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“Spring Break Vacation” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Holiday Inn Express South Lake Tahoe

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Holiday Inn Express South Lake Tahoe
Ranked #21 of 68 Hotels in South Lake Tahoe
Certificate of Excellence
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
“Spring Break Vacation”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 30, 2008

Booked 4 nights stay on the hotel website for a 2 double bed/nonsmoking room at the AAA rate of $109.95/night. Arrived on Monday after Easter about 6pm and checked right in. Clerk gave us a room in the same building as our friends who had arrived the day before. We were in room 322 upstairs.

Rooms are upstairs/downstairs on two floors with doors that open to the outside. There was limited parking in front of the building, but we were always able to get a spot. Close enough to the stairs to easily carry up the luggage (didn't notice an elevator). There's a Carrows restaurant right next to the hotel, so there was always plenty of parking.

Room had two double beds, a large desk/table, chair by the window, microwave/coffee maker/refrigerator and TV. Beds were a little bit too soft for our taste, but reasonably comfortable. Lots of pillows. Door opened to a very large bathroom with two sinks and granite countertop, tub/shower with curved curtain rod. Bathroom area also had a deep 2 drawer chest and a closet. Under the sink was a wooden rack for drying ski boots, etc.

Lighting in the room wasn't spectacular. There are compact fluorescent bulbs in the ceiling that gave some harsh light. Lamps on the nightstand and the desks were much better but didn't light the room that well.

We moved the large desk/table close to the bed at night to give us room to play cards while the kids watched a DVD. NOTE: the TV in the room is an older style and did not have any inputs for hooking up a DVD player or video game. The hotel said they were going to upgrade in the future, but call to check.

Ice machine was in another building just a short walk away. Need a room key to get into the small room with the ice machine; also had two washers/dryers there for laundry. Hot tub was in the same building, didn't use it but looked ok. Dry sauna there as well. Outdoor pool was closed for the winter.

Breakfast was in the lobby area, although other reviewers were correct -- there is a very small breakfast area and it is quite crowded in the morning as everyone loads up before hitting the slopes. Not very good flow of traffic, although everyone was polite. It seemed like as soon as items came out, they disappeared quickly. Quality was ok, not as good as Embassy Suites but adequate. Good cinnamon rolls and coffee; orange and apple juice, bagels and bread for toasting. Scrambled eggs seemed like powdered eggs, bacon and sausage patties were ok. Selections alternated each day, one day had scrambled eggs and bacon, the next was "cheese omelettes" and sausage patties. Also had cold cereal, milk, yogurt, hard boiled eggs and some fruit.

One concern was that a single staffer was restocking all the food and also cleaning up the area. While we were eating, we noticed her emptying the trash, then going back a few minutes later and bringing out more food. Not sure if hands were washed in between and there wasn't any posted health inspection approval there. She was very busy, so we wondered a bit.

Overall, breakfast is better than your typical chain hotel, but I wish Holiday Inn Express put more money into food quality instead of wasting it on a national TV campaign.

Location of the hotel is just a couple blocks from the Nevada border. Way too far to walk (in my opinion) to the Heavenly Gondola. But a quick drive over there. We went to Harrahs/Harveys casinos one night and gambled a bit while the kids did the arcade. One note: beware the Harrahs food court chinese food. We're pretty sure that the eggplant/tofu was the cause of my wife's food poisoning that kept her sidelined in the room all day Thursday.

The Holiday Inn Express was a good base for our trip, nice location near the border and a convenient drive to Heavenly or Sierra at Tahoe resorts. Safeway grocery store just a few blocks south, Powder House ski rental shop just across the street. Personally I think I would have preferred to stay at Embassy Suites, but for half the room price, the HI Express was great.

  • Liked — Free wireless Internet
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Chocochef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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425 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
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Santa Clara
Level Contributor
78 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 6, 2008

Stayed here for 2 days of skiing in Feb 2008. Location was great very close to Heavenly Gondola, but I'd do it in regular shoes and not my ski boots.
Bathroom was enormous was clean and modern. Breakfast included was convenient but it was way too small of an area and really is a joke to eat in the lobby.
Quite and away from the main road. Room was nice size, an had a small fridge and microwave and two beds.

The front desk always seemed to have some computer issues, and they absolutely refuse to check you in or even talk to you before 4pn (check in)..
Even then I must say I was very surprised and would stay again. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed February 2008
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank robo44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merced, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 4, 2008

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in South Lake Tahoe from Feb 23, 2008 through March 1st. Checking in was a little bumpy as the computers were down when we arrived. First the guy at the front desk was checking us into one room, when another guy walked in and said he had just put people in that room. So he checked us into another room, but when we got out to the other room, there were people already in it. So we had to go back to the front desk. They up-graded us for the incovenience. The room we got was very roomy, clean and comfortable. The bathroom was very nice sized with a double sink, a dresser against a wall and plenty of room to move around with a large closet with plenty of hangars. The king size bed was very comfortable with 5 or 6 pillows on it of various firmness and the sheets had a high thread count and were VERY cozy. There was also a microwave, small frig and coffee pot, which were very convenient. We were very pleased with the housekeeping. Our room was always cleaned thoroughly and she left plenty of extra glasses and extra coffee packets in our room.

We soaked in the indoor jacuzzi a couple of nights while there. GREAT for relaxing sore muscles after a hard day of skiing. When we first checked it out, there were already a group of people in it - A little crowded. So we waited 20 or 30 minutes and went back and had the jacuzzi to ourselves. There was also a steam room there, but we didn't use it. They apparently provide clean towels on shelves by the jacuzzi, but when we arrived, they were all used and on the floor. So be sure to take a towel with you in case they've all been used.

Our only disappointment was the breakfast bar. We had been seeing advertisements about the great new breakfast bar Holiday Inn Express was providing. However, we found the "bar" was crowded into a corner and NOT very well laid out. There were cold cereal dispensers, and a rack under heat lamps with sausage and eggs as well as shelves of muffins, bread and sweet rolls with a toaster near by. There was cold french toast you had to put in a toaster to warm. It was not very good. The food itself was probably not too bad, however, the layout was very poorly planned. There was no organized flow. Food was randomly crammed in a tight corner of the room and the items were not thoughtful ordered so people were just randomly grabbing things from the center rather than standing in line and taking things as they moved down the line. Trying to be polite and take turns resulted in repeatedly being shoved aside as kids and adults just shoved their way to what they wanted. The only way to get food was to rudely push your way in. I also noticed the tongs placed out to pick up food items were not used very often so the food was more or less mauled by others before placed on plates. Who knows whether the hands reaching in to select the food were clean or not. We chose to skip this breakfast bar altogether for the rest of our stay. We either kept muffins and fruit in our room or went to a regular restaurant. Other than the breakfast bar, it was a great stay and I wouldn't hesitate to stay again.

  • Liked — How roomy the bathroom was
  • Disliked — The breakfast bar was too crowded with pushy people.
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank in_search_of_fun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2008

Stayed here for four days of skiing in Feb 2008. Great location, approx 2 blocks or five mins walk from Heavenly Gondola, so possible in ski boots. Rooms set back from road, so reasonably quiet. Room was spacious and had mini-fridge and microwave and great king-size bed. Bathroom was very big and all fittings and furnishings were fresh and modern. Breakfast included was convenient and a fair selection of pastries, toast, cooked items, yogurt, cereal, etc, but did tend to get a little crowded in the lobby area (trays available to eat back in your room). Free wi-fi. Laundry available was useful (pleasant staff readily refunded my quarters after a problem with the dryer). Only complaint: a ferocious draught under the door! Easily solved with a rolled towel. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed February 2008
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Sarah1717
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2008

Reading the reviews on Trip Advisor and then going to this Hotel are what caused me to sign up for the site to contribute with my own review.

The reviews that I read were really spot on. This is a great hotel for the price ($180 for fri/sat and $149 for sun night). It was extremely clean with decent amenities, and it was perfectly located to go skiing.

There were 2 ski rental places less than a block away, and the gondola (to Heavenly ski resort) was a little over 2 blocks away. Very doable, even in ski boots.

The continental breakfast also exceeded expectations, even though it was mostly packaged/microwave prepared type food. They had donuts, english muffins, cinnamon buns, biscuits, gravy, sausage, eggs, bagels, yogurt, coffee, oj, etc, etc. Not the healthiest, but a great way to get a start on the ski day.

The staff was knowledgeable about the town and the mountain, plus they were really helpful getting my car out of the snow!

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Couldn't rent movies on the TV
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank evbart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
northern california
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2008

I searched for a nice hotel for quite sometime before booking my stay. I read reviews and looked for a place that would have everything to make our vacation comfortable, i thought i had found the right place. I booked a room from the 18th - 21st of Jan. The room was nice except for the urine stains at the base of the toilet, which i cleaned. For the first two nights we couldn't figure out what the odd smell in our room was, after a thorough search we found "to go," containers from a restaurant that we hadn't been to, under the beds, obviously the smell was the rotting left overs. We are not knit pickers and fully understand things get overlooked, so we didn't complain, yet. Which i don't understand how the cleaning lady could have missed it since she had come and cleaned the room two times by now. The bathroom floor didn't look very swept, maybe that's why i found a dried up contact lens on the floor. It gets better. We ended up needing to stay an extra night. Our check out day i called the front desk to ask for some towels, no one came to our room the day before to clean and bring new towels. The towels never came, even after calling the front desk. Upon checking out i mentioned to the general manager the several cleaning issues, just as an FYI, in case the folks after us aren't as understanding. Pete was going to comp my last night's stay, well instead he accidentally charged my card, in fact he charged it for more than the last night cost. I found this out when i went to the bank to make a with drawl. I went back to the hotel, the manager was gone, but the clerk credited my card. I had to wait until the following business day for the credit to post to my account. So i was over 4 hours away from home with, me, my husband, our 3 kids all under the age of 7. Because he overdrew my account so much i had NO means to by gas to get home, or to by food for my family, nothing!! We spent the day wandering around casinos to keep warm. Finally around 9pm i still had no money and no way to get home and no place to sleep. So we went back to the hotel i begged for a room and promised them the money in the morning when my account was fixed. The next day i went to check out and the general manager was there i explained to him the mistake he made and told him how i spent the day in the cold with three hungry kids. He didn't seem to care and in fact charged me for the nights stay. I never got a simple apology, he couldn't even comp the stay seeing how i wasn't staying willingly, i had no choice. I was so disgusted, i will NEVER stay there again. Sure this doesn't always happen, but it happened to me and anyone who paid over $700 to stay at a hotel and then got all their money sucked from their account and left cold, hungry, and stranded would be a little pissed off as well. So buyer be ware. Someone from this establishment needs to read this contact me and give me a full refund, this is no joke.....Maybe if i had paid $800 i would've gotten treated like a person and not like a piece [--].

Stayed January 2008
Helpful?
1 Thank travel043
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crawley Down, West Sussex
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2008

Good, clean and was better than I expected. Good location as well, esp for Heavenly. Not expensive either. Continental breakfast in the morning was okay - nothing special. Overall good value - would stay there again. Also must recommend the Sushi place over the road the Naked Fish and if you're renting skis we found Mtn Mikes Tees and Skis (left out the hotel and on the left after a block) very friendly and cheap (better bet than across the road at Powder House).

  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank SimonRyu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Express South Lake Tahoe

Property: Holiday Inn Express South Lake Tahoe
Address: 3961 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150-8907
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Lake Tahoe (California) > South Lake Tahoe
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#14 Romantic Hotel in South Lake Tahoe
#19 Family Hotel in South Lake Tahoe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Holiday Inn Express South Lake Tahoe 2.5*
Number of rooms: 89
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Holiday Inn Express, South Lake Tahoe is centrally located on Hwy 50, nestled in the heart of South Lake Tahoe. Getting here is fast and convenient too. We are the ideal place to enjoy fresh mountain air, beautiful scenery and natural landscaping. The Holiday Inn Express is just minutes from Lake Tahoe, Nevada Stateline Casinos, Skiing, Horseback Riding, Shopping, Movie Theaters, Boat Cruises, and so much more! Our facilities include an Seasonal Outdoor Pool and Spa. Our Indoor Spa and Sauna Room is currently being renovated, until June 2016. We are a completely Smoke-Free facility. Our hotel features include Complimentary Express Start Breakfast, Free Wi-Fi Internet Access and Local Phone Calls. You are close to Restaurants and Night Life yet amid graceful Pine Trees. Visit South Lake Tahoe, CA and Stay Smart at the Holiday Inn Express. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Express South Lake Tahoe Hotel South Lake Tahoe
Holiday Inn Express Lake Tahoe
Holiday Inn Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe Holiday Inn

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