By the Clean Blue Lake: Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe

By Emma Krasov. Photos by Yuri Krasov

One of the clearest in the world, Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is known for its shimmering bluishness attributed to its more than 1600-feet depth and its clean granite bed. University researchers, government programs, and multiple private groups of environmentalists dedicate significant resources to “keeping Tahoe blue” and preserving its ecosystem as an absolute natural treasure.

Located on the border of California and Nevada, the largest alpine lake in North America lures travelers from near and far all year round, promising the pure luxury of unspoiled nature. Almost 300 animals and more than 1000 plant species are found in the Lake Tahoe Basin. From wildflowers to singing birds and fluttering butterflies, it’s teeming with life.

In North Lake Tahoe, ski resorts await in winter, and sandy beaches offer water sports in summer. Hikers and mountain bikers find their private paradise on the forest trails that meander between white firs, Sierra junipers, and Ponderosa pines, past sparkling streams and waterfalls.

There’s no better way to make your home away from home here than at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe, the only AAA five-diamond mountain resort in Northern California, nestled on a slope above Village-at-Northstar. From exquisite accommodations to fine dining, and from full service spa to, boating, skiing, hiking and golfing –this place provides it all.

The hotel’s signature restaurant, Manzanita, serves California cuisine – freshly caught fish, humanely raised meats, foraged wild mushrooms, and seasonal fruit and vegetables. The Spa features a fully integrated wellness program and a heated lap pool overlooking alpine meadows. A seasonal, intermountain gondola connects guests to Northstar skiing.

The Lake Club, designed for the exclusive use of resort guests by a local architect, Clare Walton, grants panoramic views of the lake from its elegant bar and dining areas. Glass doors open to a patio seating, an outdoor whirlpool and fire pit, and a beach with a private pier. Pick your pleasure – sunbathing, swimming, stand-up paddle boarding, or kayaking. Or take a high-performance boat ride aboard a captained top-of-the-line MasterCraft X-24. Choose a daytime or sunset cruise, reserved exclusively for Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe guests, and aided by a shuttle ride to and from the lakeshore. You can also access a myriad other recreation activities, like parasailing, waterskiing, wake surfing, charter fishing, and Formula yacht tours.

If you feel like dining out, don’t miss a coveted Restaurant Trokay in nearby Truckee. Chef-owners John and Nyna Weatherson, who admittedly relocated from New York City “to live in a beautiful mountain town,” serve an upscale prix-fixe menu of highly-creative New American dishes perfectly paired with international wines or amazingly imaginative non-alcoholic concoctions.

Take part in the many wonderful guest activities at the resort. Study the Art of Mixology, enjoy roasting s’mores around an open fire with an on-site “Marshmologist”, or walk into the dark meadow at night for a weekly stargazing session on Telescope Tuesdays.

Outside the property, you can join the many activities, organized by the hotel: join a hiking group, a horseback riding exercise with and instructor at Piping Rock Horses, or take a docent-guided tour of the Thunderbird Lodge, a former residence of George Whittell, Jr., an early preservationist of Lake Tahoe. You’ll learn a fascinating story of the richest Californian who bought the entire north shore from the lumber companies back in the 1920s and 1930s, and marvel at his stone mansion, surrounded by fountains and flower beds, his personal lighthouse on the rocks, and his legendary wooden speedboat, built in 1939 and powered by twin engines from a fighter aircraft.

For additional information, and to book a room for a dreamy vacation any time of year, visit