reno
reno
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November 13th, 2013 at 9:17:56 PM permalink
Iím convinced that Lake Tahoe has the most spectacular natural beauty of any area in the U.S. with legal gambling. But what itís missing is a high-class luxury resort akin to Bellagio, Venetian, or Wynn. Yes, thereís a Ritz-Carlton nearby, but it has no casino, and it's not on the Lake. The hotel rooms at Harrahís Tahoe are impressively large, and they certainly cater to gamblers, but itís not the nicest casino resort on the Lake. That honor goes to the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe.

When it opened in 1970, the hotel had a medievel theme, billing itself as King's Castle. It didn't do well. Facing bankruptcy, Hyatt bought it in 1974. I've gambled at the Hyatt a handful of times, but Iíd never actually been a hotel guest until last weekend. On the night I checked in, their online room rate was $179. (In case you're wondering, I paid for my room with 16,000 United Airlines frequent flier miles.) Listed below are the pros & cons of the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe.

Pros:
#1. The Hyatt has its own private beach on the Lake. Their 500 feet of lakefront beach is fantastic, and during the warmer summer months, they offer food & cocktail service.

#2. The Hyatt has the best pool area in Northern Nevada. Iím a big fan of the new pool at Peppermill Reno, but I have to admit the Hyatt's pool is even better. My favorite feature is the indoor pool entrance which allows for a comfortable outdoor swim even when the air temperature is, say, 20 degrees in January. (Full disclosure: this pool canít compete with the top pools at the best mega-resorts in Las Vegas. But comparing hot tropical paradise to crisp snow-capped mountains is a bit unfair. At 6,200 feet in elevation, youíre not swimming amidst palm trees, youíre swimming amidst pine trees.)

#3. Nice rooms. Their hotel rooms are not particularly big. But the furnishings are high quality. Great soap (phthalate-free), comfy bed, an abundance of towels, and several notable details: a special bean bag to block light from under the door, and automated night lights. For those unaccustomed to the dry winter air, a complimentary humidifier is available upon request.

#4. Very good breakfast buffet. By Las Vegas standards, Hyattís buffet is tiny. But the food quality was very good, definitely a step above Harrahís Tahoe. (Though the view at Harrahís buffet is unbeatable.)

#5. Free champaigne upon check-in.

#6. Outdoor firepits for cooking smores.

#7. The most beautiful hotel parking lot in the world.

#8. Great service. Every employee we interacted with was friendly & professional. They only have 450 rooms, so no Vegas-style problems with excessive lines.

#9. Their casino has hardly any cigarette smoke. (Explanation below.)

Cons:
#1. The hotel rooms have small, modest windows. This is a shame, because the views are wonderful.

#2. Expensive rooms. And a $25 resort fee.

#3. It's isolated. There are no other gambling options within walking distance. The North Tahoe casino district is a 5 minute drive, and the bigger South Tahoe casino district is about 25 minutes away by car.

#4. The Hyattís most glaring flaw is the casino itself. Itís too small. The table game variety is limited and the rules are mediocre. (For example: their craps table only offers double odds.) The casino had hardly any customers for most of our stay, hence the lack of cigarette smoke.

****************

Overall, I had a delightful visit. If you're looking for a premium 4-star resort in one of the most beautiful spots in America, you'll appreciate the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe. On the other hand... if you're looking for serious, no-nonsense gambling, you might be disappointed. If so, just get back on Interstate 80 and drive 30 miles east to downtown Reno.


Tomspur
Tomspur
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November 13th, 2013 at 9:24:36 PM permalink
Nice post,

My wife and I have threatened on countelss occasions to take the drive north from LV and spend some time in Tahoe. The problem is to find the right time of year and to get her to commit because she doesn't like gambling. There needs to be more than enough activites for her to keep her busy while I play.

The sheer beauty of the area, her next to the pool with a good book may just be what i need to get my hooks into Tahoe.

Thanks again for the post
ďThere is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.Ē - Winston Churchill
NokTang
NokTang
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November 16th, 2013 at 2:06:45 AM permalink
Quote: reno

If so, just get back on Interstate 80 and drive 30 miles east to downtown Reno.




Is it that close? I really need to get back to Lake Tahoe. Appreciate the report and memories you bring up. I always liked Harvey's and haven't been since Harrahs took that over. Golf during the summer was also great at I think it's called "Evergreen", whatever it is, it's worth the expensive green fee. Don't go cheap on the golf. Pay.
reno
reno
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November 18th, 2013 at 10:06:52 AM permalink
Quote: NokTang

Is it that close?



Well... I exaggerate. Yes, it's 30 miles on Interstate 80. But to get from the Hyatt to Interstate 80 requires an 11 mile drive on Highway 267.
Boz
Boz
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November 20th, 2013 at 4:02:45 PM permalink
Guilty of always staying in Stateline at Harrahs. But I have driven to the North Shore multiple times and played at the casinos there. Hyatt has nothing to offer for a playing standpoint compared to the South Shore. I wonder who and what their target audience is?
Tomspur
Tomspur
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November 20th, 2013 at 4:11:48 PM permalink
Quote: Boz

Guilty of always staying in Stateline at Harrahs. But I have driven to the North Shore multiple times and played at the casinos there. Hyatt has nothing to offer for a playing standpoint compared to the South Shore. I wonder who and what their target audience is?



My wife and I are taking a trip to Portland in December. Should we stay South Shore or North shore? I would like at least a modicum of casinos to check out, not just one. Is the scenery better at one spot or the other?

Thanks
ďThere is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.Ē - Winston Churchill
Boz
Boz
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November 21st, 2013 at 3:50:57 AM permalink
Quote: Tomspur

My wife and I are taking a trip to Portland in December. Should we stay South Shore or North shore? I would like at least a modicum of casinos to check out, not just one. Is the scenery better at one spot or the other?

Thanks



For gambling and good restaurants you have more choices on the South Shore. But making time for the drive around the entire lake is a must. The only problem with December is you may not be able to get anywhere around the lake based on the weather.
mickeycrimm
mickeycrimm
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November 21st, 2013 at 5:24:00 AM permalink
The shortest route from Reno to North Shore is south on 395 then up the Mt. Rose Hwy to Incline Village. However, Mt. Rose Hwy can be closed by snow storms and avalanches. When I was working the area the main difference to me was South Shore had tons of advantage plays while North Shore was really skimpy.
"Quit trying your luck and start trying your skill." Mickey Crimm
mickeycrimm
mickeycrimm
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November 21st, 2013 at 5:30:22 AM permalink
The shortest route from Reno to North Shore is south on 395 then up the Mt. Rose Hwy to Incline Village. However, Mt. Rose Hwy can be closed by snow storms and avalanches. When I was working the area the main difference to me was South Shore had tons of advantage plays while North Shore was really skimpy.
"Quit trying your luck and start trying your skill." Mickey Crimm
reno
reno
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November 21st, 2013 at 6:58:46 AM permalink
Quote: Tomspur

Is the scenery better at one spot or the other?



In terms of scenery, the North Shore and South Shore are equally spectacular. That said, I think the most beautiful area is Emerald Bay, (Vikingsholm) on the Southeast corner of the Lake.

December is a great time to visit. If you have the time, you ought to consider a cruise on the Tahoe Queen into Emerald Bay.

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