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Forest Suites Resort: Comfortable, spacious,
kid-friendly in every way
By Kathy Chin Leong
Suite #618 is the one you ought to book when you come to South Shore Lake Tahoe’s Forest Suites Resort. This two-bedroom hotel room is comparable to a fully furnished apartment with all the amenities you need to keep everyone in the family grinning. This suite is large enough for a family with four kids to enjoy comfortably. The room has two bathrooms with showers in both, one for the kids and one for the parents. And after a four-hour haul from the Bay Area, I’m happy to report this place is worth the drive.
First, the kids got immediate jollies when they flung open the door only to see a gorgeous flat screen TV mounted on the living room wall. Watching a family movie on this large screen was an indispensable treat when we came back from a day’s worth of skiing. The kids also loved hooking up their PlayStation brought from home to play on the big screen.
The living room couch pulled out into a sleeper, which my son Aaron claimed for himself. In the summer, the resort has an outdoor pool and Jacuzzi area- perfect for running off energy.
Now, for the parents, the cool thing for us was the generously apportioned master bedroom with a wall mounted SONY BARVIA flat screen that also came with a DVD player. The living room didn’t have a DVD player, but we watched movies using our son’s Play station unit. Talking to other guests in the hotel, I learned that not all units have a flat screen TV, so if that’s important to you, do request it.
Also on the high-tech list for our family is Internet connection. This place has FREE wireless internet, which is a big bonus for parents who bring their laptops (and we do).
The other great feature in our suite was a fully-equipped kitchenette large enough for two people to maneuver around. Having access to a full-sized refrigerator was absolutely fantastic because we didn’t have to cram our food and leftovers into one of those useless minibars. The kitchen does not have a dishwasher, however. I liked having the dishes, utensils and pans on hand in case I wanted to cook. Of note is a small blender, great for making smoothies and a microwave. There is also a stovetop and oven in case you want to bake a pizza for dinner or cookies for dessert.
The furnishings are comfortable, clean, and built to last. Pine cabinetry, green, gold, red carpets, mustard walls create that "Tahoe woodsy" ambiance. The beds were extremely comfortable. We also had a small dining table, large enough for four people to sit down and dine.
This suite was more than enough for ourselves and two teenagers. My daughter slept comfortably in the second bedroom, while her brother insisted on sleeping on the couch.
On the six-building property is a breakfast eating area in the main building that seats about 80 people. The continental breakfast features: a basket of seasonal fruit, small container yogurt, a small tray of pastries, dry packaged instant oatmeal, cold box cereals, juices and chocolate from a dispenser, coffee, milk on one side of the room.
On the other side you get to do some serious carbo-loading. Biscuits and gravy, bagels, English muffins, white bread for toast, waffles. You can toast anything you like and drape that with any one of the packaged peanut butters, cream cheese, jam, or butter. The week we came the biscuits were quite rock hard, but on the last day when we came down late to breakfast (opens from 7-9:30 a.m.), the biscuits were actually soft. And I saw many people were cramming them in the toaster to get them soft. So that was the trick!
We found Forest Suites extremely comfortable and great for big families and groups who want to hang out together. In the lobby, an upstairs game room beckons with a fireplace, pool table, couches, and video games. It’s vast, and I could picture up to 20 friends having fun together. There is plenty of hang out room to converse. Downstairs there are more conversation pits, tables, and chairs and couches, and one computer for Internet access.
Another big, big bonus is the proximity to the shopping center for practical stuff across the street. Raley’s, Blockbuster Video, Big Dog Pizza, some fun art galleries and a bookstore all drew us in.
And then there’s the adjacent Heavenly Valley resort area with a movie theater, ice skating rink, ice cream parlor, and full array of high-end shops and eateries. The gondola is right next door so you can ride to the top of the Heavenly Valley mountain for skiing. And in the summer, you can take it up the hill to enjoy the view. You are also next to Harrah’s and casinos for ample buffet dinners.
At breakfast, I encountered a guest who told me she makes it a point of returning to this hotel for ski season, and now I see why. Great location, a covered parking lot so you don’t have to shovel snow off your car, a filling breakfast, spacious rooms with high-tech amenities and a useful kitchen. For rates that start at $135, it is a bargain and fantastic value for families.
Forest Suites Resort
One Lake Parkway
South Lake Tahoe
Rates start at $135.