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.
- 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