I love traveling off-season because you can go to a vacation spot and feel like you’re enjoying that destination, free of crowds and inflated prices. As long as you’re willing to be flexible with the weather conditions and don’t require perfect snow or the hottest day of the year, you can have a great experience and enjoy your getaway hassle free.
My friends and I just enjoyed a beautiful weekend up in South Lake Tahoe at The Ridge Resorts. My original idea was to get two hotel rooms in the middle of downtown, close to the casinos which would be convenient but given that we were a bunch of women wanting to throw a grown-up girl’s slumber party, that idea wasn’t going to work for what I wanted. So, I called up a friend who has a timeshare at The Ridge Resorts in Tahoe and was able to get exactly what I was looking for. The Ridge Resorts is set up so you can either stay as a hotel guest or you can sign up as a club member and receive some excellent benefits. I’m not really an expert on time shares and club memberships but I do know that the savings are well worth it at this resort. Especially if you holiday in Lake Tahoe as often as my friends and family seem to.
Because it’s off-season and fairly quiet in Lake Tahoe in general in the fall, we were able to get an incredible two-bedroom condo, which slept five women (and all of our stuff) comfortably. Time share or not, anybody can take advantage of the off-season specials and get really nice rooms for much less than what you would pay during the summer and winter seasons. Included in our particular condo was: a gas fireplace, two bathrooms, flat screen TV’s in the bedrooms and living room with DVD players, the perfect tub to take a bubble bath in,a fully equipped kitchen, sleep number beds in the bedrooms, and a queen pull-out bed in the living room, among other amenities. Daily maid service is included. The resort is getting a major face lift at some of their buildings but it didn’t affect us at all. Our room reflected the new and improved amenities which are modern and updated. The decor is tastefully done yet comfortable and inviting. Did I mention the view? The view is spectacular as expected considering the uphill route to get to the resort.
Overlooking Carson Valley, located just past the casinos and Heavenly Valley Ski Resort in South Shore, the road to The Ridge is winding and how should I say……way the hell up there. (Those who are afraid of heights or have trouble breathing in high altitudes should pack their Valium and inhalers.)
Thankfully, there are shuttles running from The Ridge down to the casinos, with the last one returning at 12:30a.m. Originally, we had aspirations of drinking and gambling all night in the casinos which would have posed a problem with the shuttle situation. But reality finally set in and we admitted that none of us are high rollers and would probably lose our shirts in about thirty minutes anyway so it wasn’t an issue after all. Since we had such a beautiful, cozy room with a fireplace waiting for us, we chose to drive down the hill, got the gambling out of our systems early, and shopped for food to bring back to the room. We had a nice kitchen to play in and the idea of having our little shin-dig with our shoes off, having happy-hour while safely tucked away in our temporary home became the unanimous decision. Oh, and a stack of tabloid magazines added to the fun as well. That’s what I loved about having a condo in this situation. We felt at home which is how everyone should feel when having a slumber party. Call it our version of Sex and the City minus the stilettos and hot guys. (We’ll save that for Vegas.)
The amenities at the property are endless. Granted, you are on top of the world where you can quickly feel almost stranded, but everything you need is within reach. If you don’t want to drive down the hill to get groceries, then you can go to their mini-mart, located next to the concierge desk in the main lobby to get essential food items, incidentals, etc. Other really nice perks to be found on site are a movie theater, movie rentals (we rented “Hot Tub Time Machine”) tennis courts, pools, hot tubs, restaurants, bars, nice outdoor BBQ areas which have spectacular views, and a full service spa. That’s just a sampling. The point is, there’s almost no reason to leave if you don’t have to.
I should also mention that there has been some real growth in South Lake Tahoe in the last ten years. The shopping is pretty abundant in the area, both in the main part of town and in the casinos. The prices were surprisingly reasonable given that the area is such a high tourist area. I know when I go to Las Vegas I choke from sticker shock when pricing anything along the strip and inside the casinos. Hey, that’s my problem. If you can stock up on Prada then go for it. But therapy shopping is definitely doable in Tahoe from what I saw and if nothing else, you can have a great time window shopping. Look how much fun I had shoe shopping! (See above).
The other reason to see Lake Tahoe this time of the year is to see the beautiful fall colors. My travels to Tahoe have often been in the middle of summer but I’ve never been there in the fall and the colors were absolutely gorgeous. It may not be Vermont but I’ve never seen Tahoe look so colorful.
The ski crowd should also check this out if you’re looking for a cozy getaway while enjoying the ski slopes this winter. I am allergic to traveling downhill at high speeds in sub-zero weather so I’ll let you all just tell me all about it. 🙂Happy Travels!