Planning a trip to South Lake Tahoe and looking for the best place to stay in Tahoe? My husband and I have been to Lake Tahoe twice, and the most recent time we stayed at Station House Inn, a quaint retro hotel restored to modern times. Here’s our Station House Inn review!
South Lake Tahoe Travel Guide
First of all, Lake Tahoe is a very low key town. It’s very local, even though it’s got a few casinos (and a gorgeous lake) that draws in a crowd. Overall though, the town is filled with a mix of down to earth locals who enjoy the outdoors, retired Silicon Valley guys, and fancy vacation homes of the rich on the lake. However, the local, unpretentious atmosphere is what sticks out to me the most (think the opposite of Aspen and Vail).
With that, if you are looking for an authentic experience and stay while you are in Lake Tahoe, look no further than the Station House Inn – whether its summer time or winter. The location is perfectly positioned right in between Heavenly Ski Resort and the lake – with walking distance to both and all of the shopping and restaurants on South Lake Tahoe’s main strip. You can view my detailed South Lake Travel Guide here.
We stayed in the winter for our snowboarding trip to Heavenly. The alpine hotel complemented the winter trip – everything from the all wood lodge to the firepits to warm us up at night. We loved the authentic, 70s feel of the Station House Inn that was restored to modern times.
Most of the hotels in Tahoe are “motel like” – small hotels with doors on the outside of the building 1-2 stories tall. That was no different with the Station House Inn, however this was one of the “larger” hotels (that wasn’t a casino). I’m usually not one to pick this style hotel, but it felt true to Tahoe and I felt 100% safe.
Station House Inn Review – Rooms
All of the rooms at the Station House Inn were recently renovated and had plenty of space for my husband and I for our snowboarding trip. They thought of so many nice touches – from a wall of hooks to hang skis, snowboards, backpacks and overall all the bulky gear. There was a dresser, closet, safe and bench to put our suitcase. Overall, we didn’t feel cramped even with all of our stuff in the hotel room!
The Station House Inn rooms also have mini fridges, but no microwaves. There is a microwave in the main lodge area you can use though, which is so nice for any leftovers! The showers / bathrooms were also updated, and we loved the touches from the wood panelled ceilings to the green tile in the shower.
Station House Inn Review – Lodge
The lodge is what made the hotel for us. Normally, we are keep to yourself type of people, but the authenticity of the cozy lodge attracted us to hang out in there. They have 2 large couches to hang out on with a fireplace and board games, and offer free liberations. The cocktail they had for us every night was a honey scotch drink and surprisingly delicious.
The lodge area is L shaped, and they have another section with a dining table and more couches. They also serve free coffee and a continental breakfast in the morning! A great grab and go option on your way out to the ski slopes in the morning.
Station House Inn Review – Toulouse Restaurant
Toulouse is the restaurant connected to the Station House Inn. We ate here every morning for breakfast, and ended up eating here for dinner 2 nights in a row because 1) we loved it and 2) convenience after a long day out on the slopes. Toulouse really is a hidden gem as it’s off the main strip – you probably won’t have as long as a wait and food is exceptional. Inspired by New Orleans cuisine, there’s everything from authentic gumbo to AMAZING shrimp and grits. I’m pretty particular on grits (sometimes hate them) and I cleaned my whole plate. The next night I had the gumbo and mushroom ravioli and just as delicious. For something unique and flavorful food – add this to your list of restaurants to visit in Tahoe.
Every morning I tried something new for breakfast – my husband said the breakfast burrito was the best he had in his life, the sourdough breakfast sandwich was to die for, and I loved the mushroom asparagus omelette.
SHI – Amenities
In addition to the lodge area, Station House Inn also has an outdoor pool, hot tub, and multiple firepit areas. While we were visiting in winter, we were not able to use the pool or hot tub. I think the hot tub is supposed to be open in the winter, however, with the recent insane amount of snow Tahoe had experienced, it was closed. So the winter may be hit or miss if you’ll be able to use the hot tub.
Station House Inn – Location
Location wise, it’s hard to beat. It’s a better location for summer months than winter months, in my opinion, only because you’re willing to walk farther in warm weather than cold weather. It’s about 2 blocks from the beach and 4 blocks from Heavenly Ski Resort.
You could totally walk to Heavenly (it’s about 10 minutes and .4 miles), but in cold weather and carrying heavy winter gear, we prefer to drive to the base of the gondola instead of walk. Honestly, parking is a lot cheaper in Tahoe than some of the other ski resorts we’ve stayed at – cost about $18. And if you drive to the California base, parking there is free!
Overall, we had a wonderful experience at the Station House Inn and will totally be back!