There's sexy lodging.
And then there's sexy lodging.
This is the latter. It's also your launchpad for the weekend to end all weekends in our favorite spot in the state. Because it's good to impress her (or him) once in awhile.
And this time, this weekend, that means romance. And woods. And campfires. Romantic, on-the-patio-of-your-lodge campfires.
Here's your five-star checklist.
There's nothing like unabashed luxury ... especially when it's overlooking a ridiculously gorgeous panorama of the Sierra Nevadas. It's hard not to love Tahoe, save the crowds. So come up to the Ritz Carlton, just about the Northstar village, for privacy, intimacy, take-your-breath-away nature and five-star appointments. Oh, and your plus-one? She'll like it. Trust.
THE DINNER OUT
Depends on how far you're happy to go. Northstar, the village below the hotel, is sealed up tight as a drum this time of the year, so unless you're feeling OK with a pizza/calamari situation, plan on heading down the lake. Con: You'll have to get in a car. Bonus: Both choices — on water or inland — are spectacular. Our picks: for water views, you want Christy Hill, and their French-inflected Californian; if you're content with Truckee, head to one of the region's best restos, Trokay, for similarly upmarket and inventive stuff. (If you go for the prix-fixe, don't miss the soft shell crab tempura.)
Do you like massages? Your lady does. So hook her up with one at the hotel's spa. Ask for Colleen, our therapist of choice, and she'll sort her out. Remember: the key to a successful weekend away is a firm break with whatever (for example: five hours of driving time) came before it. Schedule this for after the welcome drinks and before retiring to the room for the evening.
Nothing is sexier than alone time. So stow the phone (well, except for emergency use only) and head out on one of the hotel's stand-up paddling routes — they'll help you pack up a dry bag (Champagne is required) and point you in the right direction. Ditto for kayaks. And if you're thinking, "What is this nonsense? My lady battles lions for breakfast," get her a seat in a couples' flight over the lake, which is amazing no matter how many times you've done it. It's scientifically proven: tackling scary activities together bonds two people more deeply. And helicopters qualify.