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Luxury Winterland at Northstar California Resort in Lake Tahoe

By: ERIC FULTON
Author, Poplar Travels blog
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The view from the top was incredible.
 
As we sat sipping our champagne, looking out over the treetops at Lake Tahoe, I was amazed at what an Epic vacation this was. Northstar California Resort has plenty of perks and opportunities to experience luxury, but if you miss Platinum tōst, you’re really missing out.
 
Our Platinum experience was complete with reserved seating, a private fire pit and excellent service. Lounge music played over the speakers as the sun warmed us up enough to shed our coats. We had our choice of several seating options: Adirondack chairs, inflatable sacks and blow-up inner tube chairs.
 
After a few hours on the slopes, it was a luxurious break. We filled up on an overflowing charcuterie board with several delicious cheeses, meats, nuts and grapes. We watched as other skiers and snowboarders gathered around for the complimentary tōst held each day at 2 p.m. and hung out long after they had all dispersed.
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Our mountaintop experience was a highlight of our incredible trip but there was so much more that blew us away. The wintry scenery was just stunning, the service was top-notch, and the amenities and activities available to us made for a luxury vacation we won’t soon forget.
 
We were reluctant to leave our perch but the slopes beckoned. 
Cheeks rosy from sun and bubbly, we took in the view of the brilliant blue waters of Lake Tahoe shining between the treetops for a while longer before we bundled up again.
 
A few more trips down the mountain and we headed into the village for Northstar’s daily tradition of complimentary s’mores.
 
As people clumsily made their way around the ice skating rink, we found a spot by a fire pit and enjoyed our freshly prepared marshmallow treat. A S’mores Ambassador passed them out from a tray to eager visitors of all ages.

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

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Our luxury experience began as soon as we arrived at Northstar California Resort. As you drive up to The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, you're taken through a maze of snow, 12 feet deep on both sides of the road.
 
As the snow walls parted, the beautiful mountain lodge architecture of the hotel appeared. Its grand exterior matched by the stunning interior decor. When we pulled into the main entrance, the valet was quick and professional. We were given a (necessary) map at check-in and were encouraged to explore the resort.
 
Our room was great and even had a small balcony where we could enjoy the snowy view.
 
We woke up each morning and sipped Nespresso by our fireplace and warmed up in the huge tub after our daily adventures. After a day of exercise, we were happy to curl up in a soft bed and watch a movie on the smart TV.
 
The lobby lounge was gorgeous and warm, providing a cozy escape from the cold. The central stone fireplaces provide little sitting areas for groups and the large windows almost make you feel like you’re outside in the snow.

 

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The food at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe was what you expect from a five-star resort.
 
We had the option of grabbing something quick (yet delicious) from Cafe Blue or settling in for a more substantial brunch in Manzanita. We took advantage of both options and were pleased with our choices.
 
The cafe has a surprisingly large menu with yogurt, bagels, pastries and a full coffee menu—all of which are easily brought back to your room if you prefer to return there for breakfast by your private fire.
 
 
We reserved our gear online; it was quickly pulled for us when we arrived at True North inside The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe. The staff was knowledgeable and helpful. There was a selection of gloves and goggles available for purchase.
 
If we didn’t find what we needed, we could go to more than a dozen shops in the Village at Northstar.

The village

Can't wait to return

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On the way home from the resort, we made a trip to the lake for lunch. We stopped for a beautiful view of a storm rolling in and enjoyed a delicious meal at Gar Wood’s Grill & Pier in Carnelian Bay.
 
The place came highly recommended by the staff at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe and we were pleased with the suggestion. Among rows of vacation homes, there are some charming restaurants, small shopping centers and grocery stores.
 
If we had a longer trip, it would have been nice to stay closer to the lake for a night or two to enjoy the different experience. If you have enough time during your stay at Northstar, definitely head down to the lake to soak up the scenery—it’s just 7 miles away.
 
If you are looking for a true luxury experience in Lake Tahoe with great food, exciting skiing and world-class service, look no further than Northstar. The mountain offers a catered experience for a wide range of visitors.
 
We don’t always like to return to destinations, as there is just too much of this world left to explore, but we’d love to return to Northstar California Resort for another ski trip or to enjoy the area in another season.

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