Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

Since I moved to California 16 years ago, I’ve visited the The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe a handful of times, all in winter. And every time I got into the hot tub on a snowy day, watching downhill skiers fly down the mountain at Northstar, I wondered what it would be like to visit in the warmer months. This summer, my son and I stayed there while he was enrolled in mountain biking camp at Woodward Tahoe, and I can attest to the property’s luxurious perfection at the height of summer, as well.

The hotel has thrived since re-opening after the pandemic closure. While many properties have been challenged to find adequate staffing at the luxury level, The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe remains on point for personalized, unobtrusive service. From the valet staff to housekeeping to the concierge team, employees are well-versed in the company’s long-established service protocol, which is equal parts formal and friendly.

Our large room overlooked the front side of the property (away from the pool), and was stunningly quiet despite the hotel’s full occupancy. The plush king bed had a simple leather headboard and four plump, cushy pillows; lamps on each side cast soft light, and there were plenty of plugs for phones, iPads, etc. In front of the bed were two large leather chairs in front of a smart TV, and in the far corner, a proper desk. Thankfully, the bathroom has both a tub and a shower (going against the current trend in new hotel construction).

We opted for Club Lounge access, which is well worth the extra fee for several food presentations per day, including a full breakfast and lunch, as well as enough small plates in the evening to easily constitute dinner, and there’s a whole two-hour window from 8-10pm devoted to desserts. There’s a theme each night — Spanish and Pan-Asian were our two favorites. Club Lounge staff are the cream of the crop. We worked with both Eliza and Gus, who provided tips on hikes and drives in the area.

The pool is a delightful respite in the summer months, with food service not only from the pool menu but from The Living Room daytime restaurant inside, as well.

Don’t miss the spa, an oasis on tranquility, with its own pool dedicated to spa guests. I had an Espa Age-Defying Facial, whose hydration effects lasted several days — my skin appreciated it in the very low-humidity atmosphere.

While “Lake Tahoe” is in the property’s name, the hotel is actually on the mountainside, a short drive from Lake Tahoe. But no worries: if it’s lake access you want, simply reserve a spot at the Ritz-Carlton Tahoe Lake Club, a beautifully restored house right on the water at King’s Beach, complete with kayaks and a chef who comes in a grills lunch.

When my son wasn’t biking at Woodward, he spent time getting to know the formidable downhill mountain bike trails at Northstar, adjacent to the hotel. It’s a world-class mountain biking destination for thrill seekers into speed and high jumps. Hotel valet staff “park” your bikes just as they do you car, keeping them safe and secure in a locked area with 24/7 valet access. Each time we called down, our bikes were waiting for us by the time we got downstairs.

From glorious sunrises each morning as you open your blackout curtains to anticipatory service throughout the day, along with a destination spa, The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe is a terrific luxury outpost for you summer mountain vacation.

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