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Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe [Master Thread]

Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe [Master Thread]

Old Nov 10, 13, 2:20 am
  #1  
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Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe [Master Thread]

don't seem to be able to find much discussion about this hotel...

we are thinking about spending a week or so in the Lake Tahoe area around Christmas, and are in particular thinking about the Ritz-Carlton. one question is, where to book: I seem to have a choice between the hotel/Ritz website itself vs. sites like whatahotel.com (which offers 4 benefits, 1. An Upgrade subj. to avail.at Check-in, 2. Continental Breakfast x 2 Daily, 3. A $100 Resort Credit, (Excl. alcohol, taxes, gratuities, True North, spa retail and Bloom Boutique), 4. Late Check-out-subject to avails.).

pro for booking via hotel/Ritz website:
- get points for the stay (quite expensive, so quite some points there)
- stay/night credit less important for me
- better treatment overall as Gold Elite (or the hotel doesn't quite care?)

pro for booking via whatahotel.com:
- free continental breakfast + USD 100 credit
- late check-out subject to availability (don't think it's available to Gold Elite esp at Ritz resorts?)

question marks:
- not sure whether the potential upgrade for Gold Elite would be better, or the "upgrade subj to avail at check in" via whatahotel.com would be better ? in general, any chance of an upgrade to Club Level, from people's experience here, esp in peak winter season ?
- did people have experience with websites like whatahotel.com? experiences on their claims about upgrade/late-check-out subject to availability...how likely are these ?
- any better way to book the stay, esp for peak winter season ? only seem to find something from whatahotel.com so far...any other potential better deals ?

thanks a lot for any advice you might be able to offer !!

(in fact, I was also debating between Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe vs. Resort at Squaw Creek too. prices are somewhat similar but it's a 450 sq ft room at Ritz while 600-700 sq ft suite at RSC. but I have also heard Ritz is certainly more luxury and you don't really need that big a room since you'll be outside often, and room/hotel "quality" is more important; and Ritz also gives me quite some Rewards points if I book via the hotel site. any personal experiences with these two resorts and comparison would be very much appreciated as well !! esp for more beginner skiers.)
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Old Nov 10, 13, 9:59 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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cant you also get points and stay credits and any gold benefits using virtuoso? I thought you could...
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Old Nov 10, 13, 11:02 am
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by JYoon View Post
cant you also get points and stay credits and any gold benefits using virtuoso? I thought you could...
I can't tell if whatahotel.com is a virtuoso agency. If it is they can definitely put your Marriott number in the reservation and you will get points. If it isn't the OP should check on making the reservation through a Virtuoso agency as they get the same benefits indicated. BTW, a club upgrade is highly unlikely under any scenario.
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Old Nov 10, 13, 8:47 pm
  #4  
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thanks !! indeed, with some more research in the past day...I now found out there's all these about Virtuoso, Ritz STARS, Signature Travel Network, etc...that give benefits similar to these and yet at the same time can earn points (and stay/night credit I assume). not bad !!
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Old Jan 7, 14, 10:23 am
  #5  
 
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While I am not a huge fan of full trip reviews of every personal detail, I do appreciate folks experience and tips when visiting hotels.
Here are some of my tips/experiences for this resort.

Recently stayed here on a points stay 12/30 - 1/2, 50k per night for NYE , ski-in ski-out, mid mountain, private gondola to village, fireworks, etc, which I deemed great value for me.
The valet is still $39 and resort fee $25, no waivers or opt outs for Plat members. Resort is absolutely awesome.

A few things:

My bed sucked. Way to firm and they have plywood(visible) between mattress and box springs with a pillow top cover. PLYWOOD! I have slept in $80 road side Fairfield Inn's with more comfortable mattresses and sleep about 175 nights a year on the road. If I spent $900 a night here as the rate indicated I would demand a 50% refund or a new room/bed ASAP. Unacceptable. Not sure if the plywood was helping or hurting the situation.

No bennies for Plats. No upgrades, lounge, food discounts or point earnings on dining. I earned 1000 points, flat rate for trip.

Went to Club Lounge to see if room key had access (I know no access at Ritz) and it did not. Got invited in by another family as a guest, LOL, and enjoyed the club level lounge for a few bites one night. From what I could tell, do not spend the money on a club upgrade. No way is it worth it at $200 per night. While the food choices were great in the lounge and unlimited of anything you could want, $200 is a lot unless a family of five could eat 2 full meals there a day.

Bring in your own alcohol and water bottles. Will save you $100 for two each night, at least for me. Also brought in some light snacks for the kiddies, saved the day.

Each room has individual Kurig machines with 2 provided small water bottles.
Housekeeping staff will provide Newman's K-Cups, small water and coffee packages at will, just ask.

The in-house coffee shop is slow and $$$, expected. $4 for a large 12oz coffee and $5 for a latte.

The food options were average. The new Backyard BBQ on the patio was really good tho. Try the homemade chips. Enjoyed going to the village for some what cheaper food options and choices. While I do not mind hotel food, it has always peed me off on the gouge. $20 for hamburger.

The outdoor pool area is very nice and a great location to watch the kids on the beginner hills. The pool is heated(not warm enough for winter) and some kids were swimming. Once the sun goes behind the mountain, its gets really cold fast.

There are free smores at 4:30 pm at the main fire pit at the Ritz.
Not sure if the adults realize that it's really for the kiddies but some adults don't want to give and inch for a 3 year old girl trying to melt her marshmallow. Big kids, adults, eat more free smores than I could ever imagine. They have different flavored marshmallows each evening.

If your kids are interested the ice skating in the Northstar Village, bring or borrow skates from home. The skate rental line is very long and sells out.
It opens at noon and the line forms at 11am each day. Crazy long.

When departing, give yourself 15 minutes for valet to get your car brought around, my experience.

If your looking to stay here and would like some ski tips then PM me, thanks,

Last edited by ZZYZXROAD; Jan 8, 14 at 6:45 am
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Old Jan 7, 14, 1:33 pm
  #6  
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Thanks for the trip report - much appreciated!

Cheers.
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Old Jan 8, 14, 1:47 am
  #7  
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Ritz does not upgrade MR elites to club level. Period. (well never say never but read the other posts in this forum and you'll get the picture. very rare.) Best deals for peak winter (outside specialty agencies) are just the lowest rates, the package deals with lift tix are not great, and remember you pay high taxes the higher the room rate.

Ritz v. Squaw Creek

Ritz is ski in/ski out at Northstar, a great family resort and probably the best manmade snow today in a rather horrible ski season (no real snow). Great for beginners and intermediate skiers, not so challenging for experts. There are plenty of dining options in the village (free shuttle to ritz) or if you have a car not too far to Truckee.

Squaw Creek is ski in/ski out at Squaw. If you are a very good skier then you would probably like Squaw better (I do) as the terrain is more challenging but right now there is no snow so maybe not a good choice this year unless snow starts falling. Great ski school for little kids (a little cheaper than northstar). Squaw village also has a lot of dining options (free shuttle from SC) and if you have a car there are plenty of options in Truckee or Tahoe City.

Overall I'd say it is a tough choice, I'd probably go with the cheaper one if the price difference is significant. Ritz is maybe a little more deluxe, but SC standard rooms are bigger. Note if you have a car you can easily drive from your hotel to the other resort to ski for the day, I think 20-30m, and then make your own comparison.

As for me personally, we usually stay at the Hyatt Incline because we get a cheap casino rate there, but it's a bit of a haul to the slopes. I have a northstar pass but if the chain properties (i.e. where I can earn/use points) were closer to Squaw I'd probably have a Squaw pass instead.

One final note: if weather is stormy or windy, Squaw often closes some of the best slopes due to "high winds". Northstar is much better when snow is falling. However road up to Ritz is treacherous when icy, my SUV slid into a snow bank (fortunately car and driver emerged unscathed). Road to Squaw is pretty flat.
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Old Jan 8, 14, 11:21 pm
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Unfortunately, this year has been dirt in / dirt out... (vs ski in/out)

Northstar gets old quickly for an advanced skier, or if you want a lot of terrain to cover.

Another benefit of Squaw is that it is actually now Squaw / Alpine Meadows (same ownership). One lift ticket covers both resorts, with a frequent, fast, and easy shuttle between the two.

Regardless, if the snow gods don't start doing something soon, then this will be a great winter for hiking in Tahoe.
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Old Jan 9, 14, 8:34 am
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Originally Posted by LarkSFO View Post
Unfortunately, this year has been dirt in / dirt out... (vs ski in/out)

Northstar gets old quickly for an advanced skier, or if you want a lot of terrain to cover.

Another benefit of Squaw is that it is actually now Squaw / Alpine Meadows (same ownership). One lift ticket covers both resorts, with a frequent, fast, and easy shuttle between the two.

Regardless, if the snow gods don't start doing something soon, then this will be a great winter for hiking in Tahoe.
Yeah, a lot of dirt all over the Sierra's but for the beginner kiddies snow boarding, it was well worth it.
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Old Jan 9, 14, 8:37 am
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Originally Posted by ZZYZXROAD View Post
Yeah, a lot of dirt all over the Sierra's but for the beginner kiddies snow boarding, it was well worth it.
And, with the warmer conditions, it was great 'beginner skiing' weather! Glad you had fun, we'll usually hit Northstar 2 or 3 times per year.

This year, we haven't bothered to head up to Tahoe yet.
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Old Jan 9, 14, 1:23 pm
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SKI & STAY PACKAGE

http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Proper...ay_package.htm

Corporate/promotional code: SKI

Valid December 16, 2013 to April 20, 2014
Starting at $599 USD per night

At Northstar California Ski Resort, it snows every night thanks to the largest snow making system in the region. Experience North Tahoe's best conditions so far this season with 14 lifts providing access to 28 groomed trails, 3 terrain parks and 65 park features. With a ski-in/ski-out mid-mountain location, guests of The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe can enjoy an overnight stay at California’s only AAA Five Diamond mountain resort and the convenience of ski valet services. Stay longer and reserve multiple nights with the Ski & Stay package. Click here to learn more about current conditions at Northstar California.

Deluxe Guestroom, Mountain View Guestroom, Club Level Guestroom or One Bedroom Suite Accommodations
Two 1-day adult or child lift tickets to Northstar California ski resort
Waived resort fee

Advanced reservations are required and are subject to availability. Tickets cannot be used on the day of arrival and can be picked up at the Front Desk after 3 p.m. day of arrival. Tickets must be used during dates of stay and are not valid after the check-out date. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable and are only valid at Northstar California. Rate does not apply to groups and cannot be combined with any other offer. Early departures will forfeit entire cost of room, tax and ski ticket package.
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Old Jan 13, 14, 5:38 pm
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Thanks, LarkSFO! Looks like a pretty good deal....if the snow shows up! Does anyone know if conditions are improving at all? I have a stay booked here in Feb, but seriously contemplating canceling and just going to CO instead.
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Old Jan 13, 14, 5:42 pm
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I forgot to ask....does anyone know if there's a ski shuttle from the Ritz to Squaw Valley? I was planning to ski a few days at Northstar and a few days at Squaw. Just wondering if I will need a rental car. Thanks!
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Old Jan 13, 14, 6:53 pm
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Originally Posted by kit125 View Post
I forgot to ask....does anyone know if there's a ski shuttle from the Ritz to Squaw Valley? I was planning to ski a few days at Northstar and a few days at Squaw. Just wondering if I will need a rental car. Thanks!
On your first question: If I had to decide today, I'd choose Colorado.

I don't think there is a shuttle - but really, if you are in a ski in / ski out resort, do you really want to go anywhere else? If you think you might get bored with Northstar, just book at a Squaw resort instead.

Good conditions, Squaw is a 30 minute drive from Northstar. Slippery roads? Could take a lot longer.
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Old Jan 13, 14, 9:50 pm
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Colorado for sure this season.
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