The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe is a summer paradise in the mountains

Since moving to California 16 years ago, I’ve visited The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe a few times, always in the winter. And every time I soaked in the hot tub on a snowy day and watched downhill skiers soar down the mountain at Northstar, I found myself wondering what it would be like to visit in the warmer months. My son and I stayed there this summer while he was enrolled in mountain bike camp at Woodward Tahoe and I can attest to the luxurious perfection of the property even in the height of summer.

The hotel has done well since reopening after the pandemic shutdown. While many hotels have faced the challenge of finding adequate staff at the luxury level, The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe stays ahead with personal, unobtrusive service. From valet to housekeeping to the concierge team, staff are familiar with the company’s long-established service protocol, which is equal parts formal and friendly.

Our large room faced the front of the property (away from the pool) and was surprisingly quiet despite the hotel’s full occupancy. The plush king-size bed had a simple leather headboard and four plump, comfortable pillows; Lamps on each side cast soft light, and there were plenty of power outlets for phones, iPads, etc. Two large leather armchairs faced a smart TV in front of the bed, and an actual desk in the far corner. Luckily the bathroom has both a bath and a shower (bucking the current trend in new hotel construction).

We opted for Club Lounge access, which is well worth the extra fee for multiple food presentations per day, including a full breakfast and lunch, as well as enough small plates in the evening to easily form dinner, and there’s a full two- Hourly window from 8pm-10pm for desserts. Each night is themed – Spanish and Pan-Asian were our two favourites. The Club Lounge staff are the crème de la crème. We worked with both Eliza and Gus who provided advice on local hikes and drives.

The pool is a delightful respite in the summer months, with food served not only from the pool menu but also from indoor daytime dining, The Living Room.

Don’t miss the Spa, an oasis of calm with a private pool for spa guests. I had an Espa Age-Defying Facial, the moisturizing effect of which lasted for several days – my skin appreciated the very low-moisture atmosphere.

Although “Lake Tahoe” is in the property’s name, the hotel is actually located on the mountainside, just a short drive from Lake Tahoe. But don’t worry: If you want lake access, just reserve a spot at the Ritz-Carlton Tahoe Lake Club, a beautifully restored waterfront home on King’s Beach, complete with kayaks and a chef to come over for BBQ lunch.

When my son wasn’t biking in Woodward, he was spending time exploring the amazing downhill mountain biking trails at Northstar next to the hotel. It is a world-class mountain biking destination for thrill-seekers in speed and high jumps. Hotel valet staff will “park” your bikes just like your car, keeping them safe and secure in a gated area with 24/7 valet access. Every time we called downstairs, our bikes were waiting for us when we got downstairs.

From gorgeous sunrises every morning when you open your blackout drapes to anticipatory service throughout the day, along with a world-class spa, The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe is a fantastic luxury outpost for your summer mountain vacation.

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