Olympic Village Inn Rating: 3.0 Pearls
The Olympic Village Inn was built to house athletes during the 1960 winter games held in Squaw Valley and became the first large hotel in the area. The rooms were last updated in the 1980s, but a charming Tyrolean exterior, beautiful grounds, and location near the slopes (the hotel provides a free shuttle) offset the kitschy decor. Balconies and kitchenettes add convenience, and the hotel offers additional amenities such as a large, outdoor heated pool, free bike rentals and snowshow use, and free Wi-Fi and self-parking. The price point is lower than at most other Squaw Valley resorts, and guests will have the novelty factor of saying they stayed in a true Olympics resort.
Franciscan Lakeside Lodge Rating: 3.0 Pearls
Located on the shores of Lake Tahoe, the mid-range Franciscan Lakeside Lodge features cozy cottages and rooms in a woodsy, lakefront setting at a very reasonable price. 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. Though the Larkspur's rooms are more modern, the Franciscan gets the edge for value for its lakeside location.
Larkspur Hotel Truckee Rating: 3.5 Pearls
The mid-range Larkspur Hotel Truckee is close to Northstar-at-Tahoe ski resort and many outdoor recreation attractions at Truckee. The rooms are updated (with the exception of a few relic tube-style TVs), and the feather-mattress beds are super comfortable. A heated outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, free hot breakfast, and popular on-site restaurant offer guests plenty to keep them happy during their stay.