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“A Heavenly Alternative for South Lake Tahoe”

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Basecamp South Lake Tahoe
Ranked #11 of 66 Hotels in South Lake Tahoe
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
56 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“A Heavenly Alternative for South Lake Tahoe”
Reviewed 1 April 2014

I love this place, from concept to (for the most part) the execution. As others have said, what they have done is take an old 50s era motel and basically gut it and turn it into a great boutique property. But boutique might imply some sort of pretentiousness, which I don't mean to do. By boutique I mean unique, special, individual with great care to detail. All the way down to the carpet, which when you look at it actually looks like wood.

The staff is awesome with a special shout out to Daniel and Satchel. I was impressed from before I even arrived as since they had a cancellation they contacted me to see if i would be interested. They even offered me a discount (even tho it was sold out that night). Great start.

The rooms are very comfortable. The beds are soooo comfortable. The only thing I might add is a nice reading chair to the King rooms. The balcony rooms are terrific with views and have a nice Adirondack chair. I love the bathroom amenities and - and I know this is a small thing - I really like the shower dispensers instead of little bottles, as it seems much more ecologically friendly to me.

The best part though to me is the effort they've put in to creating a communal feel. Get people out of the rooms to meet other people and have fun. They have a great happy hour at their intimate bar. On Saturday night there were probably 20 of us meeting and drinking and having a great time. Then out of nowhere, in front of me appeared a DELICIOUS bowl of stew, that they had made and just brought out for me. It was DELICIOUS and just a great touch!

In terms of being communal, I met a GREAT family that was out for Spring break from Florida. We talked every day, the sons all go to Florida. This is to me is what make life and travel great. We've become friends - what a great plus from a trip!

The deck hot tub is awesome and at night the stars are so bright and the cool mountain air... it's heaven.

My hope is that the other small motels in this area follow their lead. Not because I want them to have competition but because I think a rising tide lifts all boats. If this area can be turned into a "district" it will thrive.

This is a terrific alternative to the big hotels or to the cheap motels. It was filled with fun people, both young and old... adventurers, free spirits etc... I may be waxing poetic here, but it's just so nice to experience this type of place with the added bonus of being in one of the world's most spectacular settings.

Room Tip: Pay a little extra and get a balcony room. You get a nice view and the light is great.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ken M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (119)
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2014

When we initially arrived at Basecamp, I was skeptical. The former motel has been gutted and completely renovated, which is good. But despite the renovation it's still a motel, which is not where we typically stay when traveling.

The pros are: central location, comfortable beds, fireplace, a nice (and helpful) staff, the firepit, the intimate bar setting and overall a very laid-back vibe.

The cons are: it's a motel- rooms open to the outside, small rooms (which is OK if you're focus is to ski), intermittently our fireplace did not work- but the staff addressed this right away. The breakfast is just OK; but then again, it's free!

Overall, if you're looking for an affordable place with a great staff and you don't care about having some of the typical amenities a hotel would provide (fridge in-room, etc), this is an excellent find at the perfect location.

We really enjoyed the staff - they were very helpful, friendly and never seemed annoyed when we had a problem (as so many hotels do these days).

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LizelMono
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda J, General Manager at Basecamp South Lake Tahoe, responded to this review, 2 April 2014
Dear LizelMono,

Thanks for the great review! I'm happy to hear you enjoyed so many aspects of our hotel. Transforming Basecamp from it's former life as a motel was certainly a labor or of love! Please keep in mind that we will be expanding the hotel this spring to include several new rooms equipped with microwaves and fridges along with a beer garden and other cool new spaces for our guests to enjoy. Be sure to check it out later this summer!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2014

We stayed here for only one night and fell in love. The location was perfect, the rooms were wonderful. They're relatively small, but we live in San Francisco so space wasn't an issue for us. We had a room with a fireplace and got the greatest night of sleep! Other guests' noise wasn't an issue for us since we had the fans provided in the room on the entire night due to our over-indulgence of the fire place. This hotel is perfect for couples, friends, even solo. It is structured in such a way so that it's very easy to meet other travelers, but also small enough so that you can enjoy a quiet weekend without talking to other guests if that is more your speed.

In the morning when we checked out, we had the pleasure of having a 30 minute conversation with one of the owners of the hotel who shared his story with us and that really put the cherry on top of our stay. Their attention to detail is unrivaled and we ended up leaving with a couple of souvenir beer mugs and have ordered some items from the artist who is in charge of most of the prints seen throughout the hotel. The owner pointed us to an incredibly delicious (and healthy) cafe for breakfast on our way out of town, Sprouts. The coffee was out at the time, so he made us a couple of lattes to go - free of charge!

My only regret was that we didn't get to partake in the delicious group dinner. We weren't aware of the policy to order by 3pm in order to be included, so we will definitely make sure to order ahead next time! The staff was really nice and pointed us in the direction of Basecamp Pizza (not affiliated) and we had a delicious dinner complete with live music, so no complaints!

Room Tip: We had a second floor room with a fireplace. Check the website to see the different rooms available...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Cristina S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2014

Stayed here one night in March. I like the concept of reworking a basic motel with more upscale amenities and furnishings, but the place was just a bit too contrived for my liking. I did like the decor, the room was clean and the bed was very comfortable. It would have been nice if they had invested some money in soundproofing the walls, as we could hear every word of our upstairs neighbors' conversation. The hot tub needed a thorough cleaning. The guy who checked us in was not friendly or helpful, and when we asked where we could find restaurants with vegan options, he acted like we had insulted his mother and as if being vegan in 2014 was absolutely unheard of. The morning front desk staff was much cheerier. The morning breakfast was quite picked over though, with no one apparently working to replenish things like hot water and sugar. A little soy milk or something would have been nice, too. We were surprised that the town was pretty much shut down by 9 pm on a saturday night. Basically, Base Camp is a cute concept, but as a kind of big fish in a small pond, I got the sense they didn't feel the need to ensure that every guest had a great experience.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jaimeir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda J, General Manager at Basecamp South Lake Tahoe, responded to this review, 28 March 2014
Dear Vgntravlr,

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts about your recent stay. Though I'm glad you enjoyed your room, I'm terribly sorry to hear the rest of your stay seemed to fall short. Please know that we did install new, high quality doors, windows and insulation in an effort to minimize noise when the property was initially renovated in June of 2012. It is also our policy to check chemical levels in the hot tub three times daily and drain and clean it three times weekly. I am very disappointed that the service you received from the staff was inconsistent. We pride ourselves on creating a warm, inviting atmosphere for our guests, although we clearly missed the mark here with you. I wish we would have known you preferred soy milk as do have some available, and we are always happy to accommodate requests whenever possible. I do hope you will consider giving us another chance the next time your travels bring you our way.
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Northampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
93 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2014 via mobile

We stayed here for 8 nights. Just returned to the uk today. The hotel was great, yes a fridge would have been useful, however you can get coffee at any time in the breakfast area and this time of year the beer stayed cool on the balcony for a while at night. A glass or 2 in the room would have been nice to enjoy a wine. The breakfast was perfect, for most of the week we were only joined by 1 or 2 people, it did get busy at the weekend. They still managed to keep it stocked up. It's a little walk to the gondala which is ok as you can rent a locker for $8 a day to put your boots so you can carry skis and ski boots and change at the gondala.
The rooms are large and the beds so comfortable. We also had a nice balcony which on the one day we didnt ski the sun was there most of the day. You can also walk easily to the lake, which was beautiful this time of year.

We had a great stay and all the staff were helpful. The only suggestion is to maybe put an info card in the room as we didn't see about the s'mores until we checked out.

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank claudine h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda J, General Manager at Basecamp South Lake Tahoe, responded to this review, 26 March 2014
Dear Claudine H,

Thank you for the great review! I'm glad you enjoyed the room and got to soak up a little sun on the balcony. We have definitely had our share of beautiful spring skiing weather lately! I'm sorry to hear you missed out on s'mores during your stay. We have taken your recommendation about info cards to heart, and our team is already busy creating some great reference material to place in the rooms. Also, please keep in mind we will be adding rooms equipped with microwaves and fridges later this summer, so be sure to ask about them the next time you're traveling through!
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Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 March 2014

Excellent, simple design creates a really easy yet sophisticated atmosphere. Ideally located, super chill staff who put on beer tasting and emit generally friendly vibes. The common area is cool and relaxed and the rooms are super clean and stylish. Best value in Tahoe

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rachel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
111 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2014

We were planning a ski trip and booked Basecamp based on the great reviews on Tripadvisor and good prices on Hotels.com.

Conveniently located, near the casinos (next to Harvey's) and across the road from Heavenly Village, the hotel was easy to find. There's some construction going on across the road, so not the best view. It looks like most of the motels from the outside, but the lobby and room are very cozy and modern at the same time. Check in was easy. They charge $100 deposit which they take off when you check out. I had called for a room with a microwave and fridge, as it was mentioned that they could be requested, but apparently it's a $15 charge. They can fill up your cooler with ice.

The standard king room was spacious and had nice decorations to make it look more homey. The bed was comfortable on the more firm side. It only came with 2 soft pillows, so we got 2 extra pillows. There was plenty of closet space as well as as long desk and bench to put things on. The bathroom had a shower stall only, but the water was hot and the pressure was good. It had shampoo, conditioner and body wash that were decent quality. The sink had enough counter space and a hair dryer was provided. The heat worked well and there's a ceiling fan as well. Wifi connection seemed good. The walls and floors are a bit a thin, though, so you can hear people walking around with their boots. We stayed in the section further away from the lobby and the stairs were narrow and hallways weren't very well lit at night, so be careful.

The lobby was nice with couches that you can relax on and watch TV. The dining section is also part of the lobby, with a large communal table and 3 smaller tables in the bar area (beer and wine during happy hour). Breakfast was decent - small bagels, fruit, pastries, yogurt, granola, and oatmeal. Condiments included jam, peanut butter, cream cheese, as well as raisins and brown sugar for the oatmeal. There was tea and coffee, which you can also get during the day along with hot chocolate (There was a $2 charge during breakfast, but no charge in the afternoon/evening). They have the fire pit going outside so you can warm up in the afternoon/evening. The hot tub on top of the lobby building was nice after a day of skiing.

There was one staff member who seemed to have an attitude with us during part of our stay. It seemed that every time we asked for something (hot chocolate, ice, etc.) he acted as if we were inconveniencing him. Luckily the person who we had during check in was much nicer, especially since we were only staying for 1 night!

Pros: location, decoration, room comfort
Cons: some unfriendly staff, charge for microwave/fridge, no coffee maker in room, narrow stairs and dark hallways

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ltsao01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda J, General Manager at Basecamp South Lake Tahoe, responded to this review, 19 March 2014
Dear Itsao01,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences from your recent stay! I'm happy to hear you enjoyed our convenient location, decor, cozy lobby and communal spaces. We currently offer one suite that is equipped with a microwave and mini refrigerator, though we are happy to put them in any room upon request for a one time $15.00 charge, based on availability. Please know we are also getting ready to begin an expansion project for the hotel that will allow us to offer additional rooms already equipped with microwaves and fridges later this summer. The construction across the street is also expected to be completed this summer, which is exciting as it will offer several new shopping and dining options within easy walking distance of the hotel. I was disappointed to hear that you had an issue with a staff member as we certainly never want our guests to feel like an inconvenience. Please accept my apologies, and I hope you will keep us in mind the next time you're in Tahoe!
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Additional Information about Basecamp South Lake Tahoe

Property: Basecamp South Lake Tahoe
Address: 4143 Cedar Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150-6952 (Formerly Basecamp Hotel)
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Lake Tahoe (California) > South Lake Tahoe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in South Lake Tahoe
#7 Romantic Hotel in South Lake Tahoe
#8 Business Hotel in South Lake Tahoe
#12 Family Hotel in South Lake Tahoe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Basecamp South Lake Tahoe 2.5*
Number of rooms: 74
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Basecamp South Lake Tahoe is a hotel built for exploring the incredible lakes, trails and mountains that the Lake Tahoe Basin has to offer. Basecamp combines the comforts of a great hotel with the sense of adventure and community found at a an expedition base camp. Basecamp is located in the heart of South Lake Tahoe, steps from the mountain and minutes walk from the lake. Become an instant local at Basecamp. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Block Hotel South Lake Tahoe
Block Hotel Lake Tahoe
Block Lake Tahoe

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