Friday, December 11, 2009
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe opened this week, perched mid-mountain at Northstar-at-Tahoe. Years ago, when I lived in San Francisco we would head up to Tahoe all the time, where I honed my turns; but also learned to play blackjack and put snow chains on my car. Tahoe was a great place to ski, because it always had tons of snow, a long ski season, and was ridiculously warm. We skied in t-shirts all the time and often went back to work after a "sick day" with a sunburn.
A few years have past and my days of sleeping in the back of our Explorer are way behind me. These days I appreciate a pillow-top mattress and a down comforter, marble bathrooms and plush robes. The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe opened just in time! It is the first luxury hotel in Tahoe and the first major build out in the mountains in years. It's located mid-mountain with a gondola serving as the main transport between the hotel and the Village at Northstar. Northstar itself is only 15 minutes north of the gorgeous Lake Tahoe and 15 minutes south of Truckee, a funky little town where we would stop for a cocktail on our way to the ski resort, or brunch on our way home.
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe is built like a mountain lodge along the lines of the Ahwahnee Lodge in Yosemite. The Ritz-Carlton has good sized guest rooms (starting at 455 sq. ft.), suites, and a club level featuring food services throughout the day. The new 8-person gondola transports guests to the Village at Northstar or you can ski out the backside of the building. You can even get a Swedish massage at the Ritz-Carlton Highlands Spa after a couple days of skiing and boarding.
Even though I've already planned a trip to Vail in January, I'm seriously considering spring skiing in Tahoe. With the new Ritz-Carlton, it's too hard to resist. Meet me there in late March!