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The Cottage Inn at Lake Tahoe is located in Tahoe City. The establishment is situated next to Lake Tahoe. In 1938, the property was built by a founding family of the area. The owner and staff strive to give guests a comfortable and relaxing stay. They hope visitors can have a romantic experience and make new memories. There are 22 units, each with its own theme and unique name. The property has often been described as rustic and romantic and is considered to have a mature atmosphere. Guests frequently come for honeymoons, anniversaries, and special events. The property is most known for its location and breakfast. The breakfast is included with the stay and is delivered to guests' rooms. Patrons have access to a private beach, and at the main lodge, chairs and towels can be bought or rented out.
The Cottage Inn at Lake Tahoe is a small resort with 22 rooms among eight buildings. The acreage is located next to Lake Tahoe, just 50 feet from the lake's beach. The property has been described as rustic and natural, creating an outdoor atmosphere. Each building is slightly different and was handcrafted by the original owner. Every room has its own unique name and theme. Many of the themes are romantic or rustic in nature. Units have queen or king-sized beds. They come with a private bath stocked with shampoos, soaps, and towels. Rooms also include a television and coffee maker. The most popular rooms are Dream Catcher and Romantic Hideaway. Visitors mainly book these rooms because of the romantic atmosphere and decorations. They are also slightly larger and have a two-person jacuzzi tub. Most rooms accommodate two people; however, a select few rooms have an occupancy of three or four. The Game room is popular among smaller families as it can occupy three people and is a larger room as well.
On the outside of several cabins are small porch spaces where guests can sit outside. Other cabins have larger porches with grills and small tables. Several cottages have views of the lake, while most have views of the surrounding forest. On the premises, there is a small building called the lodge. Occasionally the building is open as a small common area where guests can gather and talk. There is also a seating area where people can eat and lounge in the main cabin and lobby area. Tables with umbrellas are set up on a deck available for visitors. Patrons can purchase beach towels, mugs, paintings, small items, and granola at the same building near the lobby area. Beach chairs are also available for rent. Near the main building is a small pond with a pathway and seating around it where, occasionally, ducks might stop by. Throughout the property are groups of trees where chairs can be set up to provide individuals with a more secluded place to read or chat while on the grounds.
Lake Tahoe is a large attraction for visitors to the area. Patrons have access to a private beach but may also visit other parts of the lake where they make take boats, kayaks, and canoes. Surrounding the lake on the west side are various hiking trails guests may choose to explore. Squaw Peak, palisades, and alpine meadows are near the property and offer hiking, biking trails, and other outdoor activities. During the winter months, Squaw Peak has a ski resort and areas to snowshoe. There are multiple options for dining close to the establishment. Spoon is a restaurant that only serves dinner, and Fire Sign Cafe serves breakfast and lunch. Sunny Side is also popular among guests, and there is a small market where people can buy groceries and other foods. Near the market is a rental business for boats, kayaks, paddleboards, tubes, and bicycles visitors can rent for use on the lake.
The owner and staff strive to give guests a memorable experience and a romantic getaway for couples, hoping to help them leave behind the stress and cares of the world. The owner has mentioned that guests are often surprised when they first come to the property. Many of the individuals who stay at the inn frequently comment on the breakfast at the property and on the access to the beach. One particular guest mentioned, "Cozy and comfortable rooms. Set up really well and had great service from the folks running it. The private beach access is awesome." Another visitor mentioned, "The food was delicious. Rather than a buffet, you look at a list of breakfast items and choose what you'd like to eat each morning. There is food within walking distance, and the private beach is a great place to watch the sunrise."
Breakfast is served between 7:30 to 9:30 am. Much of the food is homemade, and ingredients are locally purchased. Breakfast generally includes pastries, egg dishes, granola and yogurt, fruit served along with milk and juice. Meals are brought to each cabin and packaged in a box. Egg quiche and chili red casserole are popular dishes among patrons. Breakfast is sent to rooms to help guests have a more romantic setting during their stay.
Those who come to the property are typically couples. Ages vary, but patrons often come to celebrate honeymoons, anniversaries, and other special occasions. Children are not allowed on the property under the age of 12, as the property has a mature atmosphere and is generally considered to be a retreat. Smoking is also not permitted inside the cabins or outside on the premises due to fire safety. Pets are also not allowed on the property to help guests feel safe and comfortable. The staff makes an effort to help visitors take advantage of the area and occasionally they recommend activities and places to eat in the area. Interaction happens as often as patrons want or need, to help give them the experience they desire. The property is open year-round but is typically busiest during the summer and winter months for the fair weather and the skiing and winter activities in the area.
The Cottage Inn at Lake Tahoe was originally constructed in 1938. The inn was founded by one of the original families in the area. The family that built the property is considered one of the founding families of Tahoe City by those who live in the area. The property was originally built for those passing by. In later years it became a retreat and was used more by couples for honeymoons. Over time the property fell under new management, and more buildings were added to the property. Kelly Lutrell managed the property for 22 years and continued to build relationships with guests in the area. Over the years, management has strived to keep and update modern amenities, hoping to give guests the best experience. Some of the original themes to rooms are still used and some décor has changed, but much of the cabin is still original.