We reviewed Northstar-at-Tahoe on a three-day weekend in February, and loved their extensive groomed runs! We stayed in the heart of the village in the Big Horn Lodge (recommended for easy lift access) and it was worth the cost. We had access to the slopes, to dining, to swimming and hot tubs, and had a full kitchen AND laundry room in our condo. The atmosphere at Northstar is festive (be sure to roast s'mores on any of the many open fire pits!), the food is great, and when you're not skiing, kids can ice skate.
Eat at Rubicon Pizza, and be sure to bring ice skates (also available to rent)!
CHECKING IN/ WHAT'S INCLUDED:
At first checking into the lodge, the front desk clerk, was courteous, but not all together friendly, as I'm sure he was excited about the end of the day approaching. He handed us a really well put together packet which contained road maps of the Northstar-At-Tahoe Resort, a trail map, a map of the resorts and towns of North Lake Tahoe, a directory of the village, a sheet of paper listing the activities for the three days and two nights we were visiting, 2 passes for 4 people each to the recreation center, and 2 free ice skating rental tickets. We were also informed that there were free shuttle services available from our condo to Minors' Camp and The Village.
This being our first family vacation with just my husband, myself, and our three children, ages 2, 4, and 6, we weren't really sure what to expect in a privately owned condo rental. Boy were we surprised to find the clean, tri-level condo completely furnished with all the basic comforts of our home including a washer/dryer, fireplace, cooking utensils and supplies, full kitchen, 3 bathrooms which included toiletries, two bedrooms, comfortable, understated furniture, a bar-b-que, and more. The view from the two decks were absolutely breathtaking as they overlooked the town of Truckee and Truckee's Animal Reserve areas. The downside to the decks was that the railing gaps were pretty large, large enough for my 6 year old to fit through!
If you're looking for fresh, premade food or groceries to take home, Earthly Delights has a wonderful selection of baked goods, salads, and comfort foods. In the coziness of our fire-lit condo, we enjoyed the twice baked potatoes and lasagna for dinner, as well as eggs, bacon, orange juice, milk, and toast that we prepared for breakfast the following morning. Although the prices were a little steep, we appreciated not having to make a trip back into town through the thick, chain required snow storm to buy food for our growing family.
Some other rather noticeable restaurants that got rave reviews from other resort guests, was Rubicon's Pizza Company, Mikuni Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar, and The Chocolate Bar. My husband and I didn't try any of these restaurants, but we did go into them to compare prices and noticed that for a normal meal, you'll be spending around $12-18 per person, a pretty reasonable rate for resort meals.
The Day Lodge or The Lodge at Big Springs, offers breakfast and lunch options ranging from breakfast burritos to chicken sandwiches, burgers, salads, french fries, a kids menu, and more. There are plenty of seating areas inside and outside to enjoy eating your food and watching the thrills seekers turn tricks on the Superpipe, casual skiers and boarders glide down the hill, or the little kids in ski school learning how to ski with their arms sticking out in front of them and pure satisfaction on their faces.
There are many other restaurant and eating options available to visitors to Northstar, I just listed my favorites and the favorites talked about while we were visiting. I thought the prices were reasonable for a resort, and would recommend trying the restaurants to other visitors. Oh, and if all else fails and you're wanting to burn some time with your kiddos, order hot chocolate for yourself and your kiddos and ride the gondola up and down the hill for awhile. This kept my two year old busy for about an hour as we talked about the snow and skiers, and drank our hot chocolate just the two of us.
EXCLUSIVE RECREATION CENTER:
The Recreation Center was exclusive to the guests lodging at Northstar, so it wasn't crowded. The outside pools and playground areas were closed for the winter, but the large arcade center had every game you or your kids would want to play. Each game did cost at least a quarter, so make sure to have some cash on you to put in the change machine before going. The only other thing for kids at the Rec. Center was an outdoor family spa, large enough for a few families to fit in. Other than that, the Rec. Center was geared more towards adults during the winter months, with a large workout area for children over 14 accompanied by a parent, and a private lap pool and spa for adults only. After talking with the employee on duty, I found out that during the summer there is much more for kids to do at the Rec. Center like games and crafts, large outdoor pools and water splash areas, volleyball, tennis, basketball, and the playground area. We'd love to come back in the summer time to experience that.
Overall, I would definitely recommend the lodging at Northstar to any family that can afford to spend a little more on their family vacations. The price of the condo rental was between $395 - $575 a night depending on the size of the condo and your family. Northstar does offer other lodging options besides the condos. We were comfortable and relaxed and loved having the resort and lifts at our fingertips! If you are looking for a more budget friendly option, the town of Truckee or Kings Beach is only a 5 mile drive away in either direction, so there are other options.
WAYS TO SAVE:
Before you plan your trip or make any reservations, check out the incentives online. Sometimes you might get deals like a free lift ticket for one adult with each full day enrollment in Minors' Camp an $84 savings; three days of ski school lessons for $199 (includes rentals and lunch) a $362 savings; Family Lodging Package which includes lodging in a two-bedroom condominium, lift tickets with Fast Pass upgrade, a s'mores kit, and $10 breakfast credit for four at TC's Pub with Marty for $106 per person; Stay and Ski Free from $108 a night per person includes Northstar lodging studio condo and two free lift tickets with Fast Pass upgrade; and more!
"This review is based on a complimentary stay at a Northstar Resort Condo. I received no other compensation besides the hotel stay and Northstar did not state any requirements that I express a particular point of view."