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“Clean and affordable basic option” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Pine Cone Acre Motel

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Pine Cone Acre Motel
735 Emerald Bay Rd., South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150-6500   |  
Hotel amenities
Sacramento, California
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
“Clean and affordable basic option”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

As others have pointed out, this place isn't luxurious, but it was sufficient. The owners seem to really try to make it as nice as possible. I liked that they used quilts instead of those nasty bedspreads at most cheap motels, and the breakfast pastries were fresh from a local bakery - very nice! We got the best rate by phone when I called 4 days before our trip. Only one hitch: when we arrived to check in, he couldn't find my reservation. Finally located it and the person who booked it made for 2 nights a WEEK later. He was about to tell me they were booked, but then said he had a cancellation for our one night, so we got a different room and a $20 discount. He also pointed out that room 17 has an air conditioner and not all of them do. So you'll definitely want to ask about that when you book if it's going to be warm in Tahoe.

We chose this motel because it's close to the bike path to ride up to Camp Richardson and the historic parks. They also are lucky to have restaurants in walking distance - Alpina is a great little coffee and breakfast place, the Irish pub looked like a happening place Friday night, there's a Mexican cantina nearby, and the Burger Lounge across the street from the motel is fantastic.

Things to be aware of before booking here: mostly queen sized beds, and ours was kind of hard and had a weird hill on one side; thin walls and without an A/C you'll have to keep your window open to the noise of the parking area; maybe because it was warm or a lot of younger people stay here, there seemed to be a lot of people still outside kind of late. They weren't obnoxious, but just talking and such. Because of its age, the heater is the wall type that will likely be noisy in the winter. It's not close to the lake; you'll have to drive, walk, or ride bikes (but they do rent bikes and kayaks for only $20 a day!).

Bottom line: when other area motels are charging $180 for a peak summer night, you can get a room here for closer to $100 - if you want simple accommodations, it's worth a try.

Room Tip: Ask for air conditioning if it's a warm summer.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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16 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 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
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Petaluma, California
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

As long as you are don't need luxury, this is the best deal in South Lake Tahoe. The motel is located about 2 miles from Camp Richardson and the Beacon which is a great place to hang out, listen to music and enjoy the spectacular lake. The rooms at the motel are small but they are clean and functional. There is a small swimming pool, ping pong table and outdoor firepit which is nice for evening get-togethers. My only complaint is that the lights outside each room are on all night and there are no 'black-out' curtains on the windows.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Vacaville, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2012

Bear in mind I'm not saying this is a five-star hotel (obviously), but for the money this place was legit. As a student I'm usually scraping the bottom of the piggy bank to do anything other than sleep and study.

Girlfriend and I came up to Tahoe for New Years this time around. As usual she took a while to get ready, and we were already driving up from the bay area. Finally she comes out and announces she's ready to go, and we head out around 7 PM.

We get to the Pine Cone Acre about quarter to 11 on Dec 30th. It was late as hell. Luckily, the neon sign said open and the lights were still on. Unluckily, the service window was closed and there wasn't a soul around. We knocked but there was no answer.

Losing hope we called the phone and left a message, telling them we were outside.

Success! A sleepy looking dude comes to the window and says that if we were two minutes later he wouldn't have heard the call. I think he was just being polite and got had just gotten out of bed and put on a friendly face to help out a couple young people get a warm bed. He was a nice guy, very informative and helpful. He told us that the place was full of college kids attending SnowGlobe and we let him know that was our agenda as well.

Room was clean and cozy. Heater was off the chain and the shower water was instantly warm. I don't go on vacation to watch TV, but if that's your thing they have all your usual cable channels. Wifi reception was strong, no problems there. No fridge, but that was the only downside.

We had unfortunately already booked another hotel for the next couple nights (long story) and lamented that we had to leave the great Pine Cone Acre.

The only reason I can think of why the rates are low is because not too many people know about it. It's past the right turn folks take onto Lake Tahoe Boulevard off of Highway 50. But in terms of location my GF and I had no complaints.

I'll be staying here every time I come to Tahoe.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Northwood, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2011 via mobile

Our family of 5 stayed here one night en route to Yosemite from Sacramento. Location was good and we stayed above the motel office in a family room that could sleep 6. Room was basic but comfy with modern en suite bathroom. Aircon was noisy and ineffective though. Proximity to restaurants was good. We chose the nearby Mexican which was really good and very popular with locals. Pool was a little small and too full of children for us to use.Not bad for the money though.

  • Stayed August 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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San Jose, California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2011

This is an amazing Motel. It is very clean and has a nice cozy feel to it. The people who work here are very kind. We were here during a blizzard and the heater blew out, and the guy that was shoveling the snow came in and fixed it in the middle of his work! Don't listen to all those bad reviews. Those are people who are used to staying in 4 star hotels. This is a very nice and cozy place. We have come here once before and absolutely loved it. If you have to choose a place to stay, come here!!!

  • Stayed February 2011, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2011

I've stayed here at least 4X in the last two years, so I think I have a pretty good sample:

Here are the reasons for the title of my review (top value in tahoe):

-price
-location (quiet -minimal road noise, walking distance to Burger Lounge, Cantina, 7/11)
-VERY RECENT refurbished rooms, so lots of new carpet, bedding, paint, and such; anything else in this price range I know about is lesser quality. It's not fancy new, but no worn-out beds that have some pit to China in the middle or broken edges and such.

Room size is small, but ample, the heater works, the TVs are not new but work.

There is one thing that has bugged me about this place (even since the remodel) is the window coverings; they are blinds and not drapes, so they let some light in, especially from the outside light next to the door (which I unscrew). Last time I got snowed in by 3-feet of powder and had to shovel my way out in the morning to ski; there are worse things that can happen. But even given this one moderate imperfection, I would rate it as the top value in South Lake.

This is not the place to stay if you are going to the casinos - it is the place to stay if you want to be away from them.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
tahoeillinois, General Manager at Pine Cone Acre Motel, responded to this review, May 9, 2011
We appreciate you staying at Pine Cone Acre Motel in S. Lake Tahoe! Thank you for your "Review" on Trip Advisor!

Call us anytime ~ We love your business!

Prudie Donner
530-541-0375
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minster, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2010

this place is great! very cosy, cheap and has great coffee! and the staff could'nt do enough for us, Katie who gave us a great deal when we booked in and she really made our trip perfect, our room (i think we had room 3) had a really nice cosy cabin feel to it, and the staff make you feel so welcome, we only had 3nights there but wish we had more.
Avoid the Irish bub next door, there very rude! and if you go to the casinos take you passport they dont accept uk driving licenses, and make sure you check out Angora Lake a really hidden gem

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Pine Cone Acre Motel

Also Known As:
Pine Cone Acre Hotel South Lake Tahoe
Address: 735 Emerald Bay Rd., South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150-6500
Location: United States > California > Lake Tahoe (California) > South Lake Tahoe
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #53 of 70 hotels in South Lake Tahoe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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