Joey McCoy

Joined: August 2011


Would recommend to a friend

Date of stay: 3/12

The Cal Neva is Interesting to say the Least

I have mixed opinions about this place... it’s certainly interesting to say the least. When we first arrived at the Cal Neva, we were greeted right away and basically told that the boiler had broke in the hotel so there was no hot water. Our smiles went to frowns, not the best way to start out our stay.

So we were told we could either stay in the hotel and go outside to take hot showers (uhhh no!) or we could stay at one of their cabins outside with hot water. We both said immediately said in sync: “We’ll take the cabin!” So we lug our stuff outside to this cabin (all we want to do is just crash because we were feeling sick and had just driven through a blizzard to get there) and we get in the cabin and its freezing! We immediately turn on the heater and it feels like it’s barely doing anything. We curled up under the covers of our uncomfortable bed (I really did not enjoy the bed) and shivered until we fell asleep.

So basically, we’re not having the best stay so far.

However, after getting some rest, we woke up and the cabin was significantly warmer (I guess the heater takes a few hours to warm up the whole cabin). We then went to eat at their circle bar. We were a little bit nervous since we were the only ones there and our stay started out bad, but the food was actually really good. The bartender was quite strange, but the food was really good. We then went on a short walk down to the lake. There’s this really nice, intimate little beach by the hotel, which was beautiful. Our cabin even overlooked the lake, which was great! So we started to warm up to the hotel.

THEN we found out about its history, which really did make us appreciate the hotel a whole lot more. They gave us a coupon at the front desk for their underground tunnel tours. We had no idea what that meant, but it’s basically these cool secret passageways underneath the hotel that Frank Sinatra used back when he owned it to get from his cabin to the showroom. There are also ones leading to Marilyn Monroe’s cabin, ones that were used for bringing in bews back during prohibition and more. During the tour we also learned about some of the hauntings that have been reported in hotel, which I found to be very interesting. You definitely HAVE to take the tour if you stay at the hotel!

Overall, I think this place has a lot of character. It’s not the Ritz by any means, but if you’re looking for an affordable option in North Lake Tahoe and you enjoy history and a little quirkiness, then this is actually a good option.