10 of the best hotels in Lake Tahoe for outdoors enthusiasts, travelers with pets, and large families

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

The best hotels in Lake Tahoe
  • Lake Tahoe mixes year-round outdoor activities with lively casinos and dining.
  • Boutique lodges and full-service hotels attract families, couples, and adventurers.
  • Hotels start in price from $100 to $399 per night, depending on the time of year.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

The largest Alpine Lake in the United States, Lake Tahoe defers only to the five Great Lakes in terms of size. This scenic, enduring spot located on the border of California and Nevada has been popular since the turn of the 20th century, with a global reputation sealed when nearby Squaw Valley staged the 1960 Winter Olympics.

Since then, this natural wonder has evolved as a tourist hotspot. It is most well known today for its ski resorts, crystal clear lake waters, and hiking trails, but motorcycling, golfing, hunting, and gambling also make up a sizable chunk of its allure.

I’ve been visiting the region for many years and have witnessed the development of the region as a tourist destination, and with it, some of the best hotels in the country, whether you seek a rustic base to hit trails or a luxury lodge to indulge in pampering spa treatments.

Browse all the best Lake Tahoe hotels below, or jump directly to a specific area here:

These are the best hotels in Lake Tahoe, sorted by price from low to high.

River Ranch Lodge

River Ranch

Book River Ranch Lodge

This unpretentious, family-friendly lodge has a sense of the old-fashioned about it, but in this case, that feeling adds to the appeal rather than making it feel dated. The entry-level rooms are atmospheric and chalet-like. With two Queen beds and plenty of room for a small family to spread out, there’s great value to be found here.

Set just outside Tahoe City, the location is tranquil and scenic. Easy access to the nearby ski slopes and the lake itself is a particular selling point. The on-site, riverside restaurant has become a destination in itself, and apres-ski lovers and fans of New American fine dining flock here year-round.

Basecamp Tahoe South

Basecamp

Book Basecamp Tahoe South

Arguably the best value hotel in the region, this affordable property veers towards a hipper, younger crowd. The ironic modern art of kitsch woodland scenes evokes a trendy city hotel, while the comforts of plump leather sofas and fire pits mean that you’ll feel at home in the mountains.

The in-room decor is whimsical, with camping lanterns and railroad ties for clothing racks that are all part of a playful approach to ski resort life. The location is central and the property is just a short walk from Lakeside beach.

For visitors on a budget, it’s a stylish, well-loved property with more than a little character. The hotel also offers a solid range of amenities (ski kit storage, restaurant, picnic area, and small private beach) for a budget-conscious hotel.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Marriott Grand Residence Club, Lake Tahoe

best lake tahoe hotels - Grand Residences by Marriott, Lake Tahoe

Book Marriott Grand Residence Club, Lake Tahoe

The thoughtful interior design helps this larger chain property retain a sense of place with stone fireplaces and wooden beams that conjure up a classic alpine ambiance.

The modern units are well-suited to couples and families that prefer a more residential style of stay, with living spaces and handy kitchenettes.

The real draw here, though, is the facilities and location. A large spa and heated outdoor pool make for a blissful retreat and the hotel is conveniently situated next to the Heavenly Gondola, with the peaks of the Heavenly Mountain Resort within easy striking distance.

Complete your stay by taking part in the numerous activities offered such as hikes, yoga, and kids’ camps.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Deerfield Lodge at Heavenly

deerfield lodge at heavenly

Book Deerfield Lodge at Heavenly

This bijoux, 22-room lodge has been a popular fixture for over 50 years, and it takes great care to maintain its original high standards and levels of comfort. Overlooking the south shore of the lake on Ski Run Boulevard, the lodge is just a hop and a step from the Heavenly ski resort and the dining options of South Lake Tahoe.

Stylish contemporary interiors in brown and cream earth tones are complemented by stone fireplaces and evocative wooden exteriors. The guest suites come with kitchenettes for easy self-catering for those who prefer to dine in. It’s the ease of access to the skiing, though, that most guests return for, and slope aficionados can be at Monument Peak or East Peak within minutes by shuttle.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Cedar House Sport Hotel

Cedar House Sport Hotel

Book the Cedar House Sport Hotel

This eco-conscious modern lodge has been constructed with an impressive amount of reclaimed or recycled materials, resulting in a high-end, European-style alpine hotel. Chic minimalism is the order of the day in the rooms, with luxury details such as leather-framed platform beds and heated floors in the bathrooms — a real boon in winter.

The property is well-placed for downtown Truckee but surrounded by some of the lake’s best scenery and outdoor pursuits. Activities like skiing and cycling can be arranged with the in-house concierge.

The healthy on-site dining at Stella, with its menu of farm-to-table veggie dishes and more, is an equally exquisite experience. 

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa & Casino

The aerial view of Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe

Book Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa & Casino

A private beach area on the north shore of the lake awaits at this elegant outpost of the Hyatt Regency brand. The location, in Incline Village, neighbors the Diamond Peak Ski Resort, giving the hotel some seriously attractive outdoor options year-round. And with a casino attached, there’s also a fair amount of choice for fans of the indoors.

Mountain views abound from the contemporary chalet-style rooms that deliver impressively luxurious accommodations even at entry-level. Guests with a special occasion or looking for standalone accommodations may want to splurge for the lakeside cottages that come with kitchenettes and unbeatable scenery.

The hotel also just announced a new menu of outdoor activities ranging from morning meditation sessions to guided hikes, plus a ‘dry land boot camp’ to help guests prepare for the winter sports season. 

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Read our full hotel review of the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort

PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn

plumpjack_squawvalley

Book PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn

This cute boutique property dates back to 1960 when the Winter Olympics were held at Squaw Valley and around North Lake Tahoe. Thanks to its high levels of design, the hotel has a timeless and elegant aesthetic, allowing the hotel to easily compete with luxe newcomers.

The rooms are inarguably contemporary, with iPod docks, Keurig coffee machines, and anti-allergen room filtration elevating them beyond the rustic. The hotel itself basks in lovely mountain views and offers a cozy, pampering apres-ski scene with its fireplaces and fire pits.

The location is as central as it gets, with very easy access to all those world-class ski slopes.

Black Bear Lodge

Black Bear

Book Black Bear Lodge

Technically, this wonderful property is a bed and breakfast as opposed to a full-service hotel, but its standards and standing are so high that it’s a natural fit for the best places to stay in the Lake Tahoe region.

The interiors are evocative, beginning with a three-story stone fireplace replete with mounted elk’s head lording over the striking lobby space. Nine units are split between lodge rooms in the main building and four cabins spread across the scenic grounds. Couples seeking a romantic retreat may want to consider their more luxurious cabins, decked out with leather armchairs and roaring fireplaces.

All of the accommodations present an elevated rustic-chic vibe and the location in South Lake Tahoe is an alluring one that’s just a short drive to the lake itself.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

The Cottage Inn

tahoe cottage inn

Book The Cottage Inn

There’s been a hospitality industry here for over a century, and this Tahoe City inn is a chance to experience some authentic old-school charm without sacrificing comfort. The cottages date back to 1938, and the pine walls and stone fireplaces retain that timeless sense of style.

The amenities, including the bathrooms, are modern, though, and there’s fast Wi-Fi. Guests can also enjoy the property’s private beach after a complimentary country breakfast. There are even Adirondack chairs for relaxing beneath the canopy of pine trees, and Squaw Peak and Twin Peaks ski resorts are close by for a more active day out.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

The Ritz Carlton, Lake Tahoe

Ritz Carlton

Book The Ritz Carlton, Lake Tahoe

Regular guests of the Ritz-Carlton brand know that there’s a reliable consistency to the level of service and comfort. This gorgeous, tree-framed property in Truckee is no exception.

The hotel comes with its own mountain concierge and offers the only ski-in, ski-out access in Lake Tahoe, which some will find well worth the higher price. The indulgent slopeside spa and exceptional dining options are among the most sophisticated in the region, and with lake access and two outdoor pools, it’s a property that scales the heights of relaxation. In-room gas fireplaces and marble bathrooms complete the posh picture.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

FAQ: Lake Tahoe hotels

When is the best time to visit Lake Tahoe?

Lake Tahoe is especially popular in the prime summer and winter months. Late November through early May especially sees an uptick in visitors as skiers and snowboarders of all levels flock to the region.

For the cheapest prices, look in shoulder seasons like fall.

What is the best place to stay in Lake Tahoe?

Given its size, there are a number of choices in terms of towns to stay in. South Lake Tahoe (the largest town) and Tahoe City top the list, with historic Truckee, Tahoe Vista, Homewood, and Incline Village also offering a number of accommodation options. 

Is it safe to travel?

Of course, during these times of COVID-19, Lake Tahoe is subject to the same potential restrictions and safety precautions as the rest of the country and you should check for any local changes in regard to mandatory policies or quarantine periods.

And if you’re wondering if travel is safe right now, we talked to medical experts on how to mitigate risks with hotel stays, as well as flights, rental cars, trains, and more. Many hotels are also implementing new guidelines for both staff and guests. We also asked experts how safe skiing is right now, and the good news is that it’s a relatively low-risk activity.

However, the CDC has said that travel is safe for fully vaccinated individuals.

More of the best mountain resorts and vacation rentals

The Phoenician - building and pool against a mountain range
Read the original article on Business Insider