The happiest skiers in America, may well have been in Tahoe last year, where the breaking news stated that record snow falls end multi-year drought. The dry spell had finally broken in winter 2017, and Tahoe enjoyed record snow, giving snow making machines, a well-deserved break. The January snow fall of 237 inches beat the record which dated back to 1973. So, while rain was falling down below, snow was falling up above, much to the delight of skiers, young and old. This year skiers are waiting in anticipation for a repeat to last year.
When the unexpected snow storm, one of many last season, dictated that we were to stay indoors, we did a 360 and were absolutely delighted at the range of indoor activities available at the Ridge Resorts. We turned lemons into lemonade thanks to the wonderful amenities at the Ridge Resorts, in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
Where is Heavenly?
Heavenly and the lovely Ridge Resorts is located in South Lake Tahoe. As one of America’s largest ski area, Heavenly spans both the California and Nevada borders. Heavenly has the highest elevation in the Tahoe Basin at 10,067 feet, providing unparalleled views of Lake Tahoe, the surrounding mountains and the Nevada desert.
Clock Ticks on Ski Time with So Many Amenities
To our sheer delight, the Ridge Resorts offered a host of activities for the entire family. So much so, that the challenge became finding time for skiing, the main excuse for our trip to Tahoe. Few children can resist an indoor pool with a tunnel to an outdoor heated pool. For the relaxation factor, the numerous jacuzzis, the steam room and sauna, do not disappoint.
The Ridge Resorts has the only indoor tennis court in Tahoe, with year-round clinics and lessons. If all that is not enough, there’s billiard, ping pong, an entire closet of board games and DVDs that can be borrowed for viewing in the comfort of one’s room. Let me not forget to mention the daily morning exercise classes including pillates, stretch and yoga, the fully equipped fitness room with individual televisions and free snow shoeing.
The Property and its Rooms
Operating as a time share resort, the property consists of 7 separate lodging buildings, each of which has its own unique features. For example the Cascade building offers rooftop hot tubs with panoramic views, and the Plaza building has breathtaking look outs of the Carson Valley.
Rooms were immaculate, and fully equipped, including all kitchen amenities as well as a dishwasher, washing machine and dryer. We had a very comfortable two bedroom suite, with 2 gas fireplaces, a jacuzzi tub in the ensuite master bedroom, a well equipped full kitchen, a balcony, 3 flat screen televisions, a DVD player, and gorgeous panoramic views. Our unit had 2 king beds and a sleeper sofa. Each bed had a sleep number adjustable mattress.
The Hungry Bear and More
For a full menu and comfort food, The Hungry Bear restaurant offers a menu of American cuisine including steak, seafood and pasta. Catering to families, the children’s menu ensures that everyone leaves happy. For a slightly more casual atmosphere, the Bear Trap Bar is perfect for happy hour, offering $4 wine and beer for the après ski crowd.
Considering the steepness of the roads and the intermittent icy conditions in winter, we opted to take a taxi from the airport to the hotel. The Ridge Resorts provides free shuttle service to anywhere on their vast property as well as into the town of South Lake Tahoe, for a supermarket, night life, casinos and local entertainment.
1. If location is your priority, request a room in the Tower. Many of the amenities are in the Clubhouse building, located directly across the street from the Tower. This includes, the restaurant, main pool, bar, ping pong tables, racquetball courts, spa and marketplace.
2. For best views, request a room facing the valley. Rooms in the Tower or Plaza buildings offer best views of the valley.
3. If being close to the ski slope is your priority, request a room in Cascade.
3. Although free shuttles are constantly circulating between the different buildings and Stagecoach ski lift, however, house phones are available near the entrance to each building to request an immediate shuttle pick up.
4. If flying into Reno airport in winter, consider taking transportation to the resort rather than renting a car. Winter conditions can make for difficult driving. The resort’s free shuttle makes regular runs to the town.
5. To avoid common symptoms of altitude illness, stay well hydrated, avoid over exertion and get plenty of rest. Common symptoms of altitude illness include headache, fatigue, decreased appetite, nausea, and restless sleep.
6. If driving in winter, carry an ice scraper, tire chains, shovel, as well as a parka, gloves, hat and boots.
Donna Salle is a travel journalist with ETB Travel News and can be reached HERE