I've stayed up on Donner Summit before when skiing at Sugar Bowl, but I found the nightlife a little lacking. What I found to be a great alternative was staying in Downtown Truckee, and taking the shuttle up to the mountain for skiing. The Truckee Hotel was a great choice.
Centrally located in Downtown Truckee. Walking distance to many bars and restaurants. Walking distance to the depot station. No need to drive once you make it to Truckee!! The hotel had very competetive prices, charming rooms, and a complimentary continental breakfast.
A number of mountain cabins are available for rental (2 night minimum) around Serene Lakes.
"Cabin" is perhaps a misnomer for many of these homes. Some are absolutely beautiful and not at all rustic.
All cabins in the Serene Lakes area are within walking distance to the lake, if not right on the lake.
There is not a lot of lodging to choose from in Soda Springs, California, but even if I had more choices, Ice Lakes Lodge, located at 7,000 feet, would remain my favorite. Ice Lakes Lodge sits on the banks of Serene Lakes, which are frozen solid in winter. The lake is shallow, which means that in the summer, it warms up enough for swimming and kayaking. The lake is peaceful and idyllic - no motorized craft are allowed.
This lodge is cozy and small -- it has only 26 guest rooms. Built in 2000, it still has the heavenly smell of fresh pine! The rooms are comfortable and the food is fabulous.
Rates are the highest during ski season. They drop dramatically when ski season is over at the end of March. In any season, this lodge is a fantastic value.
Important tip for those who like to go to bed before 10pm: Request a room downstairs away from the bar.
Pretty seasonal. Midweek, off season is about $89/night. Weekend, high season (winter) is about $150.
There is a great fireplace in the lobby that invite lounging around after a day outside. The staff is local so they can be really helpful with tips for activities.
The rooms do suffer a little from noise 'leak' from the lobby but things tend to quiet down about 10 PM anyway.
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