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Lake Tahoe is an alpine lake in the north of California that creates a border with Nevada. It’s the second deepest lake in America. that’s why, despite being 2000 meters above sea level, it never freezes. Its circumference is about 120 kilometers…The lake is surrounded by pine forests, cute small towns and two-storey chalets. The water of the lake is crystal clear. In Indian, Tahoe means the lake in the sky! The area is filled with ski and golf resorts. It welcomes around 3 million tourists every year. When you think about the fact that lake is surrounded by fancy chalets all with different designs, you will realize that the population goes up immensely during the holidays.  That’s why even though it’s only 3-4 hours from San Francisco, it may take you up to 10 hours to get to it despite the huge highway. Every type of water sports in available at the lake during the summer. Including swimming for those who don’t mind the cold. But the real activity is during ski season. There are many ski centers but two of them are quite famous: Squaw Valley where the 1960 Winter Olympics were held and Northstar. The first is a great fit for strong skiers and those looking for a luxurious vacation. There is a Ritz Carlton here and its facilities. There are fancy shops, restaurants and a big ice rink in the town below. People from all ages skate here accompanied by music from an orchestra placed near the rink.

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Access to the hotel and ski runs are done via lifts that are called gondolas, which have nothing to do with the gondolas in Venice. The hotel and rental houses associated with the hotel are of course very luxurious and expensive. Food and beverage is not that pricey. The main restaurant of the Ritz is called Manzanita. People who want to eat in a warm and comfortable environment choose this restaurant. Those who want to sit at the terrace and watch people ski prefer Backyard BBQ. Moet &Chandon has a stand here and they sell champagne in a water glass for 26 dollars as of December 2016.  A similar application can be found at Squaw but since it’s not as fancy as the Ritz it has a whiskey buffet. After dinner, I sat next to one of the fireplaces at Blue Cafe outside with a hot chocolate in hand to watch the kids ski. The tracks and lifts were just there.. What impressed me the most was the ‘magic carpet’ that carried little skiers to the top. It was a joy to watch cute kids slowly move to the top with a contraption that looked like a flattened escalator. Hotel customers can watch this scene in heated outdoor pools or while sipping heir champagne albeit in water glasses.

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I previously said that the price of food and beverages were relatively cheap compared to the price of others. The main restaurant of the hotel Manzanita i a fancy restaurant with a bar and of course a fireplace. They have a fix menu that costs 40 dollars per person. They have five courses on this quality menu so the price is acceptable when compared to its precedents. First a soup, then an open buffet that includes everything from salads to bacon, from shrimp to cheeses, then a pizza, followed by a main course and finally dessert. What more could you possibly want! I could only have some soup and grilled chicken with Brussels sprouts. After all those horrible noodles that were presented to us as soup, the soup at Manzanita with sweet potatoes and smoked bacon quenched our thirsts for real soup!

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If you don’t compare it to restaurants in Courchevel or Vald’lsere, Manzanita is a cute place with reasonable prices, far from those typical American restaurants where you gorge on burgers, fries and pizzas!

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