Last month David and I took drove up to Tahoe in search of some snow. I’ve been to Tahoe countless times on ski trips, and some of my fondest childhood memories are of learning to ski at Squaw Valley. While skiing is one of our favorite outdoor activities this time we stayed off the slopes because David’s back is still healing from our recent car accident. I initially missed the thrill of taking the first run of the day over fresh powder, but it was fun to experience Tahoe in a new way through hiking and lots of time spent roasting marshmallows by the fire at the newly redesigned Coachman Hotel.
I first discovered The Coachman through a Vogue article highlighting the most instagrammable new hotels of 2016. While I love Tahoe, I was surprised by Vogue’s mention of a design-forward hotel on the south shore since much of the area is a throwback to Tahoe’s heyday during the 1960’s winter Olympics. Formerly two 1960’s motels constructed to accommodate Olympic guests, the new Coachman is a model for South Lake Tahoe’s impending renaissance. Designed by managing partner Justin Watzka and Brooklyn based firm, Studio Tack, the hotel is inspired by communal European ski lodges with welcoming and expansive common areas where guests can mingle and enjoy delicious amenities such as an unlimited waffle breakfast or s’mores happy hour.
Mornings were spent lingering over a massive breakfast of waffles and lattes and during the sunny afternoon hours we bundled up and got out to explore. Positioned two blocks from the shore of Lake Tahoe and two blocks from Heavenly Village, we were poised to enjoy the best of all Tahoe offers. Just down the street is the entrance to Van Sickle State Park where you can take a short 20 minute hike to a rocky outcrop that affords beautiful views of South Lake Tahoe into Nevada. In the opposite direction, Emerald Bay State Park is only 30 minutes by car, and though we decided not to do the Eagle Lakes hike due to extremely icy paths, there are beautiful views to be had from the Emerald Bay lookout above Vikingsholm (Tahoe’s Secret Castle that you can tour in the summertime.)
We returned each afternoon in time to toast s’mores at the fire pits, enjoy the hotel’s delicious homemade mulled wine, and get absurdly competitive over games of Connect 4 (they have piles of vintage games). Then we’d venture out in search of pizza, or a hot bowl of chili and some local craft beers (Sidellis had a fun, local vibe and a great tasting flight), returning in time to end the evening in the hot tub, wearing our bathing suits and wool beanies.
Thank you to The Coachman Hotel for your warm hospitality and partnering on this post.
Photos by Stacie and David Flinner for stacieflinner.com.