If Lake Tahoe is on your radar, we’ll assume you’re the adventurous type. While there are myriad of luxury resorts around California’s most well-known lake destination, we’ll also assume you prefer a bit of rustic character and charm with your lodging. With that in mind, here are three of our favorite hotels in South Lake Tahoe.
Basecamp South Lake Tahoe
Each of Basecamp’s three hotels, including Basecamp South Lake Tahoe, embraces the outdoors in a way that’s fun, witty, and modern. (Case in point: En lieu of a Bible, every room offers a copy of the Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook.) The design balances “comfy campsite chic” without bludgeoning guests over the head with too much kitsch. In an area that’s long been known for garish motels and charmless resorts (and a little in between), it’s a pitch-perfect blend that complements South Lake Tahoe’s modern-day vibe. The one-time snowboarder’s retreat features tastefully curated local accents and plenty of reclaimed wood to create a rustic chic vibe. There’s even a beer garden; a rooftop, mountain-view hot tub; and ski/bike storage. The location is also ideal year-round. For summer travelers, it’s a half-mile from the lake; for those vacationing in winter, it’s just over two miles to Heavenly Mountain Resort. The sister property, Basecamp Tahoe City, is an excellent alternative if you fancy a trip to the northern part of Lake Tahoe.
Look fast at the Coachman Hotel and you’d easily mistake its understated, bi-level exterior for any of the dozens of newly redesigned motels in South Lake Tahoe (the original 1960s structure was built to accommodate the massive tourist influx during the Tahoe Olympic Games). But the interior is something entirely different. While this is technically a three-star hotel, someone forgot to tell the designers. The pared-down, minimal layout feels more soft and relaxed than cold and austere. Bare wood posts, raw leather chairs, and homey furniture abound in every space. The lounge offers fur-draped chairs perfect for relaxing with a good book and a glass of Cab. Outside, several fire pits and s’mores kits encourage mingling among guests chilling on Pendleton blankets. What’s more, it’s all within a five-minute walk from Lakeside Beach, Heavenly Gondola, and the Stateline Casinos (if you’re into that sort of thing).
The Landing Tahoe Resort & Spa
If you fancy a touch more sophistication with your hotel stays, The Landing Tahoe Resort & Spa offers an approachable style of luxury that’s not too stuffy, but not too rustic. It’s a five-star hotel, and it has a long list of amenities — including a full spa, one of the area’s best restaurants with a 2,000-bottle wine vault, and a stunning lakefront location — to prove it. Yet it never feels too pinky-up for the everyman. Decor is a blend of modern, rural, and timeless elegance. All rooms feature state-of-the-art tech amenities like large flat-screen TVs and ultra-high-speed internet, plus heated bathroom floors, oversized stone fireplaces, and (optional) waterfront balconies. It’s just as ideal for a honeymoon retreat as it is for a weekend ski getaway with the gang.