Where is it? South Lake Tahoe's newest boutique hotel is a one-hour drive from Reno airport and within driving distance of San Francisco. It is a weekend nature escape for frazzled city dwellers and, whatever the season, the scenery is breathtaking. What's so special about it? With only 12 rooms and suites, the Deerfield is the epitome of luxury. The lodge is at the foot of one of Lake Tahoe's best ski resorts, Heavenly Mountain, which straddles the California/Nevada state line and has ski runs in both states. What about the service? The concierge will make arrangements for everything from dinner reservations and tickets to shows at the casinos to boat rentals and en suite massages, baby sitters and dog minders. What do we do there? During winter, skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling receive top billing: Lake Tahoe's winters are famous for light powder snow and brilliant blue skies. Besides Heavenly Valley there are 19 ski resorts nearby. Guests receive discounted lift tickets and ski equipment and the concierge can organise for the valet ski service to fit you with boots, gloves, skis and any other equipment you need. Summer activities include river rafting, fishing, boating, cycling and ballooning. The nearby casinos, such as Harrah's and Harvey's, are a year-round attraction. What's the ambience like? Deerfield combines the cosy feeling of a luxurious mountain lodge with a warm and friendly family vibe. The suites have a plush family room decorated with comfortable leather loungers and floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open out onto a forested courtyard complete with resident squirrels. After an active day of hiking, cycling, skiing or boating you can sink into your private aromatherapy Jacuzzi and soap yourself with Bulgari suds. Suites are also equipped with coffee makers, refrigerators, microwave ovens, DVD players and wireless internet connections. What's on the menu? During ski season, apres-ski snacks are served daily in front of the fireplace in the main living area. You can sip hot spiced apple cider while nibbling on hors d'oeuvres, fresh fruit and cakes (above left). There are good restaurants within walking distance. What's the bottom line? Suites cost from US$329 a night and single rooms US$229 in high season. In low season, rates are reduced by US$100 a night. The Deerfield Lodge at Heavenly is at 1200 Ski Run Boulevard, South Lake Tahoe, California, United States, tel: 1 888 757 3337; www.tahoedeerfieldlodge.com .