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“Clean and affordable basic option”
Review of Emerald Bay Lodge

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Emerald Bay Lodge
Ranked #57 of 65 Hotels in South Lake Tahoe
Reviewed 13 August 2012

As others have pointed out, this place isn't luxurious, but it was sufficient. The owners seem to really try to make it as nice as possible. I liked that they used quilts instead of those nasty bedspreads at most cheap motels, and the breakfast pastries were fresh from a local bakery - very nice! We got the best rate by phone when I called 4 days before our trip. Only one hitch: when we arrived to check in, he couldn't find my reservation. Finally located it and the person who booked it made for 2 nights a WEEK later. He was about to tell me they were booked, but then said he had a cancellation for our one night, so we got a different room and a $20 discount. He also pointed out that room 17 has an air conditioner and not all of them do. So you'll definitely want to ask about that when you book if it's going to be warm in Tahoe.

We chose this motel because it's close to the bike path to ride up to Camp Richardson and the historic parks. They also are lucky to have restaurants in walking distance - Alpina is a great little coffee and breakfast place, the Irish pub looked like a happening place Friday night, there's a Mexican cantina nearby, and the Burger Lounge across the street from the motel is fantastic.

Things to be aware of before booking here: mostly queen sized beds, and ours was kind of hard and had a weird hill on one side; thin walls and without an A/C you'll have to keep your window open to the noise of the parking area; maybe because it was warm or a lot of younger people stay here, there seemed to be a lot of people still outside kind of late. They weren't obnoxious, but just talking and such. Because of its age, the heater is the wall type that will likely be noisy in the winter. It's not close to the lake; you'll have to drive, walk, or ride bikes (but they do rent bikes and kayaks for only $20 a day!).

Bottom line: when other area motels are charging $180 for a peak summer night, you can get a room here for closer to $100 - if you want simple accommodations, it's worth a try.

Room Tip: Ask for air conditioning if it's a warm summer.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank travelingWise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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22 - 28 of 36 reviews

Reviewed 26 July 2012

As long as you are don't need luxury, this is the best deal in South Lake Tahoe. The motel is located about 2 miles from Camp Richardson and the Beacon which is a great place to hang out, listen to music and enjoy the spectacular lake. The rooms at the motel are small but they are clean and functional. There is a small swimming pool, ping pong table and outdoor firepit which is nice for evening get-togethers. My only complaint is that the lights outside each room are on all night and there are no 'black-out' curtains on the windows.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank NorCal50Something
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2012

Bear in mind I'm not saying this is a five-star hotel (obviously), but for the money this place was legit. As a student I'm usually scraping the bottom of the piggy bank to do anything other than sleep and study.

Girlfriend and I came up to Tahoe for New Years this time around. As usual she took a while to get ready, and we were already driving up from the bay area. Finally she comes out and announces she's ready to go, and we head out around 7 PM.

We get to the Pine Cone Acre about quarter to 11 on Dec 30th. It was late as hell. Luckily, the neon sign said open and the lights were still on. Unluckily, the service window was closed and there wasn't a soul around. We knocked but there was no answer.

Losing hope we called the phone and left a message, telling them we were outside.

Success! A sleepy looking dude comes to the window and says that if we were two minutes later he wouldn't have heard the call. I think he was just being polite and got had just gotten out of bed and put on a friendly face to help out a couple young people get a warm bed. He was a nice guy, very informative and helpful. He told us that the place was full of college kids attending SnowGlobe and we let him know that was our agenda as well.

Room was clean and cozy. Heater was off the chain and the shower water was instantly warm. I don't go on vacation to watch TV, but if that's your thing they have all your usual cable channels. Wifi reception was strong, no problems there. No fridge, but that was the only downside.

We had unfortunately already booked another hotel for the next couple nights (long story) and lamented that we had to leave the great Pine Cone Acre.

The only reason I can think of why the rates are low is because not too many people know about it. It's past the right turn folks take onto Lake Tahoe Boulevard off of Highway 50. But in terms of location my GF and I had no complaints.

I'll be staying here every time I come to Tahoe.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2011

Our family of 5 stayed here one night en route to Yosemite from Sacramento. Location was good and we stayed above the motel office in a family room that could sleep 6. Room was basic but comfy with modern en suite bathroom. Aircon was noisy and ineffective though. Proximity to restaurants was good. We chose the nearby Mexican which was really good and very popular with locals. Pool was a little small and too full of children for us to use.Not bad for the money though.

  • Stayed: August 2011
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Thank Cream_Crackered_Dad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2011

This is an amazing Motel. It is very clean and has a nice cozy feel to it. The people who work here are very kind. We were here during a blizzard and the heater blew out, and the guy that was shoveling the snow came in and fixed it in the middle of his work! Don't listen to all those bad reviews. Those are people who are used to staying in 4 star hotels. This is a very nice and cozy place. We have come here once before and absolutely loved it. If you have to choose a place to stay, come here!!!

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank brymche
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2011

I've stayed here at least 4X in the last two years, so I think I have a pretty good sample:

Here are the reasons for the title of my review (top value in tahoe):

-price
-location (quiet -minimal road noise, walking distance to Burger Lounge, Cantina, 7/11)
-VERY RECENT refurbished rooms, so lots of new carpet, bedding, paint, and such; anything else in this price range I know about is lesser quality. It's not fancy new, but no worn-out beds that have some pit to China in the middle or broken edges and such.

Room size is small, but ample, the heater works, the TVs are not new but work.

There is one thing that has bugged me about this place (even since the remodel) is the window coverings; they are blinds and not drapes, so they let some light in, especially from the outside light next to the door (which I unscrew). Last time I got snowed in by 3-feet of powder and had to shovel my way out in the morning to ski; there are worse things that can happen. But even given this one moderate imperfection, I would rate it as the top value in South Lake.

This is not the place to stay if you are going to the casinos - it is the place to stay if you want to be away from them.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled solo
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1  Thank PhD86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tahoeillinois, General Manager at Emerald Bay Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 May 2011

We appreciate you staying at Pine Cone Acre Motel in S. Lake Tahoe! Thank you for your "Review" on Trip Advisor!

Call us anytime ~ We love your business!

Prudie Donner
530-541-0375

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2010

this place is great! very cosy, cheap and has great coffee! and the staff could'nt do enough for us, Katie who gave us a great deal when we booked in and she really made our trip perfect, our room (i think we had room 3) had a really nice cosy cabin feel to it, and the staff make you feel so welcome, we only had 3nights there but wish we had more.
Avoid the Irish bub next door, there very rude! and if you go to the casinos take you passport they dont accept uk driving licenses, and make sure you check out Angora Lake a really hidden gem

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank dean_ross8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Emerald Bay Lodge

Address: 735 Emerald Bay Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150-6500 (Formerly Pine Cone Acre Motel)
Region: United States > California > Lake Tahoe (California) > South Lake Tahoe
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #57 of 65 Hotels in South Lake Tahoe
Price Range: £82 - £160 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Emerald Bay Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our recently renovated rooms were designed with you in mind. We offer all the amenities needed to feel right at home. Located just a short drive from beautiful Emerald Bay, one of the most photographed spots in the world. Maybe you have come to take advantage of our hiking trails, bike paths, ski slopes, beaches, night life, Lake Tahoe has it all. If you prefer a much slower pace what better place, surrounded by pine trees you can rest, relax and rejuvenate here at Emerald Bay Lodge.  The absolute best Personal Care Amenities  Flat panel TVs  Free Wi-Fi access  Microwave and fridge  Kitchenette units available  Daily housekeeping service  Complimentary bike use (summer season)  Breakfast basket, filled with yummy treats  Pet friendly Upscale amenities, quiet location and personalized service make Emerald Bay Lodge the place to be. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pine Cone Acre Hotel South Lake Tahoe

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