Northstar at Tahoe Summer Rentals:
I used to go to Northstar Ski Resort back in the 1980's to ski. In June of 2011 I ventured back to try out their summer activities with my family. The old village no longer exists as they have completely revamped the resort and now have an extensive European village feel with condos, shops, an ice rink, restaurants, and more. The old condos still exist just a few minutes from the main village. It's not as large as Whistler in Canada, but from two decades ago, Northstar has certainly grown up quite a bit. The upscale feeling is everywhere, no more so than the newest addition at the Ritz Carlton Highlands. The Ritz Northstar is located up near the Day Lodge and a road leads all the way up there now. I didn't know what to expect upon my return, although a close friend had said his daughter loved vacationing at Northstar and he thought my kids would love it as well.
We were heading up in early July and hoping for good weather so we could enjoy the resort and get down to Lake Tahoe and be on the water. Northstar Resort is only a few miles from Truckee and easy access even if you fly into Reno Airport. We drove down from Oregon (10 hours drive) and arrived on a Tuesday evening. My first impression of the village was that it was completely empty. I wondered where all the people were. We checked in at the main guest lodging building and went to our condo to drop off our stuff. The condos hadn't changed much since my last visit 20+ years ago. Old carpets, dirty bathroom, but a nice setting amongst the trees. Again, the parking around the condos was almost empty and it felt a little eerie. Our condo was a 2 story unit with both bedrooms downstairs and 1 bathroom that we shared with our kids. The kids room had 2 single beds and ours had a queen. Off of our room was a little balcony. Upstairs was the kitchen and living/family room with a nice fire place. The kitchen was definitely dated, but we only had breakfast there and ate lunch and dinner near the lake or at the resort. There was free WiFi in the condos. You can stay in the village itself and have no walking or driving to do, but the cost doubles if you do that. The Hyatt Residence offers luxury accommodations and there are the Northstar Village Rooms & Lofts. To get an idea of what Northstar Village offer we say check out the (http://www.northstarattahoe.com/nsassets/files/the-village/village_map.pdf) PDF file here which is a complete map of the facilities.
Condo Rentals at Northstar:
Northstar at Tahoe offers up a wide variety of condo and hotel rental units for summer or winter vacationers. Perhaps the best option is to stay in the village at One Village Place. These are luxury units with ski-in/ski-out access, underground heated parking, literally right in the heart of the village area. Another option are the condos at Iron Horse, Great Bear, Big Horn or Catamount in the New Village. Village lofts and condos are either in the village or within walking distance. Lastly, the route we went, is to go with studios to 4 bedroom/2 bath condos which are located in Aspen Grove, Big Springs, Indian Hills, or Gold Bend. Many of these units offer lift tickets as part of the package. A great deal whether skiing in the winter or hiking/biking in the summer months. Prices for our 2 bedroom 1 bath condo were about $160/night during the summer. Expect to pay a little more in the winter. There are a few mountain homes in the Basque and Big Springs area of Northstar. The mid-mountain slope side Ritz Carlton at Northstar is perhaps the nicest place of all but you will pay a huge premium for the amenities and location. You can see all the latest pricing, packages, and accommodations online at http://www.northstarattahoe.com/info/ski/trip-planning/lodging_overview.asp
What to do at Northstar Resort in Tahoe:
Well, it depends on what season you go, but you should be able to stay quite busy no matter the time of year. Winter is perfect for those that like to snowboard or ski. Winter Activities
- There are over 40km of trails for snowshoeing, an ice skating rink, a tubing section of the mountain, and lots of area to go cross country skiing. Down in the village the hot tubs are waiting for those that skied all day.
- The big attraction during the hotter months of summer is mountain biking. Take the lifts up the mountain and ride down the slopes. Hiking is another fun pasttime during summer. We took the gondola up to the Day Lodge area and then walked out to Sawmill Lake. An easy hike (we had a guide) that takes about 1 1/2 hours and is no more than 3 miles. There is very little elevation gain as you head out to the small lake. We saw some fly fisherman up at Sawmill Lake. Back down towards Northstar Village is the swimming and recreation area with pool, tennis courts, arcade, and a fitness center. Rolling skate takes place in the center of the village at the skating rink. There is a bungy trampoline, ropes course, horseback riding, and geocaching opportunities as well.