Traveling during Covid-19
Travel is complicated right now, and as many counties in California are re-opening, hotels and resorts have begun to re-open across California welcoming tourists back. Even-though a getaway abroad might not be in the cards this summer, you don’t have to go far to have a fun vacation experience.
That’s right! I’m talking about a road trip. With social distancing protocols in place, we still need to keep in mind that the coronavirus recovery rates are different in every community. Taking a road trip makes traveling a little more responsible and considerate.
South Lake Tahoe offers a short escape to world-class hiking, skiing, and resort amenities. It’s only a 3.5 to 4-hour road trip from the San Francisco Bay Area, and The Coachman recently announced that they would be opening their doors Friday, June 12th. Grab your swimsuits and snacks and hit the road.
About the Hotel
Over the past few years transforming vintage motels into boutique hotels have become and trend, and challenged the bad reputation of the traditional “Motel” we imagine from the nineties. Owners are putting a lot of work into revamping communal spaces to encourage socializing which is something that every trendy traveler with an eye for style and cool tones desires.
The Coachman Hotel was originally built in the 1960s as two separate motels, The Green Lantern and The Royal Coachman. In the 1980s the properties were combined and known as The Green Lantern, until 2016. “The Coachman” is a nod to the old Royal Coachman and history of South Lake Tahoe.
The Coachman is around a 5-minute walk to the lake, casinos, and Heavenly Mountain Resort, making it a very convenient and prime location. This is one of the many reasons why I chose this hotel while looking for a safe location as a solo traveler. Keep reading to see if this hotel makes the cut as a recommended solo traveler destination.
The communal lodge is the heart of the Hotel. The central ‘bar’ serves as both the reception desk and traditional bar serving coffee (Stumptown Coffee), beer, and wine. The front desk staff is very friendly and extremely accommodating. The Check-In process is pretty quick and easy and shouldn’t take very long, which is nice after a long drive.
The sliding glass-paned doors look out to the pool, hot tub, and fire pits. Great coffee and drinks combined with ample comfortable seating, and reading material, make this public space the perfect place to start and end your day. The bar space is open for anyone to visiting South Lake Tahoe which is nice if you have friends staying at another hotel or want to converse with some of the locals. They also have lots of board games which is a great combination with drinks.
I know what you’re wondering… how is The Coachman dealing with Covid-19? Well the check-in and check-out procedures have been updated to allow for safe physical distancing and minimized contact.
Look for an email with online check-in instructions, and once completed, all you need to do is present your ID at the front desk for your room key. Here’s what’s the Coachman is offering:
- Complimentary masks are available upon request
- Hand sanitizing stations are available throughout the property
- The pool is heated and will be available with deck seating arranged to maintain safe physical distancing. Please note that due to State mandate the spa is closed until further notice
- Flexible cancellation and rescheduling policy
- Lobby seating has been arranged to allow for social distancing between parties
- Hotel rooms will be vacant for 24 hours in between guests to allow for deep cleaning whenever possible
- High touch surfaces in public areas are continuously cleaned and sanitized (i.e, door knobs, handrails, tables, seating surfaces)
- Housekeeping will be available for service upon request and only while rooms are unoccupied
- All staff will wear masks when entering a private guest space
Breakfast Is Served
The lobby also connects to the breakfast area and features several different seating areas to relax and put your feet up. The room price includes continental breakfast, and I was very happy about the selection of bagels, English muffins, different kinds of cereal, fresh waffles, jam, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs (if you like dairy and eggs), orange juice, and fresh coffee. This is more than enough to get your day going, just make sure you make it down to the lobby before they shut down the kitchen.
The following has been updated due to Covid-19 concerning the Hotel Bar & Breakfast Service:
- Breakfast will be significantly modified to adhere to health guidelines.
- A Brown Bag Breakfast will be provided for each guest. Stumptown coffee will continue to be available.
- Nightly s’mores are happening! Changes have been made to packaging and procedures to ensure safety guidelines are met.
The Coachman is also the perfect combo for work and play, offering flexible meeting spaces, functional common areas, and access to local co-working offices. Oh! And how can I forget the lounge music?! No lie I, shazamed every single song played and added it to my Spotify playlist.
About the Rooms
The Rooms at The Coachman are designed to be simple, clean, and modern, yet highly functional. Rubber flooring at the entrance for a ‘wet’ area for skis, boards, boots, towels, and swimsuits. Extensive use of plywood for the hand-built vanity and wardrobe reminds you of your mountain setting. The traditional motel experience is elevated through high-quality beds, bedding, and linens and thoughtfully considered bathroom products.
I was in the Deluxe King room which was an upgrade complement of the front desk. All the rooms include numerous amenities, including Apple TV, Malin + Goetz toiletries (these are honestly the best soaps and shampoos I’ve ever used), and a heated toilet seat. Yes, I said heated! Rooms have either a king or two queen beds. There’s even an apartment-style room which great for larger groups. While you’re here you don’t want to skip taking a dip in the outdoor pool and hot tub.
Overall all no matter if it’s Summer, Spring, Fall, or Winter The Coachman is the place to be! Especially if you go with a group of friends. I would still recommend this as a place to stay for a solo traveler, but I do think that because it’s set up in a communal type of style it caters more towards a group of two or more. The Coachman will definitely be my go to location the next time I head to South Lake Tahoe.
If you’re interested in booking a room, your best option right now is to call the hotel directly. Due to COVID-19, The Coachman will be limiting reservations through August. After August they will be releasing rooms on a week-by-week basis. The Coachman is located at 4100 Pine Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150. To see more videos and my experience at this hotel check out my Tahoe highlight on Instagram. Travel safe, and remember to wash your hands and stay home when not feeling well.