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The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe
Ranked #2 of 13 Hotels in Truckee
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“So convenient!”
Reviewed February 3, 2010

The service was excellent , particularly the Mountain Concierge who, I kid you not, literally put on my children's ski boots for them. Our skis were whisked from our car upon arrival then magically waiting us when we stepped out the door to ski the next morning. It took all the hassle out of getting to the mountain and schlepping equipment. We never got into our car the whole weekend.
The food was also excellent. We stayed on the Club Level which included access to a lounge area that had delicious food awaiting us at all times of the day. Manzanita was also very, very good.
The whole staff is very kid-friendly and there is a nice, casual vibe to the place, even if it is a Ritz Carlton.
Of course the highlight has to be the outdoor heated pool, particularly if you are traveling with kids.
The downside to this hotel is that it is attached to Northstar. Northstar has a lot of improving to do to match this hotel. My principal complaint is that there are not enough lifts, making the lines horrendous. My second complaint is that there is one green run, besides the bunny area, making it a poor choice if there are any beginners in your party.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank westportal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Saratoga, CA
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2010

My husband and I went for a mid week treat after a week of steady snow and would have extended our stay had it not been such a disappointment. The resort itself is absolutely beautiful, but they sure are in trouble. They can't hold a candle to Four Seasons! Rooms are nice, but the noise from grooming machines and the gondola kept us awake at night. The service and food at Manzanita was AWFUL. We had visited the resort in early December and had a spectacular (though SLOW) dinner there, but since then it has crashed. The food was nothing near what it should be, particularly given the cost. We waited almost an hour for our entrees to be delivered and there were several tables near us tapping their fingers on the table awaiting theirs as well. They have plenty of servers, but it is obvious management is not up to the task and training (which is so important i.e. Four Seasons) was non-existent. Management is indifferent and makes no effort to help out. I don't know who they think they are!

Breakfast, which was included in our expensive package, consisted of cold eggs, cold oatmeal, blueberries delivered after oatmeal consumed, cold tea and luke warm coffee. Next day, stale bagles, cold eggs again and over an hour to get our meal. It spoiled the start of an otherwise great skiing day. Ritz, please note, breakfast guests want a hot meal served quickly, so they can get on the slopes. There were lots of servers, but not once were the two entrees delivered at the same time. Again, training!!! Management chatting, smiling, but doing nothing to rectify the obvious problems!

We had reserved dinner at Manzanita for each night of our stay but cancelled after the first disasterous night. Afterward, we took the gondola down to the village for dinner. We would have preferred to eat in the Living Room near the fireplace, but it was packed with skiiers (with all their equipment, clothing, boots, etc. etc.). Besides, who wants to eat from a coffee table? I must say, however, the food and menu there is far superior to Manzanita!

Spa was great, though much too expensive. I agree with everyone else that the toiletries in the rooms leave a great deal to be desired. Get with the rest of the 5 star world folks and give us Four Seasons amenities!

All in all, not sure we'd ever go again. I don't mind paying premium $ for 5 stars and great attitudes from people who really care and really try, but this Ritz is, at best, a 3 star and MUCH too expensive for what you get and how you are treated.

BTW, I asked for a Guest Comment Card when checking out so that I could express my disappointment to management and was told they do not have any Guest Comments Cards. A gentleman, who appeared to be a Manager, was sometimes walking around near the front desk, but he made absolutely no attempt to engage with any of the guests. Again, TRAINING!!!

Final point, they allow dogs. Nice, but the one in the room near us barked all day! Another day, we suffered through hammering from the new floors being installed in the residential quarters on the floor above. The hotel was not full, so if they knew this work was going to be done why put someone in the room directly below?

I hope someone from Ritz Carlton reads these comments and takes steps to fix these issues in an otherwise beautiful, magical location.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mocosar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2010

We stayed for three nights (Jan 15/16/17).
The hotel had been open about a month.
First of all the position is great. You can ski in and out.
This is all that is good.
Problems:
We booked 2 queens. like the previous reviewer, we checked in (at 4 p.m.) and were told we had a king. We had two large teenage boys with us. No roll away available. No apology. Offer of the 'feather bed' which turned out to be a padded mattress protector. After an hour of standing around waiting for the grumpy woman at the desk to do something, we gave up, pulled airbeds from the car and made do. They refused to give us extra bedding!!! For $500 night?
Our rate included breakfast. We ate downstairs both mornings. Nice breakfast, really pleasant staff. So SLOW! The boys stuffed down half their food and ran to make their boarding lesson. We were there over an hour at 7.30-8.30.
I agree completely about the coffe shop. Stuffed with families trying to eat at low tables. Slow service in restaurant, orders muddled.
Poor toiletries.
Valet everything expensive.
Housekeeping supposed to come twice daily but one day didn't come at all until I called.
Finally our bill had two spa treatments (not ours) someone else's bar bill and an extra night!
Really apalling and we won't stay there again especially as opening the hotel seems to have pushed Northstar beyond capacity: long lift lines (even with vertical plus) crowds everywhere.
We spent a week before Christmas at Bear Valley...now there was a nice experinece and 6 nights in a really comfy house with beautiful view, hot tub under the stars, lift tickets and eating out most meals? Half the price of three days at the Ritz and Northstar. And no lines and friendly helpful people.
We'll be voting with our feet and wallets.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank phidias1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Ramon, CA
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2010

Our family decided to splurge this holiday season with a getaway that would keep us closer to home. We knew that the Ritz Carlton Highlands was newly opening in early December, and it would be reasonable to expect some start-up operational glitches. However, I became slightly apprehensive when my pre-arrival email inquiries went unanswered until I followed up with a phone call the day before we arrived. I wanted to get details about fitness classes at the gym, Ritz Kids program offerings and spa appointments, but apparently there was no information available that anyone could give me. At check-in, I asked the front desk attendant for the the same information; she assured me that she would call my room immediately after I settled in with the information that I requested. She never called, and it took over an hour for our luggage to be brought up to our room (and the hotel was not even crowded on the night of our arrival). However, Kate from the Ritz Kids program did do a remarkable job of finding activities for my daughter (who could not ski due to a recent cheerleading injury). And the spa, although pricey, did offer special pricing during certain hours. Monique gave my daughter and me peppermint pedicures that were among the best we've ever had.

We had booked a family getaway package that included a breakfast dining credit, valet parking, resort and other fees along with the room rate. Manzanita needs to work out some inconsistencies in its menu pricing, especially their lack of a children's menu at breakfast. Otherwise, we enjoyed the quality of the food, and the breakfast dining manager was very friendly and accommodating. We were surprised to find out at check-out that the dining credit included with our package was actually more than what had been told to us by the front desk at check-in, meaning that we had left some dining credits unused during our stay. Oh well.

The overall hotel premises and location are unbeatable, and almost worth the premium that you pay to stay at a Ritz Carlton. However, among other minor glitches, at check-out, we discovered that the hotel invoice charged us for resort fees that were supposed to already be included with our package. Of course, these fees were removed as soon as I asked about them, but I did have to figure out that I was being overcharged (the invoice was confusing). So, do double check what you are expecting against what you actually get when booking a package there.

Would we stay again? Our kids, who actually really enjoy our occasional family splurges at fancy hotels like the Ritz Carlton, were a bit ambivalent. They would be just as happy staying in Northstar Village next time.

Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank d2c2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
socal
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 21, 2010

Usually I love the Ritz but this one is still working out the kinks. We stayed during Christmas week and it was beautiful - ski-in/ski-out. But the service was not up to usual Ritz standards. We requested a rollaway bed when we reserved the room, but it wasnt delivered until we asked again at 5pm. The room was not cleaned when we returned from skiing at 4pm. And the little cafe is great location for lunch away from the ski cafeteria, but they were slow and unorganized. we requested medium-well burgers and got meat that was cooked rare. The ski valet is nice, but no where near the service you get at Stein Eriksen Lodge...On the plus side, they did allow us to check in early and check out a couple hours late. The bar and seats around the big fireplace was always at capacity apres-ski. But the fitness center is outstanding- clean and well-equipped. Parking fee is high, but the valet service was excellent. I'm sure they will be much better in a few months.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SoCalTravelmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2010

We booked a 3 night stay over MLK holiday weekend. I think the hotel has been open just under 1 month. This may have been the 1st time it was fully booked.
Upon arrival, we were greeted warmly by the valet guys and one especially nice lady that walked us up the stairs to the Front Desk. I didn't catch her name but she is the only blonde female that hangs out in the freezing cold with the valet guys.
The front desk lady, I think her name is Debra or Debi, was not as warm or caring as the usual Ritz employees. She seemed indifferent that we were getting a King bed instead of 2 Qns as requested. I am traveling with my husband and 2 sons (6 & 2 yo). I asked for a roll-away bed and she said they have all been assigned. She offered a feather-bed cover that was to be set up on the floor in our room. That was the best she could offer. She said we may get a roll-away bed the next day.
When we got to our room, the feather bed was not set-up as promised. We had to call housekeeping. This 'featherbed' is the same cover they put over the mattress. There is no cushioning or padding to make it softer when sleeping on the floor.
I think it is RIDICULOUS to ask guests who are paying over $550/ngt to sleep on the floor. If you can't put us in a double bed room as requested, then have ENOUGH roll away beds to make up for it. *Tip for the hotel: You need to re-configure more rooms to double Qns and less King bed rooms. I noticed a lot of families were staying at the hotel. You would rather have more beds than be short and asks guests to sleep on the floor!
Ironically, in our room there was a Travel Magazine with a Q&A section. A guy wrote in asking what he can do about his situation with Hotwire. He had booked a room with Hotwire stating he needed a room for 3 adults. Hotwire had agreed to book him a room that would sleep 4 adults. At check-in, the hotel only gave him a room with a King bed. No roll-away was available. One person had to sleep on the floor. The magazine contacted Hotwire and Hotwire realized they had goofed and offered him $300. I found the story very similar to my situation, except I booked directly with Ritz and no one at Ritz was offering me anything for my inconvenience.
We had in-room dining several times during our stay. The first time was for breakfast and that was goofed. I called at around midnite to let them know I had a breakfast order and I had filled out the card and it was hanging on my door. I didn't want to read the order over the phone as my kids and hubby were asleep (on the floor!). The lady said she will send someone to get it. Well, the next morning at 8am, I am wondering if our breakfast was going to arrive. I check outside our door and my order card is still dangling from the handle! I phone in-room dining and the guy apologizes (it wasn't his fault) and offer to rush it and comp it.
The next breakfast order, they completely forgot half the order. Again, I phoned in, and it was rushed and comp. I guess these are the growing pains!
We ate at Manzanita for dinner. Excellent service and I like the Food&Bev manager coming around and asking how everything is going. He asked about our stay and I mentioned how my hubby and son are sleeping on the floor. He was surprised and said it was 'duely noted'. Not sure if he could do anything, but he did bring out a complimentary dessert. Nice touch.
On the 2nd night, I encountered Deborah, or Debi. Same unfriendly lady at Front Desk. I asked her if a roll away bed has become available, and she said nope. Then I requested a DVD player be sent to our room. She said it will be done. Well, that never happened. We waited and waited. Then decided it wasn't worth following up on.
Overall, we never got a rollaway, and my hubby and son slept on the floor for 3 nights. We had to make the floor-bed at night and put it away in the morning. How fun. All the while we were paying $550+/night. I feel that a hotel who charges that much a night should value their customers and send an employee to get a mattress or cushion. I know the Four Seasons would do that!
BTW, the toiletries at Ritz are crap. The lotion was so thin and the smell was not that pleasant. The Ritz should follow Four Season and partner up with L'Occitane. Bring some NICE lotions and soaps into the rooms.
Some positives about the hotel:
-great location. Mid mountain with free gondola rides to the village.
-nice gym. everything is new and clean. they offer 1-2 classes a day.
-most of the employees are great! again, the blonde lady at the valet station remembered our names on the 2nd day!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sunramon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The West
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2010

Vacations are meant for indulgence. The ambience and rooms at The Highland Ritz Carlton are perfect. The dining experience needs a major upheavel. The only casual eatery (other than a take out type market) is in the lobby.. There you find every coffee table burdened down with families trying to eat a meal hovering over low tables not intended for a real meal. In the dining room 1/2 glasses of wine are offered which seemed perfect for the middle of a ski day. Unfortunately they deliver a full glasss and charge you accordingly. An albacore salad is nothing more than a slice of sashimi on a meager piece of lettuce. The dessert we ordered was not delivered. After all of the "goofs" we felt exhauated. It was as if we'd spent the day at work explaining what we ordered and what we actually received. Not an experience I'm likely to repeat or recommend,

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank austrianpine
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 Business Hotel in Truckee
#1 Romantic Hotel in Truckee
#1 Luxury 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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