BY FRAN ENDICOTT MILLER
It’s a bit ironic to suffer through ever-present bumper-to-bumper traffic in order to rest and relax, but when the destination is the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe,
the gridlock is worth it. Arrival at the iconic Incline Village resort results in instantaneous repose. Take a deep breath of the fresh mountain air. Listen to the tranquil sound of lapping beachfront waves. And take a big sip of the champagne offered at check-in. You’ll be glad you made the trek.
For more than four decades, the Hyatt has held court on this posh part of the lake, allowing guests an affordable peek at how the rich and famous get away from it all. A westward or eastward walk along tony Lakeshore Blvd. allows for up-close viewing of the multi-million dollar ‘vacation’ homes that line the crystal blue waters. Each of these homes has its own private beach. But so does the Hyatt, and if only for a weekend, the same lakefront view as witnessed by titans of Silicon Valley industry is yours as well.
REST: Upgrades and various remodels throughout the years have allowed the Hyatt to maintain its position as one of the more luxurious resorts in the area. While the main property and high rise accommodations are on the northern side of Lakeshore Blvd., several spacious one and two-bedroom lakeside cottages front the pristine private beach, and are a summer favorite for families. The majority of rooms are housed in the original 12-story main building. Each features breathtaking views, alpine style décor, plush robes, comfy Hyatt Grand Beds, iHome stereos and luxurious bath products.
RELAX: Lounge lakeside under the shade of an umbrella or cabana. If sand is not your style, hang poolside on some of the comfiest loungers you’ll find at any resort, anywhere. Plump, sun-warmed cushions cradle your body while the low hum of soft rock surrounds you. An adults-only hot tub and a separate family hot-tub help to keep frolicking freneticism at bay, as does the large kids-only pool that’s set away from the action.
Schedule an afternoon treatment at the resort’s lauded Stillwater Spa
(above) where wellness is promoted through use of the detoxifying properties of Lake Tahoe’s natural resources: fresh, clear Lake Tahoe water as a hydration and moisturizing source, alpine air to assist in cleansing body toxins, and woodsy mountain fires to promote warmth and cycles of renewal. 16 treatment rooms include two couple’s sanctuaries, one with a fireplace and the other with an infinity tub. The extensive menu features massage, creative body therapies, and varied facial treatments and each can be customized to individual needs. During your visit, you’ll receive a private locker, robe, and slippers, and access to the dry cedar sauna, eucalyptus steam room, and specialized relaxation areas where a selection of teas and snacks are offered. Stillwater Spa also features a full service salon.
During the summer, kick start your Saturdays and Sundays with a lakeside yoga session. Then hit the water. No visit to Tahoe is complete with getting in, or on, the Lake. AWSIncline
(Action Watersports of Incline Village) makes it easy. They contract with the Hyatt to offer ready access to motor boat rentals, jet skis, paddleboards, and kayaks. Workout at the resort’s state-of-the-art fitness center, rent a high-tech bike and hit the trails, or simply lace-up the hiking shoes and find the best views and vantage points in achieving your 10,000 daily steps. Finally, get your heart-rate pumping at the on-site Grand Lodge Casino. 250 slots, video poker, 22 table games and a full-service sports book keep the gamblers in your group happy.
The Hyatt is home to one of Lake Tahoe’s most popular dining spots: Lone Eagle Grille
, (top, above) situated lakeside with walls of windows that frame the lake and mountains. Bright and sunny in the summer and warm and cozy in the winter, Lone Eagle Grille, with its heavy wooden beams and two-story stone fireplace, resembles a classic, and spectacular, Tahoe lodge. While the setting and view are no doubt a major draw, the seasonal cuisine takes no back seat. Chef Shane Hammett sets out each morning to source the best local ingredients for his delicious, high-Sierra inspired dishes. Pair your steak with a barrel-aged cocktail, or let the sommelier suggest the perfect wine pairing for your freshly caught halibut or trout. Make a meal off of the numerous starters and salads – and don’t miss the Ahi Tuna Poke with a base of creamy avocado. Bustling lunch through dinner and beyond, there’s not a bad vantage point in, or outside of, the restaurant and its adjacent lounge, (above) where local singer Luke Stevenson performs Wednesday thru Saturday, 6 – 10pm. If you’re lucky, you might find an al fresco spot near the large open air fire pit – the best seat in the house.
Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino :: 111 Country Club Drive, Incline Village, Nevada
Prior to dinner, consider having a cocktail at the Hyatt’s Pier 111 Bar,
(above) suspended over the Lake at the end of the resort’s 275 foot floating pier. For those not wanting to miss the pool or casino action, try Sierra Café,
located just off of the lobby, with indoor and outdoor seating and offering a hearty breakfast buffet, lunch and dinner. Beer fan? Try casino-adjacent Cutthroat's Saloon
where more than two dozen rare, seasonal, and local beers are served. Additional dining options include Lakeside Beach Bar & Grill
(great burger), Stillwater Pool Bar & Grill,
and Tahoe Provisions
serving Starbuck’s coffee and locally made pastries and to-go sandwiches.
If you haven’t been to Tahoe in awhile, the Hyatt is a great place to re-wet your toes. And if you’re a regular, you owe it to yourself to experience Lake Tahoe from Hyatt’s point of view, and what a view it is.