It's always a delight to visit a new Ritz-Carlton hotel, and back in October, I was among a handful of wedding planners invited to The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe FAM trip. FAM is short for "familiarization", and it’s an opportunity for us to experience the resort to its fullest potential, to form relationships with the event staff there and to understand the logistics of planning an event in their unique spaces. It's also a great way to spend time with good friends and colleagues, and meet new ones. Since all of us have such crazy schedules, it's pretty rare that we can all be in the same place at the same time! One thing I've always enjoyed about the wedding planner community is how friendly, open and supportive we all are of each other.
My relationship with The Ritz-Carlton brand goes back to 2006, when I worked for their Half Moon Bay property managing weddings in their Special Events department. I love the Ritz-Carlton ideals: surprise and delight every client as if they were your only one.
The three day trip began on Sunday, when my assistant, Amanda and I drove up together. The towering trees and cool crisp air greeted us as we approached the resort, and the friendly staff made sure we were comfortable in our room. After taking a few minutes to admire the beautiful details of our room and thoughtful welcome bag, we headed to the Club Lounge, our "home base" for the trip, for an informal welcome reception, where we met the lovely Andrea Daly and Clodagh Larkin, our hosts for the trip.
The afternoon started out with a tour of downtown Truckee, complete with a wine and cheese reception at The Carmel Gallery. It's a good thing we didn't linger too long, since there are so many cute shops and boutiques! From there we headed to Northstar-at-Tahoe, the ski resort located just 10 down the mountain from The Ritz-Carlton. Northstar offers several tiers of accommodations and lots of fun event venues, making it really convenient for Ritz-Carlton brides to utilize multiple resorts for their celebration weekend. The two properties are connected via gondola and Northstar boasts an ice skating rink and a beautiful permanent tent. After starting a conversation with Brett Lynley Sneed, the Special Events Manager for Northstar, we realized we went to middle school together. Small world indeed!
Our first day ended with a fantastic "rehearsal dinner" at The Ritz-Carlton's "Manzanita" restaurant. We feasted on a five course, wine paired menu in the Private Dining Room. Manzanita is a true sophisticated mountain resort refuge, and the locally sourced menu under the direction of Chef Traci Des Jardins was no short of spectacular.
Stay tuned for more details on the rest of this fantastic trip soon!
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