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“OK property; disappointing on multiple levels” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

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The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe
Ranked #2 of 14 Hotels in Truckee
Certificate of Excellence
Half Moon Bay, California
Level Contributor
29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“OK property; disappointing on multiple levels”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

I booked my most recent stay, for five nights, at this property using Ritz points. First the property had Mountain View rooms available on points online, then they vanished from being able to be booked via points (over a 5 minute period). I called the hotel directly and was informed that there were plenty of these rooms available but they weren't bookable via points any longer and nobody knew why. Not to worry, I was told, due to low occupancy, there will be plenty of rooms available and we'll "put you first in line for a complimentary upgrade"; I've got Gold Elite status and stay 50 nights a year at Ritz and Marriott properties. Ok, that sounds great! Well, I emailed our concierge just to confirm before our arrival. Well, they can't confirm before the arrival but there will be these rooms available for a "paid upgrade"... Ok, fine. Paid is fine but I want to make sure we get a view. We arrive at the hotel early... There are none of these mountain view rooms available at all. The room we got is a Deluxe Room with a view of the road and delivery trucks. Very disappointing. I'd not recommend a Deluxe Room at all, to anyone. Road noise, truck noise, snow blowing equipment, road clearing equipment early morning, and not a great view. Also, the balcony is non-existent. It's about 18" deep; like standing on a ledge off of your room. You may choose to jump after being woken up by snow clearing gear.

The service staff at this property are phenomenal! I have nothing but great things to say about the door staff, the wait staff, and Manzanita has amazing food and exceptional service. I'll do that review separately because I don't want to tarnish Manzanita by being apart of this property. That restaurant could stand alone almost anywhere in the World and be a great restaurant.

The next disappointment is the Gondola. Apparently the Gondola's have been closed most of the year. It doesn't stop this Ritz from listing it as a feature on the web site. I'd have never stayed here knowing that the only way to get to NorthStar was via a 15 minute car ride. Without Northstar, there is only really one restaurant on property (not counting the lounge) and no matter how great a restaurant, you probably don't want to eat there for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner everyday. These guys would rather have their door staff and bell staff driving people all day up and down the hill to get to Northstar rather than just pay to open the Gondola? That has to cost more in gas and lost service at front of house! I asked around and apparently it's a financial issue (more like bad management). This property is failing financially (bank owned) and they can't afford to work a deal with NorthStar to open the Gondola. One of the house cars picked us up from The Northstar Village and they were dropping off 8 people! 8 people! In an Escalade! It was like a clown car more than a town car. What a waste. This shows in other areas as well. There are the little touches that are missing here that are standard at other great Ritz Carlton properties like Half Moon Bay, Laguna Niguel, Central Park, etc. This property feels a lot more like a Marriott with a great restaurant.

My vote wouldn't be to stay here again because of the lack of the Gondola working and also because the reservation process was lousy and mismanaged and the Deluxe room is far from Deluxe. Also, my wife booked a Spa appointment today for an 80 minute massage. We were told that the Spa was offering discounts "up to 50%" booked Sun-Wed. Well, it turns out that the only time slot that was available was from 11-2pm and in that window, the discount is not offered but they did extend a 10% discount. Smells bad and feels gamey. It doesn't say "discounts except from 11-2". You get the feeling that if her appointment was at 3, it would have been, "discounts except from 12-3".

Overall, my recommendation is to stay somewhere else nearby. The Hyatt at Incline Village is a great property close-by to everything and equal in quality and nicer in some ways.

Room Tip: Mountain View Room or Mountain View Suite. Don't book any other room type. Make sure the Gondola...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank alex_fielding
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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654 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (171)
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English first
Dublin, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

My husband and I went back over the Veteran's Day weekend to celebrate both our birthdays. Like last year, we had a very nice time, however, I was disappointed in the gift shop and their lack of supply of personal products. Normally, hotels would have a shop with snacks, gifts,personal products, etc. On our departure date, I needed to purchase women products. When we went to the gift shop all they had was a small basket with sample sized products. I recommend if you go, that you bring enough of aspirin, stomach meds, tampons, etc. just in case. I asked the lady there if she had a particular item that most hotel gift shops would have and she said no. My husband and I went to drug store on the way home. I know this is a high end hotel, however, they should have these types of products especially if its snowing and you don't want to leave the property to buy it elsewhere.

  • Stayed November 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
Helpful?
1 Thank cstillwell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
21 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012 via mobile

The food here was amazing. It was honestly some of the best food I've had at any hotel. I can't speak to the cost of it, however, but the quality was great. Eve things that they represented as basic box lunches were really amazing.

I'm a platinum Marriott guy and have states at many top marriotts and ritz hotels but this was truly a world class experience.

Rooms were dead silent, bed was great. Tv was good.

The drive up to this place is a bit much but I wouldn't factor that into my review, many people want this isolation and its the only way you can get this kind of location.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mike_Austin74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miramar, FL
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

OMG is all I can say ! It was beautiful! The service was as always out of this world ! We had a top floor, 2 Queen bed room facing the pool and mountain. It had breathtaking views. I would highly recommend it. It actually snowed when we got there and the kids loved it. They had nightly s"mores by the firepit. They have a hotel car that takes you down (for free) to the nearby Northstar village. Breakfast at Manzanitas was a little expensive BUT DELICIOUS and very filling, no need to have lunch. I would recommend this hotel to all my friends and family. You must take the drive around Lake Tahoe, what beautiful views and wonderful, relaxing drive.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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
Helpful?
2 Thank yvettecarrero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SANTA ROSA
Level Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

This hotel is like something out of a movie. It's beauty sits nestled back against the mountain. Very warm & cozy. The only drawback would be the lack of food options. The restaurants are very, very, expensive! The Club Level lounge is only open during the winter.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CMW415
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

With its busted budgets and larcenous tax rates, California seems an unlikely place to find one of North America's best mountain resorts, but here it is -- about four hours east of San Francisco, just outside the town of Truckee: The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe. It's perched on the side of a mountain like an enormous Bavarian castle. It feels deliciously isolated. The views are of sheer ski runs, tranquil mountain meadows, and verdant fog-shrouded valleys. Think the famous helicopter shot that opens the movie "Sound of Music." Looking out the giant picture windows of the public rooms, one expects to see Heidi coming down a trail, piping her goats. The guest rooms are comfortable, tastefully decorated, and super clean. The spacious bathrooms extend a luxury worthy of the Ritz-Carlton brand. Our stay happened to coincide with the San Francisco Giants playing the fourth game of the World Series. Curiously, the only bar with a TV was quite small. It sat ten, to be exact. Meanwhile, the much larger bar in the restaurant went virtually empty that night. Am I a proponent of turning every luxury hotel's oak-beamed taproom into a sports bar? Hardly. But be forewarned: If you are with a group and intending to see a sports event on TV, you'll have to fight the other hotel guests for precious real estate in the lobby bar, or settle for watching the game in your room. Enough about digital distractions. This hotel is about serenity, romance, and connecting with the mountains. As such, it's a wonderful getaway no matter what the season. (If you book it right, you can get a highly competitive rate during certain "shoulder season" months -- October, for example.) The on-site restaurant, Manzanita, is stunning. It's worthy of patronage for breakfast, lunch, and especially dinner. The menu selections will keep you engrossed for days in a row, if necessary. The service in the restaurant is attentive and appropriately friendly. Watching the chefs at work in the large, open kitchen, you'll feel like you're privy to a lavishly choreographed culinary ballet. And you are. If a Ritz-Carlton stay is within your budget, I highly recommend the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe. Paying California taxes makes me feel like a serf. Two days at this hotel made me feel like a king.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank eric p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
65 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

The rooms are very nice, but what most impressed us was the expansive, and useful, common areas. Lovely places to sit, have a snack or a drink. The understated elegance suited us much more than the usual glitz at some of the Ritz Carlton's we have stayed at in Florida. The staff is very nice and we enjoyed the hotel's gondola. It is a short drive to the lake.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CT-and-JJ
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

Property: The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe
Address: 13031 Ritz-Carlton Highlands Court, Truckee, CA 96161-4306
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:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Truckee
#1 Luxury Hotel in Truckee
#1 Business Hotel in Truckee
#2 Family Hotel in Truckee
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe 5*
Number of rooms: 171
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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