Are you looking for a lovely some place to put the visiting relatives? Perhaps a little staycation? Then check in to Truckee's Larkspur Hotel — you know — it used to be the Best Western.The 2.3-acre property is tucked between The Rock commercial center and the Truckee River Winery, by the roundabout on Old Brockway. Hop in to downtown Truckee and dine al fresco after shopping the artsy historic district. Or hop on the bike and hit the Legacy Trail, glossy little pocket-size maps provided.“It's a great location, with a private courtyard and it's family friendly so you can bring the dogs and the kids,” said Director of Sales Suzee Oberfelder. “We have an outdoor barbecue as well. It's a nice town square synergy. I just love seeing families out there grilling hamburgers and hot dogs.”The courtyard is an intimate affair, centered by a sparkling blue, heated swimming pool, surrounded with lounge chairs, table and umbrellas. Cottonwood and aspen mixed with tall, pink-flowered trees whisper quietly, throwing a corner of shade during sun-bright afternoons. Catch a morning swim or Jacuzzi soak — it seems most guests are already out and about playing.
How could they resist? Larkspur provides an abundant amount of information, with printouts and the signature “What Will We Do Today?” booklet. Restaurants, trails, lakes, beaches — most everything you need to know (except spa amenities, which do abound in Truckee Tahoe) is there. Microbrew pub fare at FiftyFifty, sushi, tapas and sake at the Drunken Monkey, authentic Thai Delicacy, and Avec Wine andamp; More are next door at The Rock, with rolling green lawns beckoning from Truckee River Winery — a leisurely walk away.“Our approach resonates to the specific area,” said Oberfelder. “From family reunions to corporate retreats, we provide a legendary experience.” This is derived by what Oberfelder describes as a “nice relationship” with local businesses, recreation purveyors, parks and lodging properties.They work closely with Tahoe Donner for team building and recreational activities, including golfing, bike and horseback riding, dining, and tennis — and that's just some of the summer stuff. Neighboring I.R.I.E. Rafting Company at The Rock offers half-day Class II-III+ whitewater trips on the lower Truckee, another natural for teamwork.“We like to get people out of the business world, into the environment — it's a real ice breaker,” said Oberfelder.
And like most Truckee-ites, preserving the environment is a hot topic at Larkspur. They have developed a formal sustainability program, focusing on reducing water waste, energy conservation and solid waste reduction. Find recycling bins, compostable food containers and utensils. And don't feel guilty about the half-used soap.“We are part of Clean the World, which recycles all partially used soap products, sanitizing them and sending them to Third World countries,” said Kim Slaughter, front office supervisor.“The idea was thought up by kids,” Merek Poco, sales coordinator, chimed in. “It compliments our ‘go green' options, where guests may choose to not change towels or sheets on a daily basis, saving energy and water.”The FeatherBorne Bedding is a signature Larkspur Hotels comfort, with a continuous spring mattress and linens in a 300 thread-count 60/40 cotton polyester blend. A pillow menu includes down, down/polyester surround, or polyester, plumped four high. In the bath, find Lather, Inc. on the bathroom counter — the Bamboo Crme Moisturizer is infused with bamboo and shea and bath products hint thyme and mint essential oils. In line with the green initiatives, the bottles are made with bio-degradable Ecopure.
Larkspur Hotels andamp; Restaurants, established in 1996 and headquartered just north of San Francisco, purchased the former Best Western property and jumped in with a $2.3 million renovation, at $23,500 per room three years ago. Tans, browns and burnt auburn highlight the rooms and halls. Stock the petite refrigerator or purchase something from the lobby to microwave. Wake up and brew the complimentary Carmel Valley coffee, decaf or organic dark roast.Larkspur Hotels is one of three distinct hotel brands (Larkspur Landing for extended stays and business; Larkspur Collection a premium hotel with sensorial experience and upscale amenities) that delivers charm, low-key elegance and value. The hotels place emphasis on exceptional guest service. Employees at the Old Brockway location are happy to share their Tahoe Truckee lifestyle enthusiasm and knowledge, from hiking and biking to snowboarding. Peruse the “What To Do Today in Truckee,” in-room info, or speak with the front desk personnel. They can tell you what beach suits you best, how to get there, where to grab a sammie and what's happening on the town — from Truckee's Music in the Park, the Kings Beach Concert Series, Tahoe City's concerts on Commons Beach to Bluesdays at Squaw Valley. Larkspur Hotel is launching a Facebook page to report on “real time” events, activities and weather at www.facebook.com/larkspurhoteltruckeetahoe.During the renovation, local sign shops and artisans, a contractor, and architect were employed. To achieve a truly Truckee feel, photographs of historic downtown dot the hallways; a layout of photos and information about Donner State Park hangs, and plein air painter Andy Skaff's work graces the foyer.Walk in to the entry and it's fresh, clean and bright. During the remodel, windows were opened up and new lighting fixtures add a golden glow.Slate floors and wrought iron-clad barn doors continue the mountain motif.What was once a Pizza Hut is now the Mountain Burrito restaurant, arranged with chairs and tables, a dining bar and plump oversized chairs sit fireside, with a chess table and wide screen TV for entertainment.Wake up to Mountain Burrito's American hot breakfast buffet, included in the room price. Holy moly — graze the scrambled eggs, sausage gravy and biscuits, a cereal bar, muffins, yogurt, fresh fruit, juice, coffee, creamers, toast, make-your-own-waffles with all the fixings. Any guest could find his or her favorite fuel to hit the trial, or take a moment to digest poolside. A fitness room and business center were part of the redo. If you must, find two computers, a fax and printer and free WiFi.Work crews find summer and winter haven at Larkspur Hotel also. During stormy winter weather, Larkspur houses the Union Pacific snow removal crews. Business or pleasure, family or friends, find the rates for a Larkspur Hotel Truckee stay at www.larkspurhotels.com/TruckeeTahoe.