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12 Best Hotels In South Lake Tahoe

12 Best Hotels In South Lake Tahoe

Are you looking for the best hotels in South Lake Tahoe CA? Perfect! We’re going to show you the 12 top rated hotels available to you, including cheap, mid range and luxury South Lake Tahoe hotel options.

Instead of trawling through randomly listed hotel search engine results, use our research and data driven guide to find the best hotels near South Lake Tahoe CA for your visit based on location, value, previous guest ratings and our own experiences.

We have personally stayed in 3 different hotels in South Lake Tahoe, one on the beach, one in town and one near the Heavenly Gondola. So we know the best spots in town!

Here’s how we will break down the best hotels in South Lake Tahoe California to help you find the perfect place to stay:

  • Why stay in South Lake Tahoe?
  • Things to do in South Lake Tahoe
  • 12 best South Lake Tahoe hotels
  • Previous guest ratings and scores

Let’s find you the perfect South Lake Tahoe hotel for your trip to the spectacular Sierra Nevada Mountains!

*Please note this guide contains affiliate links. If you click on one, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting the free content we provide! Read more in our disclosure policy.*

Why Stay In South Lake Tahoe CA?

South Lake Tahoe is by far the most touristy and built up town around the shores of stunning Lake Tahoe. It is close to popular hikes, ski resorts and Emerald Bay which is one of the most photogenic spots around the lake.

Anyone looking for the most lively place around Lake Tahoe, where bars are open later and the younger crowd tends to gather, South Lake Tahoe is the place for you to stay.

However, South Lake Tahoe being much busier when compared to anywhere else around Lake Tahoe can be seen as both a positive and a negative, depending on your preferences.

If you are looking for a peaceful and tranquil escape, you should look at the quieter areas around Lake Tahoe:

Mark and Kristen Morgan from Best Hotels Anywhere at a hiking trail summit near South Lake Tahoe CA
Mark and Kristen at the summit of Castle Rock near South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe Hotel Selection

The major positive aspect to staying in South Lake Tahoe is greater hotel selection and better value for money. More tourists means more restaurants, amenities and most importantly more hotels in South Lake Tahoe.

When demand is high in any tourist destination, it means supply and therefore competition is also high and we as consumers are going to have a wider range of hotel options available at various price points.

So whether you are looking for cheap, mid range or luxury hotels in South Lake Tahoe, you are going to have at least 3 or 4 options to check prices against.

Whereas if you were to stay in Tahoe City for example, you are limited by very little hotel selection.

So there are pros and cons to staying in any of the towns around Lake Tahoe, you just need to prioritize cost vs quality vs location for your budget and your plans.

Things To Do Around South Lake Tahoe

So what can you do if you decide to spend two or three nights at a hotel in South Lake Tahoe?

Well, let’s take a look at what is in store for your visit:

The popular town of South Lake Tahoe is a fantastic place to set up base for a weekend or midweek break in Lake Tahoe.

It is close to many of the top natural attractions, excellent hiking trails and best Lake Tahoe photo spots.

Another huge benefit to staying at a hotel in South Lake Tahoe is a greater selections of restaurants, cafes, bars and food truck type eateries versus the other parts of Lake Tahoe.

Wooden pier bursting out into Lake Tahoe at dawn with blue water and blue sky
Pier bursting out into Lake Tahoe at dawn

Are South Lake Tahoe Hotels Expensive?

Hotel prices in South Lake Tahoe are surprisingly varied and affordable, even at the luxury end of the budget. However, we strongly recommend you book as far in advance as possible.

As we mentioned earlier, it is thanks to healthy competition that hotels in South Lake Tahoe are relatively inexpensive.

With that said, prices will increase gradually through spring and by summer, you will pay a lot for last minute bookings.

Budget travelers can find South Lake Tahoe hotel rooms for under $100 / night in off season.

Whereas on the opposite end of the spectrum even the most luxurious hotels in the area remain under $400 / night in peak months if booked in advance.

With that said, there are three important things we want to make you aware of before booking your hotel in Mammoth Lakes, CA.

1. Bed Tax In South Lake Tahoe

The first thing you should bear in mind when booking hotels near South Lake Tahoe CA is “Bed Tax“, which is officially known as Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT).

South Lake Tahoe is located in El Dorado County, California which levies 12% bed tax on all stays, no matter how you book your hotel room.

So let’s say a room costs $200 for one night in South Lake Tahoe, your total cost is going to be $224.

  • When booking your hotel using Booking.com look under the price for “includes taxes and fees“. This means the price you see is final and will not be subject to further add ons.
  • Conversely, if you see text reading something like “+$30 for taxes and fees“, that means you will pay the hotel room cost + the additional 12% fee for bed tax and other fees.

This is something to be aware of so you avoid any nasty surprises when you come to pay!

2. South Lake Tahoe Resort Fees

On top of the standard TOT tax of 12% as listed above, certain “resort” hotels in South Lake Tahoe will charge an additional fee per day to use facilities such as hot tubs, gyms and swimming pools.

We really don’t enjoy paying additional charges like “resort fees” but this is typical for higher end lodging in places like South Lake Tahoe.

When you go to book your hotel Booking.com, you can see under the total room rate whether “resort fee” or “facility fee” is additional.

If you use another platform like Hotels.com, check the fine print to see if they mention something like “this property will charge $25 resort fees per day which will be payable upon arrival.”

3. Seasonality In South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe has two distinct peak seasons and two very clear low seasons.

Peak season in South Lake Tahoe consists of summer months June, July and August, plus the winter months of December, January and February.

Off season in South Lake Tahoe consists of March, April and May in spring, plus September, October and November in fall.

What does this mean for booking hotels in South Lake Tahoe?

Well, it means seasonality will play a role in hotel availability and affordability for your visit.

You stand a better chance of picking up a lower nightly rate if you book a South Lake Tahoe hotel in spring or fall. We have noticed prices are especially cheap in April and May.

Nightly prices for guest rooms will inflate in both summer and winter. Try to book in advance to save money on hotels in South Lake Tahoe, particularly if you plan to visit in summer.

Bonsai Rock Lake Tahoe at sunset with light painting on rocks
Sunset at Bonsai Rock near South Lake Tahoe CA

South Lake Tahoe Hotel Prices

Are you interested in seeing roughly how much a night is going to cost you at a hotel in South Lake Tahoe?

Well, we’ve selected 3 future dates in winter, spring and summer 2023 to show you exactly how much every hotel in this guide will cost for 1 night on a Tuesday to Wednesday stay.

We used our preferred hotel booking platform Booking.com and we acquired the numbers incognito so our personal benefits were not applied.

Let’s take a look at the numbers (all taxes are included):

Infographic by Best Hotels Anywhere showing South Lake Tahoe hotel prices for 3 future dates
South Lake Tahoe hotel prices infographic

As you can see, there is a clear increase in South Lake Tahoe hotel prices in August compared with January and April.

Use the numbers above to gauge the rough price bracket for your upcoming trip to South Lake Tahoe. Each hotel is listed below.

One final thing – the prices may look reasonable at the time of collection (Dec 22, 2022), but they will soon begin to rise. Book in advance to pick up these lower prices.

Where To Stay In South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe has one densely populated area filled with hotels and restaurants around Heavenly Mountain Resort, close to the NV border. Outside of this small but very busy area, the rest of South Lake Tahoe is spread out and quieter.

If you want busy, lively, tons of food options within walking distance, shops and atmosphere, stay around the Heavenly Mountain Resort.

Conversely, if you want to stay in a South Lake Tahoe hotel on the beach or in a quieter area away from the crowds, book a hotel in town away from Heavenly.

Here’s where you will find our best South Lake Tahoe hotels:

  • Heavenly – 8 out of the 12 hotels in this guide are located in the busy Heavenly area.
  • Town – 4 out of the 12 hotels in this guide are located in other quieter parts of town.

Each hotel in our list below will state either Heavenly or Town for location.

For reference, we have stayed at 1 hotel in South Lake Tahoe town and 2 hotels in the Heavenly Mountain Resort area. Both have pros and cons.

Our advice is to consider how close you want to be to the main touristy area.

Map Of South Lake Tahoe Hotels

Let’s take a quick look at an interactive Google Map showing the locations of the 12 best Lake Tahoe hotels featured in this guide.

Click or touch the map of South Lake Tahoe hotels to activate.

Zoom in and out, move around the South Lake Tahoe area and see exactly where each lodging option is located.

You can see the clustering of hotels around Heavenly Mountain Resort near the Nevada border, plus the 4 hotels away from the busiest area.

12 Best Hotels In South Lake Tahoe CA

OK, let’s take a look at each of the best hotels in South Lake Tahoe.

We have hand picked the top 12 South Lake Tahoe hotels by compiling and comparing previous guest ratings, location and value for money.

Hotels are listed in order of average nightly cost within three price range categories; cheap, mid range and luxury.

You will find 4 x cheap hotels, 4 x mid range hotels and 4 x luxury hotels. Each represents a top rated hotel within its price category.

Let’s kick things off with the best cheap hotels in South Lake Tahoe!

1. Blackjack Inn South Lake Tahoe

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.4 / 10
  • Google – 4.0 / 5
Guest bedroom in a small room with bed door and curtains
Photo courtesy of Blackjack Inn
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, free parking
  • Location: Heavenly

Blackjack Inn is the cheapest hotel in South Lake Tahoe and it has a good rating on Booking after 1,000 reviews. The location is exceptional, right across the road from Heavenly Village.

Reviewers rate staff and location the highest at Blackjack Inn. You won’t find a better cheap hotel in South Lake Tahoe and at this price point it is a bargain. Take your ear plugs and don’t expect luxury!

>> Book Hotel: Blackjack Inn South Lake Tahoe

2. Bluelake Inn South Lake Tahoe

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.0 / 10
  • Google – 4.1 / 5
Exterior photo of a building entrance with american flag flying and cars parked
Photo courtesy of Bluelake Inn
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, free parking, breakfast included, pool and hot tub (closed as of Dec 2022)
  • Location: Heavenly

Bluelake Inn is one of the best cheap hotels in South Lake Tahoe with a heated pool and hot tub (closed at time of writing) just steps from the action around Heavenly Mountain Resort.

Reviewers rate staff and location the highest at Bluelake Inn. A basic continental breakfast is included and the beach is a 10 minute walk from the hotel. Excellent low budget option.

>> Book Hotel: Bluelake Inn South Lake Tahoe

3. The Jeffrey Hotel South Lake Tahoe

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.6 / 10
  • Google – 4.7 / 5
Yellow and white wooden painted building with car park and green trees lodging in South Lake Tahoe
Photo courtesy of The Jeffrey Hotel
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, free parking, sun terrace
  • Location: Heavenly

The Jeffrey Hotel is the top rated cheap hotel in South Lake Tahoe with excellent ratings on both Booking and Google. It is located between Heavenly and the beach, but it has a 2 night minimum stay.

Reviewers rate staff, comfort, cleanliness and location the highest at The Jeffrey Hotel. If you are traveling on a low budget but can stretch it a little, this is a more comfortable cheap hotel option.

>> Book Hotel: The Jeffrey Hotel South Lake Tahoe

4. Basecamp South Lake Tahoe

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.2 / 10
  • Google – 4.3 / 5
Bar with table and chairs open plan with garden and soft lighting Basecamp South Lake Tahoe hotel
Photo courtesy of Basecamp South Lake Tahoe
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, free parking, rooftop hot tub, fire pits, on site bar and beer garden with live music, pet friendly
  • Location: Heavenly

Basecamp is one of the best places to stay in South Lake Tahoe for groups of friends, solo travelers or families with older kids who want it lively. It has an open and fun but chilled vibe, plus it is pet friendly.

Reviewers rate staff and location the highest at Basecamp. Rooms are affordable and it is located right on the CA / NV border, so you can eat around Heavenly or in the casino hotels just steps away in Nevada.

>> Book Hotel: Basecamp South Lake Tahoe

5. Americana Village South Lake Tahoe

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.7 / 10
  • Google – 4.5 / 5
Outside of a two story building with garden flowers and trees
Photo courtesy of Americana Village
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, free parking, year round heated outdoor pool and hot tub, sauna, BBQ facilities, free bikes, garden with table tennis,
  • Location: Town

Americana Village is one of the best hotels in South Lake Tahoe for families and lower budget travelers. It has loads of fun amenities and is located in a quieter part of town around 10 minutes walk from Heavenly.

Reviewers rate staff and location the highest at Americana Village. However, all other categories also score highly. This is a fantastic lower end of mid range budget hotel in South Lake Tahoe.

>> Book Hotel: Americana Village South Lake Tahoe

6. The Elet Hotel South Lake Tahoe

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.9 / 10
  • Google – 4.5 / 5
Modern wooden building with parking lot and trees on a sunny day in California
The Elet Hotel in South Lake Tahoe
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, free parking
  • Location: Heavenly

The Elet Hotel is a very new, clean and comfortable hotel just a few minutes walk from the shops and eateries around Heavenly. It is very highly rated and you will appreciate the cleanliness.

Reviewers rate staff, comfort, cleanliness and location the highest at The Elet Hotel. There are basically no amenities here which will suit many, just don’t stay at The Elet if you want to socialize.

>> Book Hotel: The Elet Hotel South Lake Tahoe

7. The Coachman Hotel South Lake Tahoe

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.7 / 10
  • Google – 4.5 / 5
South Lake Tahoe hotel at night with soft yellow lighting and fire pits
Photo courtesy of The Coachman Hotel
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, free parking, hot tub and seasonal outdoor pool, bar, pet friendly, fire pits and s’mores, on site bar
  • Location: Heavenly

The Coachman Hotel is a fantastic all-round hotel in South Lake Tahoe. It is the perfect place for couples, families, solo travelers and those looking for dog friendly South Lake Tahoe hotels.

Reviewers rate staff, cleanliness and location the highest at The Coachman Hotel. Friendly staff offer up s’mores around the fire pits nightly and the pool is great in season. Overall, a top recommendation.

We spent a fantastic night here at The Coachman Hotel. It suited us perfectly with communal areas and nicely finished guest bedrooms.

>> Book Hotel: The Coachman Hotel South Lake Tahoe

8. Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge + Spa South Lake Tahoe

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.6 / 10
  • Google – 4.5 / 5
Swimming pool and hot tub leading onto sandy beach and Lake Tahoe
Photo courtesy of Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, free parking, private beach, full service spa, outdoor seasonal pool, hot tub, rooms with lake views, apartments with kitchen available
  • Location: Town

Tahoe Lakeshore is among the best family friendly South Lake Tahoe hotels on the beach. It has a swimming pool and fire pits directly overlooking a private beach and the lake.

Reviewers rate staff and location the highest at Tahoe Lakeshore. This is one of the top places to stay in South Lake Tahoe for a relaxing beach vacation and it is just 5 minutes drive from Heavenly.

We spent a night here at Tahoe Lakeshore so we could stay right on the lakeside. The pool and hot tub area next to the sand were awesome. Highly recommended for families with younger kids.

>> Book Hotel: Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge + Spa South Lake Tahoe

9. Marriott’s Timber Lodge South Lake Tahoe

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.7 / 10
  • Google – 4.5 / 5
Upscale hotel with cable car on a bright sunny day in Lake Tahoe CA
Photo courtesy of Marriott’s Timber Lodge
  • Price: Luxury $$$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, suites with kitchen available, on site restaurant and bar, fitness center, BBQ facilities, outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, ski in – ski out
  • Location: Heavenly

Marriott’s Timber Lodge is a stylish ski in – ski out hotel with direct access to Heavenly Gondola and the main touristy area of South Lake Tahoe. Shops and restaurants are right on the doorstep.

Reviewers rate comfort, cleanliness and location the highest at Marriott’s Timber Lodge. This is a fantastic place to stay for longer stays with kitchen, or for those who prefer ski in – ski out in winter.

Be aware that parking is valet only and costs $32 per day. Many reviews mention long waiting times so request your car in advance.

>> Book Hotel: Marriott’s Timber Lodge South Lake Tahoe

10. Marriott Grand Residence Club South Lake Tahoe

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.9 / 10
  • Google – 4.5 / 5
Huge wooden hotel structure covered in snow with cable car in South Lake Tahoe
Photo courtesy of Marriott Grand Residence Club
  • Price: Luxury $$$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, free parking, luxury spa, hot tub and heated outdoor pool, sauna, steam room and fitness center, kitchens, ski in – ski out
  • Location: Heavenly

Marriott Grand is one of the best hotels in South Lake Tahoe based on guest reviews and location, but it is on the pricier end of budget. Amenities are excellent and it is ski in – ski out.

Reviewers rate staff, comfort, cleanliness, facilities and location the highest at Marriott Grand. It has the best location of any hotel in town for skiing, shopping and dining for those who want to be in the busier area.

Be aware that parking is valet only and costs $32 per day. This hotel is affordable in peak season if you book in advance but room prices will increase the closer to summer you leave it.

We spent a night here at Marriott Grand after seeing the outdoor pools lit up and steaming at night during our November visit to South Lake Tahoe. It was a fantastic stay!

>> Book Hotel: Marriott Grand Residence South Lake Tahoe

11. Black Bear Lodge South Lake Tahoe

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.5 / 10
  • Google – 4.6 / 5
Lodge interior with sofa open fireplace stone chimney and wooden bannister
Photo courtesy of Black Bear Lodge
  • Price: Luxury $$$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, free parking, fireplace, jacuzzi, wine bar
  • Location: Town

Black Bear Lodge is among the best places to stay in South Lake Tahoe for families or couples who want a romantic break. Rooms and cottages are stunning, plus it is set back in a quiet part of town.

Reviewers rate staff, comfort, cleanliness, facilities, value for money and location the highest at Black Bear Lodge. It has near perfect ratings on Booking.com and is one of our top recommendations.

>> Book Hotel: Black Bear Lodge South Lake Tahoe

12. Fireside Lodge South Lake Tahoe

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.3 / 10
  • Google – 4.8 / 5
Wooden bed frame open fireplace and cozy decor in a wooden lodge
Photo courtesy of Fireside Lodge
  • Price: Luxury $$$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, free parking, free bikes, pet friendly, breakfast included, fire pits
  • Location: Town

Fireside Lodge is a wonderful family and pet friendly bed and breakfast style South Lake Tahoe lodging option located on the far west side of town, just 7 miles from Emerald Bay.

Reviewers rate staff, comfort, cleanliness, facilities, value for money and location the highest at Fireside Lodge. It has a clean sweep in every category and is the top rated hotel in South Lake Tahoe.

Also, if you’re looking for the best pet friendly hotels in South Lake Tahoe, look no further than Fireside Lodge who actively encourage you to bring along your dogs or cats and provide pet welcome packages!

This is the place we will stay next time we are in South Lake Tahoe. Rave reviews about staff, breakfast and how it is perfect for couples, families, groups or solo travelers sound fabulous.

>> Book Hotel: Fireside Lodge South Lake Tahoe

13. Bonus – Edgewood Tahoe Resort, NV

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.2 / 10
  • Google – 4.7 / 5
Path leading to a 5 star luxury hotel near South Lake Tahoe Edgewood Resort
The luxurious Edgewood Tahoe Resort near South Lake Tahoe
  • Price: Expensive $$$$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, on site restaurant and bar, private beach, outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, hot tub, terrace, gardens, fire pits, lake views, golf course
  • Location: Stateline, NV

Edgewood Tahoe is a spectacular 5 star boutique hotel just across the border into Stateline, NV. It is a 4 minute drive to Heavenly. The grounds and hotel are immaculate, with high end dining on site.

Reviewers rate staff, comfort, cleanliness, facilities and location the highest at Edgewood Tahoe Resort. This is where you stay near South Lake Tahoe for the celebrity treatment and top class service.

Be aware that a $55 daily resort fee and $25 daily parking fee will be added to your total. If you can afford it, Edgewood is the very best place you can stay near South Lake Tahoe.

>> Book Hotel: Edgewood Tahoe Resort

Emerald Bay near South Lake Tahoe at dusk stunning photo location
Emerald Bay near South Lake Tahoe

What Are The Best Cheap Hotels South Lake Tahoe?

Are you traveling on a low budget and just need a list of the cheapest hotels in South Lake Tahoe CA?

Blackjack Inn, Bluelake Inn, The Jeffrey Hotel and Basecamp are the top rated cheap South Lake Tahoe hotels.

However, there are 2 more affordable hotels not featured above that you can also consider:

What Are The Best Luxury South Lake Tahoe Hotels?

Are you planning to splurge on a luxury getaway to South Lake Tahoe?

Marriott’s Timber Lodge, Marriott Grand Residence Club, Black Bear Lodge and Fireside Lodge are the best South Lake Tahoe luxury hotels.

Just over the border from South Lake Tahoe into Nevada, you will find the most luxurious hotel in the area – Edgewood Tahoe Resort.

But there are 2 more high end and high cost hotels for you to consider around South Lake Tahoe:

What Are The Best Pet Friendly Hotels In South Lake Tahoe CA?

Are you planning a visit to South Lake Tahoe with the dogs?

Here are the top rated dog friendly hotels in South Lake Tahoe:

What Are The Best South Lake Tahoe Hotels Near Ski Lifts?

Do you want to book a South Lake Tahoe hotel close to ski lifts for a winter visit?

Here are the top rated hotels close to ski lifts in South Lake Tahoe:

Pier and boathouse on a beach in South Lake Tahoe CA at twilight with deep blue water and sky
Boathouse at the Pier on South Lake Tahoe public beach during twilight

Best Hotels In South Lake Tahoe CA FAQ’s

Let’s take a quick look at some of the most frequently asked questions about where to stay in South Lake Tahoe, California.

Is South Lake Tahoe worth visiting?

Yes, South Lake Tahoe is definitely worth visiting! Nearby ski resorts, hiking trails, photography spots and state parks will keep the whole family occupied, plus a wide range of hotels and places to eat make South Lake Tahoe a desirable vacation spot.

How many days do you need in South Lake Tahoe?

You should plan to spend 3 days in South Lake Tahoe. Two days isn’t enough time to explore the best hikes and top sights nearby, whereas four days starts to get expensive and you will run out of things to do.

What are the best hotels in South Lake Tahoe for families?

The best hotels for families in South Lake Tahoe include Americana Village for those traveling on a lower budget, Basecamp for families with older teen kids, Tahoe Lakeshore Resort for families who want to stay on the beach and Fireside Lodge for families bringing the pets along.

Top Hotels Near South Lake Tahoe CA
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We hope this guide to the best hotels in South Lake Tahoe CA helps you book the perfect hotel for your visit to the stunning Sierra Nevada Mountains!

Please let us know if you have any questions about any of the hotels in our list of best places to stay in South Lake Tahoe by commenting below.

Happy Booking,

Mark and Kristen
Best Hotels Anywhere

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