Last Updated on April 19, 2024

On top of being the biggest alpine lake in the U.S., Lake Tahoe is also a bustling region with many cities surrounding it. Where should you stay? What hotels should you book? Which places are closer to the beaches, the mountains, the hiking trails, or the bay? Whatever you’re looking for, being prepared and knowing where you’re headed is essential when going to Lake Tahoe. In this post, we’ll be looking over different places and the best hotels in Lake Tahoe in 2024.

I’ve been to Lake Tahoe countless times since I first came to California. It’s one of the few places I look forward to the most every year, and I’ve gotten to know most of it, from the popular districts to the lesser-known landmarks. We’ll talk about some of the different areas around the lake, popular hotels you can find there, and what you can expect in your stay.   

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South Lake Tahoe

What to expect

With over 20,000 residents, South Lake Tahoe is the busiest town in the Lake Tahoe area. It’s a drive away from Lake Tahoe’s most popular attractions and views, including the Emerald Bay, Zephyr Cove Beach, and the Heavenly Gondola leading to the mountains.

This convenient proximity has attracted countless travel agencies and accommodations to the area. It has over 100 different places to stay ranging from small-time lodgings to major resorts. If you’re visiting Lake Tahoe for the first time and you’re looking for more entertainment and bigger crowds, South Lake Tahoe is your best choice of stay.

Outside of the nearby attractions, the town is also famous for its downtown area brimming with casinos and extravagant restaurants. Whether it’s exotic food or nightlife partying, the town has plenty to offer in its establishments.


Gondola Vista

The Gondola Vista has everything you can ask for in your Lake Tahoe stay. It’s located in Downtown South Lake Tahoe, near many of the tourist hotspots the lake has to offer, and it’s also within walking distance of the Heavenly Gondola leading up to the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. Stays start at around $673 per night. You can book a room here!

Gondola Vista

The Vista has numerous 4-6 bedroom villas that make it a fantastic place to visit with family and friends. Each villa has a luxurious interior with granite countertop kitchens, marble bathrooms, fireside porches, and even bubbling hot tubs. There are also golf cart rentals you can use to drive around the little town. 

Black Bear Lodge

One of my favorite places to stay in Lake Tahoe is the Black Bear Lodge. Nestled in South Lake Tahoe, this cozy and rustic settlement has rooms, suites, and private cabins looking over a wide yard with all the plant life of Lake Tahoe’s surrounding forests. A room there starts at around $250 per night. You can book a room here!

Black Bear Lodge

The interior of these houses is covered from top to bottom in stonework and finely carved wood details, giving off the impression that you’re entering intimate camping grounds. It was so majestic and brilliant that I couldn’t stop taking pictures on my way there. Just look at the view of the lobby–isn’t it cozy?

The Coachman Hotel
Coachman Hotel

Combining traditional rustic appeal with sleek modern sensibilities, this quaint housing in South Lake Tahoe rests between the lake and the mountains. It’s recently expanded to add more rooms and facilities, including a fitness center and meeting rooms, but it still has a homey, West Coast hospitality to it. It starts at $180 per night. You can book a room here!

The most charming detail of the hotel is its complimentary s’mores in the evening. Guests can gather around a fire pit outside of the lodgings and take their time roasting these sweet treats by the fire. 

Desolation Hotel (South Lake Tahoe & South Lake Tahoe)

Just shy of Stateline within the South Lake Tahoe borders is Desolation Hotel, a lovely hotel and resort with wilderness-themed amenities like indoor fireplaces and clean wooden interiors. This hotel is a calm escape into the quiet parts of South Lake Tahoe and has private beaches and saunas for a relaxing retreat into your vacation. It costs roughly $300 per night in this section of the lake. You can book a South Lake Tahoe room here, and a Hope Valley room here.

There are two different Desolation Hotels, with one existing south of the main city in Hope Valley. While further away from Lake Tahoe, Hope Valley’s Desolation Hotel is a delight to stay in during the fall. It rests near Pickett Peak and is surrounded by awe-inspiring woodland, so much so that it even has a private hiking trail on its grounds. My visit to this hotel was marked by the golden leaves of shedding birch trees and sunlight glowing through the forest canopy. 

Desolation Hotel Hope Valley with a woman twirling along the stone pathways.
Desolation Hotel, Hope Valley

Incline Village

What to expect

On the opposite end of South Lake Tahoe, Incline Village rests along the north of the lake. It’s a short distance away from the more scenic beaches of Lake Tahoe, including Secret Cove Beach and Sand Harbor Beach. The Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park also stretches along with the village, making it a great place to hike and enjoy nature.

Aside from the sceneries, however, Incline Village is most well-known for the many activities it offers residents and visitors. It’s an upscale town with everything needed for a perfect retirement getaway–a tight-knit community, a welcoming line of restaurants and eateries to partake in, ski resorts, golf courses, and even some classier casinos. 

If you’re looking for the more extravagant end of what Lake Tahoe has to offer, Incline Village is a perfect place to take your break. Remember that much of the shopping and activities are more catered to locals than the tourist-friendly South Lake Tahoe.

Shot of Sand Harbor from above, with a single boat floating over the crystal clear waters.
Bright teal Lake Tahoe water


Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino

Set over a scenic view on the shores of Lake Tahoe, this massive getaway complex is surrounded by acres of towering evergreens and just a stroll away from a luxurious private beach. There are trails exploring the nature of Incline Village all around this resort, and its casino and spa facilities are perfect places to spend your night away. Prices range from $200-400 per night, depending on the season. You can book a room here.

The rooms are modern and comfortable, with several suite options with different views of the lake. There are also swimming pools, beachside stands, and activities with a lot to offer.

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The Incline Lodge
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This sophisticated lodge can be found just off the fork of Tahoe Boulevard, and it’s a beautiful, cozy establishment with a rustic front and a lavish interior. It offers various amenities such as an indoor heated pool and complimentary wine, while also having access to numerous trails, biking paths, and golf courses in the area. The average price per night there ranges from $200-350. You can book a room here.


What to expect

Famous for its casinos and star-studded attractions, Stateline is the crossing where the Golden State ends and the electric nights of Nevada begin. It sits right on the south of Lake Tahoe, east of South Lake Tahoe, and is one of the best places to stay if you’re looking for the same sights and luxuries as the previous area at a cheaper price. 

Many of the same tourist hotspots from South Lake Tahoe are only a 10-15 minute drive away from Stateline. It’s also closer to Lakeside Beach and Elk Point, and Edgewood Creek runs quietly through the land. 

Aside from the numerous Lake Tahoe landmarks you can drive to from here, Stateline also has countless nightlife attractions, whether it’s casinos, bars, clubs, or cafes. You’ve probably seen Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen, but did you know that the restaurant with the show’s menu is open in this city? You’ll likely find many other wonders wandering around the vivid downtown district. 


Edgewood Tahoe
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This luxurious 4-star hotel makes the perfect backdrop for a dreamy mountain retreat or a romantic celebration. The property is over 150 years old and overlooks both the vast Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Starting from $550 per night, guests get the best views of the lake and access to private beaches, forest walks, and brilliant Villa Suites. You can book a room here. The rooms in this hotel are sleek and modern, brought together with wooden edges and lush carpeting. The hotel offers spas, golf courses, and various dining experiences, as well as a shimmering mountain lodge with picturesque, polygonal light structures. It’s also highly invested in protecting the wildlife surrounding it, having come from precious farmlands. 

Harrah’s Lake Tahoe Hotel & Casino

Placed right by the border between Nevada and California, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe might be one of the first hotels and casinos you’ll see while driving from South Lake Tahoe to Stateline. It boasts windowed rooms with spectacular views of the lake and the mountains, and customized room layouts that ensure a relaxing, private experience.  Prices range from $98-150 per night, with some variation depending on the season. You can book a room here.

The Lodge at Kingsbury’s Crossing

This lodge rests at the center of Heavenly Valley and is surrounded by gorgeous mountain sceneries. It offers wide living spaces with home-life amenities and a welcoming Americana exterior for all travelers. There are also barbecue facilities, a golf course, and a spa to unwind in. Prices range from $100-150 per night in accordance to the seasons. You can book a room here.


What to expect

Truckee is a quaint town with as much personality as it has history. It’s a little further inland, This former logging town is situated near the Truckee River and Donner Lake, and it has a Historic Downtown area with Old-West-style brick buildings. More importantly, the town has a gorgeous view of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and charming old-fashioned sensibilities.

Truckee is a little bit more inland than the Incline Village or South Lake Tahoe, so it has more access to mountainous activities like hiking or skiing in the winter. Many of the activities in the town revolve around historical events–for example, the tragic story of the Donner Party following the Oregon Trail can be rediscovered along Donner Lake or the Donner Pass. If you’re interested in walking the paths of old settlements and learning more about American history, this is a great town to hang around in.      


Gravity Haus Truckee-Tahoe
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Situated around the cool Palisades Tahoe, this elegant hotel embodies the mountain air around it. It has a warm and welcoming glow in the winter, a cool and vivid exterior in the summer, and a relaxing atmosphere all year round. Rooms are stylish and modern, with a cozy lobby complete with a fireplace and glossy wooden halls. It also has skiing facilities! If you’re looking to experience the mountains, rooms in this hotel range from $300-400 per night. You can book a room here.

Donner Lake Inn Bed & Breakfast

This inn is just a walk away from the historic Donner Lake and is surrounded by vast forests. It’s a breath of fresh air from the miles of thick woods. It also has a traditional public hall with fireside entertainment, along with the various amenities offered in its quaint rooms. For those looking to visit Donner Lake on your Lake Tahoe trip, rooms at this welcoming inn start at around $250. You can book a room here.

Tahoe City

What to expect

This humble town sits on the northwestern shore of Lake Tahoe and surrounds the mouth of the Truckee River. Like Truckee, it’s a town with a lot of history and centuries of architecture and settlement, but it is also less dense, with only a little over two thousand residents. The community around Tahoe City is tight-knit and friendly, and they offer a good variety of fine food, artistic installations, and entertainment in their downtown area.

Of course, the main draw to Tahoe City is the view surrounding this little patch along the lake. If you head to Commons Beach, you’ll look towards the wide expanse of the lake from white sand and grassland. Heading down the river to the Lake Tahoe Dam, you’ll find a pleasant river fleeing inland, with trails hidden among the trees worn down by hikers and bikers. Even the city itself vibrates with vitality, where people sell flowers grown on the side of the street or build various structures for different events all year round. 

It’s a beautiful section of Lake Tahoe. Compared to South Lake Tahoe and the Incline Village, it can also be relatively cheaper at times, all while still being quite close to the lakeside.


Granlibakken Tahoe
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Among the cedars of Lake Tahoe’s valleys is the Granlibakken Resort, one of the biggest accommodations in Tahoe City. It has humble lodges and suites of varying interiors and atmospheres, all complete with cozy amenities and views into the woods. The location also offers access to different hiking trails, skiing routes, and other outdoor activities. One night can cost around $150-250 depending on the season. You can book a room here.

Sunnyside Restaurant & Lodge
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Sunnyside is more renowned for its sumptuous feasts and a wide variety of cuisines, but the lodge has a captivating view of Lake Tahoe from the western shores. They have a range of guest rooms to suit different travelers’ needs, whether they prefer the relaxing lakefront or the vibrant waterfront. Rooms range around the $250 mark per night. You can book a room here.

Carson City

What to expect

If you’re on a budget and like having a smattering of options, Carson City is a great place to stay while visiting Lake Tahoe. It has cheap hotels to stay in, is close to other major attractions outside of Lake Tahoe like Reno, and features diverse desert and forest terrains to explore. It’s a colorful town with a lot of nuance and shade, and it has a large population that ensures it’s constantly bustling and exciting.

Being further inland, the city is more separated from the Lake than the rest of the towns mentioned. Carson City is around half an hour’s drive away from Secret Cove Beach, Spooner Lake, and Glenbrook. Sand Harbor is a little further away, and the city offers much more affordable accommodations compared to the nearby Incline Village. You can also hike and bike along the rugged terrain, or chase waterfalls in the King’s Canyon Waterfalls area. 


Gold Dust West Carson City

Waiting beside the highway intersections off the tracks of downtown Carson City is the Gold Dust West complex, a hotel attached to many starry entertainment facilities. Whether you’re interested in trying your luck in the casinos or going out for a casual bowling session with the family, this location glitters with excitement. You can book a room for approximately $100 per night with some variation on price in peak seasons. You can book a room here.

My Place Hotel

This hotel is a drive away from various natural hiking trails like the Hobart Reservoir and Ash Canyon Creek and is close to the highway leading to both Lake Tahoe and Washoe Lake. It’s a humble establishment with various facilities for short and long-term stays and costs around $90 per night to stay in. You can book a room here.

Lake Tahoe is a fantastic place to visit with a wide variety of accommodation options. No matter which area you stay in, you’re bound to find something worthwhile to look forward to. So which area are you thinking of staying in? What are some of your favorite hotels from Lake Tahoe?

Interested in finding out more about what to do near your hotel? You can look at all the different beaches, hiking trails, and natural wonders you can admire in my previous post: 10 Most Amazing Things to See in Lake Tahoe

Do you love exploring California? I created an interactive map just for you! Check out my California Travel Map with over 500 pins of the best spots and hidden gems for California Travel!