Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sierra Hot Springs Resort & Retreat Center (3.5 Stars ***)

When you sit back and reflect what the ideal Sierra Hot Spring would look like you can't get much better than Sierra Hot Spring. We rate this resort 3.5 Stars. This is a historic and rustic resort with very clean flowing Hot Spring water. It sits at the based of an expansive and beautiful valley with panoramic views of the Sierras and their surroundings. Supplied by several hot springs, the Sierra Hot Spring has harnessed them in various ways. There is a short walk to each of the tubs. Most people head towards the communal pool and temple hot tub. There are several aspects to Sierra Hots Springs:

This area is a silent meditation area -- no talking allowed. The pool is hot with a sand bottom. It is located in a geodesic dome structure with windows atop and a stained glass window. There are two cold pools in the temple hot dome. There are places to hang towels and a large wood-carved Budha.

Adjacent to the temple hot pool is an outdoor warm pool. It is large enough for swimming.

There is a dry sauna adjacent to the warm pool. It is nice and was recently refurbished. However, it is very small -- capacity is 3 people.

There is an outdoor pool that is made from rocks with a sand bottom. It is near the main lodge and you walk to it. The water temp is warm, not hot, so it is not appealing to many in the colder season. In summer, it is nice.

The Phoenix baths are up a hill. They are described as tubs that can be refilled with fresh water for each user.

The main lodge is rustic, but comfortable. The rooms are basic -- view from the window was wonderful -- snow covered fields. Floors are creaky and it feels like you're staying in one of Grandma's upstairs bedrooms. They have about 7 private rooms with shared bathrooms upstairs, plus an attic "dorm," which has 5 single beds. Also a massage room upstairs. Downstairs there is a main room with a cozy wood burning stove that heats the whole lodge nicely. Couches surround the wood stove. There are books, games, an old piano, and other items of interest. Mostly, the people are interesting. Easy to chat with folks sitting around the fire. The communal kitchen is basic, but adequate. Rooms (at Main Lodge and the Globe Hotel) are $88 Sun-Thurs and $110 weekends and holidays. Price of room includes 24 hr soak in the pools.

The historic Globe Hotel, about a mile from the main lodge, is owned by Sierra Hot springs. It has11 private rooms, two shared bathrooms, a large living room area with sofas, and a communal kitchen. The rooms at the Globe are not luxurious by any means. They are quaint and interesting. Each is themed with a different country -- reflecting the name -- "The Globe."

Be advised to bring your own food to cook. The Philosophy Cafe, located in the main lodge, is only open on Saturdays. There are only two restaurants in Sierraville: breakfast & lunch @ the Roundup Cafe and dinner @ Los Dos Hermanos, which is good -- when it is open. It was closed over the New Years holiday.

Overall this is a great place to stop and soak after skiing or snowboarding. The people were very friendly. A special note for the women at the front desk. She was super pleasant, hospitable and friendly. This resort has everything and is easily accessible. In order to reach the resort you need only follow route 89 out of Truckee for about 25 miles, turn right on Lemon Canyon Road and head for about a mile and then turn right on Campbell Hot Springs Road and travel for about a mile to the lodge. Note that if you stay at the lodge or Globe Hotel, you get a free soak included. The cost of a 3 hour soak is only $5.00 for a month membership plus $15.00 for use of the baths. This place can get pretty busy on weekends. During the week you can practically have it all to yourself. Also, don't forget to bring your own food and towels!

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