This was our first visit to the Ritz, and I was admittedly a bit nervous about the stay, after having read that the hotel's ownership transferred hands at a fraction of the building's original construction costs. I questioned whether the Ritz' customer service would be compromised.
But I was pleased to find everyting as it should be ... the room was beautifully appointed; the hotel’s atmosphere was comfortably luxurious but without ostentation; and the staff was friendly and accommodating, without being obsequious or – worst – in any way arrogant.
We had to change rooms shortly after our arrival and the Guest Services (reception staff and bell service) was gracious and helpful. After we relocated rooms, I left an item behind and, again, Housekeeping was able to find and move it back to my new room without fuss.
The best part about the stay (in addition to the service) is the ultimate convenience of being able to ski-in and ski-out of the patio and buy lift tickets or rent from True North, operated by Northstar (which I wasn't pleased with, but that's another review). In addition, for little ones, the area immediately surrounding the outdoor patio (complete with its own firepit) is perfect for building snow things (snowmen, snow forts, you name it). And for those parents, like me, who are just watching the little ones or waiting for family members to return from a day on the slopes, the firepit area was a perfect location for keeping warm while sipping a drink and reading.
We decided to dine in at Manzanita, the hotel's restaurant, on Saturday night to avoid the crowds and chaos down at the Village during the peak of the weekend. I half-expected it to consist of what every parent dreads - an upscale restaurant that catered to childless empty-nesters who frown with every squeal from a delighted child. But I was pleasantly surprised to find it to be filled with the noisy laughter of families (with young ones like mine) having a good time and enjoying wonderfully prepared food.
While we didn't bring our dog, we did see other families with dogs at the hotel - and it was nice to know that they are dog friendly. Next time, our four-legged "first child" will definitely come along.
The only major disappointment was the fact that the Ritz did not offer a buffet-style breakfast for its guests. In past years, we rented at the Hyatt Residence Club down at the Village, and one of the best amenities they offered was a full-spread complimentary breakfast. It took the stress out of the daily need to decide what/how to feed a family without having to worry about getting a table, waiting for food, and paying the bill.
Aside from that and a few minor nits about the size of the in-room refrigerator for storing special juices and the complications of operating a non-integrated DVD-player, we loved our stay and wished we had more time here.
- 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