Cobalt blue waters and breathtaking scenery make Lake Tahoe one of the most beautiful lakes in the United States. Renowned for its spectacular natural beauty, Lake Tahoe is surrounded by sandy beaches, verdant pine forests, towering granite cliffs, and snow-capped mountains.
Situated on the California-Nevada border, Lake Tahoe is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise with an array of activities to enjoy year-round from hiking, mountain biking, and camping to boating, fishing, swimming, and kayaking. You’ll also find hot air balloon adventures, scenic lake cruises, mountain gondola rides, and some of the best skiing in the country.
The lake’s north shore has plenty of high-end boutique shopping and fine dining and you can try your luck at the tables at one of the Reno-style casinos on the south shore of the lake.
Dotted with small lakeside towns and charming alpine villages, Lake Tahoe has a wide range of fantastic places to stay in and around the lake. From family-friendly hotels along the shore to world-class ski resorts nestled in the mountains, there are accommodation options for all needs.
Hotels.com asked me to share a my favorite places to stay in Lake Tahoe and South Lake Tahoe. Hopefully this list will help you find the perfect place to make your base for exploring this jewel of the High Sierras.
Best Places to Stay in Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe has several areas that offer different experiences in and around the lake and feature a wealth of accommodations for every taste. From the world-class ski slopes of the beautiful Olympic Valley to the laid-back country-club atmosphere of Incline Village, here are some of the best areas to make your base on a visit to Lake Tahoe.
The Village at Squaw Valley, Olympic Valley
Situated at the base of Squaw Valley Ski in the Olympic Valley, the Village at Squaw Valley is a plush ski resort with modern condo-style suites and plenty of in-room conveniences. Just a 15-minute drive from the shore of Lake Tahoe, this aparthotel is ideal if you are traveling with your family, offering spacious apartments featuring family rooms, fully-equipped kitchens, and cozy fireplaces.
You’ll have easy access to a wellness spa and on-site yoga studio, eight hot tubs, and multiple dining options, and can enjoy all-day skiing on some of the best ski trails and slopes in the area. The hotel is connected to a shopping center and grocery delivery services are offered if you want a hassle-free vacation.
Granlibakken Tahoe, Tahoe City
If you are stuck with deciding where to stay in Lake Tahoe, Granlibakken Tahoe in Tahoe City is a top choice. Surrounded by forests of pines and within walking distance of Lake Tahoe, this lodge is a great home base for exploring Tahoe City and enjoying some fun on the water.
The main lodge has a comfy atmosphere with rustic-chic rooms and suites featuring full kitchens, wood-burning fireplace, and decks with views. You can make use of the heated outdoor swimming pool and tennis courts, rent bikes and go exploring, or hike one of the many trails near the Sierra Mountains. You can also hit the slopes at the nearby ski and sledding hill.
Club Tahoe Resort, Incline Village
If you want to explore the beautiful Lake Tahoe State Park and picturesque Sand Harbor, Club Tahoe Resort in Incline Village is a good place to stay. The rustic laid-back hotel is also just a mile from the tranquil waters of Lake Tahoe and world-class skiing and snow sports at Diamond Peakso you ideally placed for experiencing Lake Tahoe at its best.
Comfortable two-bedroom apartments have loft bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms with fireplaces, and free wifi so self-catering is easy. Hotels perks range from a seasonal outdoor pool, hot tub and sauna to tennis courts, a fitness center, and a game room with billiards. A barbecue area with picnic tables is perfect for alfresco-style dining on warm summer nights. This is one of the best hotels in Lake Tahoe if you want to enjoy fun on the lake and in the mountains.
The Ritz-Carlton, Truckee, Northstar
For a luxurious stay, The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe ticks every box. Nestled among forests of pine trees in the charming ski village of Northstar, this high-end mountainside hotel has sleek suites with marble bathrooms, bespoke bathrobes, spacious living areas with gas fireplaces, and balconies with glorious views.
You can enjoy an array of upscale amenities like a deluxe spa and fitness center, hot tubs, two outdoor swimming pools, and a range of restaurants and bars. Guests can use a ski-in/ski-out patio with a barbecue and the hotel is surrounded by some of the best ski slopes in the area. You can also enjoy water-based activities at Kings Beach on Lake Tahoe, which is a short drive away.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe, Stateline
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe is a fun and vibrant place to stay in Stateline if you want to try your luck at the tables. The sleek casino resort has a huge on-site casino, an arena for live entertainment, and several bars and restaurants for wining and dining.
An outdoor swimming pool has private cabanas and a bar service, and there are a hot tub and a fitness center for guests to use. If you prefer getting out into nature, the hotel is within walking distance of the Heavenly Mountain Gondola and the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course where you can practice your drive. The beach and lake are a short walk away where you can swim, sail, fish and kayak.
South Lake Tahoe Lodging
The aptly named South Lake Tahoe is situated on the southern side of the lake in California and is hailed as one of the best ski resorts in the country.
Home to the magnificent snow-capped Heavenly Mountain, South Lake Tahoe has spectacular natural scenery and is ideal if you want to enjoy world-class skiing, hiking, and horseback riding.
Set 1,901-meters above sea level, South Lake Tahoe is not all about the snow – it has beautiful beaches too. Head to El Dorado Beach for amazing views.
The Landing Resort & Spa
If you are looking for a special treat, The Landing Resort & Spa is the place to stay. Set right on the shore of South Lake Tahoe with a lakeside beach, this elegant hotel has beautifully appointed guest rooms with marble bathrooms, spacious living areas with gas fireplaces, and full kitchens. The south lake hotel is pet-friendly, so your four-legged friends can stay in your room.
There is a full-service spa with a sauna and hot tub for relaxing, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool for guests to use. Snuggle up by the fire on a lovely lakeside patio or the rooftop deck and soak up some spectacular views. The Heavenly Mountain Resort a few miles away if you feel like hitting the ski slopes.
Tahoe Beach & Ski Club
The Tahoe Beach & Ski Club in South Lake Tahoe is ideally located for enjoying both lake and mountain activities. Set on the southern shore, this all-suite hotel is great for families and couples to stay in Tahoe and offers comfortable hotel rooms with kitchenettes, whirlpool tubs, and balconies with lakefront views.
Amenities include a private beach, a heated outdoor swimming pool, hot tubs, a volleyball court, and tennis courts. You can work out in the fitness center and a game room has a pool table and foosball for rainy days. The Heavenly Mountain ski resort is a mile away from the beach club and offers excellent skiing and snowboarding.
Situated within walking distance of both Lake Tahoe and the California/Nevada state line, the Alpenrose Inn is a great place to stay in South Lake Tahoe with easy access to a lovely private beach. Guest rooms are warmly decorated and have en-suite bathrooms with showers, and complimentary toiletries. Opt for a suite with a cozy gas fireplace for cold winter nights.
Amenities at the mountain lodge include a seasonal indoor hot tub, a sun terrace, and on-site facilities for barbecues, and the Heavenly Mountain Resort is a short walk away. A delicious continental buffet breakfast is served to guests every morning. This is a great spot to stay if you are traveling with children under 11 as they stay for free and can swim safely at the private beach.
Emerald Bay Lodge
Surrounded by thick pine forests just a short drive from Lake Tahoe’s stunning Emerald Bay, Emerald Bay Lodge is the perfect place to stay if you want to relax and re-energize. The charming, pet-friendly retreat has a laid-back and relaxed atmosphere with comfortable cabins and modern amenities.
The south lake lodge is a short walk from the lake and a lovely and beach for swimming and paddle boarding. There are also picnic areas with barbecue facilities for guests to use and free wifi is available around the resort. You can cool off in a large outdoor swimming pool and rent bicycles to explore the nearby Emerald Bay State Park.
The Coachman Hotel
The Coachman Hotel is an ideal place to stay if you want easy access to South Lake Tahoe and some world-class ski slopes. The pet-friendly hotel has comfy lodgings, modern in-room amenities like coffeemakers and Apple TV, and free wifi. Book the room with the heart-shaped whirlpool tub for a romantic treat.
Guests can enjoy an array of facilities like a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a hot tub, and fire pits are ideal for toasting s’mores after a day of skiing. You can sip cocktails at the hotel’s fashionable bar and soak up some fantastic south lake views from the rooftop terrace. Take a short walk to the Heavenly Ski Resort Gondola for skiing and the Lakeside beach on the shores of Lake Tahoe.
Squaw Valley Lodge
Set on the slopes of Squaw Valley, the Squaw Valley Lodge is one of the best places to stay in South Lake Tahoe if you love skiing and snowboarding. This casual ski-in/ski-out, the all-condo hotel is just a few miles from Lake Tahoe and has comfortable accommodations with kitchens, fireplaces, and balconies with beautiful valley views.
After a day on the slopes or at the lake, you can relax with a massage at the spa or in one of the six hot tubs. There’s a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and the Squaw Valley Adventure Center is within walking distance of the hotel and provides plenty of entertainment for the kids.
Secrets Inn Lake Tahoe
Secrets Inn Lake Tahoe is a romantic adults-only lodge that offers a cozy retreat for couples. Nestled on the south shore of Lake Tahoe, the inn is within walking distance from the Heavenly Mountain Gondola for great skiing. The South Lake Tahoe village, the Shops at Heavenly Village, and Harrah’s Lake Tahoe Casino are a few miles away for dining, shopping, and entertainment.
The hotel offers old-world, alpine-style spa suites with log decor, fireplaces, and red heart-shaped whirlpool baths. There is a lovely lawn with tables, chairs and a fire pit where you can relax after a day in the slopes or at the nearby private beach.
Tahoe Seasons Resort by Diamond Resorts
Ideally located within a few miles of South Lake Tahoe and Harrah’s Lake Tahoe Casino, Tahoe Seasons Resort by Diamond Resorts is a great hotel to stay at if you want to enjoy both outdoor activities and a bit of gambling. You can stay in studios or two-bedroom suites which have kitchenettes, fireplaces,
Guests can enjoy a range of perks from a luxe spa and fitness center, an indoor/outdoor swimming pool and tennis courts to a barbecue area, and access to the beach at the lake. Head to the South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena and ice skating rink for some fun on the ice or explore the beautiful Washoe Meadows State Park, which is a few miles away.
Forest Suites Resort at Heavenly Village
Nestled in the heart of South Lake Tahoe, Forest Suites Resort at Heavenly Village is a lovely family-owned hotel and a great spot to stay for families. The hotel is located across the street from Heavenly Village and the Heavenly Ski Gondola and is just a mile from the beach, so you can enjoy all that South Lake Tahoe has to offer.
Cozy rooms have kitchens and dining areas for self-catering and whirlpool tubs for kicking back and relaxing. A delicious continental breakfast buffet is served every morning and there are movie nights for the kids. Other hotel perks include two seasonal outdoor pools, two deluxe spas, and mid-week cheese and wine receptions. Several hiking trails wind through the nearby Van Sickle State Park, or you can hike to the top of Mount Tallac if you are feeling energetic.
As travel today remains uncertain, please keep your safety and the safety of others in mind at all times. If you are comfortable with traveling, please travel responsibly and within regulation as any travel is at your own risk.
If you do decide to travel at this time, here are our recommendations:
- Wear a face mask.
- Bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands on a regular basis.
- Check official websites before your trip for the latest updates on policies, closures and status of local businesses.
- Book a hotel with free cancellation in case you need to change your plans at the last minute.”