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“Nice and easy”
Review of Inn at Sugar Bowl

Inn at Sugar Bowl
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Inn at Sugar Bowl
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Norden
Reviewed 27 March 2013

We've been to the Inn 3 times in two years, always mid-week the room rate half that of the weekend. Very pleased each time. Great friendly service by all staff, starting from the greeting at the parking structure entrance. A lot of them clearly love their jobs, and I recognize some of them from year to year. One fellow at the gondola has been there 25 years!

With two adults and two teenagers we always get a loft on the back with one bed down and two up. Plan to sleep between 10pm and 6am if you're a light sleeper- the grooming machines are quiet only during those hours. Beds are comfortable enough with a selection of pillows. It is an old structure (1939?) and it shows, but it's clean and well maintained. The windows are single pane and get a lot of condensation, which may explain part of the steep weekend room rates, perhaps?

One simple but ongoing gripe is the coffee situation. They've got that damned noisy pesky single cup pod thing in the room. Why can't they just have a regular pot down in the lobby from 6 - 9?

The food situation is limited on-site, but both restaurants are quite good. They're not cheap, for sure, it is a ski resort, after all. The main dining room dinners exceed my expectations - good ingredients, eveything prepared hot to order, nice presentation, prompt and friendly service, and good menu variety. Vegetarian options are limited. The restaurant bar for lunch has the usual suspects on the menu, and a good selection of beer on tap. Loomis IPA. Mmmm. The burger quality was well above average. For both lunch and dinner the kitchen is quite prompt.

Good variety of skiing, lots of blues - some are the step up from green, and a few boardering on black, and really good blacks once the snow softens up enough.

Room Tip: I think there will be noise from grooming and resort operations on both the front and back sides. Th...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Cameron M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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9 - 15 of 16 reviews

Reviewed 14 March 2013

We have been here for 1 night and were positively surprised. The staff is very helpful and nice. The room was clean and pleasant. Well equipped. Recently renovated. Very comfortable bathroom. Being 10 feet from the lifts is a huge comfort and will upgrade your vacation. This is absolutely unbeatable advantage.
We were here in midweek, so prices were 50% reduced (if you reserve online). This is a great deal. In the weekends and holidays it is twice the price.
They also have a good (but not cheap) restaurant. You can also order through the bar. The kitchen is the same and the prices are much cheaper. We did so and enjoy our dinner.
One minus is the noise from outside the room. The walls are not insulated enough, however they supply ear plugs with the bathroom supply if you need some.
Altogether, if you want to ski in Sugar bowl you can definitely upgrade your experience by coming day in advance, stay in this hotel and start skiing from the hotel doors the morning after.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank omerdekel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2011

We just spent a weekend at the Inn at Sugar Bowl and loved it. We had wanted to do it for years and finally managed to get to the Inn. You arrive by Gondola any time of day or night - the amazing staff takes all your stuff and gets it to your room from the beginning of the gondola so, if you, like us, have bags with presents and wine bags and luggage and skis, etc... this is a great service. The rooms are nothing special but the location is perfect - you can practically touch the ski lifts from the balcony. This is a family hotel with mostly small children. I happen to enjoy watching small children and loved the hustle and bustle but it was noisy so if this isn't for you, think again about staying here. I would make a guess that 95% of the clientele were families. The staff is amazing - the inn was started by Walk Disney and you get that Disneyesque feeling with the super happy and friendly help. The inn could use some upgrading but it is a well-worn, comfy sort of spot. If you want fancy ski in, ski out please go to the Ritz at North Star. The dining room is a lovely old and charming room from the 30's with good, not great, food. The bar is fun as well and truly the best bloody mary ever. The pictures on the walls of all the old sugar bowl folk (including Walt) add to the charm. There is a nice lodge room overlooking the slopes with big fireplace and comfy leather couches for guests only...this was well used last weekend by all the families. A fun thing for kids...Nob Hill run is open at night and they rent sleds so kids got to go sledding in the evening as their parents looked on over delicious food and wine in the dining room - very civilized.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms on the mountain side for the views..
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Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
5  Thank calzini06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2011

I stayed here two nights midweek in March 2011, when rooms were half price ($79/night). My room was a northern twin. Overall, I enjoyed the hotel and would stay here again at that price, though not for more than a couple of nights, as the dining options aren’t good.

First, what I liked. My room was cozy and clean and had more character than a homogenous chain hotel. The bed and pillows were warm and comfy, and the radiator heated the space nicely. The room’s walls seemed more soundproof than most newer hotels, and everything in the room worked. The housekeepers were friendly and helpful.

The “great room” downstairs in the lodge was a pleasant place to hang out, with a huge fireplace, a chess table, and comfortable chairs. Very charming. Most of the front desk personnel were top notch. Lockers downstairs for your snow-riding gear were handy. And the location of the lodge -- right at the lifts -- can't be beat.

Now, what I didn’t like. If you stay in a northern twin, you have to rely on two dining options -- the fancy restaurant and the bar -- because you have no fridge or kitchen. Both dining options were disappointing. Apparently there is a pastry and coffee hour in the morning that comes with the room, but it starts at a time (I think 10 a.m.) which is useless to the skier/snowboarder, as you will already be on the slopes.

When I arrived at the end of the gondola to begin my stay, no porter was there to help with my luggage, so I had to carry it myself. The front desk person stated this oversight was due to how busy they were. It looked deserted to me. The disconnect between what was said and what was actually happening struck me as disingenuous. Shampoo was not provided in the bathroom. The lift ticket salesman in the lodge was surly.

All in all, though, it was a good experience for the price.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled solo
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6  Thank chomeuse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2010

I can't believe what a value this place was. We stayed in the deluxe suite room 300 this weekend for $199 a night. I would have never thought I would say thats a deal, but the hotel is on the mountain. I know there are several resorts with accommodations at the base of the lifts like Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, etc; but this place is on the middle of the mountain. Get up, have breakfast walk 50 feet and get on the lift! I was on the lift at opening this morning after a night of fresh snow. Since everyone else has to take another gondola or lift to get to where we stayed I had two runs before I encountered other tracks or people.

Our room was one of the newer remodeled units and was the size of two average size hotel rooms. As of this writing, a regular hotel style room cost $99 mid week, and non holidays. This is one of the oldest resorts in Tahoe; I think our side of the hotel was constructed in the 30's. As such it has squeeky floors, and marginal sound proofing. But, you are on the mountain! The third floor has high ceilings, great views, decent furnishings and a cozy interior, not sure what else you need.

Our check in was awesome. Drove my car up to the indoor parking, the parking attendant initiated the check in progress. We were ushered from our car to the gondola, to check in, to our room by three or four different people seamlessly, and always addressed by name. Nice touch.

The gondola runs 24 hours a day, so you are free to come and go, but with our 9 month old daughter along for the ride we spent our entire time on the mountain. The restaurant had great food and staff. You can check the menu on their website.

The lift tickets can be purchased in the hotel. Since we had our daughter and no babysitter we purchased a family pass, not advertised, but my wife and I could switch it back and forth throughout the day.

I loved this place! For my new family is was a great solution to dealing with a baby.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank DoctorFishFace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2008

The Inn at SugarBowl is right there on the mountain. You park you car in the covered garage and take a gondola to the lodge. The Lodge is only a few steps away from the gondola, which makes it very convenient. I got a room with a private bath, lift tickets and breakfast as the package. The restaurant in the lodge served a very nice buffet breakfast - eggs, bacon, bagels, yogurt, fruit, cereal, etc. Then, you walk right out and you're right there on the lifts for Nob Hill or Disney Express. We stayed over New Years and the Lodge has a very nice celebration. Fireworks go off at midnight and residents and hotel guest ski down with flares from the top of Mt. Disney at 11pm.

The staff was very plentiful and you can always find someone. Everyone was very friendly, but so misinformed about everything. I asked when do the lift open and the front desk said 9am when it really opened at 8:30. I asked what time ski school starts and they say 8:30 but it actually 10am on the Village side. I asked if I could get a refund on the lift tickets since the ski school provides lift tickets. They said no, I had to purchase the bed and breakfast package which includes the breakfast and lift tickets. Then, I asked someone else and they said they would credit me. Apart from no one not knowing anything, it was a great place to ski.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled with family
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4  Thank OandO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2007

A friend and I spent one night at the Inn at Sugar late in the ski season and got a great deal that included two lift tickets and breakfast.

While the conditions were mediocre at best due to the warm weather and lack of fresh snow, the accommodations far exceeded our expectations. The porter, the hotel manager, and front desk staff all greeted us warmly. If you arrive before your room is ready they will put your bags in storage and give you access to the lodge's private locker room to change into your ski gear.

The Inn itself is small consisting of only about 20 rooms. We stayed in room 300, top floor on the corner. All rooms face towards the ski resort, have a patio and an amazing view. The rooms were very clean, spacious and well appointed. It had a classic, European flair to it, and is the perfect compliment to a long weekend on the slopes. There is a great little bar downstairs, a high-end restaurant and a cozy common lodge room for guests with free Wi-Fi.

Parking is included with your stay, but you have to take the gondola from about a mile away, but it drops you right in the hotel, so from your car to the room, you don't have to step outside.

The biggest bonus of them all is that you get to step out of the front doors of the Inn and walk about 20 yards to two different ski lifts! A huge plus.

In closing:

Upsides - Impeccable service, clean and comfortable, convenient to ski lifts, great classic ski atmosphere, and free parking.

Downsides - Noise from the snowcats grooming at night. The rooms look out onto the lodge's deck which during peak times could get noisy during the evening.

  • Stayed: March 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2  Thank BrandonScot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Inn at Sugar Bowl

Address: 629 Sugar Bowl Rd, Norden, CA 95724
Region: United States > California > Norden
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Norden
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Inn at Sugar Bowl 3.5*
Number of rooms: 27
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Also Known As:
Inn At Sugar Bowl Hotel Norden
Hotel At Sugar Bowl

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