We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Book On TripAdvisor Bonus Book your hotel on TripAdvisor — then save 20% on things to do for your trip. Use code BOOKTOSAVE.

“Photos are deceiving” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Cal-Neva Resort Spa and Casino

Best prices for -
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 2 more sites!
Cal-Neva Resort Spa and Casino
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Crystal Bay
Merced, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Photos are deceiving”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

I recently stayed one night at the Cal-Neva after finding the hotel on the internet. If you look at the photos of the "resort and spa", you'll think it's a beautiful hotel and a bargain. Not sure what room they took a photo of to put on their website, but it most DEFINITELY was not the room I stayed in. I'll start with the appearance of the parking lot - make sure you have a car that can handle huge holes as the parking lot leaves a lot to be desired. The paint on the outside is peeling. Weeds growing in the rain gutters. Needless to say, the outside did not make me want to enter but I did anyhow. The hotel does have some slot machines, etc. and must have allowed smoking at some point recently because it smelled of smoke immediately upon entry. Staff at the front desk were friendly and fast. My room was on the 4th floor and smelled of cigarettes as well. The room was dingy and ugly. Wallpaper peeling off the walls. Furniture that must have been there for decades. I did not use the shower as I preferred to drive straight home to shower in my own shower so I can't speak of the water pressure or the effectiveness of the shower in general. The walls are thin. Expect to be able to hear people walking down the hallways - and to hear those who are above you on the next floor. I arrived around 3pm on a Saturday. The restaurant was closed as was the gift shop (which looked horrible anyhow) so my options for something to tide me over until dinner (since I had not eaten since 8am)? Vending machines in the arcade where the kids were playing. The bed was relatively comfortable as were the pillows on the bed. Bedspread was one of those gross, multi-color, poly bedspreads you've seen on every horror news show which made me immediately strip it off. If you have nowhere else to stay, this isn't horrible. (I stayed at the hotel across the road 2 years ago and it did make this place look like a resort so I HAVE stayed at worse.) Just do not expect that it is a "resort and spa" nor that the photos on their website are an accurate representation of the hotel.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Leenie1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

24 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    0
    8
    5
    4
    7
See reviews for
8
8
1
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Canada
Level Contributor
41 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

Boarders Nevada and California. Older for sure. But as long as my room is clean w clean beds and a hot shower (bathroom stocked) I can handle older. Great view of the lake. Room spacious. My kids liked the short walk down to the lake. Walked down to a small hidden gem of a beach...love this beach. Beautiful ball room w original wood from Frank Sinatra era. Many famous stars stayed here like Fred Astaire, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland. This hotel would be exceptional if someone took the time to invest and give it some TLC. I would love to see this hotel restored to its original time period.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank Monika V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

The owners should be ashamed for letting this Lake Tahoe landmark get run down and beat up!
The General Manager indicated that major renovations and upgrade start next month, should last about a yr. There is such a great history linked to this resort. I was amazed as I walked around the hotel to see torn and stained carpeting, wasted lobby space, broken ice machines, pin ball and video games in the lobby, worn furniture. The outside grounds unkept, guest cottages run down and in need of fresh paint. The swimming pool empty, dirty. The room was ok, bed was comfortable, room decor was average, furniture worn, pretty clean. Restaurant nothing to look at, food was nothing special. You need to go to Incline Village just down the road for nice bars & restaurants. All in all, it was still magical to feel Frank and the Rat Pack's fading aura. I'll visit again once the resort has it's grand reopening.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 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?
7 Thank S R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Crystal Bay hotels

Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

This place is literally falling apart. Nothing has been repaired or updated in decades. We stayed in a chalet, and it was such a horrible, dirty, run down experience. Save yourself the disappointment and aggravation. Pass on the CalNeva.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank BrendaKal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

Hotel is ok. Clean rooms, older building/furnishings, plenty of history (the tunnel tour was interesting).
Wife and kids were able to walk to the beach and spend the day while I was away on business.
We were told that the hotel recently changed hands, so hopefully some repairs/maintenance and updating are coming in the future?

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank CRinVegas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

I want to start by saying that it takes a lot for me to take the time to fill out a review such as this and feel that something needs to be done to resolve this situation. I did fill out the automatic customer response sheet that came via email.

My husband and I rarely take a vacation without our children. I took quite some time to research a place to stay. I knew that what we could afford would probably be in the 3-4 star range. Upon arriving the Cal-Neva resort, I was seriously disappointed and do not feel this is a resort that should be on your list of potential vacation options.

There were two main things that I was looking for on this vacation: one I wanted good bedding and two I wanted a swimming pool. When we checked in we were told the pool was closed and had been for a year. I was told by the person checking me in, that Expedia hadn't updated their pictures and that management had been asking them to do so as this happens all of the time. They offered a beach umbrella and chair for the closest beach. This beach was extremely small and it was extremely difficult to find a place amongst the people to be able to set up a chair.
The bedding in the pictures was absolutely not what was in the room. The room had molding missing from about 1/2 of the room. The wallpaper was peeling up from several points. I had paid more for a premier room, with a king bed and a lake view. You could not look right out the window and see the view. You had to stand on the far right side and look out. The actual view was of an empty pool and an incomplete roofing project. The carpet in the hall way was filthy and needed replacing quite some time ago. The elevator had putty on the walls and was definitely run down. There were the same finger prints on the sliding glass doors the entire trip at the end of the hall way. When you get off of the elevator on level 4, the first thing you see is an arm chair with the stuffing coming out because it is so worn down.

The spa had flowery coaches from probably the early 80s. To say this place is run down, is an understatement. There are dormers in the entrance that have been boarded up. The grounds appear pretty much empty and the other people staying there were a series of fast pitch softball teams. So the noise levels in the rooms were very loud both through the walls and up and down the hallways at all hours. Lake Tahoe is such a gem. We just did our best to make it a memorable trip and avoided where we were staying except to sleep.

I did make a deal about the swimming pool being in the pictures on Expedia and checked upon returning home and they have been removed. However, when I talked to the front desk about the concern his only response (which I felt had become pretty automatic) was if I wanted to find somewhere else to stay, he would let Expedia know. I did go up to the room and tried to see about other options, however, we could not find other options at that part of the lake at that late moment. We ever drove around and looked for other places but vacancy was full. Even the condos in the area had been filled a long time before.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Chrissy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanford, North Carolina
Level Contributor
63 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

How to put this so that you will not this that I am just dumping on this place.
If this hotel were an animal by now someone would have called the SPCA on its owners.
We do not abandon poor defenseless animals and we should not abandon this fine landmark of the Lake Tahoe area but right now this is a great place to visit for a little to see the place but stay somewhere else until the $30,000,000 renovation the new owners plan on completing is finished.
I am not squeamish and have a high tolerance for imperfection in a hotel if it is priced accordingly with its state. That said I have stayed at nicer Motel 6, and Super 8 hotels for less money and nicer rooms.
I booked a Chalet (one of the bungalows) and when I told the hotel staff they were like “they are renting those?”
The bungalows are incredibly cute and charming with a ton of style, over look the lake and look just like they should for structures that were owned by Frank Sinatra in 1960. And they were most likely not touched since.
Ok that is harsh but not too far off the mark. From the looks of the materials used the last renovation to the property was back the 80’s sometime and this property has a lot of deferred maintenance.
It was explained to us by one hotel employee that the hotel until just two weeks before (mid may 2013) the hotel had been in bankruptcy and run in receivership and that the bank that owned the property refused to put any money into the property unless required to by law.
There is no casino in the hotel all live gaming tables and real honest to god slot machines are gone. The game area has video games and pinball machines and the gambling is on video poker machines that when we were there half were broke.
The bar an active area in any hotel was empty except for 4 people two of which were my friend and I.
The gift shop is not open for business you have to ask someone at the front desk to open it for you if you want to buy something but don’t bother they don’t have anything worth buying.
So to sum up, great history, great potential, very poor execution. See my photos to see the repairs needed.
Shoot me a message as well because I would love to go back one day and stay again if this gem could be polished up and restored to its former glory. But I will never return to this place as it is.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank gpphelps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Crystal Bay
2.0 mi away
Red Wolf Lakeside Lodge
Red Wolf Lakeside Lodge
#2 of 7 in Tahoe Vista
4.5 of 5 stars 258 reviews
18.6 mi away
Harrah's Lake Tahoe
Harrah's Lake Tahoe
#1 of 8 in Stateline
4.0 of 5 stars 2,151 reviews
18.9 mi away
Grand Residences by Marriott, Tahoe - 1 to 3 bedrooms & Pent.
Grand Residences by Marriott, Ta...
#8 of 72 in South Lake Tahoe
4.5 of 5 stars 774 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
3.5 mi away
Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino
3.0 mi away
Cedar Glen Lodge
Cedar Glen Lodge
#1 of 7 in Tahoe Vista
5.0 of 5 stars 771 reviews
3.9 mi away
Parkside Inn at Incline
Parkside Inn at Incline
#4 of 5 in Incline Village
3.5 of 5 stars 106 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Cal-Neva Resort Spa and Casino? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Cal-Neva Resort Spa and Casino

Property: Cal-Neva Resort Spa and Casino
Address: 2 Stateline Rd, (Currently closed for renovations), Crystal Bay, NV 89402-7702
Location: United States > Nevada > Lake Tahoe (Nevada) > Crystal Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Crystal Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Cal-Neva Resort Spa and Casino 2.5*
Number of rooms: 220
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Agoda, Hotwire and Travelocity so you can book your Cal-Neva Resort Spa and Casino reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Cal-Neva Hotel Crystal Bay
Cal Neva Lodge
Cal-Neva Resort Spa And Casino Crystal Bay, Lake Tahoe (Nevada)

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing