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“Extremely disappointing in so many aspects”

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The Village At Squaw Valley
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Olympic Valley
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Townsville, Australia
Level Contributor
38 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Extremely disappointing in so many aspects”
Reviewed 26 August 2014

There is so much wrong with this place, I have summarised briefly (more details below if needed).

- Room 2419 Bed too high to get into. It's about 3 feet high

- Noisy room overlooking the car park

- No air conditioning and too noisy to leave the doors open

- Dirty smelly nappies in the open waste paper basket on the balcony in new apartment (in the hot sun)

- New room 3247 was very noisy as it was the room under the truck rubbish drop off area

- Expensive cost to go up the mountain for a swim, $44 lift and pool pass each day

- Mentioned that we didn't have a car initially but never advised that there was a bus service to neighbouring towns

- No assistance with luggage when changing rooms

- Filthy patio area with lots of dirt and debris on the ground. The metal chairs and table were filthy, as was the ledge. You couldn't sit on the chairs. I tried to wipe them down but the cushions were too dirty to sit on

- Cleaners didn't come for the first fours until I called to see if they actually had a cleaning service

- Sheets not changed during stay in this room (6 nights)

- Weak wifi reception in apartment

- Fridge freezing things even after changing the temperature

- While the rooms are self contained with cooking facilities, there is only a very small supermarket with hardly any supplies and it is very, very expensive

- Collected our rental car but wasn't advised that we also need a parking permit. Had to ring them and go back to reception again to get one, then had to ring them again as our details weren't on the permit and it is required

- Unable to change your booking once you have checked in

- Manager not available when we wanted to talk to her about our issues, tried twice but it was inconvenient to keep going back and home to get her

- You need a car if staying here as there is one small supermarket with limited stock. Given that the condos are self catered, you need to be able to buy groceries if you want to cook.

In detail:-
We had booked the "resort" for one week as we were attending a conference held there.

We had to change rooms as the first room we moved into had a bed so high (3 foot approx) that I couldn't get into it! Luckily enough there were some bunk beds in the lounge room so we had to sleep there the night. Not very romantic for our wedding anniversary.

We contacted reception and were told that they would have a room ready for us later that evening or first thing in the morning at 7am. We declined to change that night as we were quite jet lagged but would change in the morning.

I went reception at 8.30am to be told they had no record of the change (in fact was told that they wouldn't have a room anyway as the cleaning staff didn't start until later in the morning). When I explained the main reason why we wanted to change room ie a bed that we could actually get into, the guy on reception actually laughed at me. He said he'd never heard of a too high bed before (see photo).

We also said it was very noisy with the car park in front of us and the constant beeping of cars being opened and shut so would prefer a quieter room as we requested on our booking form. We also would have preferred a room with air conditioning. Given that the temperature was in the high 30s and we couldn't keep the doors open due to the noise we didn't think that unreasonable. He then told me that it would be very hard as we had so many requirements. Given that the reservations has a form where you can tick off five requirements we completed it when we booked the room. I'm not sure why they have the form then.

The reception guy offered to call us on our mobile phone when a room was available. I told him I had a Australian mobile phone but he declined to call it and said he would call the room instead. He said he would call by 12pm so we waited in the room and packed our stuff. We still hadn't heard anything by 12.30pm so I called reception as we had other things to do rather than hang around the room. This female receptionist was actually helpful and suggested that she would end the bell boy up with keys to a couple of other rooms.

The bellboy came and had a few keys so we looked at one in another building which was slightly smaller but seemed adequate. We didn't want to looked a lots of rooms and wanted to get on with our stay and be settled.

The bellboy went back to reception to get keys for us, so we finished packing and started to move. We weren't offered assistance or even a trolley so we did it in a few trips moving our luggage ourselves. My husband ran into the bell boy downstairs so he didn't even come to the room to help, or even offer.

We unpacked our bags and got settled but we could smell a really bad smell. Turns out that the room had not been cleaned properly and some dirty nappies had been left outside in an open waste basket outside in the hot sun! As I couldn't raise reception on the phone, I left the bin outside the room and went down the hallway to call on the free hall phone. I ran into a cleaner and asked if he could remove the bin, and he actually blamed us for moving there as it was too early. Not impressed after we had been stuffed around.

While we thought this room would be quiet as it was at the back of the complex (we were told it would be) we were mistaken. Early each morning during our stay, trucks backed up underneath our window (with reversing beepers sounding) and unloaded rubbish/bottles which was extremely loud. Also trucks would drop the back tray onto the road to wheel goods off the back. Very loud.

Three days before we left I called reception to change our booking and leave one day early only to be told we couldn't and then put through to reservations. They insisted that we could leave but would have to pay for that night anyway. That seems strange as we hadn't even paid for our room, only a deposit. Hmmm, in hindsight I should have said we were leaving two days early so we would only be charge for one night. Oh well.

The pool is located up the mountain and you need a lift pass to get there plus an entrance fee for the pool, over $40. Very expensive for a swim. We found out the day before we left that guests staying for more than two nights were entitled to two free lift and pool passes. We were never advised of this. When I went to reception to enquire about this, I was told that we weren't eligible as we were part if a group booking. In fact, we weren't part of a group booking, we booked the room ourselves, we were told we still weren't eligible. We were told to speak to the manager about it tomorrow but they didn't know if anything could be done about lift passes and leaving early. Unfortunately, the manager was not available when we wanted to discuss things with her.

We saw the cleaning staff only on the first day, so on day four I phoned reception to see if they did the rooms every day and apparently they do. We had the "clean room please" tag on the door. They came again on day five and took less than five minutes to make the bed and change the towels, give the bench as quick wipe down. We still didn't have our sheets changed and had been here for six nights.

We collected our rental car on Thursday and enquired about parking underneath the building overnight. We were told "just go 50 feet to the doors and use your key to get in". We did that but noticed signs everywhere about having a parking permit. We asked a staff member who was walking around the car park but he didn't know. We went up to the room and spoke to Sam (the bell boy we have dealt with before) and he said that yes we need a permit. I asked why they didn't tell us when we were there 5 minutes earlier and told them that we just collected our car but he didn't know why. He said he might be able to send one up some time but it wasn't urgent. Told him we would come and collect it. We went down to reception again and got the permit. He noticed that the permit needed a heap of details so rang Sam again and said it won't be a problem as it has our booking number on it. It didn't have our booking number on it, so Sam said he'd give it to us. This would mean yet another trip downstairs. Sam said he would make a note to make sure the car was ok and not towed for not having all the details.

All in all we were extremely disappointed in the service and facilities at Squaw Valley Village. I imagine this might be a good place to come skiing in winter but in summer there are limited things to do and see. I would recommend that you have a car so you can get out and about.

Room Tip: Book one with air conditioning in summer. An apartment away from the car park and bars.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
3 Thank Junkster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Pullman, Washington
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2014

We booked through one of those "super secret hotel" programs. Don't do that!! When we arrived, the desk clerk told us we don't get any choice of rooms, and none of the tram passes or other deals advertised on the Village web site. Cost us more than if we had booked direct. They coded our key to the wrong room, and I had to make a second trip back to the desk to get our keys re-done. Our room was in need of major repair. There were beer bottles on the porch, the bathroom door did not close or lock, water damage on the bathroom floor, the refrigerator was set wrong and froze all our food, and there was a large, sticky beverage stain on the living room walls. The fireplace was so blackened with soot that you could barely see the fire. We rode the tram up to High Camp, and the tram staff was grumpy and overwhelmed. High Camp was badly understaffed, with just one small restaurant open for a large crowd. The staff was overwhelmed, frowning, and terse. We waited 30 minutes and paid $48 for two cold hamburgers and greasy fries. We went back to the Village to use the hot tub, and there were no spa towels. Called the front desk, but no towels came. When we checked out, the automated checkout system did not work. Went back to the front desk, and the person was new and did not know how to check us out manually. Oh, and they charge you $21 per night on top of your room rate for a "resort fee" that pays for all these "amenities."

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing AWAY from the courtyards, they are very noisy.
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Green Features: The restaurants use plates and cups that compost. Some recycling containers.
  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2 Thank BizKeeper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elk Grove, California
Level Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2014

We are a family of 9 people (2 super seniors, 4 grown-ups and 3 kids) who spent a wonderful vacation at this resort. During summer time, the resort offered 2 free tram/swim adults tickets per room reservation and deep discounts for super seniors and kids on Tuesdays (they call them Bluesdays). With all the discounts added up, it is really a deal to stay at this upscale resort without breaking your bank. Our 2-room suite is about 900 sq ft with full kitchen (all the utensils, cookwares and appliances). We even have a balcony. Our super seniors spent time visiting the village, take the tram and explore the High Camp. Kids enjoyed mini-golf at the resort, took the tram and swam in the pool. The bike path from the resort to the Tahoe City is spectacular: not too steep and is not shared with automobiles. Overall, we spent a good time at the resort with a group with such a wide age range.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank CarmenL2112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coppell, Texas
Level Contributor
29 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2014

Just returned from a 4 night stay in a 2 bedroom condo at Squaw. We picked Squaw because we had skied there before and wanted something on the North side of Lake Tahoe. Kind of tucked back and a 15-30 minute drive from everything on the North and West Shore. Room was nice, needed more lighting as nothing seemed to work in the bedrooms. Carpet was torn up going to the master bedroom. Also requested an air conditioned condo. Not sure the 1 fan in the room qualified for air conditioning. If your condo faces the village, be prepared for loud noise from below most of the night and early morning with workers moving equipment down the cobblestone streets of the square. Also had money out for laundry that was quickly taken by the housekeeping staff along with some reading material that we had saved to read by the pool up at High Camp. Not much they can do about it and I know I shouldn't have left the quarters out, but please hire some staff with some integrity. The surrounding area was beautiful. Took the tram (very expensive) up to High Camp to swim and hike and do the activities that Squaw had to offer. Little bummed they didn't have a pool at the resort as it was definitely needed with the hot weather. Not a lot of restaurants to choose from either in the Village and that makes the existing restaurants crowded. Was there during Funk Fest and saw some great free bands that played all weekend. It seems they have lots of festivals during the summer which can get a little loud. Not sure I'd stay here again. Liked the idea of the condo, but lack of sleep due to noise and temperature might not have us return.

Room Tip: Request a room that doesn't face the village. Might not get the view, but the noise will definit...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Laura F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oroville, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2014 via mobile

I am currently staying @ this timeshare/hotel...check in time was supposed to be 4pm...we arrived about 3:20, room wasn't ready yet so they said they'd call us when it was...4 o'clock came & went, no call. We walked back, rm still not ready & no apology or explanation why!...I will say on a positive note, the room was clean & smelled nice...but, traveler beware: NO AIR CONDITIONING...when we finally got to our room (around 4:30ish) our room temp was 78! had to open all windows & patio door to vent the place...we left for a few hours and the temp only went down 1 degree!...you should have hammocks on the patios, it's the only cool place to sit or sleep!!!...we found a box fan in a closet, after my husband called the front desk to ask for a fan that Never came!...no room service not even convenient vending machines on the floors!!! No direct access from lobby to our room(in bldg3) we had to go thru the hot parking garage and walk to an elevator... what kind of mickey mouse place is this! The tv has lines running thru it horizontally and there's static with whatever cable/satellite provider they use. We've stayed in motels that have been nicer than this for half the money!!! Not to mention the staff is totally lack luster, no smiles, no engaging conversation or much eye contact..sadly no one seems to give a crap!

Stayed August 2014
2 Thank Gryphon7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reno, Nevada
Level Contributor
84 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2014 via mobile

Just returned from a one night stay at the Lodge at Squaw Valley for Bluesdays Tuesdays. I think I got 4 hours of sleep. Pros: Beautiful location, the surrounding mountains are gorgeous. The front desk people were nice, one bedroom suite was small but OK for three adults. The Rockers restaurant was fantastic. Cons: This is a big one....after Bluesdays Tuesday our room (that overlooked the plaza) had drunken, loud group of people that simply would not leave. I called the front desk twice and they finally cleared them out around 3AM, but it took TWO phones calls and resulted in very little sleep for all of us. The Bluesday Tuesdays crowd was large and filled with Woodstock throwbacks who simply had no respect for the other spectactors. They simply plopped their low back chairs in front of everyone (that had been waiting for over an hour) and danced their drunken cares away. I will not attend another bluesday event.

Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
Thank smalltowngalReno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2014

We stayed at the Village at Squaw for 5 nights. Checked into a 2 bed condo requesting a quiet spot- after unbelievably loud noise and music from a nearby bar and several phone calls to the front desk- which the Village handled most courteously and professionally- they met my request for a free room upgrade to a 3 bed and a quieter spot the next morning. The bars are not part of the accommodation and apparently this night was the wrap party for the end of a weekend long yoga festival- with so the Village were limited in what they could do- i was impressed with their staff and their efforts to get the bar to comply with its noise permit.

The main problem with the Village at Squaw in the summer is there's no pool. Which would be okay if this was clear from booking on the website but it isn't. There's one at High Camp which is featured most prominently on the website- but it doesn't make it clear you have to take the tram up - and that costs $55 per adult. Yes- for a family of four it will cost you almost $200 to get up there.That includes a couple other activities but its still ridiculously expensive. There's no pool at the resort level- several hot-tubs including one large one heated to 85 for the summer- i guess a bit like a pool- but still. The website lists a pool in its amenities- one that you have to pay that much money to access and its only accessible between 11 and 5 to my mind is not an amenity.

The accommodation was top quality and we loved the rest of the area- but travelling with two kids we picked Squaw thinking there would be free or reasonably priced things for them to do in the resort- there really isn't. No organized games, ping-pong, and no pool. For that reason we would not stay at the Village again with kids. Other places there at Squaw Valley- eg the Squaw Creek Lodge, do have pools, so i think we'd pick those over the Village

Room Tip: Higher floors are quieter.. ask about any special events happening in the village when checking in...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank 92julesw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Village At Squaw Valley

Property: The Village At Squaw Valley
Address: 1750 Village East Road, Olympic Valley, CA 96146
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Lake Tahoe (California) > Olympic Valley
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Olympic Valley
#4 Romantic Hotel in Olympic Valley
#4 Family Hotel in Olympic Valley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Village At Squaw Valley 4*
Number of rooms: 180
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stay in the heart of the Lake Tahoe action. Dining, shopping, activities, and steps from the slopes of world-class ski resort Squaw Valley. When you want to spend more time playing and less time driving this is the place for you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Village At Squaw Valley Hotel Olympic Valley
Village Squaw
Village At Squaw Valley

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