Off to Camp!
At the end of September, Don and I went to camp!
Not really. We just spent one night at Basecamp Hotel in South Lake Tahoe. This curious lodging-community, was created from a cluster of renovated motel buildings. Love that.
The cute hotel lobby didn't exactly look like a place for roughing it.
It was a cozy space, with a fun collection of radios. However it was not very inviting, since some employee was lounging (lengthwise) on one of the couches for most of the evening. Not sure what that was about.
There were lots of outside places for lounging. Just outside of the lobby, there was a "Picnic Deck" area, with tables and benches.
Above the lobby there was a Spa Deck, with a hot tub and some Adirondack chairs... and lots of fallen pine branches. It needed some spiffing up.
Courtyard and Beer Garden
On the opposite side of the property there was a spacious Courtyard, with picnic tables and fire pits. I'm not sure what the Airstream camper and small platform stage were used for.
My morning Courtyard photos are peaceful, but the place was hopping when we first arrived at 5 pm. It was "Happy Camper Hour" and guests were purchasing craft beers, and settling into Adirondack chairs.
Ping Pong, Spa & Pit
Steps away from the Courtyard, there were lots of other areas that invited more activity. There was corn hole and ping pong...
...and a much larger and cleaner hot tub, in an enclosed area. In October, the heated tub was empty, but during ski season... I can only imagine!
We had a few shopping options at Basecamp. This little shelf of merch, was inside the Beer Garden Bar. I noticed some mugs and blankets for sale in the lobby as well.
I would have bought a postcard, had they had one. But I didn't need a t-shirt or hat or frisbee.
Our main reason for a night at Basecamp, was that we were meeting up with some younger folk, who happened to fit the Basecamp scene more perfectly than we parents! Don and I needed a place to stay with our son and DIL, before our" reunion" gathering a day later.
We just needed a reasonably priced, comfy, clean place for a night. Scott and Chali had stayed at Basecamp during busy ski season. They knew it would be quieter in October. Don and I were game to enjoy some of the campy flavor!
The smell of pine on that balmy October evening, was just what Don and I needed. We'd been up since 4:30, traveling from Houston to Sacramento to
Live music started up softly in the space behind garage doors. Temps began to cool and the nearby fire pit could have come in handy.
We thought about the hot tub. It was empty after all. Chali laughed to remember their last stay, when the tub was filled with "ski bros".
But we were lazy and just relaxed with our South of North craft beers. Then the music cranked up a notch and we headed off for dinner. Basecamp's location was perfect, for walking to dinner!
Our 2 guest rooms were in the motel building across from the office. Judging from the trucks in the parking lot, we were sharing the motel with a crew of roofers, instead of hikers or skiers. I wonder if they were impressed by the "camp theme" in the rooms. I liked the canvas map of Tahoe, behind our bed.
The room and bath were nicely updated. I really appreciated the colorful bottles with symbols, in the shower. Perfect for someone who needs glasses to read the labels, on tiny containers of shampoo & conditioner.
Our somewhat budget room was pretty darn cute for the price. We oldsters could have used a comfier chair and a bigger bed, but I did love the camp theme.
There was a cute orange lantern and rail road nails for hanging jackets. The artwork featured images and quotes that appeal to nature lovers. "Those who wander are not lost."
The Great Indoors
Only later did I study the website and realize we'd missed out by not booking one of the Great Indoors Rooms! If I'd only known, we could have slept inside a tent and sat on hard benches around a fake fire!
This website photo shows forest wallpaper and a picnic table and cooler. What a hoot! But it's probably good I didn't know about this. Don's fractured back is still healing and we probably couldn't have said yes to this option.
Early the next morning, I rose and headed off on a walk in the opposite direction of the ski slopes. I found the lake!
What a treat to be able to step outside and lay eyes on Lake Tahoe, early in the morning!
Coffee and Lounging
When I returned, I grabbed comp coffee in the lobby and asked for a late check out. I noticed some amazing breakfast smells coming from the little coffee/breakfast shop in the rear of the lobby.
We had a leisurely morning enjoying the quiet motel. Chali and I went shopping and the boys, hung out in the lobby. No one was sleeping on the couch in the morning!
For the price, Basecamp is hard to beat. The location (with free parking) is pretty ideal! For an off season, weeknight it was perfect. If all 73 rooms had been filled with young skiers, it would have been very different!
The renovations were just right. I liked the feeling of staying in an old motel, but I loved having remodeled bathrooms and nice bedding. The whole atmosphere took me back to my college days, when I actually spent a good amount of time backpacking and camping and skiing.
At least our stay inspired a little Tahoe hiking!
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My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!