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“mixed feelings” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Inn by the Lake

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Inn by the Lake
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   3300 Lake Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #27 of 70 Hotels in South Lake Tahoe
Mountain View, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“mixed feelings”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

My husband and I, and many of our wedding guests, stayed at Inn by the Lake on the occasion of our wedding in August 2012. (The wedding itself was held elsewhere.) We had a mostly positive experience, but with one very big negative that turns what would have been a 3.5/4 into a 2/2.5.

Upon check-in we were greeted by a very nice clerk who knew that we were one of the two bride+groom couples staying there that weekend; there was even a thoughtful sign behind the desk welcoming us as "Mr. and Mrs." [our name]. We stayed in a top-floor lakeview suite, which had dated decor (especially the bathroom) but tons of space, walls of windows, and a full, updated kitchen. It had a great lake view, though I heard from a friend who had a lower-level lakeview room that hers was parking-lot view. Our bathroom had a huge tub with a mirrored wall, which must have been glorious in the 80s, but at this point the tub's "jets" were vestigial and the mirrored wall was just creepy. Our bedroom was comfortable and quiet, and nicely separated from the suite's living area. We didn't get a chance to use the pool or multi-level whirlpool, but they looked clean and fun from the vantage point of our balcony, which overlooked the pool/whirlpool area.

The one thing about IBTL that forces me to write a more-negative-than-positive review is something that happened to our wedding guests. Before I entered into a contract with this place to have our guests stay there, the hotel assured me--in writing--that there would not be a 2-night minimum stay. (I knew that some of our guests would only be coming for one night, so a 2-night minimum was a deal-breaker.) However, I found out about a week before the wedding that the hotel did in fact have a 2-night minimum, and that they had been turning away our guests who wanted to stay for only one night.

I called the hotel, spoke to someone who was very sympathetic but didn't have the authority to waive the 2-night minimum policy, and so I left a message for the person who had originally told me that there was no 2-night minimum. He NEVER RETURNED MY CALL. The hotel never offered to make it up to us in any way. We'll never know how many guests were turned away and had to find accommodations elsewhere. I feel like they tricked us into recommending their hotel to all our friends and family. The worst part is that the victims of the trick weren't my husband and I, but our friends.

Bottom line: If you don't mind dated decor and are willing to risk a tangle with bad management, this place does have some spacious rooms (depending on where you are in the hotel) and a certain 80s-fabulous charm.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
danmchael, General Manager at Inn by the Lake, responded to this review, September 30, 2012
Thank you for sharing your perspective on Inn by the Lake and bring your experience to mine and other attention. Please accept our sincere apologies for the apparent confusion concerning the terms under which your room block was established. As you noted, we frequently handle multiple wedding parties each weekend especially during our busy summer season. Weddings are joyous occasions and we feel bad that your lodging experience left you with mixed feelings.

A note to others planning weddings. Unlike many resort properties, we do not require advance payment or for that matter any form of guarantee when we set up a wedding block under the terms outlined in our one page Group Resume. When guests establish their respective reservations a one nights deposit is collected. As specified on our resume, ALL WEEKENDS REQUIRE A 2- NIGHT MINIMUM STAY. During certain periods of the year this is negotiable. Again as stated under, Group Block Drop Date, rooms not reserved at least 30 days prior to the arrival date, are released back for general sale.
Best Regards,
Dan
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251 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    65
    114
    43
    24
    5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (50)
Date | Rating
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  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Swedish first
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English first
Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

My sister and I stayed here the night of the fireworks on Labor Day weekend. The room was clean and comfortable. The hotel is right across the street from a beach on Lake Tahoe. They not only provided chairs for us to watch the fireworks, but also gave us blankets to cover our legs as the temperature cooled down. What a nice experience.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
danmchael, General Manager at Inn by the Lake, responded to this review, September 26, 2012
Delighted you enjoyed the view of the fireworks over the Lake on Labor Day. Like the 4th of July this is an annual tradition here at Inn by the Lake.
Best Regards,
Dan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bali, Indonesia
Top Contributor
156 reviews 156 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

We visited Lake Tahoe with my husband. We found so many hotels, motels or lodges to choose finally a friend helped us to book this hotel. We were happy to know that the hotel is nice, clean and convenient. The location is not far from restaurants and convenient store it could be reached in 5 minutes drive and you can see directly to the lake. The room is spacious as well as the bath room. They have a fridge, microwave, iron, coffee maker. The price is reasonable even though you can find cheaper accommodation around with the same condition. They have a decent pool too. no regret after all. If you choose a room across the lake the price is higher.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
danmchael, General Manager at Inn by the Lake, responded to this review, September 26, 2012
You said it all! Thanks for sharing your experience.
Best Regards,
Dan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilbraham, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012 via mobile

Stayed here for a wedding I attended. The location is very central and it's easy to get to Stateline, NV or Emerald Bay on the west side of the lake. An unfortunate consequence of this is that the hotel is located on a very busy stretch of road. If you have a room facing the road and you want to leave your balcony door open, it can get loud. The lake is beautiful. I had a partial view in the pool building, but it's not worth the extra money in my opinion. It's true that the other side of the hotel overlooks a trailer park, so pick your poison. Parking is ample and convenient in the back. Overall, the property is nicely maintained and the rooms are comfortable and clean, if a bit dated.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
danmchael, General Manager at Inn by the Lake, responded to this review, September 26, 2012
We are very proud of our housekeeping and maintenance departments. Thank you for recognizing them.
Best Regards,
Dan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san jose, ca, usa
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2012

the hotel is pretty old but remodeled a bit that it looks cabiny but if you look closer its really dark and slightly musty but cleaned very well. So as to cleanliness, i rate it 4 stars. As to service, you don't really see anyone so other than checking in/out, nothing to rate. TV is those big box types. The bed is the good part. Its pretty comfortable and high. Water pressure good but water doesn't go down so fast/well. The hot tub great. The location is great, cross the street and you're at the beach. Go sideways and you can have breakfast at the Bear Beach Cafe. They have great burgers.

Room Tip: no need to choose room with a view... there is not much of a view anyways since you are across the s...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
danmchael, General Manager at Inn by the Lake, responded to this review, September 26, 2012
Thank you for your constructive feed-back. Sorry we failed to impress you.
Best Regards,
Dan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Gatos, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2012

Been here multiple times over the years. Whether it's summer or winter, this has been a great go-to hotel for us. Close enough to the casinos that you can check them out with ease but still have a nice peaceful smoke-free haven to return to. With Heavenly just minutes away, this hotel clearly has an overall excellent location. The 1 BR Suite and 2 BR Suite with the full kitchen really comes in handy for those traveling with family or friends. The pool/hot tub and exercise room are all well-maintained. Parking is plentiful. Free use of cruiser bikes is a nice way to explore the area. Love the onsite Bear Beach restaurant and the adjacent Tahoe Bowl. We definitely will continue to be back soon again.

Room Tip: Suites are large and have a full kitchen and dining area.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
danmchael, General Manager at Inn by the Lake, responded to this review, September 26, 2012
Thank you so much for your very kind comments. Fall is in the air and we are n the mist of enjoying a change of seasons. Come up to see us again soon.
Best Regards,
Dan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

This hotel is across the street from the beach in South Lake, and we thought the views weren't that great. You see a lot of cars and some trees blocking the view of the lake. The room was good for an older building but for the same price, you can get some nicer places in North Shore where it's quieter. South Lake Tahoe is just too congested and from this hotel you would have to drive in traffic to restaurants (and casinos).

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
danmchael, General Manager at Inn by the Lake, responded to this review, August 17, 2012
Thanks for your constructive comments. Sorry that we apparently did not provide you with more information on our neighborhood. We have multiple restaurants within a few minute walk of the Inn. This would include Bear Beach Cafe, MacDuff's Pub and the top local favorite in town Freshies. Across the street and 100 yards west of us is Tahoe's newest public beach and ampatheatre - Lakeview Commons. the north shore is great but there is more to do here in Tahoe South as we are closer to Emerald Bay, Valhalla and Sand Harbor. Better yet stay in Tahoe for two or more days and drive around the lake to sample the amazing sights and varied communities.
Best Regards,
Dan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Inn by the Lake

Address: 3300 Lake Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Lake Tahoe (California) > South Lake Tahoe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #27 of 70 Hotels in South Lake Tahoe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Inn by the Lake 3*
Number of rooms: 100
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Inn by the Lake is conveniently located across the street from Lake Tahoe's El Dorado Beach. Heavenly Mountain Resort is a mile away and the Inn's mid-town location offers easy access to all that Tahoe has to offer. We have a fully equipped fitness room, sauna, outdoor swimming pool (seasonal)and bi-level spa. Enjoy our family fun center, Tahoe Bowl - featuring Blue Dog Gourmet Pizza and Lane 17 Sports Bar. Bear Beach Cafe serves breakfast, lunch and dinner for your family dining pleasure. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Inn By The Lake Hotel South Lake Tahoe
Hotel By The Lake
By The Lake Tahoe

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