Alpine Meadows — Lodging
At the resort
Alpine Meadows doesn’t have accommodations at the base, but has lodging-lift packages with hotels and condos in the region. Call Alpine Meadows at (800) 949-3296. A bed-and-breakfast package includes some two dozen North Shore lodges.
At Squaw Valley (next door)
Olympic Valley (that’s the name of the base-area town; Squaw Valley is the name of the resort) has several lodging choices. All have easy access to the slopes. If you are staying here, it is best to rent a car if you’d like to explore dining and nightlife in Truckee and Tahoe City. For central reservations at Squaw Valley call (800) 545-4350.
The Village at Squaw Valley (866-818-6963; $$$$) has a brand new collection of luxury one-, two- and three-bedroom condominiums across from the lifts, each with kitchen, fireplace and balcony. These are the most convenient condominium units to Squaw Valleys lifts and most of the resort dining. Other amenities are laundry facilities and underground parking. Four outdoor hot tubs are reached by heated sidewalks. Click here to make reservations online.
Click here for specials and packages.
The PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn (800-323-7666; 530-583-1576; $$$–$$$$), with 61 rooms, originally housed delegates to the 1960 Winter Olympics, and is right across from the cable car building and has a European flare—from the boisterous bar to the stylishly remodeled rooms to service at a level on par with the grand Continental hotels. Rooms are outfitted with down comforters, hooded bathrobes and VCRs. A lap pool and two hot tubs further pamper the guest experience. As for the name, it honors Sir John Falstaff, Shakespeare’s swaggering, high-living character. Make sure to dine at the restaurant at least once (see Dining).
Resort at Squaw Creek (800-327-3353; 530-583-6300; $$$$; above) is a multistory luxury hotel that blends well with the valley. It connects with the ski area by its own lift, and is a self-contained resort, with five restaurants and three outdoor pools (one of which is open in winter), several hot tubs, health and fitness center, full-service spa, cross-country skiing and an ice-skating rink. In 2006/07, the Resort at Squaw Creek has partnered with the non-profit organization One Warm Coat to provide warm coats to those in need. Donate a “gently used” coat upon check-in and receive five percent off the entire reservation. Donate a maximum of four jackets and receive 20 percent off.
Squaw Valley Lodge (800-992-9920; in California, 800-922-9970; $$$–$$$$) is only a few yards walk from the lifts. The lodge boasts a fully equipped health club, free covered parking and kitchenettes in the units. The Olympic Village Inn (800-845-5243; 530-583-1501; $$$–$$$$) has five hot tubs, and all units have kitchens. Red Wolf Lodge (800-791-0081; $$$$) at the base of Red Dog Chair next to the Children’s Center has studio, one- and two-bedroom units with full kitchenettes.
Lake Tahoes North Shore
The North Shore is relatively quiet. The North Shore has bed-and-breakfast inns, cabins on the lake, plush or spartan condominiums, and medium-sized casino hotels—a place for everyone. The best source for lodging-and-lift packages is North Lake Tahoe Resort Association Lodging Information & Reservations, (888) 434-1262 or (530) 583-3494; its website is www.mytahoevacation.com. The agency also can suggest private homes and condos.
The most upscale bed-and-breakfast is the Rockwood Lodge (800-538-2463; 530-525-5273; $$–$$$$), originally built in the mid-1930s. There are four rooms, two with private bath. It has antique furnishings, plush carpet, brass-and-porcelain bath fixtures, and down comforters on the beds. The lodge is next to the Ski Homewood Ski Area, on the west shore of Tahoe about 7 miles south of Tahoe City. This is a no-smoking inn and does not accept children.
The Mayfield House (530-583-1001; $$$), another B&B, was once a private residence in Tahoe City. The atmosphere is elegant and romantic, and full breakfasts come with the rate. Each of the rooms has a private bath.
Other B&Bs that are recommended are The Cottage Inn (800-581-4073; 530-581-4073; $$$; left) in Tahoe City; The Shore House (800-207-5160; 530-546-7270; $$$) in Tahoe Vista; or Tahoma Meadows Bed & Breakfast (530-525-1553; $$–$$$$) in Homewood.
Just south of Tahoe City is the Sunnyside Lodge (530-583-7200, or in California only, 800-822-2754; $$$; above right), directly on the lake. There are 23 rooms, all with a lake view and a few rooms have fireplaces. No. 39 makes a great honeymoon suite—it has a four- to six-week waiting list. This is an excellent property with a lively apres-ski bar and a good restaurant, the Chris Craft.
Perhaps the most luxury for the money on the North Shore can be found in the Tahoe Vista Inn & Marina (530-546-7662; $$$) in Tahoe Vista. The six units here are spectacular and sited directly on the lake.
The Cal-Neva Resort, Spa & Casino (800-225-6382; 775-832-4000; $$–$$$$; below) is split by the state line and once was owned by Frank Sinatra and visited by Marilyn Monroe. Every room has a lake view, the best from the deluxe suites on the top three floors. There are also honeymoon bungalows with heart-shaped tubs, round beds and mirrored ceilings. The Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino (888-591-1234; 775-832-1234; $$$$) is a four-star luxury hotel that resembles the grand homes built in the 1920s. The resort has just undergone a multi-million dollar renovation and the lobby and rooms are wonderful, with natural pine, leather furnishings and autumn colors. The Tahoe Biltmore Casino (800-245-8667; 775-831-0660; $$) in Crystal Bay has midweek ski packages with Diamond Peak, including a lift ticket, lodging, a full breakfast and transportation to and from the slopes.
The Granlibakken Resort & Conference Center (800-543-3221; $$–$$$$) in Tahoe City is a great place to stay. Lodging is in 160 privately owned suites and townhouses and some feature a kitchen and fireplace. Sizes start at one bedroom and top out at a six-bedroom, six-bath townhouse. Two saunas and an outdoor spa are on site. The lovely complex sits on a hill among towering pines and red firs, next to the site of a former ski jump used for the 1932 Olympic tryouts. Two cross-country ski trails and a beginners’ Alpine hill also can be found here. Ski packages are available with Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.
For families or anyone looking for a great deal, North Lake Lodge (530-546-2731; $$), in Kings Beach only a few feet from the shore, is one of the oldest hotels but still in great shape. Continental breakfast is included and the shuttles stop just across the street.
River Ranch (530-583-4264; $$) on Hwy. 89 near Alpine Meadows is another moderately priced lodge. This historic ski lodge sits on the banks of the Truckee River and rooms are furnished with early American antiques. Continental breakfast is included, and the shuttles for Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows are nearby. A rushing river lulls you to sleep.
The town of Truckee is convenient to Northstar and Sugar Bowl. The Richardson House (888-229-0365; 530-587-5388; $$$), built in the 1880s as a private residence, has been restored as a comfortable Victorian B&B, furnished primarily with period oak pieces. Six of eight rooms have private baths; some with Victorian soaking tubs, others tiny shower baths. Front rooms have views over downtown Truckee, a short walk down a steep (sometimes icy) hill. A full breakfast is served family style; tea and cookies are always available.
Industrial chic meets cool green in the Cedar House Sport Hotel (866-582-5655; $$$-$$$$), which opened in summer 2006. Purposefully designed and built from the ground up as a green hotel, the complex has 42 rooms or suites in four connected or adjacent timber buildings. Hospitality is European style, with bedding comprising puffy duvets and high-thread-count linens and an expanded continental breakfast with meats, cheeses, fruit, pastries and hard-boiled eggs. Light meals are available, and theres a guest lounge with entertainment and an outdoor hot tub. Other amenities include flatscreen LCD TVs, heated bathroom floors, and free WiFi.
For real western authenticity, try The Truckee Hotel (800-659-6921; 530-587-4444; $$), welcoming guests since 1873. Mostly it housed timber and railroad workers, but one of the residents was a madam who reportedly ran a little business on the side. It was renovated in 1992, but youll still feel like you
e sleeping in the Old West. Eight of the 37 rooms have private baths, including old-fashioned, claw-footed tubs. Some rooms are large enough to sleep six. Breakfast and afternoon tea served in the parlor are included with the B&B rates.
For a basic hotel, try the Best Western Truckee Tahoe Inn (800-824-6385; 530-587-4525; $$), about a mile outside downtown Truckee, with 100 rooms and large complimentary breakfast.
Reno offers big-time casino atmosphere closer to the North Shore and at lower prices than you’ll find surrounding the lake. Reno also has a planetarium and two major museums, and is 30–45 minutes by car from the North Shore resorts. This is a good place to stay if you want to save some serious money and have a big enough group to split a rental car cost. Some hotels have ski shuttles, but most visitors here probably will want a car. Reno Central Reservations is at (888) 448-7366. Click here for Reno accommodations.
Reno is no longer the half-awake cowboy gamblers town it used to be. Its also no longer considered as the quickie divorce capital of America, although you can still get a divorce here. During the 1990s, the city made renovations downtown to refurbish old buildings, add street artwork and develop recreational attractions and is still working on improvements. The town fathers took a train that went through the main section of downtown which stopped traffic causing long waits and put it under the streets. It has made a huge difference in traffic flow in the downtown sector.
During the winter, you can ice skate on a large outdoor rink, visit a world-class automobile museum and enjoy concerts and plays in a thriving arts community. Reno has chain motels, multistory casino-hotels and lots in between. Renos airport has many nonstop and direct flights, and the city also is served by Amtraks California Zephyr, which runs from the San Francisco Bay to Chicago.
Circus Circus (800-648-5010; 775-329-0711), Silver Legacy (800-687-8733; 775-325-7401) and El Dorado (800-6485966; 775-786-5700) are three casino resort hotels connected by an enclosed and connected shopping and restaurant mall. The mall forms a “T” shape, with Silver Legacy at the base of the T, Circus Circus to the left and El Dorado to the right. Any of these hotels is a good choice for a group that has some non-skiers, since there is so much to do without ever having to brave icy sidewalks. In the Silver Legacys lobby, don miss the ostentatious display of silver and crystal items once owned by Sam Fairchild, “the wealthiest silver baron Nevada has ever seen.”
The Grand Sierra Resort & Casino (800-501-2651; 775-789-2000) used to be the Reno Hilton and is still so new, it retains some vestiges of the old hotel, such as the Reno Hilton evacuation notices on the backs of the doors and Hilton guest books on the coffee tables. The Grand Sierra is another great place to stay if not everyone in your group skis, because its enclosed shopping area has not only shops and eateries, but also a movie theater with four screens showing first-run movies, a bowling alley with 50 lanes, a ski shop, gym, spa and hair salon. The hotel has three outstanding fine-dining restaurants — the Steak House, Asiana and Dolce – as well as more casual places to grab a bite. In the next two years the resort plans to add an indoor water park and an outdoor water fountain show like the one at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
The rooms at Grand Sierra are huge, with lots of floor space for ski and snowboard paraphernalia. The bathrooms are a little outdated, with shower heads at short-people height and faucet knobs that twist the opposite way you think they should. But during two visits in January, 2007, workers were busy all over the hotel with renovation projects, so those bathrooms may be soon brought up to speed.
Inspired by the old Italian city in Tuscany, Siena Hotel Spa Casino (877-743-6233; 775-32-SIENA) is Renos only boutique hotel. It sits along the Truckee River in downtown Reno, a tranquil setting in an otherwise busy city. Thanks to the owners love of art, youll find interesting pieces scattered throughout the property. Flags of the Contrada (regions in Tuscany that participate in the famous horserace Il Palio) fly in the casino and adorn the walls of the elegantly understated room decor. Turn-down service includes a cordial and sweet treats far beyond a piece of chocolate, and each room has free Internet connection, TV and a fridge. Siena has three restaurants—Lexies on the River for fine dining, Contrada Cafe for casual fare, and Enoteca, a sexy wine bar with live jazz. The award-winning Spa at Siena (775-321-5868) offers customized treatments from 9 am to 9 pm every day.
Silver Legacy Resort Casino (1-800-687-8733 or 775-325-7401) in the heart of downtown sports a lush Victorian theme. It has six restaurants of all levels and plenty of nightlife and entertainment as well.
John Ascuaga’s Nugget (800-648-1177) in Sparks, sits off by itself, but features a wonderful Basque restaurant, Orozko, as well as Trader Dick’s with a Polynesian theme.
Peppermill Casino (800-648-6992; 775-826-2121) is in the part of Reno closest to Mt. Rose and in the center of the citys shopping district. Starting as a coffee shop in 1971, its now one of the largest family-owned hotel casinos in the country with more than 1,100 rooms and suites, eight restaurants, 14 themed bars and a waterfall pool.
Atlantis Casino (800-723-6500) has a spa, wonderful buffet restaurants, a great seafood place and wonderful sushi on the Sky Terrace.
Accommodations Legend: (double room) $$$$–$200+; $$$–$141–$200; $$–$81–$140; $–$80 and less