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“Well managed, convenient location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Inn by the Lake

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Inn by the Lake
Ranked #17 of 72 Hotels in South Lake Tahoe
Bay Area, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Well managed, convenient location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

We've been staying here for three years straight for our family's annual winter vacation. Wife, two young kids, and myself for two nights. Summary of pros and cons:

Good:
-Well managed, friendly staff. All requests promptly handled with great customer service.
-Good value - may seem pricey but South Lake Tahoe is not cheap in general. This is a nice mid-range hotel that meets all our needs.
-Places to eat - walking distance to MacDuffs, pizza from the bowling alley. Haven't tried the pizza but heard it was excellent. MacDuffs a little pricey, but good food and service.
-Pets allowed - we don't have pets but are concerned about dirty rooms from pets. Haven't had any issues with dirty carpets from pets in our rooms. I believe they are kept in a separate wing from the rest of the guests.
-Park across the street - there's a park and closed campground across the street by the library. This was a nice convenient spot to have the kids play in snow without having to drive somewhere.

Bad:
-Dated decor, furniture, carpets.
-Lakeside view from across the street. This is more a place to stay than to enjoy a lakeside view.

We'll be back again for sure. Thanks to the staff at IBTL for a wonderful stay as usual!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NeedAVacationPlease
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, December 31, 2013
Thank you so much for your repeat patronage and constructive input. We look forward to your return visit in 2014!
Happy New Year,
Dan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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672 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
Date | Rating
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English first
El Dorado Hills, CA
Level Contributor
215 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2013 via mobile

This motel across the street from Lake Tahoe is an adequate property. The rooms are spacious and clean. However the decor is quite out of date. It is overdue for a renovation.a. The bed was comfortable. There are robes to use if you wish to venture to the hot tub. OK place to stay.

Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank BEN P
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, December 31, 2013
Completed in 1982 the Inn occupies one of the best lake view locations in Lake Tahoe. We take pride in our high level of maintenance & housekeeping and have plans for cosmetic upgrades in the new year.
Best Regards,
Dan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2013

I suppose it all depends on what requests you make and what room is available. Our experience was nothing short of excellent. Two things to keep in mind though. First, "By the Lake" does not mean the hotel has its own shoreline, it is actually across the street from the lake; although there is nothing on the other side of the street except lake. Second, you probably have a better chance at the best rooms in the fall; after the summer season but before the snow season.

Having said that, we were greeted at the desk by both helpful and interested staff. Our room was in the front of the hotel; maybe 30 yards across the street from the lake... no parking lots or low buildings as in a review below. Be sure to ask for the front building for a great lake view. The glass door is sufficient that we were unaware of the noise from the road 10 yards away and the room was very comfortable. We were lucky enough to get a corner room and the one room next to us was unoccupied so I was able to practice my guitar without disturbing anyone. Otherwise the room was quiet; no noise at all from the room above or below or from others on the floor.

There is a good restaurant on-site. The staff there is "friendly to you if you are friendly to them." Makes sense, Lake Tahoe is a neighborly community. The food is a little expensive for breakfast because all of their choices are lumberjack-size plates of food. If you want a small bite, you'll have to order everything ala carte. Seriously, if you want a light breakfast, go offsite to Heidi's or some other specialty breakfast place in the area.

The hotel is also adjacent to a bar & grill, bowling alley, pizza place, and ice cream stand; and has services like shoe repair in the same set of buildings.

The price was great, the food was good, the view fantastic, the beds comfortable. I give my experience 9.5 out of 10... and then only because the air unit squeaked when on the low setting.

Room Tip: Front building rooms facing the lake are best. Double queen beds will put you on the 2nd floor while...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 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
Helpful?
Thank Traveler_GW
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, November 11, 2013
Thank you for your very detailed, kind and helpful review. We should keep a talley on the number of guests who prefer our pool or lake building. My guess is that it would come out 50 to 50. Your description of our lake building was very accurate. You can reserve the room type you desire any time of year. However, as an added bonus, during the fall which is typically quieter, we often upgrade standard queens to King Great Rooms at no charge based upon availability. Please keep this to yourself.
Best Regards,
Dan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sonoma County
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

Location is nice and across the street from the lake. The rooms and decorations are really dated as is the furniture in the room. We had a lake view room and it was very spacious. I choose this place because it was dog friendly and because we could see the lake. I would probably stay at another location because this place isn't memorable, or memorable for the wrong reason(s). The shower head was very powerful, almost uncomfortable really. The smell was very strong in the hallways of cleaning products. Not sure what smell they were trying to hide but it was a bit overpowering. The website didn't mention that the hot tub was not open during this time of year..

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Darcy707
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, November 11, 2013
I am very sorry that an apparent oder from our fall heavy cleaning program caucsed you concern. We try to schedule this around and away from occupied rooms each day. We work hard to keep our very popular bi-level spa open year round but we had to replace an underwater bulb and did not get it back to full tempature by night fall. We apologize on both accounts.
Best Regards,
Dan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
26 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2013

This hotel was a little bit of a letdown. We paid for a "lake view" room, but lake view meant looking over a parking lot, over a low 1-story building, over a busy road, and through the trees. It's true that we could see blue water, but it was an obstructed view and nothing special.

We were also disappointed in the comfort of the room. The air conditioning wasn't turned on (our stay was in October), so the room was warm and stuffy even when we set the fan to the coldest setting. We could open the windows to let in fresh cool air, but then cigarette smoke and noise from the hot tub area, not to mention the expected road noise, would filter in.

We paid $250 a night; seems like this room should have been more in the $100 range.

On the positive side, the room was large, the hotel is nicely located for driving around the Tahoe area, and it was nice to walk to the Bear Beach Cafe for breakfast.

All in all, it was ok but nothing special. With so many other hotel options in the area, I don't think I'd stay here again.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank CE55
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, October 23, 2013
See posting which follows. This appears to be a duplicate. Again, we wish to apologize for the apprent shortcomings you experienced.
Best Regards,
Dan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
135 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

Wife and I stayed here recently for our anniversary weekend. It was a last minute change. We had been booked to go to Yosemite but thanks to the government shutdown we had to change our plans. Inn by the Lake seemed to be one of the better options available on short notice. It was OK, but not as nice as we had expected for the price.

First, when they say "suite" they reall mean a full 1BR apartment with living room, dining area, kitchen, etc. That may have been my bad on reading the description. I assumed a "suite" would be more like a regular hotel suite not a full apartment. That part was OK. Just more than we really expected or needed. Second, when they say "lake view" it means you can see the lake across the parking lot and over the roof of another building and across a busy road and between some trees. Yes, it is definitely a lake view and it is pretty, but not quite as nice as the photos. We were in the "pool building" so further back from the road. There is also a "lake building" which is closer to the lake and presumably has better views, but those rooms would also be right on the very busy main drag road running through SLT, so I would expect them to be much noisier. Our room was noisy enough in the front room. Thankfully the bedroom was toward the back so it didn't get road noise. It wasn't exactly quiet though.

The windows to our suite looked over the parking lot/lake, etc. But the balcony and patio doors and the bedroom windows were right above the hot tub. Thankfully the pool was closed for the season. The hot tub was very popular, though, seemingly all day and into the night with kids having splash parties early on and then adults drinking and reveling at night. Probably could've lived with that except for the fact that the room was also very hot and stuffy. A/C apparently had been turned off for the season so our options were heat (it wasn't cold enough yet for that) or nothing. We tried opening the window to let cool air in but then had to listen to the hot tub crowd and smell their cigarette (and other) smoke wafting in to our bedroom. I would definitely avoid the rooms/suites facing the rear of the hotel away from the lake. Those have a view of nothing but a parking lot and an eyesore trailer park right next door. I would've been really unhappy with that view if the view mattered to me.

Aside from that, it was an OK hotel. The decor is a little dated, but it did have a nice kitchen and a decent bathroom with a big jacuzzi tub. It was clean and comfortable for the most part. We didn't spend a lot of time in the room. Otherwise, I think I would've been more disappointed. All in all, it was just OK. But for $250 a night, I expected more than just OK. Probably wouldn't stay here again.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the lake have decent views, but lots of road noise. Avoid rooms overlooking the pool or...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ElliottCooper
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, October 16, 2013
Thanks for taking the time to post your detailed comments. Sorry you missed an opportunity to visit Yosimite. Many of our guests go on to this natural wonder after staying with us in Lake Tahoe. It is worth a second effort. Yes, our deluxe suites do feature complete kitchens and we regret that this aparently caused you concern. Thank you again for sharing your perspective.
Best regards,
Dan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nokomis, Florida
Level Contributor
63 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2013

Nice size room. Need more pillows on the bed. The room had a mini frig and microwave.
Hallways and elevator was musty smelling.
We had a room on the third floor overlooking the pool and a great view of the
Lake

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Rockystheman
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, October 16, 2013
Thank you for your very kind comments and we are of course pleased that you enjoyed your stay. While we have cleaning programs going on continually, our hallway carpets are professionally steam cleaned in the spring and fall. Sorry for any residual oder. We look forward to your next visit.
Best Regards,
Dan
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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

Property: Inn by the Lake
Address: 3300 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150-7907
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:
#10 Business Hotel 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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