Resort at Squaw Creek: Summer Sanctuary and Winter WonderlandJuly 24, 2011 No Comments
The late afternoon summer sun illuminates Squaw Valley in golden emerald hues. Silence reigns as the day draws to a close, before the night awakens. I stare out through the floor-to-ceiling picture windows from my suite in the Resort at Squaw Creek in Squaw Valley, California, mesmerized by nature’s beauty. It is here where the resort is found, tucked in a lush valley of dense pine lining the hillsides like rich green velvet.
I had the pleasure of staying at this lovely resort with my husband and two children in July 2011. Although summer was in full-swing, the resort’s layout and design makes one feel secluded. It does not have that crowded feeling one often gets from other resorts. Its location is simply perfect: nestled among the evergreens of lodgepole, sugar and ponderosa pines, with quaking aspen and their leaves shimmering like medallions in the sunlight.
We were greeted by verdant panoramic views ushered by the glass wall upon entering the lobby, with its expansive seating areas that are cozy and inviting. Upholstered in rich muted chenille and butter-soft leather, the furniture and décor enhances the natural beauty of the alpine surroundings. There is a large stone fireplace with a granite hearth, wood paneling, and subtle accents that convey the warmth of home. A baby grand piano and several game tables – two for chess and one for checkers – offer a quiet diversion after dinner, or anytime in between the day’s activities.
Everything about the resort is defined by gracious hospitality. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable and very helpful, from the housekeeping services, the resort restaurants and shops, to the concierge and front desk staff.
All the luxurious accommodations include their super comfortable “Deep Powder” pillow-top beds, remote-controlled LCD flat-screen TVs, speakerphones with voice mail, free high-speed wireless Internet access, refrigerators, hair dryers and robes, irons and ironing boards, in-room coffee and tea, individual heating and cooling controls, complimentary delivered newspapers (Monday-Friday), Pay-Per-View movies and video games, and signature spa amenities (shampoo, conditioner, and more).
The suites and townhouse-style penthouses also include separate bedrooms with LCD flat-screen TV, living room with gas fireplace, LCD flat-screen TV and queen-sized sofa sleeper, dining table and chairs, and resort-style kitchens with granite counters and stainless steel appliances (china, glassware and silverware provided). Each penthouse bedroom comes with its own private bathroom. There is a washer/dryer stackable unit in the penthouse suites, as well as a coin-operated laundry facility in the resort.
Attention is given to every detail from the accommodations’ plush comfortable furniture upholstered in richly textured fabrics of warm muted colors, to the large picture windows making the most of the breathtaking views, to the exquisite chocolates placed on lacey doilies on the bedstand during the nightly turndown service.
Six Peaks Grille
The Resort at Squaw Creek features several fantastic choices for family-friendly dining. The Six Peaks Grille offers distinctive regional cuisine with fresh produce, seafood and steaks, and spectacular mountain and valley views. Their children’s menu is delicious with plenty of options for the pickiest eaters, including healthy side choices such as fruit, salad and vegetables. The Lip S’Mac n Cheese was the best my daughter has tried anywhere, creamy and lip-smacking good, as the name suggests. We were very pleased with the fantastic service and delicious cuisine in a discreetly elegant yet laid-back atmosphere. They are open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The perfect family sports bar, Sandy’s Pub offers a delicious fare of tasty appetizers and meals. The chicken wings are by far the best we’ve had anywhere and come with a creamy ranch dipping sauce that leaves you licking your fingers clean. The casual atmosphere is inviting with lots of ski memorabilia photos displayed at the entrance, big TV screens throughout, and games.
Sweet Potatoes Deli
The Sweet Potatoes Deli is where we had our breakfast every morning, with hot coffee (free refills are included) and a delicious assortment of rolls and pastries. They also offer a savory array that includes deli sandwiches, salads, homemade soup, juices, yogurts, and more. They are open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This cheerful marketplace also conveniently sells a variety of gifts, souvenirs, sundries, books, magazines, and toys.
Winter and Spring recreation (approximately November-April) offers exclusive on-property chair lift with ski-in/ski-out access to Squaw Valley USA’s 4,000 acres of skiable terrain, 18 kilometers of groomed cross-country skiing/snowshoe trails, an outdoor ice skating pavilion, sledding, and dog sled tours. There are two outdoor heated swimming pools and hot tubs for year-round use as well.
Summer and Fall recreation (approximately May-October) offers the Robert Trent Jones Jr. 18-hole championship golf course, two outdoor tennis courts with lessons and equipment rental available, mountain biking trails to 8,200 feet above sea level, onsite hiking trails, plunge pool with 120-foot water slide, hiking/backpacking, fly fishing lessons and guided trips.
The resort also features a luxury full-service spa and salon, health and fitness center with sauna and steam rooms, a boutique shopping promenade with designer fashions, jewelry, fine art, sporting equipment, children’s clothing and toys, and much more.
There is complimentary shuttle service to the nearby Village at Squaw Valley which offers more shopping, dining and entertainment that includes a miniature golf course, Headwall Climbing Wall (all ages), and Skyjump Bungee Trampoline (all ages, 20-200 lbs.). There are also plenty of Lake Tahoe activities, including water sports, shopping, dining and casinos located on the Nevada shoreline. Kayaking, white water rafting, Truckee River floating, and horseback riding can be conveniently arranged through the concierge.
Mountain Buddies Kids Kamp
The Mountain Buddies Kids Kamp for children ages 4-12 is a year-round children’s program with exciting seasonal activities ranging from swimming, hiking, biking, sledding, ice skating, snow shoeing, indoor and outdoor games, arts and crafts, and more. Several sessions are available including: full-day session 9am-5pm (includes lunch), morning session 9am-12:30pm, afternoon session 1:30pm-5pm, and evening session 6pm-10pm (includes dinner).
Additional resort amenities include babysitting services, cribs, an arcade, baggage services, bell captain, a terrific business center (my husband made use of this during our stay when he had a few documents faxed to his clients), check cashing/ATM, express checkout, concierge, wake-up services, laundry facilities, complimentary self-parking, paid valet parking, and more.
If visiting during the summer months, make sure to pack bug repellent for the mosquitoes and biting flies that are more prevalent in the late afternoon and evening hours. Although the temperature may be warm and sunny during the day, it tends to drop quite suddenly once the sun has set, so pack warm clothes as well. We found long pants best for hiking as they protect the legs from scrapes. Good hiking shoes are also essential for more serious adventures. The concierge is extremely helpful and knowledgeable about area and resort activities. If you fly here, be sure to rent a car so you can better explore Squaw Valley and the beautiful Lake Tahoe area for more sightseeing and activities.
The Resort at Squaw Creek was by far one of the best family vacations we’ve had. Our days were filled with exploring the stunning natural beauty of the region through hiking/backpacking, horseback riding tours, sightseeing, swimming, and more, while our evenings comprised of recounting the day’s adventures over a delicious meal, usually at the Six Peaks Grille or Sandy’s Pub. We would then relax with a game of chess in the warmth of the lobby’s seating area, before heading back to our suite for the night. This spectacular resort is a top pick and highly recommended for families. The address is 400 Squaw Creek Road, Olympic Valley, CA 96146. For more information visit http://www.squawcreek.com/