We found this resort as timeshare owners through a trade via RCI. In October, I booked THE very last room available for the holiday week 12/31/2017 to 1/7/2018 - a suite with a kitchenette that would be adequate for our family. While we usually prefer two-bedroom units, we travel with our school-aged children, I knew that that we'd make do with a studio unit during the holiday week to enjoy this gorgeous community. Patty, Cathy and Sean at the front desk were always SUPER, ensuring we had the BEST experiences. We stayed in unit 301 closest to office and street and I'm happy to say noise was never a problem.
Here's what my kids, hubby and I LOVED.
ARRIVAL EASE: As we walked around the city, we noticed huge resorts with many cars pulling in, valets running around with luggage carts to get guest into large buildings and onto different floors with their stuff. At the Americana, we parked our car 40 feet from our room door and had the easiest time unloading our gear, cooler, etc and were able to leave archery equipment and snow clothes in the car because we could access it so easily in the small parking lot. Packing up when we left was also a breeze. Ease in getting in/out when you have children (and one is blind) is very important to us.
Heated pool, hot tub and sauna were just 20 seconds outside our door! We used those EVERY SINGLE EVENING after our physically active outings to hike to Vikingholm castle at Emerald Bay, sled at Granlibakken, ice skate at the wonderful South Tahoe Ice Arena (NOT the crowded rink at Heavenly Village!) and boulder scamper/beach walk at Sand Harbor on the Nevada side. Having these facilities so close on site was awesome, especially on the night when temperature was 29 degrees - walking a SHORT distance back to your room while wet was terrific!
One day, we just stayed on property to enjoy the resort amenities! The activity center has an outdoor ping-pong table that we played many games on plus a tether ball setup which we also enjoyed.
Location: on our first morning it was January 1st - Happy New Year 2018! After our traditional Japanese meal to start the new year, we bundled up and took the 16 minute walk to the Ski Run Marina for kids' first view of Lake Tahoe. Nice to be able to walk to the lakeshore for a fitness walk at 6200 feet altitude! You can walk from here to Midway then alongside Hwy 50 to get there (a LOUD, noisy walk) OR you can walk the quiet neighborhood behind the Americana (via Aspenweld, Aspen, Ski Run Marina Blvd) to get enjoy the homes in the forest. We preferred to the the quiet walk every time we walked.
Heavenly Village shops and the Raley's supermarket are also walkable from here (10 minutes) so that was super too. The location is great because there are MANY restaurants nearby: IHOP, a pho place, Pizza Hut, Red Hut Cafe and all the restaurants at the village. If you want to take the gondola up Heavenly Mountain, it's right behind the Raley's. The ice rink is there too, behind the theater. So EXCELLENT location on Pioneer Trail to be OFF of Hwy 50 which is loud.
KITCHENETTE: This cannot be highlighted enough. This feature was critical to our family who LOVES new culinary delights and experiences. We traveled with our brand new induction cooking "stove table" as my blind daughter calls it (her Christmas present) so that we could SLOW OUR LIVES DOWN and enjoy communal cooking dinners in our suite instead of having to go out to eat all the time. The VERY WELL STOCKED kitchenette had ALL dishes, pans, HOT PLATE, dishwasher, microwave, fridge and plenty of cabinet space for us to set up a little pantry. The table, chairs & folding seats were GREAT to convert the space in bedroom next to kitchen into a dining space quickly. Just to state how much we LOVED the kitchenette, I'll share that one night we cooked up a fierce shabu shabu meal (Japanese-style hot pot with thinly sliced beef that cooks in 10 seconds when you dip it which our kids love), another night we whipped up a quick Straccitalla alla Fiorintina (Italy's answer to egg drop soup) and another night was FONDUE night. These meals were slow, special, family meals and important memories of our vacation, made possible because the Americana provided us the space for all foods we brought with us and purchased locally AND because we had the eating space and kitchenette to make preparation EASY as a family.
SLEDS: We loved that we could just bop on down to the Activity Center and check out sleds to take to the snow play area.
POPCORN: We loved that anytime of day/evening we could pop on over to the office or activity center to pick up a bag of freshly popped popcorn. Seriously, this was a little thing that made us all happy. :-) Coffee/hot cocoa/tea available anytime was a bonus.
ACTIVITIES: The Americana has evening meals available several times a week in the Activity Center. We enjoyed Enchilada night (YUMMY!) for $8 a person. When we checked in, we received two meal vouchers which made it possible for our family to eat this tasty enchilada meal for $16. Unbeatable. On the day we just hang out to relax at the resort, my kids (ages 11, 13) participated in the candy making activity ($3 a child) - they returned to the room with colorful chocolate candies, lollipops that they made themselves. I appreciate that the staff provides these activities to create! We missed the tie-dye shirt making because it happened while we were out on the lake cruising on the Safari Rose yacht for a sunset cruise (highly recommended too!)
Another bonus was the collection of DVDs in the office you can check out. We enjoyed two movies while there: Sound of Music and A Dog's Purpose. My son said, "It's like Red Box, but free." LOL.
FITNESS CENTER/LAUNDRY ROOM: combo use room. My blind daughter loves to do laundry. We would go there to put our wet swimsuits into the dryer then use the treadmill while we waited.
BREAKFAST: Our kids loved walking down to the center for the breakfast from 7-9 a.m. to snag jelly donuts (which they never get a chance to eat usually.) I appreciated the hard-boiled eggs because protein. Yes, it's all free so it's honestly not much. One of the days, my hubby got up and went to McDonalds for breakfast. :-)
Suggestion: add some lunch meats to the menu: ham, smoked turkey slices, etc to make the breakfast more substantial. I found it to be too carb heavy (donuts and bread) and only one fruit (orange slices) there next to the eggs. Also, 9 a.m is too early to end breakfast when families are on VACATION. Some mornings my kids didn't wake up until 10 a.m. :-)
BBQ grill and picnic table: Yes, it's January. Yes, it was cold at night. But on the afternoon after my husband spent the morning fishing with Tahoe Sportsfishing and came back with FOUR Mackinaw Trout, we bought charcoal for $6 at the front desk, used their lighter fluid and spontaneously had a fish cookout at the table literally 20 feet outside our room. I brought the rice cooker and dishes outside in 30 seconds. Easy. This resort feels like your backyard with everything you need to eat outside between the pine trees. Great memory!
So we found this property to be a VERY GOOD value for all these reasons. The experience was made wonderful by the SUPER front office staff. We highly recommend Americana Village and look forward to returning when there's more snow or maybe in the summer.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tahoe is the ultimate year around playground! Every season has adventure to offer and we’d like to to make sure you have a place to crash after your adventurous day. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Americana Village Hotel South Lake Tahoe
- Americana Vacation Hotel
- Americana Vacation Lake Tahoe