Updated July 2023
Looking for a where to stay in Lake Tahoe? Look no further than some of these best hotels and cabins in both north and south Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe is one of the most breathtaking places in California (and Nevada).
From the crystal clear water to the surrounding mountains, Lake Tahoe is a true gem. That being said, it is an incredibly large area to explore, and deciding where to stay in Lake Tahoe can be a bit overwhelming.
In addition to navigating through the weather of each season, you also have to consider the fact that there are several different areas to choose from. For example, if you are coming from Reno, the north shore is much easier to access. However, some people prefer the south shore due to stunning spots like Emerald Bay and Zephyr Cove.
A little bit of planning for what you would like to do with your time will certainly help determine where you book. I myself grew up in Auburn (a great stop on the way up), so we spent most of our time in North Lake Tahoe in areas like Tahoe City and Incline Village.
We loved skiing in Palisades and enjoying the town of Truckee in the afternoon. There is so much to do in the area so a good weekend away is always in order at least once a year.
Whether it’s your first time traveling to Lake Tahoe or you’re a seasoned visitor, here is my full guide on where to stay in Lake Tahoe!
Short on Time? Here Are My Top Picks for the Best Hotels in Lake Tahoe:
- The Landing Resort, for the best lakefront relaxing hotel
- Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe, for the best luxury hotel
- The Coachman Hotel, for the best South Lake hotel
- Basecamp Tahoe City, for the best North Lake hotel
Where to Stay in Lake Tahoe: Best Hotels and Cabins
Tips for Booking Accommodations in Tahoe
When to Book
Both summer and winter can get pretty packed in Lake Tahoe. That being said, if you’re planning a weekend trip during the ski season or the summer, definitely book in advance. However, if you find yourself caught in the middle of trying to plan a last-minute trip, keep an eye out for last-minute deals. You never know what you might be able to score.
Things to Consider When Booking
There are several factors that go into finding the perfect place to stay in Lake Tahoe. For example, if you still want to enjoy modern amenities and service during your stay, a hotel is probably going to make you happiest. However, if you’re ok with a more low-key and rural experience, a private cabin is the perfect way to live like a local. We find that a cabin works well with a group of people as we can have a kitchen and space to kick back in together.
Also, your chosen activities should play a huge role in determining where to stay in Lake Tahoe. If you plan on spending a lot of time skiing, be sure that you book accommodations that are within close proximity of your ski resort. For those traveling with kids, the less time you have to spend in the car traveling from excursion to excursion, the better. Though it can get busy, summer visitors should do their best to stay as close to the lake as possible so that you can swim, kayak, paddleboard, and more without traveling too far.
Best Places to Book Accommodations
When it comes to actually booking your place, there are a few different options to explore. For more high-end, elevated cabins, Plum Guide should be your go-to. If you’re trying to stick with the traditional hotel setup, Booking.com always has the best competitive rates. In need of a last-minute deal? Turn to VRBO or Airbnb.
Lake Tahoe At a Glance
Lake Tahoe is split between the south shore and the north shore, though there are several different areas in between. Each region has its own charm and appeal, however, they differ pretty drastically in scene and setting.
South Lake Tahoe
South Lake Tahoe, also called Tahoe South, is the largest city in the area. It is also home to the majority of permanent residents around the lake. Though the main attraction on the south shore is the downtown area, some other great highlights include Meyers, Stateline, Zephyr Cove, Glenbrook, Emerald Bay, as well as the Markleeville and Kirkwood areas.
If you don’t mind larger crowds and are hoping to enjoy some fun nightlife and bars, the south shore is the right area for you. There are also some tasty and diverse dining options as you’re close to a lot of the casinos.
North Lake Tahoe
North Lake Tahoe is much smaller than its southern counterpart, making it a better option for those looking to experience a more rural stay. Though they are all pretty small, some of the main cities and areas on the northern shore include Incline Village, Sunnyside and Tahoe City, Kings Beach, Carnelian Bay, Crystal Bay, Tahoe Vista, and Truckee.
If you want to spend a lot of your time out in nature doing everything from river rafting to hiking, North Lake Tahoe is the place to be. Despite the fact that there is a decent array of lodging options, you’ll still want to plan in advance since it is the more rural side of the lake.
Best Hotels in North Lake Tahoe
Surrounded by green pine trees and stunning mountains, the Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe immerses guests in nature without skimping on luxury. Between the luxe cabin-style rooms and the world-class amenities, this is definitely a more upscale option. Book the best rates here.
Since undergoing a major renovation, the West Shore Cafe and Inn has everything from Smart televisions to new hardwood flooring. All of the guest suites have a rustic charm that is inspired by the surrounding mountains, and the lake views are out of this world. Book the best rates here.
From the casino to the local hiking trails, you will not find even a second of boredom while staying at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe. The Hyatt is also home to Lone Eagle Grille which has an award-winning wine list and elevated views of the lake. Book the best rates here.
Squaw Valley Lodge is the ultimate accommodation for adventurers and explorers. Though this is a four-season resort, meaning you can come any time of the year, it is most popular for skiers in the winter. That being said, there are tons of amazing trails to hike during the warmer seasons, and the resort itself provides the perfect amount of luxury. Book the best rates here.
Basecamp Tahoe City is a boutique hotel that is in the heart of Tahoe City. The rooms are simple yet stylish, and this is a great place for travelers who don’t plan on spending a ton of time in the room. There are also 24 guest suites, creating an intimate experience for thrill-seekers. Book the best rates here.
Best Cabins in North Lake Tahoe
This Plum Guide property is cozy, quiet, and absolutely stunning. The Northstar’s decor is upscale with a cabin-inspired twist, and though it is technically a condo, it is incredibly spacious. Book the best rates here.
Blue Elderberry immerses guests in the mountains, surrounded by towering pine trees and crisp mountain air. It has two bedrooms and can sleep up to four guests, and you can even walk to The Village at Northstar in 10 minutes. Book the best rates here.
Wake up to the sounds of the river every morning at this Plum Guide property. This idyllic cabin is beautiful in the summer and winter, and its massive size allows up to 20 guests to stay here at a time. Book the best rates here.
The patio at Angler is unlike any other, allowing you to sit around a fire while looking directly onto the lake. When it comes to Lake Tahoe travel, it doesn’t get more perfect than this. Book the best rates here.
The cabins at North Lake Lodge come with a fully equipped kitchen, dining area, and bathroom so that you can enjoy your privacy while still staying close to others. There is also a communal hot tub where you can relax under the stars and mingle with other guests. Book the best rates here.
Located in Carnelian Bay, Chalet Hildebrand has some of the most beautiful mountain views in the area. The traditional log cabin has a stone chimney along with huge windows that look out onto the surrounding forest. Book the best rates here.
Best Hotels in South Lake Tahoe
From the bright green golf course to the mountain views, Edgewood is a premier accommodation in South Lake Tahoe. Opulence meets nature at this breathtaking resort, and the suites scream luxury. Book the best rates here.
The Landing Resort offers private beach access and a secluded setting that is only minutes away from Heavenly Village. Enjoy nightly live music at Jimmy’s restaurant or spend your day at the spa before enjoying a nightcap on the balcony in your room. Book the best rates here.
15. Black Bear Lodge
With only nine rooms on the property, Black Bear Lodge offers an intimate getaway among the pine trees. Though they have rooms in the main lodge, you can also reserve your own private cabin at Black Bear if you prefer extra privacy. Book the best rates here.
Having been recently renovated, The Coachmen Hotel boasts elegance, style, and modernism across the board. If you visit in the summer, take a dip in the pool or hang by the fire pits in the evening while trying to catch a glimpse of a shooting star. Book the best rates here.
Basecamp Tahoe South is actually the original Basecamp hotel, and it is the best place for those who want to spend the majority of their trip exploring the outdoors. The lake is only a five-minute walk away, and there is plenty of nearby hiking trails and adventures. Book the best rates here.
Best Cabins in South Lake Tahoe
This red A-frame cabin is located near a creek, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature. Since it is on the smaller side, this cabin is best suited for two travelers, and it is perfect for a romantic getaway to Lake Tahoe. Book the best rates here.
This two-bedroom cabin has everything from an outdoor fire pit to a hot tub, allowing you to relax and restore during your vacation. Guests are greeted by a bright red door upon arriving, the large fence provides an optimal amount of privacy. Find the best rates here!
This gorgeous chalet is a great spot for a family of four looking to explore the best of the southern side of Tahoe. The spiral staircase leads to an amazing sleeping loft, and the spacious deck is perfect for enjoying your morning coffee while listening to the sounds of nature. Book the best rates here.
If being literally on the water is at the top of your priorities list when deciding where to stay in Lake Tahoe, this lakefront home is the place for you. Sit on the cushioned patio furniture with a bottle of wine as you watch the sunset over the turquoise blue water. Book the best rates here.
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PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!
These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.
1. Book Your Flights
Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.
2. Book Your Accommodations
Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.
3. Book Your Tours & Experiences
4. Book Your Car
Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.
5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access
Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.
6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.
My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are: