Recently, we headed to South Lake Tahoe for a little getaway time, to retreat from the fog of San Francisco’s summers and to see what the area was like during a busy time. First off, it had been years since I had visited Tahoe during the summer and I realized previous stints were to North Lake Tahoe where I stayed with friends who had property near the lake. Our last experience with South Lake Tahoe was in the Spring when we did a little Spring Skiing at Heavenly, which was divine. Also see my write-up on adventurous and fun things to do in Lake Tahoe in the Spring.
My first takeaway is that Tahoe is equally fun and gorgeous during the summer, but unless you have kids in tow, which we didn’t on this particular trip, I’d avoid July and August weekends since the crowds add to the traffic, detracting from the rest and relaxation factor, if that’s what you’re after that is.
While we didn’t have kids with us this trip, we ended up at a family resort largely because the summer properties were booked up during such a busy time of year. If you do have children, the Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel is a viable option if you want to be in the thick of it all.
Centrally located along one of the main drags and a short walk to the lake, the Lake Tahoe Resort is South Lake Tahoe’s only all-suite lodging option. Below are a few shots of their bedrooms, which are separated off from a sitting lounge area which has a sink, separate TV, fridge and coffee maker, making it easy for family travel. Below, one of the more upscale suites but please note that not all suites are the same and during busier times, it may be harder to get one this large.
Below one of the bedrooms of a suite on the property.
Here, you can see how one of the suites is separated — if you want a ton of light, be sure to ask for a outward facing room with plenty of windows.
It is also located at the base of Heavenly Mountain Resort, so an even better option in the winter if you want to bring the family skiing. It is equally great for corporate meetings & retreats, social functions and groups since the resort is massive. If you’re after a romantic or luxurious quiet weekend away, this isn’t the place for you but if you want a large property that is close to everything and has the space you need, then this is a good choice.
There are also various size suites — if you want one of their larger premium suites (which we’d recommend — they’re also quieter as they’re on higher floors), then book early if you want to go during busy summer times. Ours was on the small size but mainly because it was a fairly last minute reservation and over a summer weekend.
Rooms include a two-room suite, free breakfast buffet, and a nightly happy hour and there is an indoor pool, hot tub and small gym with free weights and a few machines for your use — entry with with your key. Below is the Stateline Suite Bathroom — note that the bathrooms for regular suites are much smaller, so this is a great option if you can reserve it well in advance to secure it before it books up.
Below is the inside ground floor, where they have a beautiful greenery area with a pond, which is loaded with colorful fish and an active turtle. (the shot is a tad blurry since unlike the others, I shot it with my iPhone).
This is a great thing for kids to view and is located near where they serve the buffet breakfast every morning. The atrium has a Podocarpus, which has been on the property since the beginning when it stood only 8 foot tall. Now after 24 years, it stands at around 65 feet tall and reaches the bottom of their 7th Floor.
The property was originally built as an Embassy Suites, but when it changed brands, they brought more of a Tahoe feeling into the property, from Norfolk pines to Monterey Cypress. It’s a great way to teach kids about the value of nature and taking care of it.
Nearby, you can also take the kids up the Gondola for the views or to go n their new zip line course that holds up to four people. Also in easy access is golf, cruises (M.S. Dixie II or the Tahoe Queen are two great choices), or you can go bowling with the family or head to the Arcades.
For sports lovers, they have a sports bar and games are playing on TVs on a regular basis — they hand out a calendar for who’s playing when and against who. Whether you want a classic beer to view those games or one of their fabulous mixed drinks (we had the Coconut Mojito and it was divine), you’ll have a leisurely evening in or outside. They also have an usual Fruit Basil Collins which I’d recommend.
Below are some samples from the ECHO Restaurant — entrees and appetizers, which you can have for lunch or dinner. In the summer, we recommend sitting outside on the patio and watching people walk by. Our favorite? The Buffalo appetizer with mozzarella and tomatoes — the yellow tomatoes were sweet and delicious and the meat was tender! Bravo!
Our second favorite was the Lamb – below. We asked for sauce on the side, but typically they serve it over the entree. Yum!
A couple of other delicious high protein choices…..we have been staying away from carbs lately. Notice the fresh Rosemary twig!
Luxury dining and ambiance it is not, nor is it position itself that way. There are plenty of smaller more intimate restaurants in both South and North Lake Tahoe for a little quiet time, but if you want a great option with kids, then ECHO is well suited as they also have a kid’s menu you can choose from, which ranges from burgers and pizzas to sandwiches in smaller portions.
Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel
4130 Lake Tahoe Blvd.
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
We were hosted by the hotel but all opinions expressed are our own.