5 Great Inns for a Winter Adventure in Lake Tahoe
In the winter months, Lake Tahoe is an unparalleled destination for snow-filled adventures. With the highest concentration of ski resorts in North America, you’ll have your pick of groomed runs, secret powder stashes, and fun terrain parks, all with a view of that incredibly deep, blue lake. There’s also great options for gliding through a winter wonderland on cross county skis or snowshoeing through the pines. You can also find your winter groove with family-friendly spots for ice-skating, sledding, snow tubing, and more. Afterwards, bask in the warmth of one of these five inns.
Black Bear Lodge
Just a mile from Heavenly Mountain Resort in South Lake Tahoe, Black Bear Lodge blends rustic mountain style with modern touches and a hip, upscale vibe. A 32-foot river rock fireplace anchors the main lodge’s soaring great room which features exposed wood beams and a wall of windows. The hotel offers five well-appointed rooms in the main lodge and four romantic cabins nestled in the pines behind the lodge. All of the rooms and cabins feature gas fireplaces, lofty beds with luxurious sheets and down comforters, cozy robes, essential oil diffusers, and a sophisticated mix of modern, vintage, and rustic chic furnishings. A shuttle stop for Heavenly Mountain Resort is located directly outside, providing quick access to the slopes for skiing and snowboarding. After a day on the mountain, cozy up by the fire with a glass of wine or relax in the outdoor hot tub. The bar at the lodge—which is one of Lake Tahoe’s best kept secrets—serves a rotating selection of craft beers, California wines, and small plates from 2 to 8 p.m. daily.
7 Seas Inns
In South Lake Tahoe, 7 Seas Inn is hard to beat for its location, affordability, stylish updates, and extraordinary hospitality. The vintage motor lodge was originally built for the 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley, but has been thoroughly updated with a modern sensibility. You’ll find comfortable beds with crisp white linens, down comforters, and fluffy pillows. The live edge tables were sourced from local craftsmen while the walls are graced with the work of a local photographer. You’ll also find upscale bath amenities from Malin+Goetz, bedside outlets with USB ports, and robes in every room. The inn is just a short walk from South Lake Tahoe’s famous casinos, a beautiful private beach, and the village and gondola at Heavenly Mountain Resort. You can fuel up for the day’s adventure with the inn’s complimentary breakfast featuring an array of choices including made-from-scratch entrees and pastries. Après ski, enjoy a hosted evening reception with wine, beer, and appetizers. Cap off the night around the fire pit, in the hot tub, or in front of a roaring fire in one of the fireplace rooms.
Cottage Inn at Lake Tahoe
Just south of Tahoe City on Lake Tahoe’s quiet western shore, Cottage Inn at Lake Tahoe is a collection of enchanting cabins tucked among the towering pines. Most of the cabins were originally built in 1938, and while the exteriors retain their rustic vintage charm, the cottage interiors have been beautifully renovated with a touch of whimsy. The western-themed cottages feature inviting fireplaces, exposed wood beams, honey-hued pine walls, comfortable beds topped with buttery smooth sheets, and thoughtfully-designed baths with a mix of stone and rustic wood accents. Some of the cabins also have jetted spas tubs or soaking tubs for two. The cottages are just a stone’s throw from the lake and a private beach with picturesque views of the snow-covered mountains. Several downhill and cross-country ski resorts, including Squaw Valley, are just minutes away. After a day’s adventure, enjoy mulled wine and hors d’oeuvres beside a crackling fire in the main lodge. Each morning, the inn serves a hearty breakfast featuring hot entrees and sides with fresh fruit, pastries, cereals and more.
Tahoma Meadows Bed and Breakfast Cottages
Also located on Lake Tahoe’s quiet western shore, Tahoma Meadows Bed and Breakfast Cottages is a charming collection of vintage red cabins set the among sugar pines. Built in the classic “Old Tahoe” style in the 1940s, half of the buildings are original to the site; the others were moved from the original Homewood Lodge just prior to the 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley. Guests can choose from cozy cottages with claw-foot soaking tubs, gas fireplaces, kitchens, or even all three. Select cottages are pet-friendly and four-legged guests are warmly welcomed with baskets that include treats, food bowls, sheets, towels, and waste bags. For guests of the B&B cottages, the inn serves a hearty, family-style breakfast each morning in the common room, which features lake views and a cozy wood-burning fire stove. The cottages are within walking distance of the cross-country trails at Sugar Pine Point State Park and less than five minutes from the lake view slopes at Homewood Mountain Resort. Other nearby attractions include Emerald Bay State Park, Vikingsholm, and Sand Harbor.
Conveniently located between the lake and Heavenly Mountain Resort in South Lake Tahoe, the Alder Inn serves up 24 stylish guest rooms in a former motor lodge. The inn was originally built in 1970 and then completely renovated in 2011 with all-new paint, carpeting, and luxury bedding. The rooms include thoughtful appointments such as cozy bathrobes, Keurig coffee makers, microwaves, mini refrigerators, and wine glasses and openers. No two rooms are the same, but all feature eclectic, stylish décor with cozy touches. In the winter months, the free Heavenly Ski Resort shuttle stops at the inn’s curb every 30 minutes, providing easy access to the slopes. In the summer, boat and jet ski rentals are available at the marina, which is just five minutes away. A number of restaurants are also within walking distance. After a day’s adventure, guests can challenge their partners to a game of ping pong back at the inn or relax with a soak in the inn’s outdoor hot tub. A heated swimming pool is open spring through fall.