Breaking Down The Lake Tahoe Hotel Scene

By: Alex Silgalis

When it comes to a destination that embraces ALL four seasons, Lake Tahoe is at a different level. Visitors flock here to play golf, mountain bike, sunbathe on the beaches, or ski & snowboard the snow-covered slopes. No matter when you come or who you are, after a full day of adventure, you need a place to rest your head. At over 72 miles of shoreline, two states, five counties, and a myriad of communities, the options of where to stay can be daunting. To help, here’s a guide to the Lake Tahoe hotel scene.

West Shore


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The quietest part of the lake any time of year. The West Shore of Lake Tahoe was the first section of Tahoe envisioned as a tourist destination, as far back as the 1860s. Due to its deep historic roots, Lake Tahoe’s West Shore hosts an old school charm with its unpretentious lodging, cozy hamlets, and access to private beaches.

Notable lodging properties on the West Shore include Granlibakken Tahoe, Sunnyside Restaurant & Lodge, and West Shore Cafe and Inn.

North Shore


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Compared to the West Shore, the North Shore of Lake Tahoe hosts communities with a bit more when it comes to lodging, shopping, and activities. You can still find the laid-back quiet atmosphere, but there’s a bigger selection of cozy hotels and luxurious resorts to choose from.

Well-known lodging properties on the North Shore include Pepper Tree InnResort at Squaw Creek and The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe.

South Shore


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The beating heart of the nightlife scene at Lake Tahoe is the small city of South Lake Tahoe. In the summer, star performers like Blake Shelton and Duran Duran headline huge outdoor summer concerts. In the winter, the Heavenly Village in the heart of South Lake Tahoe bustles with the energy of shoppers & skiers enjoying the après scene. You’ll find the largest variety of lodging in the region including glittering casinos, affordable motels, and a slew of new upscale boutique hotels hovering around the shores of Big Blue.

Famous properties include The Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe, The Landing Resort & Spa, and Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel. For a full listing of all lodging options see here.

East Shore


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Although the majority of the eastern shore is undeveloped public lands, there are a few lodging options on the northeastern section in Incline Village. This enclave is sometimes perceived to be an image of luxury in the mountains. Offering an ostentatious approach to lake life, it provides access to amenities like tennis courts, golf courses, and beaches. Once the sun sets, the expectation is to snuggle up with a book and enjoy a roaring fire.

The three lodging options are Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe, Northlakes Lodges & Villas and Parkside Inn at Incline.

Like a broad paintbrush stroke, these are a few simple guidelines to help get your lodging search started. With the wide variety of options, there’s something for everyone in Lake Tahoe’s lodging scene. There are of course exceptions to any general rule, like the unique experience of Camp Richardson on the south shore or Squaw Valley lodging on the north shore during ski season. Wherever you choose to stay, the only rule is a good night’s rest & recharge for the next day’s adventure.

Related Article:  Five Lake Tahoe Hotels with Unique Amenities and Services

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