For families headed to Lake Tahoe, Constellation Residences at Northstar feels like a mid-mountain home away from home. With 28 two-, three- and four-bedroom residences just a stone’s throw from Northstar’s ski lifts, it’s a ski-in, ski-out dream for families and groups that makes for a perfect Northstar hotel.
On a recent winter visit, I stayed at Constellation Residences while skiing at Northstar, and loved that there’s ample room to stay and play as these owner-owned, resort-operated apartments have everything you need as well as easy access to on-property gym, ski valet, and the neighboring Ritz-Carlton’s restaurants and cafes.
Things to Know About Constellation Residences at Northstar
- North Lake Tahoe towns including Kings Beach and Tahoe Vista are a short 15-minute drive from Constellation, and Reno airport and downtown Reno are under an hour away.
- Constellation’s location mid-mountain at Northstar California Resort means easy access to all resort amenities including restaurants, bars, shops and rentals.
- In addition to Northstar offerings, Constellation is adjacent to and physically adjoining the Ritz Carlton; guests have Ritz gym, restaurants, and lobby services access.
- A simple yet welcoming entry to the building exudes more of a “welcome to your apartment” vibe than hotel lobby, yet your stay in residence is attended to as if you are at a service-oriented resort.
- Each residence is unique, but all are well-appointed with attractive decor and balconies.
- Activities on property abound in summer with hiking, biking, and water sports; and skiing, snowboarding, and sledding in winter.
What Families Need to Know About Constellation Residences
Northstar’s Constellation Residences feel like a slope-side home with all the luxury hotel bells and whistles. A valet will park your car while you check in, and the mid-mountain location and ski valet mean that if you have your ski pass already, you can just put on your skis (or in summer, grab your bike) and head out the back door.
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Each residence has unique elements; larger units may include a tv/play room; some include gaming systems; and all have balconies. Families can arrange for cribs, toys, strollers and/or car seats ahead of time through the welcoming and friendly desk or management staff. The property also has a list of recommended babysitters for those looking to get out and about.
In summer, stay on property for hiking tours—including a guided night hike—and mountain biking. A short 15-minute drive will bring you from Constellation to Lake Tahoe for swimming, boating, and other water sports. In winter, Constellation hums with activity, with easy access to downhill and cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, sledding and snow shoes.
Guests receive 20% off lift tickets with reservations of three nights or more. Northstar runs part- and full-day ski school programming for kids as young as toddlers, so grown ups can ski all day independently. Year-round, there are family-friendly activities at Villager Candle Shop, where your whole group can do some make-your-own crafting as a souvenir of the trip; a stroll through the shops in the Village is a great way to wind down after a full day of activity.
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Of course, every unit at Constellation Residences has a full kitchen, so you may choose to dine in throughout your stay. But if you do want to go out, you have plenty of options. In Northstar Village, travelers shouldn’t miss Chef Michael Mina’s Bourbon Pub—a great après activity, comfort food locale with delicious dining options and unique cocktails (reservations recommended). The whole family will enjoy Rubicon Pizza, right outside the skating rink, so parents can keep their eyes on family members who just can’t get enough; similarly the rink is surrounded by fire pits and comfortable seating options with warm drink service (including Belgian french fries!). At the Ritz, Cafe Blue has you covered for your grab and go – delicious and healthy food options are offered alongside extensive coffee offerings. The Living Room allows you to kick back around the massive lobby fireplace while enjoying good food, while Manzanita provides a more upscale dining experience—the quality of the food certainly matches the elegance of the location.
Constellation Residence Reviews
Constellation Residences earns a rating of 5 out of 5 on TripAdvisor based on 74 reviews and 8.8 out of 10 on Booking.com based on 15 reviews. Reviewers praise the spaciousness of the apartments and rave about the staff.
Important Details About Constellation Residences
The main attraction at Constellation Residences is Northstar California; with an 8,600 foot summit and mid-mountain offerings at 6,800 feet, Northstar is an ideal, year-round destination for the outdoor enthusiast. With Truckee’s downtown shops and restaurants just a short 15-minute drive in one direction, and the crystal blue waters of Lake Tahoe 15 minutes in the other direction, Constellation is perfectly situated for the curious traveler.
That said, guests visiting the resort have plenty to do on site and views for miles from the mountain. Travelers can access the resort easily off highway 80 coming from either Reno—less than an hour away—and the Bay Area, about three hours away by car. All of the units are located in one five-story building at the top of the village-to-mid-mountain gondola, so while you’ll likely drive in, once settled, there’s easy access to Northstar Village by gondola.
A collection of 28 residences, some individually owned and managed, others owned and managed by the Ritz Carlton, Constellation includes two-, three-, and four-bedroom units to meet the needs of any size family. With a ski valet, ground floor locker rooms, and access to Ritz Northstar hotel amenities, it’s an ideal combination of hotel and home.
Each residence is appointed/decorated by its owner, so you may want to pinpoint a particular unit when possible. That said, bath products, towels, linens, and coffee-related items are all standard since they’re provided by housekeeping.
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With varying layouts, no two units are the same; one three bedroom includes a king, queen, and twin over queen bunkbeds while another has two individual queen rooms paired with a bedroom of two double beds. A two-bedroom might have a king plus two doubles. Regardless, guests can count on balconies, kitchens with a wide array of tools, and spacious living rooms.
In summer, guests can check out the varied mountain terrain on foot, chairlift or bike. With both guided and self-guided options for hiking and biking, your family will certainly stay busy and active at Northstar.
Mountain bikers can take Intro to Bike Park and/or a Bike Park Skills class, so they feel ready to tackle any trail on their own—helmets required! There’s a summer Mountain Biking Camp for kids and teens as well as races on property.
If adults are keen to get out without the kids, there is also a Kids’ Camp throughout the summer months; here, young guests will have the opportunity to explore the mountain and nature with experienced guides and counselors. Residence guests have access to the Ritz Carlton pool, and the Northstar Golf Course.
In winter, Constellation shines. With abundant snow offerings, there is never a dull moment … ski in, ski out from Constellation or take private, semi-private, or group lessons; rent snow shoes; take on snowmobiling; or bring the kiddos sledding. Year-round shopping in the Village and spa offerings at the Ritz provide a nice balance to all of the coming and going.
Travelers may be choosing the Residences to have the option to cook “at home”, though as noted above, there are several dining offerings both at the Village at Northstar and in the Ritz Carlton. In addition to the full restaurants, there is also a grocery store and EuroSweets/EuroSnacks for quick grab and go treats.
The Ritz Carlton Spa is just a short walk through the property from Constellation Residences, and offers massage, skin care, and beauty services. The spa also includes women’s and men’s lounges, a steam room, and lap pool. Be sure to reserve services ahead of time.