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Grand Sierra Resort: Best Family Lodging in Reno for Skiers and Snowboarders

Yahoo Contributor Network

Reno is a major city when it comes to deciding where to sleep and stay near the Sierra Nevada of California. Many households planning to ski or snowboard during the season choose lodging at one of the major hotels, or maybe a smaller hotel for a cheaper price and quieter stay. Families who want to hit the slopes like to consider transportation to and from the ski resorts, price, food, and activities.

From my experience, I have chosen one hotel that does this pretty well: the Grand Sierra Resort.

Grand Sierra Resort usually offers really good deals during the ski season. If they have any deals going on, they'd be posted here. For instance, in 2011, there was a promotion going on that allowed people to receive two free nights with a two-day breakfast buffet included. Hopefully, they have something as good as this in the future, but this resort usually does take the lead in giving good deals.

I do not recommend going to Grand Sierra, though, if there are no on-going promotions. The resort's room rates can be extremely expensive on some days (especially weekends). It all comes down to statistics, however, and how much you are willing to pay and what days you're planning to stay on. I also like how Grand Sierra has a very swift check-in process with a non-smoking zone at the check-in and check-out counters. Although the lines for check-in may be long during busy times, usually the wait time will not exceed 15 minutes.

I have found transportation to multiple ski resorts made easier by the shuttle service that Grand Sierra offers. It makes my stay less stressful because of the convenience of not having to drive to the ski resort. The shuttle also goes to the ski resort to pick people up to go back to the hotel, so make sure you keep your eyes on the time! You can make reservations for the shuttle so that a family can be guaranteed seats. The shuttle service time changes from year to year, though, so you have to be ready to wake up early to ride the shuttle. If you'd also like to get to Grand Sierra by flying to the airport, they have shuttles that bring people arriving from airports to the hotel, and vice versa.

Grand Sierra does have some places to eat, like Cafe Sierra or Johnny Rockets. However, sometimes the wait time might be extremely long. For instance, one year I went, they had to issue me a beeper to alert me when it was my turn to eat. Instead, I just went to the resort's bottom level to eat. If you really do want to dine at Grand Sierra, I recommend waking up early and eating at one of the hotel's vendors, go skiing and eat at the ski resort, and go out to a different vendor outside of the hotel for dinner. If you really do wish to eat at Grand Sierra for dinner, I have always eaten at either Cafe Sierra or Round Table Pizza. It's just a convenient way for me and my family to eat and go to sleep.

Finally, there are many activities at the resort's bottom level. Kids can play in the hotel's bottom-level arcade. There is laser tag there and various games to earn tickets for prizes. In my honest opinion, I would not go play in their arcade due to the better arcades at nearby hotels like Circus Circus. Sometimes I do go bowling and watch movies at the Grand Sierra Cinema, though. The theater usually has at least one movie for the family and some other movies that may not be as appropriate for kids. The theater is small but is "specially designed." It's not a regular theater but more of a luxury theater. It's an interesting design so if you have the free time to go watch a movie, you might want to go watch something at their theater. Unfortunately, there are minimal showing times, but tickets are only $3 per person.

If Grand Sierra doesn't have what you want, it's conveniently located close to the highway and is close by to hotels like Circus Circus that provide a whole new set of activities, like a better arcade. The location of Grand Sierra requires no winding through the streets and getting stuck at traffic lights like where many other major hotels are located. However, it isn't too far away from the nearby big hotels so if you ever want to go meet up with other families, or want to experience what another hotel has to offer, it's really easy to do so.

Gavin Kuo enjoys skiing in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California every winter when he has the time to go have some relaxation time. He has been to numerous ski resorts and hotels, from the tiny to the large ones and knows from experience which ones to go to.

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