Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A luxury resort in a picturesque moutain setting
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe is the only five-pearl resort in North Lake Tahoe and the only large resort built in the area in the last decade (the hotel opened in 2009). The setting in the mountains above Northstar-at-Tahoe resort makes it possible to ski to the slopes and then return later in the day via a large gondola. To make the skiing even easier, a team of ski valets handles gear that is stored and cleaned before being delivered back to guests when they return to the slopes.
Construction of the Ritz-Carlton was done using environmentally friendly practices such as using recycled wood and stone from the original plot of land, and as a result the resort has a silver LEED certification. Upon entering the impressive building, the lobby reveals an ascending stairway that leads to the huge Living Room, featuring three-story windows and a 55-foot fireplace tower. Views of the Martis Valley to the East are stunning, and The Highlands Bar serves drinks to guests wanting to take in the scenery or sit in the sunlight.
A 16,000-square-foot spa offers a complete range of treatments and a pair of lap pools. The hair salon has amazing views of the mountains from its chairs, and the massage rooms feature cork floors and iPod-compatible massage tables. Outside, a large heated pool and a trio of Jacuzzis remain open year-round (all pools are saline rather than chlorinated) and sit in view of the slopes.
Nine miles from Lake Tahoe near Northstar-at-Tahoe ski resort
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe is located nine miles west of Lake Tahoe near 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.
Big, modern rooms with deep soaking tubs and mountain or pool views
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers 170 lovely rooms with identical amenities including iPod dock radios, gas fireplaces, and balconies. Beds feature 400-thread-count linens and duvets. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer views of either the pool or the mountains of the Martis Valley. Bathrooms are large and feature deep soaking tubs, marble counters, and double vanities.
Excellent amenities for skiers, as well as business travelers
Three dining options on-site
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe is a five-pearl full-service resort in the mountains above Northstar-at-Tahoe ski resort. Along with luxe rooms, a huge spa, and fine dining, the Ritz-Carlton offers ski-in/ski-out access to the slopes and many other recreational activities -- including multiple outdoor pools and Jacuzzis that are open year-round. Fees abound, however, unlike at the Resort at Squaw Creek, which offers lovely rooms with no fees at a lower price point.