Active lifestyle lodging: Truckee’s Cedar House and Tahoe’s Cedar Crest Cottages

IN OUR GRANDPARENTS’ DAYS, the “grand dames” defined America’s hotel business. Nowadays, active lifestyle hotels are becoming more popular, thanks to the rise in millennial travel. The hotels have European flair and offer innovative food, the latest in technology and locally inspired experiences — from hiking and kayaking to hands-on cooking classes. “It’s a huge market,” as one hotel consultant put it.

Nestled amid towering pines in historic Truckee, Cedar House Sport Hotel is a pioneer of the active lifestyle destinations. Owners Patty and Jeff Baird opened the hotel in 2006, added a well-equipped event center in 2007, nationally acclaimed Stella Culinary in 2008 and an in-house adventure guiding company in 2011.

“Whether it’s a cooking class with Stella Culinary, a guided wilderness escape through our in-house touring company, or a weekend exploring Lake Tahoe, the Cedar House provides a relaxed setting,” says Patty.

Now Stella Restaurant is moving in a new direction. Under Executive Chef Jacob Burton, Stella Culinary is offering hands-on cooking classes, underground dinner parties for the general public and “Create Your Evening” custom dining experiences for families and groups.

Stella Culinary is hosting educational programs ranging from single-day courses to weeklong “boot camps.” The popular boot camps features five days of intensive hands-on training.

Stella Underground feels like attending an intimate dinner party at a friend’s home. The action centers around an open kitchen, and guests are invited to interact with Chef Jacob throughout their meal. You can BYOB (bring your own beer or wine).

Cooking classes are offered all summer long. To view course information and register for the dinners and classes visit and


Cedar Crest Cottages are a collection of newly renovated boutique vacation cottages that overlook Lake Tahoe’s West Shore. The property, nestled among towering cedars, boasts an inviting fire pit that welcomes guests to gather for s’mores or conversation. A shared beach is located just a short walk across the street.

The designers, Olson-Olson Architects, were inspired by the many birds that inhabit Lake Tahoe. Each cottage features a unique color palette, and custom wood or stone flooring.

The cottages include a full kitchen featuring state-of-the-art appliances; comfortable leather seating; wireless high-speed internet, and entertainment via the smart soundbar or on the flat-screen TV. The bedrooms feature TVs, comfortable beds, luxurious linens, and one or more well-appointed bathrooms.

(Cedar Crest photo: Vance Fox)

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