Renting a vacation home in Lake Tahoe vs. booking a hotel

If you are thinking of booking a trip to Lake Tahoe, you will find no shortage of places to stay. From casinos to boutique hotels to vacation rentals of all shapes and sizes, you may find yourself overwhelmed by all the options. Really, you shouldn’t need a vacation after trying to book your vacation, but sometimes it may feel that way. If you are on the fence with whether to book a hotel room or vacation home in Lake Tahoe, read below for some of the perks that come with choosing a vacation rental.

More bang for your buck

When picking a vacation home over a hotel room in the United States, you are getting more square footage and typically at a cheaper rate than a night stay in a hotel or casino. After all, the average size of a hotel room is 400 sqft with an average cost of $118.  A condo that sleeps 6 is on average 3 times the size of a hotel room and can be snagged for roughly $100 a night.

You save money on food

When you rent a vacation home, you have access to a full sized kitchen with all the tools and supplies to whip up a culinary delight. Of course while on vacation, you will want to eat out for a meal or two, but if you are feeding a large crew, especially after a busy day on the slopes or the hiking trail, that kitchen will save hundreds of dollars potentially spent on eating out. We read one report that states the average cost of eating out per person while on vacation in the U.S. is $30. We feel that after tax and tip, it is most likely a bit more than that  for Lake Tahoe, but if you add up $30 for say 3 people-that is $90 a day just on food. After multiple days, you are looking at a big chunk of moola that could be otherwise saved or spent on lift tickets, boat cruises or souvenir shopping. Let us also factor in that if you have any food allergies in the group, you can rest assured when cooking at home that there will be no last minute trips to the emergency room or doctor’s office.

Laundry Services are free

Spills happen, and when you only have a limited amount of your wardrobe at your disposal, it is nice to be able to wash clothing in a timely manner and without extra cost to you. When staying at a home, you have access to a washer and dryer. When staying at a hotel, you have to pay extra for the laundry services or take time out of your vacation to go hang out at a laundry mat. When traveling with children, this feature alone is worth its weight in gold. Plus, how nice is it to pack clean clothes before you leave so you don’t have to worry about laundry when you get home?

Entertainment is free

Since most homes come with TV’s, DVD’s, game consoles and more, you can have a relaxing day watching a movie without having to add on an extra $10-$15 to your bill. In a hotel room, you are looking at an almost 200% markup for 90 minutes of that box office hit.

 No Hidden fees

Before you rent a vacation home, the cost is laid out for you on a contract that you sign, including deposits and cleaning fees. In fact, most of these expenses can be found online before you even make the call to Pinnacle Lake Tahoe Getaways to book your Lake Tahoe vacation rental. At a hotel, you have the entertainment costs, internet costs, valet and room services (don’t forget about the tips in addition to the base price!) as well as other little additional costs that generally add up quickly and with little warning.

You get to live like a local

When renting a vacation home, you get the true Lake Tahoe experience by seeing how the locals live. You get access to the perks of whatever neighborhood you choose to stay in such as trails out your back door, a quick walk to the lake, first chair at Heavenly’s California lodge or first come, first serve at the popular brunch spot that is right next door. You may even strike up a conversation with neighbors that give you more local tips you wouldn’t find out from the hotel.

To get more information on vacation rentals in Lake Tahoe, visit or call us at 1-866-407-0245.

Questions to ask when booking a Lake Tahoe vacation rental

What is your cancellation policy?

Life happens. Weather, a family emergency and many more scenarios can put a hold on vacation plans, or cancel them altogether. Before booking a vacation home for rent, it is advisable to find out what the cancellation policy is. It will be covered in the contract you sign, but so many people don’t pay attention to the fine print, it is a good idea to get a heads up of what is expected of you if something causes you to cancel last second. Plus, it is always nice to know how much of the deposit you lose, if you can book a new date and more in this situation.

How do you check in?

This may seem silly, but many people don’t factor in what happens if they arrive late or after hours. You also want to make sure there is a secure location for you to pick up the key. Many owners use lock boxes or keyless entry codes, but if a key needs to be exchanged, it is a good idea to figure out how exactly you are going to get in.

How many keys do we get?

If your Lake Tahoe vacation home does not come with a keyless entry code or lock box, it is good to know the answer to this. If you are traveling with a large group that has varied interests in activities, you will want to know ahead of time how the key situation will work so you can designate who gets a key and have a back up plan for entry when all of you want to go separate places.

How many cars are allowed?

This is an important one in Lake Tahoe. Vacation Homes in Lake Tahoe cap how many cars can park at the property based on the size of the driveway. If you’re traveling with a big party of people, you will need to figure out the car situation ahead of time so asking how many cars you can have at a property is incredibly important.

What happens in the event that something breaks or there is an issue?

Make sure to find out who to call to report an issue ahead of time. As we stated above, life happens. After continual use, household items can break. Ask during the booking who you can call in the event that you need maintenance help.

How does cleaning work?

This topic always seems to be an issue for some folks. As every home has a different cleaning policy, you will want to find out what the policy is of the home you are renting. Does the price include cleaning, is there an extra cleaning fee, are there things expected of you before you leave the property? What happens in the event that the home is left exceptionally dirty and you are unable to clean before you leave for varying circumstances? It is a good idea to find out the answers to these questions before you arrive.

What equipment is available for use within the home?

Some homes come fully equipped with baby gear, recreational toys and more all for the benefit of the guests. Find out ahead of time what is on site so you know what to pack and what you can use upon arrival.

What activities are nearby?

Most homes are in close proximity to ski resorts, trails, beaches and activities, but it is a good idea to find out what is nearby if you have something specific in mind. Make sure to double check ski resort closing dates if you are planning a spring ski trip.

If you have more questions, feel free to visit us at or call us at 1-866-407-0245.

Packing Tips: What not to forget and how to prepare if you do

Packing is a lot like life. Everyone has a different method. Some methods cause you to shake your head in wonder while others leave you seriously impressed. No matter how prepared you are for your Lake Tahoe Getaway, chances are something is going to get left behind. Most likely, this something will be something you need, bordering on “can’t live without”. We have been in the business of Lake Tahoe vacation rentals for some time now, so read on for our pack hacks.

Stash an extra charger in the carry on

One of the most forgotten packing items is the phone charger. AKA: The life line. With a phone being so much more than just a phone these days, realizing that you left your charger at home while on vacation could send anyone into a panic. However, there are preventative measures for this forgotten item. We asked how some folks prevent this kind of leave behind and got a couple of responses back. The most common response is putting your charger in your purse, carry on or suitcase as soon as you wake up on the morning of travel. This goes for more than just phones too. In fact, one response we got back was putting all your chargers (tablets, laptops and handheld game devices) in a large Ziploc bag so they are all in the same spot.  Luckily, we have a Radio Shack and a Kmart in the middle of town, making it easy to get a new one if all efforts fail or you lose your charger in transit.

Scan important documents to your email

We have all heard the horror story about the person who had their identification stolen (or misplaced) while on vacation. This is a nightmare regardless, but if you are traveling to Lake Tahoe from out of the country, this can ruin your vacation completely. Prior to leaving, scan copies of birth certificates, passports, driver’s license and insurance cards to your email address as well as to your traveling companions. Also, carry physical copies in the off chance you won’t be able to access your emails and need to have proof of identity. Hopefully you will not need to use the backups, but if you do, this will make things a lot easier when getting them replaced.

Use the pillbox

Whether you need your prescription meds, that daily multi or herbal supplements, use the daily pillbox. Sometimes it can seem like a hassle to organize them all before you leave, after all, you can remember to throw them in with the toiletry bag (another commonly left behind item), why should you organize them by day. This is all great and dandy, but what if you forget your health must haves at your home or at your Lake Tahoe vacation rental? Taking the time to sort these ahead of time and then toss in your suit case or carry on allows you to cross this portion of your packing off the list days in advance.

Don’t forget the toiletries

Deodorant, tooth paste, shampoo and makeup are some of the most commonly forgotten items when packing for vacation. You need these items the day of departure, preventing you from packing ahead of time. Several Lake Tahoe vacation rentals come equipped with these items; however, it is always a good to pack the mini sized versions of toiletries into your carry on. You never know when a flight will be delayed or you have to take a detour en-route to Lake Tahoe.

Always pack a coat & your swimwear, no matter what time of year.

Yes, you read that correctly. Whether it is winter or summer, be prepared with clothing items for both hot and cold weather. Even if the vacation home you are renting in Lake Tahoe doesn’t have a hot tub, there are other places where you can use your swim suit. Nephele’s on Ski Run rents out Hot Tubs for use to the public, not to mention several of the casinos and spas have indoor water options. In the summer, bring one cold weather outfit. This is an alpine beach town, which means it can be 80 degrees during the day, but dip down to 40 at night. Not to mention, long time locals can confirm that we have seen snow during summer months too. Yes friends, snow in July in California can happen. Be prepared regardless of what the weather forecast tells you.

For more ideas on packing tips, follow us on Pinterest and always be sure to ask your Pinnacle Lake Tahoe Getaway agent what amenities your Lake Tahoe Vacation home comes equipped with.

5 Winter Activities You Must Do During Your Lake Tahoe Getaway

If this is your first trip to Lake Tahoe, or your first trip in a very long time, you may need some ideas on some “Not To Be Missed” activities from a local. After all, most of the Lake Tahoe locals were visitors for the first time at one point. In fact, we did a little research and asked around the office about first trips to the area and what the perceptions were. Our marketing associate told us about how her first trip was for a family wedding and she honestly had no clue that there was life past the Casinos. Once she came back and visited a local friend, she got to do Lake Tahoe the “local way” and was hooked. She moved to the Jewel of the Sierra a year later. You may not have the option to move, but you certainly can experience our home in the same way we do every day by making sure you add a few of these activities to your list.

Do the gondola

You don’t ski or snowboard? No problem! The Gondola has an observation deck at the top that gives you the BEST view of the entire lake. Since we get roughly 274 days of sunny blue skies a year, chances are you will see stunning snowcapped mountains encircling the 22 mile long lake under a solid blue sky. People that live here year round stop and take photos of the view from the top, you should definitely do the same.

If it just dropped feet of snow, go outside and play

You are probably thinking “Umm, but the snow is up to me knees!” Yes, we know. One thing you should know about Tahoe is that it is a dry atmosphere with low humidity. Which means even when it is cold, it is still tolerable. The snow is also typically dry and fluffy, which means getting around is pretty easy. Bundle up, and go for a walk to the lake if it is nearby, or simply walk around the neighborhood. Right after a heavy snow fall, the town has this magical energy you don’t want to miss.

Now go back inside

Take off those snow clothes, mix up a hot toddy, get the fireplace going and get out the deck of cards, a board game or fire up that Netflix. If you have a hot tub, add that to the list too. We know we are surrounded by endless outdoor activities, but sometimes, especially after a long day on the slopes, nothing sounds better than relaxing indoors while mother nature does her thing outside.

Go watch live music

A majority of the local restaurants here have live music nightly, or at the very least on a Friday or Saturday night. If you crave pizza, head on over to Base Camp Pizza in the Heavenly Village. They offer music every day and it is the ultimate Lake Tahoe experience. Inside you will find décor resembling an actual base camp, delicious drinks served out of mason jars and some of the most delicious pizza around the lake. Outside, you can listen to live music bundled up under heat lamps and blankets provided by the restaurant. If you want a different food fare, try the Fresh Ketch down at Tahoe Keys Marina. You can get everything from steak to crab legs and the location right on the marina allows you to watch the sun go down over the boats. If tacos are more your thing, try Riva Grill on a Friday night. Ike & Martin (vote Tahoe’s Best Band two years running) play every Friday night, there are raffles and prizes, along with yummy food beyond the tacos. The best part is, Riva is right on the lake giving you a front row view of that big body of water we love so much.

Go for a drive

As long as road conditions are clear and Hwy 89 is open, you must drive around the lake. While South Lake Tahoe is the biggest town around the lake, there are several more little towns and areas, all of which encompassing their own vibe and atmosphere. If you get a wild hair, drive the extra 15 minutes to Truckee. Downtown Truckee has an awesome strip of restaurants, bars and boutiques. Be sure to get out and walk around at each stop you make. Whether it is a different photography angle of the lake or the best cup of coffee you have ever had, each town along the way has something worth stopping for.

For more ideas of what to do and local tips, ask your Pinnacle Lake Tahoe Getaway agent or visit

1200W10-Tahoe Retreat-Wildwood Condo-2 Bedroom Cabin Feel

Tahoe Mountain Charm throughout this two bedroom condo. This condo complex is conveniently located close to Heavenly, the Casinos, Ski Run Beach and Marina and all the wonderful restaurants and activities (summer farmer’s market) along Ski Run Blvd. Enter into a cozy living room with flat screen tv, freestanding fireplace, dining area that seats 6 and a very well equipped kitchen. Downstairs also has a half bath with laundry (washer/dryer). Upstairs features two spacious bedrooms and full bath (remodeled, granite and tile). The first bedroom has a King bed and wall mounted flat screen. The second bedroom is perfect for the kids, double bed and twin bunk beds, TV, DVD, VCR and lots of movies to watch. The complex has charcoal bbq’s in the open area. Bedroom 1: King Bed Bedroom 2: Double Bed, Twin Bunks City Of South Lake Tahoe Permit # 102461

Pinnacle Lake Tahoe Getaways Located at
3045 Harrison Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA.
Phone: 866-407-0245