Finding a cheap hotel in Lake Tahoe is an interesting task. Not because there aren’t any good cheap hotels, but because any hotel in South Lake Tahoe has the potential to be cheap—it just depends on when you’re coming.
Yes, capitalism thrives even in a beautiful natural oasis like Lake Tahoe. So, weekends during ski season? Even the cheap spots are pricey. A cool, mid-October day? You could be looking at a sub-100 Marriott stay.
Despite the sliding scale, some places will always be less expensive than the others. And we’ve got a few favorites:
Cheap Hotels in South Lake Tahoe
Before we get started, let’s be honest about the intent of a google search for “lake tahoe cheap hotels.” It’s code for a comfy bed, clean room, good location and no frills. So if the paint is chipping or the vibe is a little more 1970’s than you had hoped for, just remember that you’ll have extra happy hour money because of it.
You might even be pleasantly surprised. Despite its reputation as a bougie winter playground, Lake Tahoe’s roots run deep as a blue collar town and there’s still plenty of places that hold true to that.
A model citizen in the world of South Lake Tahoe budget hotels, The Blackjack Inn is in a primo location with free parking and simple, clean rooms. Just across the street from the Heavenly Village, it’s minutes away from South Lake Tahoe’s best restaurants and shops, a movie theater, grocery store and of course, the Heavenly ski gondola.
Rooms come with a mini-fridge and microwave and you can visit the lobby in the mornings for complimentary coffee. Your space might be a little small, but with a location like this, we’re hoping you don’t spend too much time in the room anyhow.
All-in-all, The Blackjack Inn gets a ten out of ten for affordability, location and cleanliness.
The Alder Inn
Directly off of Ski Run Blvd. is a homey little oasis called The Alder Inn. Quiet and clean, with nice amenities like a pool and hot tub, mini-fridges and microwaves, this spot does it right.
Alder Inn’s excellent location lands you next to plenty of restaurants, shops, the ski resort and Ski Run marina. But still, you might find yourself wanting to stay in, with a BBQ, fire pit, ping pong table and baseball court to keep you busy.
Despite all of this, the best perk of all might just be the hotel robes. Robe time is simply priceless, you know?
This newly renovated Quality Inn might just be our very favorite cheap hotel in all of South Lake Tahoe. From the outside, it’s a standard issue Quality Inn—but once inside, it’s actually a newly renovated slumber palace (okay, palace may be an exaggeration.)
But, it’s true, the chic new decor has this place feeling like much more than your basic budget hotel. Throw in the Quality Inn amenity standards—free wifi, hot breakfast and guest laundry—and you are really onto something here.
It’s also pet-friendly, and as any good budget hotel should be, is in an excellent location within walking distance to all the good stuff.
Ah, the Bluelake Inn, what’s there to say? It’s a budget hotel in an excellent location. There’s nothing particularly exciting about this spot, but there’s nothing wrong with it either.
The price is right, you can walk from your room to Heavenly Village and the Stateline casinos, its clean and there’s a continental breakfast included. There’s also a microwave and mini-fridge in each room, a coffee maker and free wifi.
As a whole, the place is a bit dated. But it’s clean! It’s cheap! And you can walk to some of South Lake Tahoe’s favorite restaurants and attractions. Boxes checked.
A brief walk from the Heavenly Village is South Lake Tahoe’s Americana Village. The ultimate home base for a family getaway, each stay comes with a kitchenette and laundry list of amenities.
Free bike rentals, free wifi, free movie rentals and breakfast treats in the morning. Free this, free that, hot tub, heated pool and sauna. They really know how to treat a guest.
The interior is… shall we say nostalgic? But it’s clean and comfortable, with a helpful staff available for anything you might need. For a budget hotel, this place really offers a lot.
Location, amenities, kitchenettes. These three make South Lake Tahoe’s Stardust Lodge a stand out in the budget hotel category.
First off, location. Literal steps away from the Heavenly Village, the Stardust Lodge shares real estate with some of South Lake Tahoe’s most elite accommodations. For half the price.
They pile on the services and amenities too, with free bike rentals in the summer and snowshoes in the winter. There’s a heated pool and hot tub, fitness center, BBQ grills and fire pits. There’s even cookies in the lobby.
And finally, all of the suites—although small and dated—have kitchenettes. We love that.
There it is. The proof you need that cheap is just a state of mind. Price is one thing, but value is another—and these budget-friendly South Lake Tahoe hotels get that.