Best Lakefront Hotels in Lake Tahoe!
Lake Tahoe is one of my favorite California destinations….particularly in the summer, when temperatures rise & the beautiful blue (but very cold!) waters of the lake beckon you in. Whether you’re visiting Tahoe to kayak, paddle-board, bike, hike, or simply take a scenic drive around the lake ~ it’s ideal to find accommodations as close to the lake as possible. Reason being: Tahoe in the summer, particularly in places like Tahoe City, can turn into a MOB scene! The closer you stay to the lake, the more you can avoid the crowds = more time on the lake. To that end, here are my picks for the “Best Lakefront Hotels in Lake Tahoe!”
Map of Lakefront Hotels in Tahoe
My criteria for choosing the top lakeside hotels in Tahoe?? Hotels need to be right on the water’s edge ~ if you have to cross a highway, I did NOT include those hotels! Every spot listed below is a stone’s throw from the lake, in good condition, & the best have great, lakefront restaurants….like Sunnyside Lodge on the lake’s west side.
We’ll start by looking at lakefront hotels in South Lake Tahoe, where all the casinos are, then work our way clock-wise around the lake. Note: There are NO lakefront hotels on the east side of the lake (that I know of); if you want to stay here, you’ll need to rent a house.
Edgewood Tahoe Resort
Lakeland Village at Heavenly
Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge & Spa
West Shore Cafe & Inn
Sunnyside Resort & Lodge
Edgelake Beach Club
Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe
Hyatt Residence Club Tahoe
1) Best Lakefront Luxury in South Lake Tahoe
We’ll start in South Lake Tahoe with two great luxury hotel options: the Edgewood Tahoe Resort ($339+/night) & The Landing Resort & Spa ($309). Staying at Edgewood is like staying in a modern-take on the American West….understated, but oh-so upscale. The property itself is huge, & if you love to golf, staying here is a no-brainer: their course is renowned & hosts a Celebrity Pro-Am Tournament every July. The Landing has a smaller footprint than Edgewood, but its coziness & upscale dining options make it a romantic spot for couples.
Budget Lakefront Hotels in South Lake Tahoe
Did you know that you can stay in South Lake Tahoe, ON the lake, for just over $100/night, even during summer??! I certainly didn’t until I wrote this article, but you have three great options in this category:
- Lakeland Village Resort at Heavenly ($165+/night): An upscale condo resort that sits on 19-acres of prime lakefront real estate; all rooms have kitchens & flat-screen’s, fireplaces, & balconies ~ only some have lake views. Enjoy two lakefront pools & hot tubs, a fitness center & sauna, a private mile-long beach with pier, & a kids’ camp in the summer.
- Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge & Spa ($118+): Two blocks from Lake Tahoe Boulevard & two miles from Heavenly Ski Resort, you’re just steps away from restaurants, shops, & of course, the lake. Rooms here are rustic & a little old-fashioned, so if glitzy is your thing: stay elsewhere. But if you’re just looking for a simple room with a great location: this is your spot.
- Super family-friendly Camp Richardson ($45 to camp, $95+ for hotel & cabins): HOLY CRAP this place gets busssyyy in the summer!! I’ve never been here when it wasn’t busy ~ there’s an ice cream shop, General Store, historic hotel, camping, cabins for rent, families on bikes, & popular Pope Beach. Camp Richardson is further from the casinos & closer to Emerald Bay, on the south-east side of the lake. If you’re a family looking to engage in all kinds of outdoor fun: stay here!! If you’re a solo traveler or couple looking for a romantic getaway: I’d opt to stay elsewhere.
2) West Side of Lake Tahoe
The west side of Lake Tahoe is my personal favorite spot on the lake. Why?? Because you’ve got arguably the most gorgeous spot on the lake here, Emerald Bay, & just north of that ~ epic cliff-diving, hiking, & paddle-boarding at D.L. Bliss State Park. It’s typically far quieter here than on the east side of the lake, at places like Sand Harbor, which can become a zoo during the summer. And you’ll find some of Tahoe’s best lakeside restaurants here: popular Sunnyside Restaurant & Lodge (park your boat at their dock) & the West Shore Cafe & Inn. The good news: you can stay at both of these gorgeous properties ~ as they’re really the only truly lakeside hotels on the west side of the lake!
3) Best Lakefront Hotels in North Lake Tahoe
The most surprising thing I discovered while writing this article: there’s just ONE true lakefront hotel in Tahoe City: The Inn at Boatworks, which is set in the busy Boatworks Mall. It’s an older property that’s being renovated, & honestly ~ it’s not my top pick. If you want to be right in the middle of all the action (because Tahoe City gets CRAZY busy in the summer), then the Inn at Boatworks ($149+) may be a great choice for you. But if you’re traveling with a large party or want more peace & quiet: stay elsewhere.
Note: I am biased about Tahoe City though ~ every time I’ve been there in the last few years, the traffic is HORRIBLE!! So it’s left a bad taste in my mouth. But….they do have great restaurants here & are close to rafting on the Truckee River, which is a great summer staple.
As we keep moving around the lake, here are some of the best lakefront lodging options in North Lake Tahoe:
- Franciscan Lakeside Lodge ($148+): Laid-back lodge in Tahoe Vista with rustic-pine suites, studios, or up to 4-bedroom cottages available on the lake. Free parking, Wi-Fi, an outdoor pool, & beach access make this a great option that won’t break the bank.
- Holiday House, in Tahoe Vista ($219+): Cozy & cute all-suite hotel, featuring just 6 apartment-suites, with 1 or 2-bedrooms. All rooms have full kitchens & private balconies with lake views.
- Red Wolf Lakeside Lodge ($162+): Great for families! Rustic studio, 1 & 2-bedroom condos available on the lake, with access to a private beach & dock. Amenities include swimming pools & a jacuzzi with killer lake views, kayaking, a picnic area, BBQ’s, & on-site DVD rentals.
- Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort ($260+), in Tahoe Vista: Beachfront, all-suite resort where you can rent kayaks, paddle-boards, & paddle boats ~ or just soak up the sun under their umbrella-shaded lounge chairs. Rooms are large, comfortable, & many have kitchens & lake views.
- Brockway Springs Resort ($159+), in King’s Beach: A community of lakefront condos with a row of tennis courts that look right out to the lake! Each condo is privately-owned, so this is less like staying at a hotel ~ more like staying at an Airbnb.
Best Lakefront Hotels in Incline Village
Incline Village is known as the most “exclusive” part of the lake, & you’ve got two lakefront options here, both Hyatt’s: the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe & the Hyatt Residence Club (which is a little further back from the beach). Both are beautiful options for staying on the lake in Tahoe, & the Hyatt Regency is one of the only casinos set on the lake. Great for the whole family, close to Reno, with a spa & great restaurants on-site ~ plus, the Hyatt is pet-friendly! Bring your pooch along for the fun here….
Best Lakefront Hotels in Lake Tahoe!
That completes our list of the best lakefront hotels in Tahoe. If you’re road-tripping there this summer, consider bringing your own inflatable kayaks and/or paddle boards ~ it will save you time waiting in line to rent them, as they are SUPER POPULAR rentals, particularly at Sand Harbor!