstar has to offer. The other nice thing is that the lifts are fast, and the people running them are very organized and efficient (and super friendly!), so there is little time wasted needlessly.
The catering on the mountain is extensive. We ate at Zephyr Lodge, which is rather new, I think, and gorgeous to look at. The food was pretty good, but it is expensive. There are places to eat all over the mountain, and I was told that the pizza in the village was very good too. After skiing, I gather the sushi restaurant in the village is a popular place to go. Also the Starbucks!
Overall, the ski resort has got it all and makes you feel totally pampered. Everything is easy and luxurious and comfortable. The perfect place for a ski holiday.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.