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The past few years, my husband and I have decided to travel for fun during the Thanksgiving time off rather than go home for the holidays. We always see our families again in December anyway, so we figured that we mind as well take the time off to see some new sites! This year, we made our way up to Lake Tahoe, where we used my Marriott Rewards points to stay at The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe. It cost me 120,000 reward points for two nights during the weekend, and as a Marriott Platinum Elite Member we were able to take advantage of a few activities the hotel has to offer.
The Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe is located at the top of the mountain near Lake Tahoe. The hotel is valet only at $40 a day, and has a resort fee of $38 a day. We had a Tesla Model 3 for the weekend, and there are charging stations on site. The valet actually charged our car overnight for us, which was really awesome!
Elite Lounge Access
We were placed on the club lounge floor (floor 4), however my husband and I couldn’t actually locate the lounge. When I asked at the front desk, I was told that the lounge was closed for the season. However, within the Adventure Concierge Lounge, they had a conference room set up for Platinum Elite Members, which had water, soda, and snacks. My husband and I stopped in everyday to stock up, but it definitely felt weird walking by the concierge desk every time.
Breakfast for Platinum Elite Reward Members
Since the lounge was closed, there was not a free breakfast option. The first night, we had a letter slipped under our door that was a certificate for $50 at the Manzanita, the hotel restaurant on site. With the breakfast buffet at $30 per person and most dishes ranging $15-25, the voucher was helpful but did not completely covered our breakfast. We also did not receive a letter our second night – I wonder if we could have asked for a voucher, but we checked out the following day and did not stay for breakfast anyway.
Complimentary Spa Access
All hotel guests have complimentary access to the spa, which is open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm for guests 18 and over. My husband and I took advantage of The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe spa on one evening. They have an adults only heated pool, and then men’s and ladies lounges which included a steam room, sauna, cold shower and Jacuzzi. We went Saturday evening right before closing, and it was very relaxing since there were hardly any guests in here.
S’mores by the Fire
Each afternoon at 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm, the hotel was offering complimentary s’mores outside by the fireplace. We walked down at 4:35 pm and there was a bit of a line, but it was still a nice treat! The hotel had regular marshmallows or homemade vanilla marshmallows, which we tried and were pretty tasty.
Gondola to Village
Complimentary to all hotel guests is the gondola to The Village at Northstar. When we visited, the gondola was running from 7:00 am to 10:30 pm. If you are looking for a variety of just to save money on meals, take a trip down to the village and look at the options. Besides restaurants, the village also has a Starbucks, ski stores, an ice skating rink and a movie theater. The ride down is about 7 minutes, and a nice benefit just for fun.
While we did not ski, the hotel is a ski in ski out resort where the hotel will warm your boots and set up your equipment for you. In addition to show activities, the adventure concierge can help you find other activities around the hotel. While hiking from the Ritz Carlton was closed for the season, the concierge recommended a few other sites for us. We ended up visiting Sand Harbor, which had a park fee of $10 and had nice views of the lake shore.
While more expensive than anticipated as a Platinum Reward Member due to the resort fees, our stay at the Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe made for an excellent weekend. We were not upgraded because no rooms were available, but we still had a nice mountain side view. My husband definitely wants to come back to snowboard, and I know that I will want to come back in the summer for some of the hikes.
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