Looking for more bang for your buck? These Tahoe hotels are completely unique, but share one thing in common — each one of them nicely answers the question, “why pay more?” by providing outstanding value and plenty of amenities.
Feature image: Basecamp Tahoe City
Play Park Lodge
Practical travelers will appreciate this charming lodge a few minutes from the South Lake Tahoe shore. Play Park Lodge provides a comfortable place to rest between outdoor adventures. Each room features a mini-fridge, coffee maker, and microwave, as well as streaming Roku channels.
HIGHLIGHTS: Bring Fido along for an extra fee, and request a snack basket to tide you over until your next meal next door at Lake Tahoe Pizza Company, or nearby at The Lake House or Ernie’s Coffee Shop.
Basecamp Tahoe South
Whether it’s adventure or relaxation you seek, you can find it not far from the original Basecamp Hotel in South Lake Tahoe. Located just a few minutes’ walk from the lake’s edge or the Heavenly Gondola, this affordable crash pad offers 73 handicap-accessible guest rooms within stumbling distance of an on-site beer garden with live music every night.
HIGHLIGHTS: You’ll find secure places to lock up your skis or snowboard, leaving more space for your four-legged friend in the designated pet-friendly rooms.
Basecamp Tahoe City
The newer location of this modern, stylish, budget-minded hotel offers 24 rooms a mere five-minute walk to the lake in downtown Tahoe City. The lobby bar serves local micro-brews, wines and snacks, and s’mores fixings are available for purchase to use at the outdoor fire pits. You’ll also find secure places to lock up your skis or snowboard, leaving more space for your four-legged friend in the designated pet-friendly rooms.
HIGHLIGHTS: If you’re looking for a dose of whimsy, opt for the Great Indoors family room, which features a king bed with two twin bunk beds in a separate, canvas tented room, a faux log fire, picnic table and camping chairs — all set up inside. A note for budget-conscious travelers: The hotel offers special midweek rates with up to 30 percent savings with a four-night stay. Some restrictions and blackout dates may apply.
Station House Inn
The 96-room Station House Inn, established in 1972, offers affordable, hip and stylish digs steps away from the beach and Heavenly Valley Gondola in South Lake Tahoe. The onsite restaurant serves up New Orleans-inspired breakfast, lunch and dinner fare, and there’s a seasonal heated pool with food and drinks service, plus perks like free movies and popcorn in the lobby on Fridays, a fire pit and lawn games.
HIGHLIGHTS: Details like in-room ski storage racks, bedside quick USB charging and refrigerators make a stay here super convenient. Complimentary beach passes are available when you book online, and you can bring up to two dogs for a fee of $75.
Although the simple decor at Camp Richardson in South Lake Tahoe is a throwback, staying at this classic Tahoe institution is a rite of passage reminiscent of a bygone era. There are so many affordable lodging options to choose from at the family-friendly resort, and the prime location right on the lake and numerous amenities mean there’s never a shortage of things to do. Whether you opt to stay in the cabins, historic 1920s hotel, beachside inn, marina duplex, campground or even a whole house that sleeps up to 20, there’s an option to suit every group.
HIGHLIGHTS: A general store serving breakfast and lunch, the beachside Beacon Bar & Grill, seasonal ice cream shop, coffee and confectionery shop, full-service marina, sports rental shop and volleyball court are all located on-property. The resort also offers seasonal rum runner cruises and boat tours to Vikingsholm, and is walking distance to the Valhalla Tahoe event space at the historic Heller Estate and the Pope-Baldwin Estates at the Tallac Historic Site.
Established in 1873 as the American House, later known as the Whitney House, the historic Truckee Hotel has been lovingly restored and offers affordable lodging in downtown Truckee. Recalling a time when the hotel was a stagecoach stop on the Dutch Flat Wagon Road, 28 European-style rooms have their own sink and share bathrooms in the hall. The Truckee Hotel also offers eight American-style rooms that include private bathrooms with clawfoot tubs.
HIGHLIGHTS: Named after John F. Moody, the original builder of the Truckee Hotel, the standout restaurant onsite, Moody’s Bistro, Bar & Beats, evokes a 1950s supper club vibe with find food, craft cocktails, and regular Live music that ranges from jazz to soul and rhythm and blues.
The Cottage Inn
The 22 rooms at this sweet little spot in Tahoe City located steps away from a private beach are distributed among eight charming cabins, and are each individually decorated in a cozy, woodsy theme. All rooms at the affordable inn are outfitted with fireplaces, and some include deep soaking tubs and kitchenettes. One caveat to keep in mind: The cottage inn caters only to adult guests, so don’t plan on bringing children under 12 years old or your furry friend with you.
HIGHLIGHTS: Rates include a hearty house-made breakfast delivered to your door each morning. Enjoy it in your room or eat outside in one of two enchanting gardens or on the deck of the original residence, built by Ernest Pomin in 1938, which now houses the front desk.