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Resort at Squaw Creek
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Olympic Valley
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed December 12, 2008

We have such mixed feelings about this hotel. My wife attended a conference here and I tagged along with the hope I could ski, but, New Orleans has more snow than Squaw right now. Really. It was bare and the patches of snow on the peaks was man-made although the ski resort claimed they would open today.
The hotel does have it's own chair lift which would have been a big plus.

The hotel itself is a black series of connected rectangles on the left side of the Olympic Valley as you drive in. It's easy to miss the turn, however, once you arrive it's had to miss this 9 story hotel. We opted for self-park after off-loading because the attendant told us that valet parking was $19.00 a day. A bit steep for the Sierra's. That rip-off was our first tip off.

We got a good rate ($175 night with AAA card), but these folks tag your bill with resort fees and a series of small charges in an effort to shake every dime and nickel from your pocket before you leave. It really left a sour taste.

Apart from that there are two restaurants (that we found open), and we had some drinks and food at Sandy's Pub which is in the basement of the main building. Good food, but a bit expensive. The bartenders were young but skilled. A snow-boarding bartender named Nick was affable, engaging and made an excellent Margarita. A pint killed $5 and Sandy's had a very good selection on tap. The beer probably should have been a bit colder though.

Room service was prompt and friendly, but they tack on a tray charge along with the service charge for the room delivery. The food is already a bit expensive and as before the "hotel hostage tax" was quite a disappointment once discovered on the bill.

The room itself (a fireplace suite) was small but comfortable. There was plenty of closets but few hangers. If your tall you'll note that the ceiling are low, but there are wide and tall windows that offer a jaw dropping view of the valley or a calm overlook of the pine forest on the near mountainside. No feelings of claustrophobia with the drapes drawn back.

The heat was individually controlled or room controlled and bit like a blast furnace. The fireplace suite has a galley kitchen and was well equipped. Our room refrigerator was excellent. There are two Safeway grocery stores nearby. One about ten miles away in Truckee, and the other less than 7 miles away in Tahoe City. Stocking up there for a multi-day stay would be wise if you value your dollars. Exploring each of those towns is well worth the trip and each offer great dining, fun bars and good shopping.

The TV sets are flat screens with nice picture, but the cable service (Lodge Net..I think) leaves a lot to be desired. The sound volume adjustment is poor and the channel choices are quite limited. The primary draw to these sort of services is the long list of pay movies that they sell for the hotels along with a game cube attachment. Of course accessing the game cube comes at a price but on the other hand if your over 18 and lame enough to play video games in your room while visiting Squaw and Tahoe... then ante up.

It used to be that hotels offered better technology for television and internet than at home, but now they just do not compare to the range of residential services like fiber optics and other the digital programming that we use in our own homes. You would think that the hotels could do better, but it must be that they really prefer the revenue from the over-priced movies on the demand channels in the hotels than offering the best technology for their guests.

The room cleaning staff was quick and silent. We found our room clean upon arriving and after we returned each day. We also liked the complementary USA today newspaper delivered each morning. It's nice touch. The hotel offers free wi-fi and access was moderately quick most of the time. Certainly adequate to check e-mail. Besides the petty fees, the two biggest negatives were the showers (in a small tub) with two nozzles and the bed.

While using the showers we encountered unexpected water temperature changes during a five minute morning shower each day. From too hot to mountain stream cold in an instant then back to adequate. Also there was no vent in the shower. A fan would have been nice for bathing, however, it really is a necessity for other daily chores. Maybe equipping each bathroom some sort of air freshener would be a good idea. The bed was poor. It seemed to slope to each side. Management should explore offering beds like the Westin hotels for rooms at this comparable price point. On the plus side, the blankets and comforters were very nice and the pillows were excellent.

Despite the excessive fees, if your looking for slope-side comfort then this hotel is a good choice and a value play if you plan for your multi-day stay and make us of the suite's kitchen.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank SkiingWonder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 1, 2008

I stayed here as part of administrative support for a conference. I was picked up by the resort driver at the airport in Reno. Very nice man and avid mountain biker who gave me tips about riding in the area. Too bad I didn't have time to do any of that. Check in was a breeze. To get to the room, you had to walk through this outdoor mall of sorts (with way overpriced items- only one store to take seriously and that's where you can grab a sandwich and coffee, etc.). I can only liken the building the rooms were in to a University dorm of some sort. That's not to say it's an actual dorm, but rather it's a separate building and it turns out these are all condos that are actually for sale and most of them are rented to the hotel I guess who in turn rents them as resort rooms. Who knows really- I got the story third hand. On the inside it just looks like a heavily used hilton in need of renovation. The room had a fridge but was not stocked. No wet bar. The bed was comfortable though. The internet in the rooms was terrible. All wireless but it was very hit and miss on my apple G4's airport. Practically worthless. Back to the main hotel. It has giant conference rooms, nice and friendly staff. Also it has three restaurants- kind of a 2, 3, and 4 star category thing. My favorite was the bar downstairs. Fish and chips with a brew. Hap-hazard placed lcd screens and one older projection screen tv all washed out. Nice shuffleboard table. That was fun. There is an outdoor section to this resort has a waterfall feature leading down to pools and hot tubs, and it backs up to a golf course. I didn't have time for any of that- as I was pretty much there to work. There is a big lobby where the wireless is great. Also in that lobby is a fireplace they keep stoked. Pretty comfortable. A piano with some guy playing if you're lucky, and some chess/checkers tables with loads of comfy furniture. They are pretty good about driving folks to the airport, but interestingly enough- the day we left- three of us were in the van about 12 miles on the way to Reno- then the night manager tries to call our driver back to pick up a late passenger. Our driver was pretty anxious and we all agreed it would be okay if he could get us back to the airport in time for our 6:30 a.m. flight. So this guy spins the van around and starts heading back. We all know we're going to be late- we just sense it. Then about 2 miles into the return trip- the night manager calls back and tells us to go on because he's calling another driver. Manager tried to blame the driver, driver blamed the manager. We heard it all on the van radio. We all kind of sided with the driver since we saw his list and plus he was about to go-off on the manager. ha ha. Anyway- justice was served and we got to the airport in time. But they need a new night manager IMHO.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled on business
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Thank Randarmax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2008

Hi,

My wife and I ended up staying here because of the reviews on Trip Advisor. It was much more then we expected. Having never been to Lake Tahoe we were blown away by the scenery and the setting of the Hotel. We thought it was beautiful and had every amenity that we could think of.

The woman at the desk who checked us in was named Maribel and she suggested we upgrade to a fireplace suite. At first I thought it was the usual upsell technique, after seeing our original room we decided to go for the upgrade, contacted Maribel and she put us in a wonderful room. It had tremendous views. Calling it a room doesn't do it justice, we felt at home. It felt like your own apartment or condominium away from home. Very spacious.

The pool are and the hot tubs were very nicely heated and very well maintained. The Six Peaks Grille was excellent, the food was great. I had the venison and my wife had the Rack of Lamb.

We were sad to leave and when we go back we will go for a minimum of 3 nights, not just two.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank zuza11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2008

This hotel is first class all the way. It is the only place to stay in Tahoe in our opinions. The view is beautiful all year round. The rooms are so luxury and the staffs are so friendly. My husband and I stay here everytime we go to Tahoe. Resort at Squaw Creek is simply the BEST!

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank KCDRL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2008

We stayed there for 4 nights, at the fireplace suite, and enjoyed it so much.
The location is wonderful, the suite was spacious and clean, the stuff was willing to help and very friendly.
The weather (August) was wonderful and we enjoyed the pools a lot.
I also had a warm stones massage at their Spa, with Norah Jane, and found it relaxing and enjoyable.
The sceneries are breathtaking.
What can I say? I wish it was longer. I am looking forward to our next visit there.

  • Stayed: August 2008
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Thank Anne083
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2008

I really liked the location and the vibe at this hotel and I wouldn't hesitate to go back.

The view from the lobby is amazing, and instantly immerses you in the beauty of the valley. It definately felt like an escape. I love going to the Sierra Nevada's in the summer, and had never been to Squaw Creek. I was pleasantly suprised.

The rooms were nicely decorated and had comfortable beds. There is an unstocked minifridge and wine glasses with a bottle opener. There was free internet service (oh, but there's a resort fee).

The pools are great for young kids. Despite the breezey afternoon our two kids, 3 and 5, rode the waterslide about 20 times. My husband enjoyed a beer or two by the pool.

Service...the one issue I had. Overall it was good. I would describe the personnel as friendly, mellow surfer types (okay probably skier types), but we had a glitch at check in.

Jackie gave us the wrong room number at check in. As we walked to the end of a very long hallway, a few buildings away from the front desk, my husband carrying our sleeping three year old, we were excited when we realized our room was on the view side. YAY! I tried the door...again...and again. My frustrated husband tried the door...again...and again...now our crying three year old and dad trek back to the front desk. "Oh sorry, I wrote the wrong room number down." As dad returned, we now had a cranky three year old and no view, and a brief tiff between mom and dad. I went to the front desk, and told the story of how an easy mistake can sometimes snowball into a headache, and Jackie said, "Despite me striving towards perfection, I am imperfect." No I won't be nominating her for Resort at Squaw Creek's employee of the month.

Okay, so that is anecdotal, and I feel better just having vented to you. But I wouldn't hesitate to return. This resort affords the opportunity to enjoy the Sierra's in a great lodge atmosphere.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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Thank solomentehawaii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2008

My family (2 adults and 2 kids) stayed at the hotel with another family over the Labor Day weekend. While the location is great, and the property is very beautiful, the overall service from multiple departments was miserable.

Before I get into the service problems, let me say that I would be willing to give the hotel a 2nd chance. My family greatly enjoyed the larger size room (we stayed in a Deluxe Fireplace Valley View room), and also had a great time at the pool with its multiple jacuzzis and water slide. I live in the Sacramento area (about 1.5 hours away), and so we frequently travel to the Tahoe area to enjoy the blue sky and fresh air.

The room had a great view of the mountains. It was approx. 600 sq. feet and was comprised of two rooms - a living room with comfortable chairs and sofa, and a bedroom with a King bed. The larger than average bathroom featured a dual shower head which was nice. The room also had a small kichen. My only complaint regarding the room was that there was not enough lighting - and so the rooms were dark especially the bedroom. My recommendation is that the hotel add recessed lighting in the ceiling.

Basically, most everything was great at the hotel and met our expectations - except for one very important element.....the lack of service from the hotel staff and management.

First service problem - upon checking in, the front desk person gave my friend incorrect information about the details of his special "golf and dining" package - essentially reducing the benefits of the package. After asking to speak with the manager-on-duty, she reluctantly agreed to correct the problem so that the package details agreed with how the package was marketed on the hotel's internet site.

Second problem - The next morning (Sunday morning) at the restaurant, we were told the wait would be 20 minutes; however, it was over 90 minutes. Apparently, the hotel had sold numerous "Labor Day" packages that included free breakfast buffet; however, the restaurant did not have enough space to handle the guests, nor enough restuarant staff to handle the volume of people and turnover the tables. The anger of multiple guests could easily be heard throughout the hotel lobby as families requested to get an honest answer to their questions about wait times. It was very clear that the hostess was very confused and uncertain what to do.

Third problem - On the second morning of our stay, we again ate breakfast at the restaurant. To handle the number of guests, the hotel had adjusted by increasing their seating capacity; however, they did not appear to add any restaurant staff - so again, slow or missing service was experienced such as not getting dirty dishes cleared from the table, not getting beverages filled, having to track down the waiter for the check, etc.

I believe that the hotel was almost at capacity both nights, and that the service problem were related to understaffing; however, being full doesn't explain all of the service problems.

Fifth problem - At the spa, I treated a friend to his first massage. I made special arrangements with the spa to have my friend's treatment charged to my account as this was a "gift" to my friend. I was very precise in my instructions and even signed the spa bill which listed my room number. However, upon checking out from the hotel, I discovered that the hotel had charged the spa treatment to my friend's bill.

Sixth problem - Finally, when we went to check-out, I discovered that my bill was incorrect and that I had been overcharged by the hotel. The "billing" problem was not unique to me as the other family that was with us was overcharged by close to $1000. This overcharging was because the hotel failed to adjust the bill for items included in the special package price (e.g., valet parking, dining credit, golf credit, etc.). After discussion with the front desk, both my bill and the bill of the other family was properly adjusted. My advice would be to very carefully check your bill before leaving this hotel.

During the numerous service problems, the senior management staff of the hotel seemed to be absent. Both the dining problems and the overcharging that I experienced were significant issues, yet nobody from the senior management staff stepped forward to offer an apology - leaving us feeling unimportant to the hotel as well as feeling bad for the front line staff that were left to handle numerous angry guests.

The hotel advertises that it has a 4-star rating; however, in comparing to other 4-star resorts where I have stayed, I would only give the resort 3-stars - comprised entirely of its ambiance and the view. Perhaps the resort makes most of their money during the ski season, and so in the off-season of the summer, service is allowed to be missing.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank Alan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Resort at Squaw Creek

Address: 400 Squaw Creek Road, Olympic Valley, CA 96146-9778
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Lake Tahoe (California) > Olympic Valley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Ski-In / Ski-Out Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Olympic Valley
#3 Family Hotel in Olympic Valley
#4 Green Hotel in Olympic Valley
Price Range: $221 - $655 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Resort at Squaw Creek 3*
Number of rooms: 405
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury mountain resort located at the base of Squaw Valley USA, five miles from the shores of Lake Tahoe. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Resort At Squaw Creek Hotel Olympic Valley
Hotel At Squaw Creek
At Squaw Creek Hotel
Resort Squaw Creek
Squaw Creek Resort

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