May 5, 2011

The Ritz Carlton, Lake Tahoe: Ski Paradise for Families

Today I am going to write about a amazing ski resort. Now it may seem strange that I am covering this topic when most people are pretty tired of cold weather and eagerly waiting for summer. But the fact remains, if you want to plan a family ski vacation for next Christmas or winter break, you need to think about booking it now!

There are many great ski destinations, but I have admit I am biased towards California, and specifically Lake Tahoe. The views, great weather, and abundance of local activities are hard to beat. And now families have a great option for a luxury ski vacation which will please all ages: The Ritz Carlton, Lake Tahoe.

This relatively new resort (opened December 2009) was not quite what I expected. It being a mountain lodge, I anticipated a rustic décor, including knotty pine, antlers, and Native American textiles. The Ritz Carlton, Lake Tahoe does rely heavily on outdoor themes, featuring wood, water, and gr
anite throughout the property, but it’s done in a simple, modern style with clean lines and earth tones.

Despite its modest size, only 170 rooms & suites, it offers all the services & amenities of any large resort. And perched high on the mountain above Northstar Village, it has spectacular views and true ski in/ski out access. It is literally surrounded by ski runs, and from every vantage point in the hotel (fitness center, spa, meeting space, rooms, or club lounge), skiers can be seen zipping down the slopes.

My favorite feature is the ski valet. Guests check their gear with the valet for the duration of their stay, then when ready to ski simply call ahead to have everything ready & waiting for them. Even their boots will be warmed up! Beginning skiers can hitch a ride with “The Sherpa” to mid-mountain for lessons or to access easier trails and the cross country area. (I really like cross-country skiing at Northstar. Because the trails are up on the mountain, you can get great views easy on the easy trails.)
After a day on the slopes, guests can relax in the The Living Room, with floor to ceiling windows, a large central fireplace, and bar. There is a fire pit on the terrace, with live music occasionally, and guests can purchase a s’mores kit. And the family pool is maintained at 92F in winter, offering comfortable swimming year round. For guests who want to go out, a gondola runs to the Village for shopping, dining, ice skating, and more entertainment. Staying in? Try the “Experiential Shower” in their beautiful spa, which is included in the resort fee.

All rooms are spacious, but best for families are the one bedroom suites, which have a king bed, and separate living room with sofa bed. And there are two full baths with showers, making it easy for the whole family to get cleaned up quickly after a day of skiing. All the suites connect to a room with 2 queen beds, great options for larger families, or those traveling with grandparents.

The Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe is also a great warm weather destination, with plenty of outdoor activities in the area, from fishing & kayaking to hiking and cycling. You can even take the ski lift to the top of the mountain!

To get the best rates and amenities, such as complimentary breakfast and an upgrade (based on availability), contact Suzette Mack at suzette@family-treks.com.

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