As soon as you put a word like “premier” or “best” in front of a statement, there’s a sense of expectation. That it’s more than just a place to lie down and go to bed but rather an experience. That doesn’t mean it has to be the most expensive or have a hoity-toity feel. For us, it could be a combination of architecture, amenities, access to attractions, or even customer service. Most of all, the beds are comfy! Here’s what we think are the best places to stay in Lake Tahoe.
The first town in Tahoe that comes to mind when you utter the words “ski town” is Truckee. It’s located a few minutes from Northstar, Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows, and a host of other world class ski resorts. The charming historic downtown is filled with local boutiques and cool restaurants, all walkable after a day on the slopes or in the mountains. One thing to note is it isn’t on the shores of Lake Tahoe.
Redlight Historic Bunk Hotel & Speakeasy
Here’s a great example of a place that’s less about the fancy-schmancy and more about its location and history. Located right smack dab in the middle of historic downtown Truckee, you’re a short walk from all kinds of fun including the Amtrak train station. Start the evening off right by socializing in the speakeasy lounge and stumble yourself upstairs to your bed. They have a studio suite, private room with and without bath as well as private bunks.
Cedar House Sport Hotel
On the other side of the spectrum, you have the four-star Cedar House Sport Hotel. Built with unrefined and recycled materials, its construction embraces the environment surrounding it. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, this is definitely one of the best places to stay in Lake Tahoe. They focus on the meticulous details such as high-quality bottomless coffee, fresh chocolate chip cookies at check-in, and of course cleanliness. A great basecamp if you want a bit of seclusion but still have access to all the fun things Truckee has to offer.
Another thing to consider is if you’re less likely to go out and experience downtown Truckee and more so stay in, you may want to take a close look at the cabins available surrounding Northstar at Tahoe Resort. The ski resort is more family oriented featuring great groomers and a quaint village at the base. Here’s a list of the highest rated accommodations on Booking.com within the Northstar Village:
Starry Aspen Grove
To see prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com
- Studio – Queen Bed & Fold-out Sofa
- 731 Square Feet
- Full Kitchen
- Provides free bikes with accommodation
Northstar Village 237
To see prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com
- Studio – 2 Queen Beds
- 333 Square Feet
- Patio w/ BBQ
Like a well-rounded meal, the north shore has a little bit of everything for everyone. Towns like Kings Beach give access to the lake. For those searching for less mountain town vibe and more quiet beach village, Tahoe City is where it’s at. And, if you want to be IN the mountains, Olympic Valley is a good option.
Plumpjack Squaw Valley Inn
If the focus of your trip is to ski Squaw or its sibling Alpine Meadows, highly consider basing yourself at Plumpjack Squaw Valley Inn. Located in Olympic Valley, it provides ski-in and ski-out access to Squaw Valley. Ski all day, enjoy the apres at the legendary Le Chamois, and finish off with a soak in their hot tub without getting in a car.
Sunnyside Resorts and Lodge
For those wanting to stay by the lake, a great option is to stay IN Tahoe City at Sunnyside Resorts and Lodge. The hotel itself provides easy lake access and your steps away from the multitude of shops like our favorite outdoor outfitter Alpenglow Sports as well as restaurants. Besides its location, the well-maintained lodge from the 50’s provides a cozy cabin atmosphere along with niceties such as a wonderful continental breakfast and afternoon tea.
Mother Nature’s Inn
To see prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com
Close your eyes and imagine a cabin. Colorful comforters that look quilt-like. Throw pillows with whimsical bears on them. A bed frame made out of wooden logs. Maybe a wooden welcome sign painted with a cartoon bear swimming in a lake. That’s exactly the feel you get when staying at Mother Nature’s Inn. What you may lack in a lake view, you more than make up on customer service and location in downtown Tahoe City next to the lake. A great value based on what you get.
Situated in what’s known as the “banana belt” of the North Shore, if you love sunshine and beaches, this is a good place to base yourself. Moments from sandy beaches including one of the few dog-friendly beaches and a variety of water activities. Short drive from north shores’ ski resorts and walk-able to dozens of family-run cafes and shops. A great pick for anyone that’s looking for affordable lodging but still well managed, maintained, and comfy beds.
Just to the south of Tahoe City is the region that was first envisioned as a tourist destination back in the 1860’s. Due to this, it also has the most laid back and relaxed atmosphere. Cozy hamlets like Homewood and Tahoma exude old school charm, unpretentious lodging, and access to private beaches.
West Shore Café And Inn
Across the street from Homewood Mountain and literally footsteps from the lake is West Shore Café and Inn. This is definitely one of the best places to stay in Lake Tahoe if you like access, seclusion, and mountain-inspired architecture. The jaw dropping beauty of the location is reminiscent of the gorgeous Fleur Du Lac estate from Godfather Part II which makes sense since that property is in the same region of Lake Tahoe. Some rooms feature a seating area and other have lake or mountain views but all of them will leave lasting memories for a lifetime.
Tahoma Meadows Cottages
Want to get a feel of how it was like to stay in Tahoe nearly half a century ago? Look no further than the Tahoma Meadows Cottages. These well maintained set of cozy cabins nestled under a canopy of evergreens harken back to a time that embraced nature, solitude, and time with friends. Each of their fifteen hand-crafted cottages provide a wonderfully refreshing and unique experience. Let’s just say once you return from your trip you’ll be snapping your hiking boots together like Dorothy from Wizard of Oz yelling, “There’s no place like Tahoma, There’s no place like Tahoma…”
If Tahoe was New York City then the Stateline/South Lake Tahoe corridor would be Manhattan. This is where massive acts like Blake Shelton and Duran Duran headline the outdoor summer concert series. The après scene buzzes with energy within the Heavenly Village all year long. For night owls, the casinos in Stateline offer up all-night revelry including nightclubs.
The Lodge At Edgewood Tahoe
When it comes to listing the best places to stay in Lake Tahoe, we had to give a nod The Lodge At Edgewood Tahoe. This level of accommodations, service, and access to the excitement filled casino corridor and yet at the same time with seclusion is a delicate balance that they somehow are able to do. They don’t just strive for excellence, they ensure it. With that being said, it does come with a price tag. If you can afford it… it’s well worth the splurge.
The Landing Resort & Spa
Just a few blocks from the main drag of South Lake Tahoe’s casinos and the Heavenly Mountain Resort gondola, you’ll find this laid back and yet luxurious slice of heaven. Even with its heated marble bathrooms, comfortable beds, and other grand amenities, you don’t have the feeling of pretentiousness. Rather, the customer service goes above and beyond your expectations. You’ll feel like a king or queen for your stay with the front desk’s cheery mood as well as providing such things as complimentary ski or snowboard storage.
The Coachman Hotel
If you’re looking for a full experience, the Coachman has it in spades. Once you’ve parked your car at the hotel and checked in, you’re walking distance to the Heavenly Gondola or the bustling entertainment district of the south shore. After you’ve had your fill of adventure, you can relax in their bar. Sip on a local cold brew or well-made cocktails while enjoying the complimentary s’mores. And once you’re done for the day, adjourn to your comfy room that’s decorated in a modern European meets mountains style. Now THAT is how you do Tahoe. Sun-up to Sun-down full of fun.
Extroverts will LOVE this hotel and think it’s one of the best places to stay in Lake Tahoe. Literally across the street from Harveys Casino, you’ll find the Basecamp Hotel. As the name alludes, this place might be one of the best the places to stay in Lake Tahoe if you like being in the center of everything. Their beer garden is always happening featuring both visitors and locals alike mingling together to enjoy the local craft beers made on-site by South of North Brewery. The courtyard features live music, picnic tables, and fire-pits. And the rooms themselves are adorned in rustic wood furnishings accentuated with modern gray linens and bright accents.
Home to Sand Harbor, nearly 27 miles of shoreline, and thousands of acres of pristine undeveloped lands, this is nature at its finest. The only lodging that’s on the eastern shore is on the northeastern corner in Incline Village. This is the epitome of a high-end vacation destination that’s all about luxury and seclusion. It’s also where the legendary mountain bike route the Flume Trail ends. If you’re looking for a great lunch, be sure to set aside time and go to Mountain High Sandwich Co. You won’t regret it.
Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe
For the finer things in life with a slower more refined way of vacationing, you’ll enjoy the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe in Incline Village. Like James Bond, the hotel is confident and polished but without being over the top. Each detail is meticulously taken care of like access to a private beach. And if you do feel like enjoying the evening, there is a 24-hour casino on the grounds.
Note: Be aware, there’s a mandatory $22 nightly parking fee & $40 resort fee that’s automatically added each night of the stay. Compared to the prices of other high-end hotels, this puts it in the same price page. The resort fee gives you access to private amenities such as the beach, bar, heated pool, complimentary glass of sparkling wine, and access to the hotel’s exclusive water sports rental company.
Club Tahoe Resort
Another great option to consider if you want to stay in the beautiful Incline Village but without the fees and free parking, check out the Club Tahoe Resort. Less classic lodging and more for a long-term stay, they feature a host of two-bedroom suites that can sleep up to six people. Within their units, you’ll find washers, dryers, free wifi, and even a fully equipped kitchen so you can whip up your own meals. In addition to the suite’s features, you also gain access to the resorts other amenities like an outdoor swimming pool, hot tub, arcade, racquetball, and even a game room.
Looking For More Trip Ideas When Visiting Lake Tahoe?
Lake Tahoe is BIG! In fact, it’s the largest alpine lake in North America. The shoreline is over 72 miles in length covering five counties and two states. All of which provide unique experiences unlike other parts of region. To help make the most out of your trip to Lake Tahoe, we’ve put together an epic travel guide, highlighting the best of what you can see, do, and eat in any time of year:
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