Smores at the fire pit of the Ritz Carlton Northstar California

Smores at the fire pit of the Ritz Carlton Northstar California

By Eileen Ogintz

LAKE TAHOE, CA (Day Two) — I could get used to this.

My skis are laid out for me in the snow outside the Ritz Carlton.  My boots had been dried overnight.

I come into the Lounge for breakfast—everything from eggs and sausage to bagels and lox and fruit.  The concierge introduces herself to me and asks what can she do to make my day more pleasant.

“I love it here,” said Martha Kramer, enjoying an early dinner with her two kids, including one with special needs.  She could have gone to the first rate restaurant downstairs Manzanita with her husband and his business colleagues, she said, “But this is more relaxing.”

That’s why families pay an upcharge for the club level—with its food service several times a day.  Drinks are complimentary there are toys for the kids and the “appetizers” are enough to make a meal—brisket sliders and mac and cheese along with cheeses, charcuteries, bites like seared ahi and special sandwiches and veggies with ranch dressing for the kids.

“You don’t have to wait,” said Kramer.  “We come here every year.” She sends the kids skiing right from here …no schlepping around “And I can relax…”

Ritz Carlton Hotel at Northstar California

Ritz Carlton Hotel at Northstar California

“So much easier with the kids,” said Augusto Simas, here with his family from Brazil.  His two sons, 10 and 14 opined that they liked being able to get what they liked to eat and not have to sit and wait at a restaurant.

“It feels like the living room to our room,” said Simas, noting that the extra charge is well worth it when a glass of wine otherwise might cost $20 and breakfast for the four of them $100.

There’s a comfortable lounge with stellar mountain views ideal to read, the spa, and for a nice diner Manzanita where we feasted on fresh trout and filet mignon. The Fall squash porridge with cornmeal was amazing.