The Best Cheap Hotels in South Lake Tahoe

Hit the slopes on the Sierra Nevada mountains, a range which stretches 400mi (650 km) across California
Hit the slopes on the Sierra Nevada mountains, a range which stretches 400mi (650 km) across California | © Kyle Fiori /unsplash
Rikki Ward

The largest city on the lake, South Lake Tahoe is where much of the California-side Tahoe action is. Primo skiing, endless watersports on the crystal-blue lake, great restaurants and nightlife, plus arts, culture and style – South Lake has it all. You don’t have to break the bank to stay here. There are cheap hotels and places to stay in South Lake Tahoe to fit every need.

1. The Beach Retreat & Lodge at Tahoe – for staying at home

Hotel

Swimming pool at Beach Retreat & Lodge at Tahoe with lit up exterior and blue sun loungers
Courtesy of Beach Retreat & Lodge at Tahoe / Expedia

Feeling peckish after a day of swimming, sailing, or simply sunning on Lake Tahoe but don’t want to leave your Tahoe accommodation? No problem! Here, you have your choice of two outdoor lakeside dining and drinking establishments. Just head over to Tiki Bar for a Peach Retreat or Sneaky Tiki plus weekend live music. Then make your way to Boathouse on the Pier for ahi poke or Wagyu-Kobe beef sliders. The sunsets here are quite something.

2. The Coachman Hotel – for an on-trend stay

Budget Hotel, Independent Hotel, Hotel

Stylish seating area at the Coachman Hotel with leather sofa, tree-trunk coffee table and creatively-designed lamp
Courtesy of the Coachman Hotel / Expedia

No need to leave style back in the city when you stay here. These modern rooms are simple in design, but by no means Spartan. A plethora of well-crafted wool blankets are available to keep you cozy, a basket of artisanal snacks from makers like Inna Jam and CC Made are on hand to keep the munchies away, and Malin+Goetz body wash, shampoo, and conditioner are on tap in the shower to keep your skin and hair in top form. Need to work while you play? On-site meeting space and access to local co-working space is available.

3. Forest Suites Resorts at Heavenly Village – for family fun

Hotel, Budget Hotel

Double bedroom at Forest Suites Resort at Heavenly Village with large mirror-fronted wardrobe
Courtesy of Forest Suites Resort at Heavenly Village_Expedia

There’s so much to do at this South Lake Tahoe cheap hotel that you might not want to leave. While the kids are enjoying the game room complete with foosball, a pool table, arcade games and an X-Box, Mom and Dad can kick back by the fireplace and enjoy happy hour at Al’s Saloon. There are also arts and crafts events, summertime outdoor movies on the lawn, two outdoor hot tubs and gas firepits open year round. With enough room for the whole family in the spacious one- and two-bedroom suites, ranging from 650-1000sqft (60-93sqm), each with a full kitchen and dining area, this will become your home away from home.

4. Hotel Azure – for fur-friendly tranquility

Resort, Independent Hotel

The black and wooden exterior Hotel Azure with swimming pool and sun loungers amidst pine trees
Courtesy of Hotel Azure / Expedia

Perched just across the street from the lake, this hotel exudes calm. With balconies and lovely lake views in many rooms, and decorated with a rustic and modern vibe – think reclaimed wood accent walls, brown upholstered headboards and angular furniture – you can’t help but breathe deeply when you’re here. This hotel is dog friendly so you can maintain that low heart rate while snuggling with your furry friend. Bonus – the heated outdoor pool and hot tub are open year-round, so relaxation mode doesn’t have to hibernate during the winter.

5. Station House Inn – for a retro retreat

Hotel

Double bedroom at Station House Inn with green walls, large armchair and geometric soft furnishings
Courtesy of Station House Inn_Expedia

An ode to mountain lodges of yore, this inn has a throwback vibe with modern twists. Decorated in warm earth tones, rooms will make you feel like you’re living a 1960s ski vacation dream. The cozy wood-panelled lobby has big comfy couches and a huge stone fireplace to sit by and warm yourself up. Imagine whiling away an après-ski afternoon with blackened catfish po-boy and a South Lake Brewing Fog Nozzle Hazy IPA from the New Orleans-style restaurant, Toulouse. Nostalgia with a delightful dash of contemporary make this a great spot to land.

6. 3 Peaks Resort & Beach Club – for the location, location, location

Hotel, Resort

Double bedroom at 3 Peaks Resort & Beach with wooden headboard and Paisley wallpaper

When it comes to cheap hotels in South Lake Tahoe, you can’t beat this location. Two blocks from a private beach and two blocks from the Heavenly Village gondola, which brings you to dozens of great bars and restaurants, everything you need is within walking distance. Spend a day in watersport heaven, and your evening sampling the best nightlife South Lake Tahoe has to offer. With suites, townhomes, and even a five-bedroom cabin rental available, you can bring the whole crew and take the Tahoe vacation of a lifetime.

7. Tahoe Seasons Resort by Diamond Resorts – for skiers and snowboarders

Hotel

Welcoming lobby at Tahoe Seasons Resort by Diamond Resorts with warm lighting and sofas
Courtesy of Tahoe Seasons Resort by Diamond Resorts_Expedia

Just 150yds (137m) from the Heavenly Mountain Resort ski lifts, and with snowboard and ski gear rentals onsite, you are truly living the Lake Tahoe ski dream. After you’ve hit the slopes as hard as you can and your delightfully tired body is in need of a little soothing, a visit to the sauna and steam room are the ideal cap to the perfect mountain adventure day. Feel like mixing it up during a warm weather visit? Try the tennis and pickleball courts on the grounds.

8. POSTMARC Hotel and Spa Suites – for couples

Suite Hotel, Spa Hotel

Exterior of POSTMARC Hotel and Spa Suites with pine trees and wooden fence
Courtesy of POSTMARC Hotel and Spa Suites_Expedia

Need a cozy romantic getaway with your sweetie? These suites might be just what the (love) doctor ordered. With whirlpools or soaking tubs and fireplaces in every room, you can tap into all of your senses. The wetrooms in the Watermarc King Suite allow you to get as soaked as your heart desires, the heart-shaped whirlpool in the King Spa with have you feeling like royalty, and the mirrored bed alcove in the cabin suite is highly conducive to cuddling, kissing and snuggling up when it’s cold outside.

Looking or more options? Check out our guide to the best hotels to book in Lake Tahoe, California, bookable with Culture Trip.

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