5 Best Hotels In Tahoe City CA

5 Best Hotels In Tahoe City CA by Best Hotels Anywhere

Are you looking for the best hotels in Tahoe City CA? Perfect! We’re going to show you the 5 top rated hotels available to you, including cheap, mid range and luxury Tahoe City hotel options for your visit to Lake Tahoe, California.

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

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

  • Why stay in Tahoe City?
  • Things to do around Tahoe City
  • 5 best Tahoe City hotels
  • Previous guest ratings and scores

Let’s find you the perfect Tahoe City CA 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 Tahoe City CA?

Lake Tahoe is an incredibly popular year round holiday destination for local Californians and travelers from around the US.

But with so many lakeside towns to look for hotels for your visit, why would you choose to stay in Tahoe City?

Well, let’s take a look at some of the top draws:

  • Tahoe City is located close to the top attractions on Lake Tahoe’s north and western shores
  • It isn’t overcrowded but there’s enough going on
  • Tahoe City is a family orientated place to stay on Lake Tahoe
  • Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows ski resorts are very close
  • There are plenty of local hiking trails to tackle
  • You can watch spectacular sunrises each morning

We think Tahoe City offers the perfect blend of a quiet and relaxing place to stay with just enough local activities and dining options.

In comparison, South Lake Tahoe is far more overcrowded and commercialized, whereas the shores around North Lake Tahoe are very quiet.

Tahoe City dam crossing the Truckee River
Tahoe City Dam on the Truckee River

Things To Do Around Tahoe City

Here are just some of the things you can do if you decide to spend a night or two in the Tahoe City area:

You will also find a dozen restaurants, a cocktail bar and a brewery right in Tahoe City. The best part is you are far from the tourist crowds of South Lake Tahoe.

Another benefit to staying in Tahoe City is how close you are to Emerald Bay State Park, which is one of the most popular areas around the lake.

You can also access several of the best sunrise and sunset spots in Lake Tahoe if using the quieter Tahoe City area as a base.

Where To Stay In Tahoe City

Tahoe City is a very small town with one single main strip of activity. Either side of the small town is rural lakeside roads with small pockets of residential homes.

The top rated hotels in Tahoe City can be split into two categories.

1. Downtown Tahoe City – Three of the five hotels in this guide are located right in the town of Tahoe City. Stay here for convenience and amenities on your doorstep.

2. South of Tahoe City – Two of the five hotels in this guide are located around 2.5 miles to the south of Tahoe City. Stay here for the ultimate escape and tranquility on the lakeshore.

Both are excellent options and in the end it will come down to your personal preference.

Lake Tahoe with mountains in background photo taken from low down close to the water
Clear waters and blue sky reflecting in Lake Tahoe

Are Tahoe City Hotels Expensive?

Hotel prices in Tahoe City are exactly what you would expect for a small town offering a peaceful escape on the shores of Lake Tahoe.

However, supply is low and demand is high in Tahoe City, which means hotel prices are slightly above average, even for the Lake Tahoe area.

If you are specifically looking for the extremes in cheap and luxury hotels around Lake Tahoe, you will be better off looking at the best South Lake Tahoe hotels, where you will find rock bottom budget and plush 5 star lodging options.

The few hotels in Tahoe City are relatively similar in price with the exception of one lower budget hotel option.

Before we get into the list of best hotels in Tahoe City, there are two important things we want to make you aware of before you begin booking your accommodation.

1. Bed Tax In Tahoe City

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

Tahoe City is located in Placer County, California which levies 10% bed tax on all stays, no matter how you book your hotel room.

A further 2% is added on top for “city tax” for a total 12% tax.

So let’s say a room costs $200 for one night in Tahoe City, 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.

TOT is something to be aware of so you avoid any nasty surprises when you come to pay. On a more positive note, there is no resort fee for hotels in Tahoe City.

Commons Beach in Tahoe City CA long wooden pier with pebble beach
Pier at Commons Beach in Tahoe City CA

2. Seasonality In Tahoe City

Tahoe City has two distinct peak seasons and two very clear low seasons.

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

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

What does this mean for booking hotels in Tahoe City?

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

You stand a better chance of picking up a lower nightly rate if you book a Tahoe City hotel in spring or fall.

We have noticed prices for hotels in Tahoe City are much lower in the months of April and May.

Nightly prices for guest rooms will inflate in both summer and winter because they are the most popular times of year to visit Tahoe City for hiking and skiing respectively.

What Can You Expect To Pay?

Let’s take a quick look at an infographic we created for Tahoe City hotel prices.

Nightly prices for the best hotels in Tahoe City CA infographic by Best Hotels Anywhere

We selected three future dates on Booking.com (all Tuesdays for consistency) to show you roughly what you can expect to pay at each of the 5 hotels included in this guide.

Using incognito (so our personal Booking.com rewards bonus benefits wouldn’t be taken into account), we chose a date in winter, spring and summer so you can see real time price trends.

As you can see, Tahoe City hotel prices are fairly consistent in January and April but increase significantly in August.

5 Best Hotels In Tahoe City CA

OK, let’s take a closer look at each of the 5 best hotels in Tahoe City.

We have hand picked the top 5 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 1 x cheap hotel, 3 x mid range hotels and 1 x luxury hotel. Each represents a top rated hotel within its price category.

Let’s kick things off with the best cheap hotel in Tahoe City California!

1. America’s Best Value Inn Tahoe City

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 7.5 / 10
  • Google – 4.0 / 5
Exterior of a hotel office entrance with blue sign
Photo courtesy of Red Lion Hotels
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, free parking, swimming pool and year round hot tub, basic breakfast included
  • Location: Center of Tahoe City

America’s Best Value Inn is the cheapest hotel in Tahoe City. If you are visiting the Tahoe City area on a shoestring budget and need a cheap place to crash, you won’t find anywhere else at these prices.

Reviewers rate staff and location the highest at America’s Best Value Inn. The low budget hotel is located exactly half way up through built up Tahoe City, which means walking distance to everything.

Negative comments are mostly about the place being rundown or breakfast lacking. It is important you have the right expectations when staying at a place this cheap right on the shores of Lake Tahoe.

>> Book Hotel: America’s Best Value Inn Tahoe City

2. Basecamp Tahoe City

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.7 / 10
  • Google – 4.4 / 5
Guest room at Basecamp hotel in Tahoe City CA
Photo courtesy of Basecamp Hotels
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, free parking, bar and shared lounge, breakfast available, outdoor areas, pet friendly
  • Location: Edge of Tahoe City

Basecamp is a highly rated and popular mid range hotel in Tahoe City. This is the cheapest hotel you will find at a higher quality in the area, so it might be worth stretching the budget a little if you can.

Reviewers rate staff, comfort, cleanliness and location the highest at Basecamp. It is located on the northeast edge of Tahoe City, within easy walking distance of all amenities in town.

Positive comments about the vibe, outdoor areas, location, value for money and the fact it is pet friendly make Basecamp our top pick for best cheap hotel in Tahoe City.

>> Book Hotel: Basecamp Tahoe City

3. Mother Nature’s Inn Tahoe City

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.0 / 10
  • Google – 4.9 / 5
Guest bedroom with beams and wooden bed frame at Mother Nature's Inn hotel in Tahoe City CA
Photo courtesy of Mother Nature’s Inn
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, free parking, pet friendly
  • Location: Center of Tahoe City

Mother Nature’s Inn is a very highly regarded family run Tahoe City hotel. There are no staff on site so you will have contactless check-in with communication via SMS.

Reviewers rate staff, comfort, cleanliness, value for money, facilities and location the highest at Mother Nature’s Inn, which is one of the top rated lodging options around all of Lake Tahoe.

Positive comments about cleanliness, atmosphere the little touches, dog friendly rooms, location and value for money make Mother Nature’s Inn one of the very best hotels in Tahoe City.

>> Book Hotel: Mother Nature’s Inn Tahoe City

4. The Cottage Inn Tahoe City

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.2 / 10
  • Google – 4.7 / 5
Small brick building in a forest at night with lights on outside stunning lodging in Tahoe City CA
Photo courtesy of The Cottage Inn
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, free parking, adults only, country breakfast included, fireplace, garden or partial lake views, private beach area
  • Location: 2.5 miles south of Tahoe City

The Cottage Inn is a top rated bed and breakfast style Tahoe City hotel located in a forest right on the shores of western Lake Tahoe. We’re still in mid range budget but pushing the luxury category.

Reviewers rate staff, comfort, facilities, cleanliness and location the highest at The Cottage Inn. Right across the road is access to a private beach which is best used earlier in the day.

We can’t find any negative comments but there are plenty of positives about the breakfast and peaceful escape. From what we can gather The Cottage Inn has a 2 night minimum stay but it looks stunning.

>> Book Hotel: The Cottage Inn Tahoe City

5. Sunnyside Resort Tahoe City

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.7 / 10
  • Google – 4.4 / 5
Pier in Lake Tahoe leading to a hotel on the shore and trees behind
Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Resort
  • Price: Luxury $$$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, free parking, continental breakfast included, on site restaurant and bar, beachfront, some pet friendly rooms, lake views, fireplace
  • Location: 2.5 miles south of Tahoe City

Sunnyside Resort is a popular Tahoe City hotel and restaurant located right on the shores of Lake Tahoe. It is a little more expensive and just about creeps into the expensive / luxury price category.

Reviewers rate staff, comfort, cleanliness and location the highest at Sunnyside Resort. Guest rooms overlooking Lake Tahoe have spectacular views, perfect for enjoying a morning coffee.

There are one or two negative comments about breakfast and no elevator making life difficult with large suitcases. The restaurant and bar are lively but have mixed reviews about cost and noise.

Overall we think a lake view room at Sunnyside Resort would be a wonderful choice midweek when it is quieter.

>> Book Hotel: Sunnyside Resort Tahoe City

What Are The Best Cheap Hotels In Tahoe City?

America’s Best Value Inn is the only real cheap hotel in Tahoe City, but Basecamp is a close second at the lower end of a mid range price point.

If you can stretch the budget, Basecamp is a much better place to stay in Tahoe City.

We would suggest looking 10 miles north around the shore at hotels in North Lake Tahoe for alternative cheap lodging.

Kings Beach near Tahoe Vista in the north has one or two cheaper hotels you can consider.

What Are The Best Tahoe City Luxury Hotels?

Mother Nature’s Inn, The Cottage Inn and Sunnyside Resort are the three best luxury hotels in Tahoe City, California.

If you can’t find availability or you want to shop around a little more, try looking at the following luxury hotel options close to Tahoe City:

Gatekeepers Museum wooden hut with trees around on a sunny day
Gatekeepers Museum in Tahoe City CA

What Are The Best Pet Friendly Hotels In Tahoe City CA?

Basecamp and Mother Nature’s Inn located in the heart of Tahoe City are more than just pet friendly, they actively encourage bringing your dog along. Guest reviews remark about how welcoming staff are of dogs in both Tahoe City hotels.

Sunnyside Resort also has 3 pet friendly rooms available, but we would suggest calling ahead to confirm the specific rooms (junior suites) are free for your stay.

Remember, pet friendly hotels almost always require a one off pet fee to cover additional cleaning.

Best Hotels In Tahoe City 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.

What Is Tahoe City Known For?

Tahoe City is best known for hiking, lakeside activities, Commons Beach and serving as the perfect base for several northwest Lake Tahoe ski resorts in winter.

Is Tahoe City Worth Visiting?

Yes, Tahoe City is definitely worth visiting! The small lakeside town has a chilled vibe with plenty of fantastic places to eat and drink without being overcrowded. There are loads of fun things to do for the whole family around the Tahoe City area.

What Is There To Do In Tahoe City At Night?

Most restaurants and bars in Tahoe City stay open until 9pm – 10pm at night but you can also head over to Pete ‘n Peters bar, which is open until 2am nightly. Most people staying in Tahoe City are families and couples going to bed early and getting up early for more sightseeing around Lake Tahoe.

Top Hotels Near Tahoe City CA
Our Most Popular Best Hotels Guides
We hope this guide to the best hotels in Tahoe City 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 Tahoe City by commenting below.

Happy Booking,

Mark and Kristen
Best Hotels Anywhere

Find this guide helpful? Hit save below to pin it for later!

Leave a Comment