Truth be told, accommodations on Lake Tahoe's South Shore have been slow to live up to Heavenly's lofty moniker. But major redevelopment—to the tune of $2 billion over the past 10 years—is finally transforming the bi-state communities of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., and Stateline, Nev., into the place to stay when skiing the region's resorts. No need to choose between making tracks on the hill or bets at the tables: The Heavenly Gondola connects the two towns to the mountain in a brisk 12 minutes. Lodgings range from penthouse suites to cozy cabins in the woods. Here are your top options.
SLOPESIDE: Marriott Grand Residence Club
Finding lodgings that pair kid-friendliness with grown-up panache isn't child's play. The Marriott, a fractional-ownership property that functions like a hotel, pulls it off. It pleases all comers with its location next to the gondola and its Old Tahoe design (timber accented by native stone). Accommodations range from studios to three-bedroom penthouses, all with full kitchens and most with gas fireplaces. The cushiest quarters offer whirlpool tubs and window seats. Outside, a heated pool and hot tubs satisfy after a day on the slopes.
ROMANCE: Black Bear Inn Rustic
Elegance sums up this B&B one mile from Heavenly's California base—so alluring it appeared in TV's The Bachelor. With its 34-foot river-rock fireplace and antler chandeliers, the inn recalls the grand lodges of the American West. There are five rooms and three cabins, all with gas fireplaces. Antiques add a historic perspective—from an 1886 piano to a chicken incubator reborn as a cocktail table. After a breakfast of salmon-and-dill omelets, you'll be ready to shoot the chutes in Mott and Killebrew canyons.
LUXURY: MontBleu Resort Casino
On the South Shore's Nevada side, 1.5 miles from Heavenly, this hotel, with its Ocean's Eleven vibe, reopened in 2006 after extensive renovation. Guests can stroll from the white marble lobby to the elevators without scuttling past gaming tables, and rooms glam it up with pink marble baths. Après ski, test your luck in the casino, or rest your limbs at the indoor pool or Onsen Spa, which features Aveda products and treatments. Especially laudable is the hotel staff—both warm and professional.
Lakeland Village Lakefront Townhomes, $310–$1,599;
Embassy Suites, $169–$400;
Deerfield Lodge, $180–$350;