Just back from a week in Lake Tahoe, and we had a wonderful time. The Vacation Club is fabulous, consistent with everything you'd expect from a Marriott Vacation Club. Nice pool area, a lot of family activities that we enjoyed, and located right next to the gondola that takes you up to the Heavenly ski resort. Also right next to a nice shopping area, and only about a five minute walk to a very nice beach by the lake. Would recommend this for a great summer vacation, and it's probably even better for a family ski vacation.
Hope you enjoy it. I forgot to mention the whole casino scene. . .you're a five minute walk from the Nevada line, featuring four or five casinos. Even if you're not a gambler, there are some good shows and concerts. Check the schedules for Harvey's and Harrah's before you go.
Like original poster buffetteer two years earlier, I just got back from a stay at Timber Lodge with similar positive views. We were enthusiastically greeted at the front desk by Tommy and Joseph who said they learned about Marriott at college where they were Sigma Chi's, like fellow fraternity brother, Bill Marriott. Tommy provided us the most sincere platinum recognition we've ever received (including the points) - very impressive customer service. They knew how to use gift cards and were very informative about the property and the area. The entire staff was friendly and helpful throughout the week. Valet parking is $26 daily (free, oops I mean included, to vacation club owners) and was efficiently prompt and timely. Free parking at Harrah's is considered by some, but is not as close as you might get the impression from tripadvisor. If you were parking and not using the car, perhaps, but otherwise, you'd be earning the $26 by having to haul over there each time. The concierge desk has good info (with worthwhile coupons) and there is a Lake Tahoe visitor center on site with good info about the lake (a video and displays) and activities. An excellent fitness center opened 24/7, offering top notch strength and cardio machines and free weights. Take your room key with you, it's the new 'wave' process and you need it even for elevators. Free USA Todays down in the lobby around 5am or earlier. Good wifi connection and speed. One bedroom villa had two sink vanity, separate shower and tub with jets, wash/dryer and fireplace in unit and useful kitchen. Excellent television (two) coverage with many satellite channels. Heated pool and hot tub (effective enough for folks to be swimming when it was 30 outside). Raleys is walking distance and great for in room meals and the collection of restaurants and shops between the two time shares provides good meals and activities. The Bi-State park right behind the property has several hiking trails and bikes are available in the village contiguous to the property.
I came in from Reno, which was very convenient, especially since the completion of I-580, stopping in Carson City for a nice lunch at Adeles (several good choices on Carson St. - BR #395) and a very informative stop at the AAA (which all of us Insiders no doubt, belong to, since it pays for itself) without having to go out of my way. Overall, the Timber Lodge is a solid property with a conscientious staff, that provides an opportunity for an enjoyable visit.
The ski resort had recently opened their new Tamarack Lodge at the top of the mountain, which being new, was attractive and comfortable, with the usual lodge food for energy fare. Tubing, sledding, and ski biking were offered for non-skiers and of course, the lake was beautiful as always.
Nice room with a view of heated pools and mountain
Skating rink between the two Marriott properties
Newly renovated lobby. Conceirge has good info and deals
Gondola ride is fun, skiing or not.
The only island in Lake Tahoe, Fannette Island near Vikingholm.
On the way from Reno, Carson City has several nice restaurants--Adele's
I went to Virginia City a couple of decades ago and enjoyed it, the gunfights, museums, saloons etc. It's between Reno and Carson City. There also used to be the Ponderosa Ranch from Bonanza fame, operated as a theme park near Incline Village in North Lake Tahoe, but it's no longer a tourist site, the real estate was too valuable (but then the crunch came and it has sat idle for several years).