Adventurers often stay at camps while exploring the great outdoors, especially in California’s Lake Tahoe. But many people love to explore the locale with the comfort of an indoor stay. That’s why entrepreneurs Neils Cotter and Christian Strobel opened their hotel for the adventurous: Basecamp South Lake Tahoe.
Located near North America’s largest alpine lake, the hotel offers high-end accommodation for affordable prices. With 15 of its 74 cabin-chic rooms containing bunk beds, Basecamp South Lake Tahoe combines a hostel-like atmosphere with creativity and cozy charm.
Christian Strobel and Neils Cotter have since opened two more Basecamp Hotels locations in Tahoe City, California, and Boulder, Colorado. Each Basecamp Hotel blends the spirit of exploration with a boutique hotel stay.
Creating Basecamp South Lake Tahoe
Since 2012, adventure seekers visiting South Lake Tahoe have traded tents for a comfortable stay — without having to pay a fortune. Neils Cotter and Christian Strobel opened Basecamp South Lake Tahoe to merge the friendly, communal atmosphere of a ski house with the amenities and luxuries of a hotel.
They deconstructed the original building, which was the old Block Hotel on Cedar Avenue. With just the foundation and framing left, they enlisted Neils Cotter’s wife Elaine, who is also a designer, to transform this building into a stylish hotel.
Christian Strobel and the Cotters arranged for the full remodel and eco-conscious fixtures. The redesign prioritized sustainable building techniques and materials, like reclaimed wood, wherever possible. They also invited an artist, Wendy Macnaughton, to create the art for the rooms and lobby.
Decorated in orange, gray, brown, and black — and with murals of trees and bears — Basecamp creates an outdoorsy, casual but comfy style. Nods to camping nostalgia, like lantern-style lamps, sit alongside modern technology, like flat-screen TVs.
Today, Basecamp South Lake Tahoe offers 74 fun, modern rooms that work effortlessly for group travelers. Guests enjoy spending extra time with friends, and sharing rooms can lead to sleepover-style excitement. The hotel is also ideal for families, couples, or solo travelers and even provides pet-friendly rooms.
Beer, Food, and Live Music at Basecamp South Lake Tahoe
Basecamp South Lake Tahoe has several common areas that are perfect for dining, making friends, and taking in the sounds and sights of nature. From the Mountain View Deck to the Spa Deck, guests have plenty of options for relaxing and socializing.
The Courtyard Deck sits above the Beer Garden, and both have fire pits for toasting s’mores and games like table tennis and Core Hole Bean Bag Toss. The communal feeling continues here, where guests dine family-style at long dining tables under sparkling lights.
Open to the public all year round, the Beer Garden is the ideal place to experience live music and enjoy delicious food and craft beers from South of North Brewing Co.
South of North Brewing Co. offers an excellent range of local craft beers. Plus, there’s a choice menu of starters, salads, and sandwiches on offer. Options like browned butter gnocchi, cranberry goat cheese salad, or a tuna pesto melt make dream pairings to a cold brew.
Exploring Lake Tahoe’s South Shore
The forested Sierra Nevada range surrounds the sparkling gem of Lake Tahoe, encircling the approximately 190-square-mile lake with rugged mountains.
Visitors flock to the area every month for skiing, hiking, swimming, and more. From fast-paced adventures like snowboarding to laidback pursuits like fishing, there’s something for everyone in this scenic destination.
Ideally situated on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore on the Nevada side, Basecamp guests enjoy easy access to:
- Beach sports.
- Edgewood Golf Course.
- The Tahoe Queen, the lake’s only authentic Mississippi paddle wheeler.
- The Heavenly Gondola (based in the Heavenly Village).
- Lake Tahoe trails and scenery.
- Rock climbing opportunities.
- Fly-fishing opportunities.
- Helicopter, ATV, and Jeep tours.
- Paddleboarding and kayaking opportunities.
- Zip lining opportunities.
- Early-morning hot air balloon rides.
Guests can access discounts on snowboard and bike rentals and lift tickets as part of their Basecamp lodging packages. They can also get free passes to a private beach, which is a five-minute walk away.
About Basecamp Hotels Co-Founder Neils Cotter: Neils Cotter is an expert in real estate, both in terms of development and investment opportunities. He oversees developments in various stages of development across Southern California.
As a member of the Board of Ronald McDonald, Neils Cotter also helps organize the largest camp for children who have or have had cancer in the U.S. On top of this, he runs the Dorsey Green Entrepreneurship Program (dorseygreen.com).
Neils Cotter has an MBA from INSEAD and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Duke University. Connect with Neils Cotter on LinkedIn.
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