Northstar California with kids: an Aspen Grove mountain condo stay

Families visiting Northstar California have a dizzying array of lodging options.  If you’re staying a week or more, or have a large group, we recommend a home rental in one of Northstar’s mountain neighborhoods. If you want luxury and ski-in, ski-out pampering (recommended with small kids or short visits) or want to be close to the action, book a stay in the Northstar Village with Tahoe Mountain Lodging: start by reading our review of Big Horn Lodge. However, if something in-between is just right, Northstar’s mountain condo options are close to amenities, affordable, and manageable in size.


During a weekend visit with our family of five (three school-aged kids, plus mom and dad), we stayed in one of Northstar’s Aspen Grove condos. We were only 1/4 mile from the village, had three bedrooms, a full washer and dryer, a ski locker, two bathrooms, and a full kitchen, and plenty of space for the kids to play and explore. One of the more affordable Northstar lodging options, our Aspen Grove condo included just what we needed, and no more. Tip: condos and village lodging at Northstar can also be booked through VacationRoost.


Northstar’s condos are run by Northstar Lodging, the same folks who book their mountain homes, and therefore, include use of the Northstar Property Owners Association recreation center, pools, hot tubs, and exercise facility. This is a huge plus, as there are no hot tubs or pools in the Aspen Grove condo area. In summer, you can easily walk to the rec center (nice for teens who want to use the exercise rooms or the arcade), but in winter, you’ll want to drive or call the Northstar shuttle. The rec center is $2 per person to use, and worth every penny (we love the triple outdoor hot tubs!).


In Aspen Grove, you get the washer-dryer in your unit, plus the full kitchen, which makes meal planning easier and saved us a lot of money on our weekend at Northstar. You also have use of the free shuttle system, which we love. Simply call for the shuttle from any phone, and it will be there faster than you can find your missing glove, I promise. Shuttle stops are close by in the Aspen Grove parking lot, and the trip to the village to catch the gondola up the mountain takes fewer than five minutes. Ditto for the ride home, which means you can skip the crowded public parking areas or paid parking.

Condo configuration:

Our Aspen Grove condo included two bedrooms on the bottom level, plus a bathroom and the entry hallway. This hallway included lots of hooks for winter gear, and a ski locker out front. The washer and dryer were also in this level. Bedrooms had two beds (a double and a single) in one, and a queen bed in the other, plus plenty of closet space. Upstairs on the mid-level, we had the kitchen (with full-sized appliances and stocked with dishes, cooking utensils, etc) and living space (complete with TV and DVD player and wifi). On the third floor sat the master bedroom and bathroom. The second and bottom floor both featured a deck. We had more than enough space (we could have made due with a two-bedroom) and never felt far from the action.

Date last visited:

November-December 2013

Distance from the interstate:

10 minutes from I-80.


Rates vary  by season and bedroom number. One to three-bedroom condos range from approximately $259-459.


Northstar is located 30 minutes from Reno, NV or three hours from Sacramento, CA off of the Highway 267 exit on Interstate 80 (I-80). Take an immediate right after entering Northstar Drive to check in at Northstar Lodging.

Disclosure: Our Aspen Grove stay was hosted by Northstar, for the purpose of review. While hospitality is always appreciated, our opinions are our own. The above post is also written in partnership with