“Front desk issues, noise problems, broken heating, inadequate bedding outweigh location and renovated units”
Positives: the decor is nice. There's no dining area other than a counter and the suite we stayed in would not be navigable for a heavy person, but we're lean and don't mind eating at a breakfast bar, so the 1 bedroom suite we stayed in was pleasant, with a new-ish kitchen area and spacious bathroom. Recommend a roof box on your car if you're here to ski bec there's nowhere to store skis in the units. The outdoor pool is a treat; but there are concerns about cleanliness bec it's tiny, hot (really a giant hot tub), and guests aren't asked to shower before entering. Bonus: the hotel is only a few minutes drive from Ramshead lift.
The reason for the low rating is primarily a front desk staffer named Emi (Emmy?). it's not because we couldn't sleep the first night, when we were assigned a 1-bedroom unit in the basement. We were in an end unit where the mechanicals wrap around the building and the vibrations kept us up. Also, there was a fire drill that sent our kids running through the basement halls in their pyjamas, In the morning, no sleep either, due ski boots and jumping kids in the unit above us. So - with all the gear and groceries that come with two kids - we had to move to another room the next morning. As a result, we missed 1/2 the morning of skiing. Too bad we couldn't get the staff to move us, but when there are no in-room safes and the hotel states they aren't responsible for items in rooms, it would be foolish to head off to the mountain and hope your jewellry, new lap-top, dsi, a blackberry and four of the most valuable passports in the world didn't get lost in the shuffle - and it's not as if you can carry it all in your pocket while you ski. I should also mention that the first unit they gave us was not secure either; it had a door with direct outside access and it had been broken into - the area above and below the lock was carved straight thru with a crude knife and the daylight literally shone through in two places where it has been jimmied. Again, not a place to leave valuables while you ski.
So the 1 bdrm suite they moved us to was an improvement in that there was no noise. Also, it was the same room they showed us when we first stopped in to see if there was availability (yes, a bait and switch). The unit was cold, but staff assured us it would warm up through the night. Wrong. That's when we realized the beds are poorly dressed. Most ski places you get a duvet; at North Star it's just a thin motel-style coverlet. So that was night 2 with no sleep. The next day they gave us two plug-in space heaters. Later, Rick the maintenance man fixed the heat in the bedroom. Rick, by the way, was very capable and pleasant. Thanks Rick! The living room area seemed to develop the opposite problem - heat was either full on or full off. They hotel offered to move us again but 3 moves in a five night stay with kids and groceries? What kind of a vacation is that? Not to mention the value of again losing two hours on 4 lift tickets during best part of the ski day - more than the cost of the room.
At no point did staff offer any sort of compensation for two sleepless nights, a cold suite, lost skiing, but our family was ceaselessly pleasant. We requested nothing until check out, when I suggested one of the five nights should be complimentary - a modest request given any decent establishment would have have AUTOMATICALLY removed both nights of charges from our bill. As another recent reviewer has said, we suddenly had a fight on our hands. Our interface was Emi, whose is in such sore need of customer service training that we would not stay at North Star again as long as she is under their employ. She refused to pass along to management my request for a SINGLE night's compensation, was repeatedly sarcastic, siad she "work(s) for North Star, not you." I finally spoke to another woman with some decision-making ability on the phone, who ungraciously conceded a night's charge "Because you're not going to go away unless I do, are you?" Emi didn't try to contain her irritation about being overruled. "Oh my god. She COMPED you? It's only because you made us." What followed was a parody of poor interpersonal skills and an anger management problem. You'd think the money had come out of Emi's own pocket, but she is merely an employee who genuinely enjoys dispensing negativity. Too bad, the guy behind the desk the night before was so pleasant, it's hard to believe they work at the same hotel. Maybe Emi and the management-level woman on the phone should spend some time working shifts with him, and North Star can hope some of it rubs off. Unfortunately, these two woman make a return visit unthinkable. We understand that there are sometimes reasons for room changes or mechanical difficulties; what we can't understand is an operation that tolerates adversarial attitudes in those who represent it at the front of the house.
Food: We didn't eat there because the restaurant was completely empty and served only chicken fingers and burgers. However, we had nice meals in restaurants a short drive away - such as Sushi Oshi and the Back Behind Restaurant.
Don't accept a room below lobby level. Call it what they will - it's a basement with noise...
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.