Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Woodside beachfront cottages on Lake Tahoe
The Franciscan Lakeside Lodge enjoys a fantastic location on the shores of Lake Tahoe in the town of Tahoe Vista. Guests can take advantage of the views and clear water simply by strolling out their doors and heading for the Lodge's private beach. (Some of the Lodge's cottages, though, are located across the street in a forested area.)
There's plenty on-site to offer guests a true Lake Tahoe experience. A new pier, built in 2011, is ideal for a private dip in the lake. And an adjacent grassy area with seating and barbecue grills makes a perfect spot for enjoying the sunset, while a lawn at the rear of the property has a great playground for the kids. The pool is said to be the largest in North Lake Tahoe, but it's only open seasonally (May to October), and there's no Jacuzzi.
Guests should note, though, that staff is only on-site part time, and nighttime needs may require a phone call to an off-site employee.
At Lake Tahoe in Tahoe Vista, 40 miles from the airport
The Franciscan Lakeside Lodge is located in the town of Tahoe Vista at Lake Tahoe, on North Lake Boulevard. Several businesses and restaurants are within walking distance, and a grocery store is within a five-minute drive.
Lake Tahoe is one of the premier four-season destinations in the country, offering a beautiful combination of clear skies, heavy winter snows, and the blue lake waters backed by the picturesque Sierra Nevada Mountains. Tahoe is an outdoor-lover's paradise offering activities such as camping, fishing, kayaking, white-water rafting, rock-climbing, golfing, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and snowboarding.
With winter snow often measuring 300 to 500 inches annually, the ski resorts at Tahoe are among the most reliable and exciting in the country. Known for steep vertical drops, open bowls, and some challenging terrain (along with family-friendly runs), Tahoe's collection of ski resorts draws thousands each winter. Despite the snowy conditions, the area usually gets more than 300 sunny days a year. But because of the snow, a four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended here in winter.
Lake Tahoe is divided across California and Nevada, with 70 percent in California. Because of this, Tahoe is generally spoken of as two distinct areas, North and South Lake Tahoe. South Tahoe is known for its gambling (which is legal in Nevada) and nightlife, while North Tahoe is generally quieter with more of a " mountain personality."
When traveling to the area there are some things to keep in mind: The elevation of the lake is more than 6,000 feet, and the ski resorts surrounding the lake have runs that begin at 10,000 feet. Be careful when engaging in physical activity before acclimating, which usually takes a couple days, as the thin air means the body will need to work harder.
Also, black bears have become a persistent problem around Lake Tahoe. They often break into parked cars and empty buildings looking for food, and are even sophisticated enough to recognize coolers and other signs of food by peering into windows. It's best to remove all food, toiletries, and anything else that may stimulate a bear's keen sense of smell from your vehicle while staying overnight at Tahoe. No locked door or window will stand up to a hungry bear looking for free Cheetos or a sandwich.
Stand-alone cottages with kitchenettes, some great views from lakeside rooms
The Franciscan Lakeside Lodge offers 64 rooms including lakefront, lakeside (not directly on the beach but close), and forest-side (located in the forest across the street) cottages, studios, and one- and two-bedroom units. Most rooms are individually decorated in a consistent "Old Tahoe" style with lodge-pole pine furniture, patchwork quilts, and photos of regional scenery. Don't expect anything fancy here -- across the board, rooms are quintessentially no-frills, lakeside-lodge style.
Located on the shores of Lake Tahoe, the mid-range Franciscan Lakeside Lodge features cozy cottages and rooms in a woodsy, lakefront setting. While some rooms are tucked across the street from the lake in a darker, tree-covered area, the lakefront cottages have excellent views and open to the sandy beach and a private pier where guests can swim and play in privacy. Kitchenettes make dining in (and saving money) easy. And the heated outdoor pool (open seasonally) is said to be the largest in North Lake Tahoe. The downfall? There's no Jacuzzi -- the nearby Cedar Glen Lodge offers one at the same price point.