Granlibakken Conference Center and Lodge Rating: 2.5 Pearls
Tahoe City, Lake Tahoe, California

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Peaceful forest setting near Tahoe City
  • Full-service spa on-site
  • Heated outdoor pool and Jacuzzi
  • Free hot breakfast buffet served daily
  • Hiking trails, ski hill, and a snow-play area nearby
  • Well-equipped conference facilities
  • Freebies include Wi-Fi and self-parking

Cons

  • No fitness center
  • Sprawling property means lots of walking required between certain rooms and main hotel

Bottom Line

The upper-mid-range Granlibakken Conference Center & Lodge has a quiet, forested location outside Tahoe City. A huge variety of rooms makes the Granlibakken ideal for conferences and family gatherings, though some rooms are older than others and in need of an update. The spa is perfect for a relaxing getaway, while the plethora of on-site activities -- including hiking trails, a ski hill, and a snow-play area -- are ideal for families.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

A secluded forest setting

The Granlibakken Lodge and Conference Center
The Granlibakken Lodge and Conference Center

The Granlibakken’s secluded forest location outside Tahoe City gives guests the chance to feel the natural quiet of the Sierra Nevada Mountains while being only minutes from dining and shopping at Lake Tahoe. The property is big -- 74 acres -- with many buildings scattered about, so guests should be prepared to do a fair bit of walking to get from rooms to the main hotel or heated pool.

The 160 rooms range in size including studios, suites, townhouses, and even multi-room lodges. Meeting spaces are also varied, from a 16,000-foot conference center to the intimate Executive Lodge. Perhaps because of this, the hotel primarily caters to scientific conventions and academic conferences, but is also well-suited for families or wedding parties.

A free hot breakfast is included with all rooms, and lunch and dinner buffets are arranged by request. The Cedar House Pub serves drinks in the evening, with both indoor and outdoor seating (weather permitting).

For skiers, a small ski run is available along with a ski school. And the spa offers basic massages and treatments for some post-ski pampering. Tennis courts are available in the summer months, and several trails including the Tahoe Rim Trail are reached on foot from the hotel, providing plenty of ways to stay active.

 Location

1 mile from Tahoe City and Lake Tahoe

The Granlibakken is located 1 mile west of Tahoe City, featuring many restaurants and shops. A 4-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended here in winter. (Self-parking is free.) Shuttle service is available to the Reno Airport for a fee, but reservations are required.

Lake Tahoe is one of the premier 4-season destinations in the country, offering a beautiful combination of clear skies, heavy winter snows, and the blue lake waters backed by the picturesque Sierra Nevada Mountains. Tahoe is an outdoor-lover's paradise offering activities such as camping, fishing, kayaking, white-water rafting, rock-climbing, golfing, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and snowboarding.

With winter snow often measuring 300-500 inches annually, the ski resorts at Tahoe are among the most reliable and exciting in the country. Known for steep vertical drops, open bowls, and some challenging terrain (along with family-friendly runs), Tahoe's collection of ski resorts draws thousands each winter. Despite the snowy conditions, the area usually gets more than 300 sunny days a year. But because of the snow, a 4-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended here in winter.

Lake Tahoe is divided across California and Nevada, with 70 percent in California. Because of this, Tahoe is generally spoken of as two distinct areas, North and South Lake Tahoe. South Tahoe is known for its gambling (which is legal in Nevada) and nightlife, while North Tahoe is generally quieter with more of a " mountain personality."

When traveling to the area there are some things to keep in mind: The elevation of the lake is more than 6,000 feet, and the ski resorts surrounding the lake have runs that begin at 10,000 feet. Be careful when engaging in physical activity before acclimating, which usually takes a couple days, as the thin air means the body will need to work harder.

Also, black bears have become a persistent problem around Lake Tahoe. They often break into parked cars and empty buildings looking for food, and are even sophisticated enough to recognize coolers and other signs of food by peering into windows. It's best to remove all food, toiletries, and anything else that may stimulate a bear's keen sense of smell from your vehicle while staying overnight at Tahoe. No locked door or window will stand up to a hungry bear looking for free Cheetos or a sandwich.

  • 1-hour drive to the Reno/Tahoe Airport
  • 2-hour drive to Sacramento Airport
  • 15-minute drive to Tahoe City at Lake Tahoe
  • 15-minute drive to Alpine Meadows ski resort
  • 25-minute drive to Truckee
  • 30-minute drive to Emerald Bay at Lake Tahoe
  • 30-minute drive to Incline Village
  • 35-minute drive to Northstar-at-Tahoe resort
  • 1-hour drive to South Lake Tahoe

 Rooms

Wide variety of rooms and lodges

The 3-Bedroom Townhome at the Granlibakken Lodge and Conference Center
The 3-Bedroom Townhome at the Granlibakken Lodge and Conference Center

The Granlibakken offers 160 rooms in a variety of configurations including large townhouses and individual units. The age of the rooms varies, so styles will also vary (though expect fairly standard, and nothing-special, lodge-style decor). All rooms are accessed by exterior entries and have lovely views of the forest surroundings.

  • Flat-screen TVs with DVD players
  • Coffeemakers
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Some rooms have fireplaces
  • Many rooms contain kitchenettes or full kitchens
  • Not all rooms have safes; safes are available at the front desk

 Features

Plenty of amenities to keep guests active, and business travelers happy

Ski Hut at the Granlibakken Lodge and Conference Center
Ski Hut at the Granlibakken Lodge and Conference Center
  • Heated outdoor pool (seasonal) and Jacuzzi
  • Tennis courts
  • Ski hill and snow play area with ski school
  • Hot buffet breakfast
  • Free self parking
  • Walking distance to Tahoe Rim Trail
  • Free bike rental
  • Excellent conference facilities
  • View Full List of Amenities

 Food

Free breakfast buffett and a pub for evening meals

Breakfast Area at the Granlibakken Lodge and Conference Center
Breakfast Area at the Granlibakken Lodge and Conference Center
  • All guests receive a full buffet breakfast daily. Lunch and dinner buffets are available by prior arrangement.
  • The Cedar House Pub serves drinks, sandwiches, and burgers daily in the evenings

 Bottom Line

The upper-mid-range Granlibakken Conference Center & Lodge has a quiet, forested location outside Tahoe City. A huge variety of rooms makes the Granlibakken ideal for conferences and family gatherings, though some rooms are older than others and in need of an update. The spa is perfect for a relaxing getaway, while the plethora of on-site activities -- including hiking trails, a ski hill, and a snow-play area -- are ideal for families.

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 180
Pool: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Jacuzzi (in room): Some
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Hotel Information

Location: Tahoe City, Lake Tahoe
Address: 725 Granlibakken Road, Tahoe City, CA 96145
(See Map)
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