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.
- 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