Granlibakken Conference Center & Lodge - Lake Tahoe
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Guest Blog: Granlibakken Lodge Review

Friday, November 4th, 2011

By The Mom Reviews

Now that Fall is upon us, the leaves are changing, the weather is cooling down, but travel is still high on our list! We typically head to Lake Tahoe during the summer, that’s the time of year best suited for our whole family for biking, swimming, and hiking. But, a few weeks ago we got the chance to visit Tahoe City’s Granlibakken Conference Center and Lodge and had an amazing stay and weekend doing almost all of those summer activities and more!

Located about 5 hours from home in a picturesque valley minutes from the lake and south of Truckee, Granlibakken is a year-round spot for business or pleasure. The resort encompasses 74 wooded acres with the sweet sugar pine scent filling your senses as your explore the grounds. 5 tennis courts, outdoor heated pools (wading pool for kids)/spa and saunas, nature trails, bike rentals, a ropes course, and a par course will keep your family active all year, with cross-country skiing, practice ski hills, and a snow play area in the winter. With over a dozen ski areas within 30 minutes, this is a wonderful choice for your next vacation.

With many choices such as bedrooms, studios, or suites, our family of 5 stayed in a Granlibakken’s townhouse with two bedrooms and loft that fit us all perfectly!

With a full living room and comfortable seating, the family had the chance to enjoy a movie in, rest after a long day in the mountains, and feel the openness of the floorplan. Just above the adjacent dining room and kitchen, the loft with a queen bed was a perfect spot for my near-teenage daughter. Her own television, desk, and door(!) kept all her belongings in one spot and gave her just enough privacy that she needed.

The townhome had the most incredibly comfortable furniture. The seats around the dinner table were soft leather and the couch was super cushy, with warm sherpa blankets in the closets, the 35 degree nights were snuggle time! The view from the back patio (with table and chairs) is in the above bottom right picture. The fall colors were amazing and the quiet about the resort made for peaceful evenings and great morning walks!

The townhome amenities were just like home, decor was beautiful for a mountain residence, art and modern touches surrounded us. The granite countertops in the kitchen were gorgeous, I was happy to warm up to tea in the evening, during the summer fans are available in the closets. Two full bathrooms were enough for 5 of us and bonus for the 3 flatscreen televisions, all were equipped with their own Blu-ray player!

Eating family style in the dining area reminding me of my college days, more especially this weekend because a group from UC Davis was holding a conference on the grounds and many had their UCD sweatshirts on! The food was delicious and served buffet style in the morning, lucky for guests this meal is included in your stay! Think bread pudding, quiche Lorraine, cheese blintzes, breads, pastries, cereals, eggs, pancakes, bacon, fruits, yogurts, and so much more! I’ve never seen my kids eat so much!

Dinner was just as abundant and delicious. The buffet is different each night, there are themes, Mexican (sometimes with Mariachis included!), Italian, BBQ, and more, salads are always available, vegetarian options too! Prime rib, NY steaks, chicken, red pepper coulis, stuffed zucchini, baked potatoes, bread, soups, there is no need to leave the grounds during your stay with the offers on site!

Lighthouse Spa
Remember when I said the resort area is quiet and peaceful, why not build on that thought with a spa treatment from Lighthouse Spa. The Spa at Granlibakken offers three relaxing treatment rooms, including an area for multiple treatments and parties, a cozy waiting area and a refreshing outdoor deck in the midst of the Sierra. You’ll love the experience of a blissful retreat for all of your special occasions, weddings, or wellness weekends. I had the amazing opportunity to have a reflexology treatment on my feet. Never done this in the past I swore I never would fall asleep and with the music so calming and low, the perfect temperature of the room and the view of the ski hill out my window, I admit my masseuse said I was OUT! After coming too, I felt the relaxation overflow, that light-headed feeling of being rested and calm. We talked about the stressors my body expressed and ways to deal with them. Why I haven’t treated myself more often to spa treatments is beyond me, everyone needs to do it at least every few months! The Spa offers:

• Massage Therapy
• Skin Care
• Manicures & Pedicures
• Body Waxing
• Body Therapy & Healing Treatments
• Ayurveda Health & Wellness

I asked my masseuse to tell me how much she loved her job and she says she especially loves it when another masseuse pays back in trade and she gets her turn! I don’t blame her!

Our stay was hosted for two nights, including two breakfasts, one dinner, and a spa treatment (I did pay gratuities). All opinions are our own.

Sierra Sun Previews Wellness Weekend

Monday, October 31st, 2011

As part of Granlibakken’s commitment to health and wellness, they will host the annual Lake Tahoe Women’s Wellness Weekend Nov. 12-13. The event fuses Eastern tradition with Western practices to offer a balanced weekend interactive clinics on skin screenings, body/muscle testing; inspirational and informative seminars on health, nutrition, aging; recreational activities along with food and wine.

The community event complements the health and wellness activities Granlibakken offers its guests, including an array of outdoor recreation: skiing, xc-skiing, snowshoeing in the winter and biking, hiking, rafting, boating and tennis in the summer. The resort provides healthy meal options, year-round heated outdoor pool, hot tub, sauna and new on site multi-treatment Day Spa.

The Women’s Wellness Weekend retreat begins, Saturday, Nov. 12, with a 5K fun run or a 1-mile nature walk around Granlibakken, followed by a breakfast. Presentations kick off with a discussion led by clinical psychologist Amy Vail of Olympic Valley

Seminars on Saturday include environmental and breast health, nutrition, healthy aging and optional empowering exercise activities. Dr. Koppel, specializing in hematology and medical oncology, is part of the new cancer center in Truckee and will discuss cancer prevention and breast health. Dr. Tirdel, a sleep disorder expert, will present “Sleepless in Tahoe” providing insight and tips on attaining a full night’s rest. Carolyn Willette, a registered nurse from Truckee Forest Hospital, will address heart health with her seminar, “The Heart of Matter.”

Participants can choose between Ki Gong, a form of gentle exercise using breathing, posture and meditation; restorative yoga; or an astrology/health class. Astrological chart readings by Robert Ayres are also available. Lunch is provided with additional talks throughout the afternoon. The evening finishes with wine and shopping, including local health booths and artisans, i.e.: jewelry, fabric, etc.

Wellness Weekend continues on Sunday with breakfast and optional Cross-fit, Pilates and yoga classes options include health, financial planning, acupuncture, chiropractic and skin care presentation. Rounding out the weekend is an interactive fair with gait analysis, the study of human motion by measuring body movements, mechanics and muscle activity; makeup artists; body fat testing; skin screenings and manicure and pedicure stations. Blood lab readings are available for an additional charge. A Zumba Party, which combines Latin and international music for an effective workout, is also scheduled Sunday afternoon.

For information on speakers, health fairs, seminars visit Registration costs $99, some seminars additional fees apply. To register, visit, select “make a reservation,” click “conference” and use “www” as login and password. Grab a girlfriend and stay for $138.50 per person double occupancy per night (rate includes conference fee).

Granlibakken's Women's Wellness Weekend invites mothers, daughters, sisters and aunties for two days of exercise, informative talks, skin care and more near Lake Tahoe's West Shore.

Pre-season Ski Training Tips

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Even though the weather is still in the 60s and 70s (in fact record highs today) ski season is around the corner with area resorts anticipating opening in a little over a month. Whether you ski 5-10 days a season of 40 + you’ll likely be sore the first few times you hit the slopes.

Keep in mind we’re not health experts, but here’s a few tips to help you before strapping on those skis and snowboards this season.











Here’s a few of my favorite exercises/stretches:

Core Performance recommends training session that combines lower body strength-boosting moves, power exercises and drills to solidify your hips, torso and shoulders. This helps to build strength and speed for the mountain while carving up a more flexible body, and one that’s more resilient to injury.

Did you know that we’re located near several of the top resorts in the country, including Squaw Valley USA, Northstar-at-Tahoe and local favorites like Alpine and Homewood. We have array of ski/stay packages (of course includes our delicious hot daily breakfast and transportation to several of the resorts) – rates will be available soon.

What’s your favorite pre-ski season exercise? Do you prefer to ski or snowboard?

Sunday Bike Stroll

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

It’s Indian Summertime in Lake Tahoe – which means less crowds, temps in the low 70s, plenty of daylight and all the same outdoor recreation we love in the summer. In fact, it’s one of my favorite times of the year. The other weekend my partner in crime and I stayed at Granlibakken and rented bikes for a Sunday stroll along Tahoe City. The wonderful part about Granlibakken is they arrange the rentals for you and the bikes are delivered from West Shore Sports. You don’t have to do anything, no lines, nothing.

We ventured about a mile to the trail that takes you along the Truckee River. One word: be-au-ti-ful! It provides ideal spots for photos ops, reading plaques about wildlife and the environment and just soaking in the views. This four mile section from Tahoe City to Squaw Valley is a paved multi-use trail that is mostly flat with a few easy grades (we only biked until River Ranch because we wanted to have plenty of time to explore downtown Tahoe City). It’s located far enough away from the road that you aren’t bombarded by the noise of nearby traffic. The trail can be busy at times so abide by the rules of staying to the right side in case people want to pass on your left.

Granlibakken is an ideal home base for accessing a variety of scenic road and mountain biking trails along West Shore. Stay tuned for more info on riding around Commons Beach as well as biking/walking along the shops in Tahoe City.

Peddle Safe!

Day at the Spa

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Tahoe’s Lighthouse Day Spa second location is now open at Granlibakken Resort and Conference Center at the bucolic family resort near Tahoe City. I had the luxury to take my better half to Granlibakken for a weekend retreat – or staycation. On Sunday of our visit we started the day with a delicious hearty breakfast at the resort with eggs benny, sausage, cinnamon toast and fresh fruit. We went for a morning bike ride and then came back to relax and pamper ourselves.

I had the foot massage, scrub and pedicure. My feet looked brand new, felt so soft and the nail polish was a complementary color for my skin tone. Sitting there with the nail manicurist, talking about life while starring at the beautiful hillsides of the quaint Norwegian resort I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the day.


Meanwhile, my boyfriend received the first professional massage of his life. After 45 minutes of avoiding drooling and falling asleep on the massage table he came out of the room grinning ear to ear and was the most relaxed rejuvenated I’ve ever seen him. He does carpentry and works hard long hours and needless to say he had muscles that he didn’t know were tense and sore. He exclaimed he’s hooked and wants a massage every week!

The new location boasts three treatment rooms and a number of wellness packages aimed at revitalization and relaxation, including customized and deep tissue massage, hot stone therapy, pre-natal, reiki healing and coming soon couples massages.

Lighthouse Day Spa opened its original location in Tahoe City in 1992 and enjoys a reputation of holistic massage therapy and treatments with a certified staff. Body therapy includes purifying and muscle-soothing body wraps, sinus and head clarifying treatments, chakra therapy and reflexology. Lighthouse Day Spa also offers refresher, clarifying and restorative facial skin therapies, nail care and body waxing.

Granlibakken offers a variety of Wellness packages including Blissful Retreat, a 60 minute sinus and head clarifying hot stone massage; Tahoe Sampler, a 30 minute massage, facial and bodywrap; Renewal, a 60 minute massage, facial, manicure and pedicure; Holistic Day Spa with Ayurveda, alternative medicine, consultation, chakra therapy and sinus and head clarifying or the
Holistic packages including Ayurveda health consultations are designed to create inner balance by providing insights into diet, herbs, aromatherapy, meditation and breathing techniques.

Gearing up for Snowfest!

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

With more than four feet of new snow in the past week and more on the way, North Lake Tahoe is ready to welcome locals and visitors to its 30th annual Snowfest, the largest winter carnival West of the Mississippi, taking place March 4-13th. This year offers an exciting line-up of winter events, running the gamut from zany hometown parades to bold polar bear swims and extreme food challenges.

Here at Granlibakken, we’ve been basking in blue bird days with snow up to our chins. Beginner skiers and skilled sledders have converged on our ski & sled hill, swooshing and tumbling in billows of fluffy white snow. The resort was abuzz with one particular visitor (large, white and happy), who’s now come and gone. He descended on the resort, in such bold fashion that he had to be “forcibly” removed so traffic could flow in and out of the resort.

With cross-country and snowshoe trails right out your door and Snowfest activities minutes away in downtown Tahoe City, winter is nothing short of a fun-filled time at Granlibakken. Snowfest’s Opening Night Ceremonies are this Friday, March 4th at the base of Squaw Valley USA with a torchlight parade and fireworks.

Granlibakken Snowman & Brooke.

Granlibakken Snowman & Brooke.

Make way for tractor!

Make way for tractor!

What to Wear Skiing

Friday, February 11th, 2011

One of Tahoe’s timeless questions in what to wear skiing. Whether you’re visiting us here at Granlibakken, hitting the nearby Squaw Valley slopes, or even traveling to Alaska and beyond, we’ve enlisted the help of the gear experts at Tahoe Mountain Sports to make sure you know what to wear when skiing or snowboarding. Here’s their quick primer on ski layers:

what to wear skiing


Thermals, or base layers, are key. Be sure to buy base layers made of material that will wick moisture away instead of holding tight to any sweat or wet snow that may get through your outer layers. We recommend a light and natural wool layer from the likes of SmartWool apparel or Icebreaker Merino Wool. The wool being made into base layers is fine spun to eliminate any itch, and won’t hold onto odors like synthetic fabrics do. Terrarmar is a great base layer brand if you’re on a budget since their garments are built to wick moisture but are very affordable. And these guidelines go for your bottom half, too. Most brands make matching base layers for top and bottom to keep your shopping simple.


Depending on the weather, you may opt for a middle layer for additional warmth. This layer should have some loft since it’s primary purpose is to keep you warm, but you don’t want it so bulky that you can’t fit your jacket over it, or that you’ll inhibit your movement. Skip bulky cotton hoodies and sweatshirts that stay wet once they get wet. We recommend something ultralight yet warm like the Patagonia Nano pullover if you get cold, or just a heavier weight shirt like something from the SmartWool Midweight line.


If it’s snowing, be sure to wear a waterproof ski jacket. You can usually check waterproofness on garment labels. 5,000 mm (a measurement listed on most jackets that indicates how many millimeters of rain it can withstand in 24 hours) is a good start, but if it’s really wet out, you can opt for Gore-tex or Patagonia’s H2No which reach 20,000 mm and up.

If you run hot, get a jacket with pit-zips and pants with thigh zips that will be key in keeping you cool in fluctuating temps. These days, companies even make hybrid jackets (like the Patagonia Nano Storm) with some down or sythetic insulation in key spots to keep you warm. Or you can opt for a soft shell jacket that breathes and is less waterproof. Most skiers, though, go with a standard hard shell jacket; that way you can layer (or not) according to the weather.



Socks are also key to your comfort on any slope. If your feet are unhappy, clammy or wet, chances are you’ll cut your day short. The aforementioned properties of wool make it a great choice for your feet, too, and most sock brands make ski-specific socks with extra padding in high-impact areas.


Ski goggles and waterproof winter gloves are two accessories you should definitely wear when skiing or snowboarding, and don’t fret about spending a little money here. A cheap pair of goggles will fog up on a snow day and gloves without waterproofing will leave your hands cold and wet. If you spend the extra money on getting a quality pair, then you’ll be all the more comfortable and they’ll last for years and years. Another accessory to consider is a snow helmet. Skiing can be dangerous, so why not take the extra precaution? Plus, on a snow day, a ski helmet keeps your head dry!

what to wear to ski

Tahoe Mountain Sports is an online outdoor gear retailer based in Kings Beach, on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. Visit them 10am to 6pm daily, or anytime online. They’re local experts on what to wear skiing and can build a custom outfit for you.

Vikings ski too!

Friday, November 19th, 2010

This past weekend, our Viking Lars a’Loud descended on the Santa Clara ski show with horns on head and skis in hand. And with the promise of new snow (anywhere from 1″ to 4″ in Tahoe City) this weekend, Lars, Bjorn and Frida have snow on the mind.

If you are in the Sacramento area this weekend, Lars will be at the Ski Dazzle show on Saturday and Sunday, November 20th and 21st. He was a real hit in Santa Clara and brought out the Viking spirit in everyone.

To all you Vikings out there, put on your horns and pray for snow!

Am I a Trojan or a Viking?

Am I a Trojan or a Viking?

Vikings of all sizes!

Vikings of all sizes!

Winter is Back

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Skiing is coming back to Lake Tahoe! Big snow last weekend marked the kickoff of winter in the Lake Tahoe Basin. With most resorts scheduled to open in the next 3 weeks the Basin is getting fired up! This is incredible news for locals and travelers alike. Not only are we promised another year of at least 5 months of skiing, but we are also reminded why Lake Tahoe is such an incredible winter destination. Still on the fence? Let me explain.
This weekend Lake Tahoe saw its first major snowfall of the year. As much as two 2 inches on the ground at lake level and an additional 5-10 inches above 8000 feet has created quite a buzz nationwide. Over night lows in the late teens to mid twenties make conditions ideal for producing man made snow at all the resorts around the Lake. For example, Heavenly Mountain Resort’s snowmaking capabilities can blanket 1 acre with 3 feet of snow in 1 hour!!

See, not only is Lake Tahoe known for its massive snowfall, but its geographic location boast over 300 days of sunshine a year. I know, the math may not make sense, but the only way to believe, is to experience it for yourself.

This region is rich in Nordic and alpine history. Granlibakken was the first ski resort in Lake Tahoe and paved the way to make this area the highest concentration of ski resorts in North America. Take advantage of Granlibakkens ski and stay program and receive a complimentary lift ticket with your lodging. Whether you choose Squaw Valley USA, Mt Rose, Alpine Meadows, or any of the other 4 world class resorts you are promised an Alpine experience you will never forget.This year promises to be another amazing ski season ahead. Do as the Vikings did hundreds of years ago and explore this beautiful wilderness and experience the magic of Lake Tahoe.


A Viking’s Breakfast at Granlibakken

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010
A Breakfast Buffet fit for a Viking

A Breakfast Buffet fit for a Viking

Breakfast. They say it is the most important meal of the day. If this is the case then why are so many skimping on this all Important calorie fix? More importantly, why are most hotels cutting back this critical meal? Nowadays this “complimentary breakfast” at most lodging properties is nothing more than stale bagels and orange marmalade.

Not Granlibakken. No way. Our complimentary hot breakfast buffet title doesn’t do it justice. Hot, hearty, feast fit for a viking, free buffet seems to be a closer description. This buffet is truly a treat to your taste buds. French toast, biscuits and gravy, bacon and eggs are merely a few choices of the plethora you have.

Whether you are a coffee and danish person or a full on AM chow master, like myself, Granibakken’s breakfast wont disappoint. Vacationing in Tahoe can be a full throttle activity and proper fuel is a must, especially before hitting the trails, slopes or heading into downtown Tahoe City for a day of shopping and beach combing.

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