Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe: Retro Games and Fall Fun with the Family
By Kathy Chin Leong

TahoeSept13-6.jpgMost kids in the Bay Area start school in mid-August, but not all of them.  If you are in that lucky group, you can still take your kids out on a fall vacation. Where to go? Take advantage of the beauty Lake Tahoe has to offer, and do check out the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe at Northstar when you want family bonding time.

This summer, the hotel developed its lawn area to provide old fashioned games to bring groups together.  By doing this, the hotel created a homey atmosphere, enabling families to play and connect. Our clan of four spent a night at this mountainside rendevous, and had an opportunity to make the property a place of fun and relaxation all at the same time.

TahoeSept13-5.jpgComplimentary games include: bocce ball, a giant Jenga set that stands about 3 feet tall, bean bag toss games, a large wooden Connect Four set, croquet, volleyball, and badminton, and Frisbee golf.   The games are laid out near the Back Terrace behind the swimming pool, and make for an enjoyable afternoon. 

Of the ones we played, we had the most laughs at the  bocce ball court where we played the game for the first time.  It is a game were places will charge court fees, but at the Ritz, it is complementary.  The game is played with a small white ball called a palina and eight other larger and heavier balls. The object is to be the one in the round of play to get his/her ball closest to the palina.  Although the rules are simple, playing it is not, and so the challenge is there for everyone involved.

And in addition to the outdoor games, the hike to Sawmill Lake was a good 30-minute mini adventure.  The lake is small, but a good enough workout to romp through trees and get some energy going.  

TahoeSept13-4.jpgUpon return, we went for a swim in the pool, and luxuriated in our private curtained cabana and ordered poolside food service which was a treat. The cabanas, by the way, are also a new feature. Somehow getting pampered in the woods is such a decadent thing, isn't it?  And that hamburger and lemonade and fries seemed to taste so much better in the great outdoors.  Every afternoon the resort offers free s'more making around the firepit.  And in the late-afternoon, the complimentary lobby lemonade is extremely refreshing.   

There's no need to tell you that the Ritz-Carlton is already a fabulous resort, but fall does have its special niceties. In the fall, during off-season, it only gets better with outdoor games, a warm pool,  and great service. Parents should note that the spa is open to its guests, and you can enjoy the steam and sauna as part of your experience as part of the resort fee. Of course, a full slate of spa menu items are available to pick.  

If you want a fall getaway, be sure to visit the Ritz before it snows. With fewer crowds at this time of year, you can practically have the place to yourself.


Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe
13031 Ritz-Carlton Highlands Ct.
Truckee, CA 96161
Fall Rates for Oct/Nov:  $199 midweek; $249 weekends.

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