Where to Go This Weekend: Northstar Lake Tahoe, California

Lake     Tahoe is a perfect destination for skiers and snow boarders. Northstar is my favorite ski resort so far around this glorious lake w...

Lake   Tahoe is a perfect destination for skiers and snow boarders. Northstar is my favorite ski resort so far around this glorious lake when it transforms into a Snow Covered Wonderland. You can enjoy the snow, s'mores and cozy fires, spa treatments, views of snow capped mountains while swimming in heated pools, and so much more!  
With it being a mere three hour drive from the Bay Area it's the perfect weekend getaway. Here is a bit about my experience while staying at the Ritz-Carlton and Northstar Resort in Lake Tahoe, the Sierra treasure situated at 6,223 feet on the border of California and Nevada. 

Ski Season:
First off, you should know that skiing in Tahoe isn't limited to winter! With the abundance of snow this year the ski resorts are extending their seasons. Northstar is planning to stay open until end of April, while Squaw Valley predicts their season will go until June. I plan on going back a couple of times before the end of season to get as much snow time as I can! 

While I'm often a budget conscious traveler I occasionally enjoy the pleasure of splurging on a slice of luxury. When we had the opportunity* to stay at the Ritz-Carlton at Lake Tahoe, located on the Northstar California ski resort we had to go.

While it's a given you'll experience luxury at the Ritz (it's like walking around in a wealthy fantasy) my favorite part was the perfect apr├Ęs perk of ski-in, ski-out. We would spend time on the slopes, get tired and just hand our gear to the attendants, and go warm up by a fireplace with table service for drinks and lunch before hitting the slopes again. 

The powder and weather were perfect! I used our Epic Passes and were able to ride any of the lifts as many times as we wanted. The slopes weren't overly crowded either-which is usually the part I dread when skiing. It's always lame when there are long lift lines or too aggressive snowboarders making it hard to maneuver the slopes when it's too crowded. For me it was a 10/10 experience. 

Jessica is new to skiing so while she was getting comfortable with learning some more advanced skills I was happy to start off on the easier slopes to warm back up. Though I spent my entire childhood skiing I haven't been in years since I had an accident. GOOD NEWS: It was like riding a bike and easy once my muscle memory took over! 

Our Ritz Stay: 
While I wasn't into it, my travel buddy (Jessica of 
Hej Doll) enjoyed the heated outdoor pool (personally, I couldn't handle the idea of wearing a swimsuit in 14 degrees fahrenheit weather. Our room was also memorable with with a fireplace and huge windows overlooking snow covered trees on the mountain peaks. 

We opted for the brunch buffet one day, breakfast in bed the day after skiing (we were just so tired!), and ventured out to Truckee to Coffeebar (one of my favorites boutique coffee spots in California!) for breakfast. 

We would watch the sunset outside (it was like watching the sky set on fire) before going to dinner. All of our dinners were at the hotel's fine-dining restaurant, Manzanita (pricey, but some of the best filet mignon I've ever tasted!). Afterwards we walked around the grounds looking at the lit trees and star gazing. 

One of the little things that really made me super happy was the artisanal s'mores around the fire pit. The hotel's chefs make changing flavors of marshmallows (we had vanilla, berry, and coffee). You can enjoy these (and standard marshmallows) during the hotel's complimentary s'mores bar hour or at anytime of your choosing by ordering a s'mores kit. 

To summarize: If you're not into skiing the Ritz is still an ideal winter luxury retreat. The food is incredible, the outdoor pool is [reportedly] toasty, and the spa has a myriad treatments for you to enjoy. Also: there is an endless supply of fireplaces both inside and out for you to watch flurries, sunsets, or snow bunnies (whichever is your preference). Next time I'd like to spend more time around the North Lake Tahoe area (like Truckee). We were unable to leave the resort much due to the snow storm that hit the day we arrived. Made for fantastic skiing-but I wished we'd seen a little more of the area. Otherwise, it was nice to get as much time as possible on the slopes and around the luxury hotel and make the most of the experience! 

*Our room was comped, however, all opinions and and experiences are my own. Thank you Ritz-Carlton and Epic Pass for your generosity and the perfect weekend! 

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