Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Ski-in/ski-out access and plenty of amenities draw families and ski junkies alike
The family-friendly Northstar-at-Tahoe is located within the picturesque Village at Northstar, the hub of activity for the ski resort. The four-pearl hotel combines luxe rooms with easy access to the slopes for skiing and snowboarding in the winter, and mountain biking, fishing, golf, and hiking in the summer.
The hotel's rooms are spread throughout the Village in separate buildings including the Iron Horse Lodge, Great Bear Lodge, Catamount Lodge, Big Horn Lodge, and One Village Place. Guests park in the heated underground garage, which helps keep walking to a minimum and offers shelter from winter weather -- a great convenience in this land of big snows.
Many upscale shops and restaurants populate the ground-level floors of the various lodges, making for a self-contained shopping mall with a variety of culinary options including pizza, sushi, and fine dining. The centerpiece of the Village is an ice-skating rink (roller skating in summer) with several fire pit. There are also many kids' activities and an adventure park to keep the little ones occupied.
Soakers and swimmers will enjoy the modern (built in 2010) heated saline pool (big enough for laps), wading pool, and Jacuzzis. There are more Jacuzzis near the lodges for sore-muscled skiers, and two fitness centers, too. For further relief and relaxation, the Balance Holistic Health Spa is a wellness center on-site that offers sports massages, yoga, and day-spa services.
Celebs such as Paul McCartney can often be spotted in the Village, as Northstar is a popular ski resort for the well-heeled. In 2011, the ski resort was named "Shaun White's new home mountain" to honor the gold-medalist snowboarder and his selection of Northstar as his primary training facility.
Nine miles from Lake Tahoe
The lodging of Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort is located nine miles west of Lake Tahoe at the base of Northstar mountain and in the Village at Northstar.
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.
Big, modern, luxe rooms, and ski lockers for storing snow gear
Tahoe Mountain Resorts Lodging offers luxe rooms within six separate buildings in the Village at Northstar. Kitchens, iPod stereos, gas fireplaces, balconies, and washer/dryers combine with a contemporary California look to make for comfortable and modern rooms. Because each unit is privately owned and decorated, styles vary -- but granite counters and lodge-style wood furniture can be found in most units. Views will vary between a Village scene, the forest, or the ski slopes.
Ski-in/ski-out access, heated pool, multiple Jacuzzis, and plenty of seasonal activities
The four-pearl Tahoe Mountain Resorts Lodging offers direct access to Northstar-at-Tahoe ski resort, with plenty of nearby upscale shopping and dining found via cobblestone streets. Housed in separate lodges in the quaint Village at Northstar, the spacious, luxe rooms include kitchens, surround-sound TV systems, and fireplaces. A heated pool, underground parking, and the beautiful mountain setting are added bonuses. However, it can be difficult to find a room here in winter, and rates may increase depending on availability.