If you're at all familiar with the Ritz-Carlton brand, then you're probably expecting some seriously swanky digs at this mid-mountain lodging at the Northstar ski resort—and you'd be right. This castle-like luxury hotel features ski-in/ski-out access, heated outdoor swimming pools, and a dazzling 17,000-square-foot spa with wood-and-water themed treatments. All rooms boast gas fireplaces, floor-to-ceiling windows, and marble bathrooms with deep-soaking tubs. 

Warm and elegant Manzanita is one of Tahoe's finest restaurants, with an open kitchen that executes sophisticated seasonal California cuisine, and the new slope-side Backyard Bar & BBQ serves up traditional St. Louis-style barbecue and craft beers. A cafe pours San Francisco's favorite coffee, Blue Bottle. 
Families are especially welcome—the hotel hosts summer and winter activity programs for kids, and offers an Indoor Campout package that outfits children with small tents, flashlights, and teddy bears. For all the easy access to heart-pumping outdoor activities—skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, mountain biking, golf, tennis— sometimes it's the little things the Ritz-Carlton offers, like the nightly s'mores around that fire pit, that really leave an impression on a guest.