We highly recommend the Northstar resort and would definitely go back (See Part I of our trip here). Our ski instructor, Rhianna, was amazing, and everything about the resort, including the Village, was luxurious. A benefit of staying at The Ritz-Carlton hotel (vs. renting a condo or cabin) is that the ski concierges take care of storing all your gear. We reserved our gear online, had it delivered to the shop and just stopped in the day before to get fitted. It was sitting outside ready to go in the morning.
When we came off the slopes at lunch time, we popped off our skis, handed them off to a concierge and had a nice barbeque lunch outside at Backyard Bar & BBQ. It was warm enough to shed a few layers, but the patio has heaters — and Goose Island beer! Sit in the restaurant or sit by the fire. You could just pick your skis back up and hit the slopes again after lunch.
Did we mention that it’s dog friendly? We loved seeing all of the pups around the hotel and outside playing in the snow. One guest had two pomeranians in her bag as well as a berner who absolutly was at home in the snow!
The apres-ski experience by the fire features Moet and Chandon Champagne, and usually a raw bar. The day we visited, we were told that the oyster delivery wasn’t up to standard, so the kitchen sent out shrimp cocktail instead. No sooner than we had grabbed two glasses of rose, it started to snow, so we headed back inside by the fire.
Northstar Village is a 9-minute gondola ride from the hotel, so we headed down to check out all of the shops and for dinner at Tavern 6330′. To be honest, we were still stuffed from lunch, Champagne, and shrimp cocktail, so we ordered one of their signature cocktails, a “Deconstructed Gin and Tonic” and had a light soup and salad dinner. As we strolled back to the gondola, we passed Petra wine bar and decided to stop in to browse.
As it turns out, Petra is owned by the same owners as Uncorked in downtown Truckee, which is also great. The selection of wines was really impressive, including a lot of less common bottles (like one of our favorites, Liquid Farm), and that day they were hosting a special tasting of Kanzler wines. We had such a nice time chatting with the winemaker Alex and his wife Breauna, who were in town from Sonoma.
We worked by the fire for a few hours on Sunday before heading back to Manzanita for brunch. It was a pretty amazing spread, with everything you’d expect from a good brunch, as well as a few fun additions like a Bloody Mary and Mimosa bar (ours were technically Bellinis since we both sprung for white peach juice), a big bowl of crab claws (yes, please!), and more savory entrees like seared scallops.
One sign of a great hotel is feeling like you don’t even need to leave the premises to have a nice vacation. Whether you prefer to hit the slopes or the spa, The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe is the perfect winter retreat from the city. If you missed it, see more from our trip here.