Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A mid-range hotel that draws an active crowd
The Larkspur Hotel Truckee is a 100-room mid-range hotel on the outskirts of Truckee, a mountain town known for outdoor recreation. Perhaps because of this, the atmosphere here is fun and active. There are plenty of on-site features to keep guests active, too -- a courtyard contains the heated pool (seasonal) and Jacuzzi, both of which are a bit small but adequate. Lounge chairs and a barbecue grill at the pool make it easy to enjoy a summertime afternoon. And for skiers with sore muscles, there's a nice sauna.
The lobby is small but leads directly to the Mountain Burrito Company, the popular on-site restaurant serving tacos, burritos, and microbrew beer. A daily free hot breakfast is served also. The setting is informal with two flat-screen TVs, a fireplace, an adjoining room with more seating, and outdoor seating beside a glass fireplace. Weekend nights tend to get lively in the lounge.
The hotel is also pet-friendly, and small touches such as a water bowl by the front door help accommodate four-legged guests.
In Truckee about six miles from Northstar-at-Tahoe ski resort
The Larkspur Hotel Truckee-Tahoe is located in the town of Truckee, about six miles from the Northstar-at-Tahoe ski resort.
Lake Tahoe is one of the premier four-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 to 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 four-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.
Feather beds, microwaves, mini-fridges, and in some cases, old tube TVs
The Larkspur Hotel Truckee-Tahoe offers 100 rooms with amenities such as mini-fridges, microwaves, iPod-docking alarm clocks, and custom feather mattresses. A 2009 renovation updated the rooms and interior spaces with all new decor and furnishings, so nothing feels too terribly dated or dowdy -- but don't expect a dazzling interior design either. The "FeatherBorne" beds are among the most comfortable anywhere and also feature high-thread-count linens. Decor includes a tan color scheme for the bedding and carpets, blonde wood furniture, and skis converted into coat racks for a nice mountain-lodge feel.
Heated pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, and fitness center
Popular Mountain Burrito Company and free breakfast
The mid-range Larkspur Hotel Truckee is close to Northstar-at-Tahoe ski resort and many outdoor recreation attractions at Truckee. The rooms are updated (with the exception of a few relic tube-style TVs), and the feather-mattress beds are super comfortable. A heated outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, free hot breakfast, and popular on-site restaurant offer guests plenty to keep them happy during their stay. Guests who prefer to be lakefront, though, might consider the similarly priced (though not as modern) Franciscan Lakeside Lodge.