Safe Stay 2020/2021

making changes to keep us all well


A COVIDLY modified Guest Experience at Tamarack Lodge

COVID-19 Prevention Plan Information for GUESTS.

12 June 2020 

In response to COVID-19, all cleaning and disinfecting protocols used at the Tamarack Lodge have been updated.  In these more stringent procedures, we have incorporated the best scientific advice from the Centers for Disease Control, and the State of California, and we are using appropriate and approved cleaners and disinfectants.  All guestrooms, public spaces, and work spaces are cleaned and disinfected following this advice.  Our procedures will be updated as new information becomes available.

Apologies if some of our new procedures seem impersonal or slightly irksome.  Keeping COVID-19 at bay is a constant effort, and your help with this is appreciated.  Remember, it is to keep us all well.

Here is a quick look at what is new:

Staff will stay 10 feet away.  The commonly mentioned “social distancing” requirement is six feet, but we have plenty of space here. 

Self-check-in and regular check-in.  No need to have any contact with anyone to use self-check-in.  But you do need a smart phone, and you have to pay attention to the emails we send you.  During self-check-in, the registration form is signed, room keys are issued, and payment is made remotely.  Regular office check-in is also possible.  Key cards are disinfected before they are given to you.  We don’t touch your credit card.  The office is disinfected after every exit.  If someone is already in the office, please wait outside.  There is a glass barrier separating guests from staff.  Still, it is best to wear a mask.

Fewer guests.  We believe that reducing the number of guests we have at Tamarack this summer will also reduce the risk we all face.  So, we are discouraging one-night stays, and encouraging longer visits.  We’re giving discounts for stays of 4 days or more in the Lodge Rooms and the Poker Rooms, and for stays of a week or more in the Cabins.

Non-intrusion policy.  Except in an emergency, no Tamarack personnel will enter your room during your stay without your permission.  If we do have to enter, we’ll let you know.  Housekeeping staff will not make up your room while you are away.  We are sorry about that, but it is undeniably safer if you make your own bed.  If you need something, e.g. more towels, call us from your room phone.

Use of Disinfectants from the EPA’s list N: “Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2”.  Public spaces are cleaned frequently.  Guestrooms are not reentered after cleaning and inspection.

Personal Protective Equipment.  Staff must wear gloves and a face mask when working in guest rooms.  As Tamarack is a motel, we have no inside hallways, but we still encourage the use of masks when approaching others or when entering the office.  We’ll try to have some masks on hand, but encourage you to bring your own.

Check-out:  Two requests are made of guests checking out. 

1/. Prior to departure please place all Tamarack towels, blankets and sheets separately in the three laundry bags provided.  Cinch closed. 

2/. Please send a text to (530) 580-8699 as you leave.  Indicate your name & room number.  Staff will not enter your room until you’ve been gone for an hour, so it is important for us to know when you leave.

Usually there is no need to come to the office to check-out.  Call if you have a question.

Contact with staff.  Staff can be reached by telephone.  Dial 0 on the in-room phone.  If you don’t get an answer, dial 9-583-3350 from that same phone.  While on the property, staff will endeavor to stay 10 feet away from any guest.  Staff will not enter occupied rooms, except in an emergency. 

Contact with other guests. Guests are requested to observe common social distancing guidelines and remain at least six feet away from any other guest who is not sharing your room or who is not a part of your household.

Use of outdoor fireplace. The fireplace will operate by reservation this summer.  Guests will have to tell management that they wish to use the fireplace.  It will then be reserved at a specific time for those guests, and others will be asked to keep safely away.  If the guests making the reservation do not appear at the arranged time, other guests may use the fireplace in their place.  Except for groups, fireplace reservations can only be made after arrival.

Use of ping pong table and horse shoe pit.  Guests can use these facilities on a first come basis.  Equipment shall be cleaned and disinfected in the morning.  Guests can contact staff for additional disinfection if desired during the day.

Pets.  All pets should be kept on leash while on Tamarack grounds.


10 Dec. 2020 - UPDATE

A regional "stay at home" order has been in effect for the Greater Sacramento Region since 10 December, and will remain in effect for at least three weeks.  This includes the whole CA side of Lake Tahoe. 

The order can be viewed here:

Text of Stay at Home Order. Opens in a new tab.

All lodging operators, including the Tamarack Lodge, are being asked to Lodge only essential travelers while this order is in effect.

Non-essential travelers are asked to call to cancel their reservations.  Everyone who has a reservation as of 10 Dec. will be contacted and informed of the order.  For reservations made subsequently, an email will be sent regarding the order and inviting cancellation for those who do not qualify.  Please call the office at (530) 583-3350 if you need to cancel.

To help you decide if you are traveling for "essential" reasons, know that according to Placer County, essential travel is defined as "that which is necessary to conduct activities associated with the operation, maintenance, or usage of critical infrastructure or for COVID-19 mitigation and containment measures, treatment measures, provide accommodation for essential workers, or providing housing solutions, including measures to protect homeless populations."

New reservations are welcome, provided travel meets the above criteria.  

This page will be updated as new information becomes known.






Self Check-in

Gain access to your room without seeing anyone.

If you have a smart phone, you can sign our registration form, make payment, and receive your room key all without coming to the front desk.  Your phone will be your room key.  You won’t need to see us, or to enter our lobby. 

To make this work, we’ll need to send email to your phone.  Please make sure we have the right email address on file.  We'll send you a "Pre-arrival" email four days before your scheduled check-in.  When you get that, you should verify that your reservation details are correct.  On the morning of your arrival, you'll get another email inviting you to sign our registration form and to authorize payment.  You'll get a confirmation email once this has been done.  Last minute reservations will not receive the "Pre-arrival" email, but that won't pose a problem.

The last step will be to receive your room key.  But for this to happen, you will need to have downloaded the "Assa Abloy Hospitality Mobile Access" App onto your phone. This can be done at the last minute, but why not do it now?  We've provided two links to the App on this page, please select the right one for your phone.

Although we'd be pleased to see you at the front desk, if you can use the self check-in feature, that would be best until the Coronavirus pandemic is well behind us.


Download the Assa Abloy Hospitality Mobile Access App

do this on your phone


Enhanced Cleaning Protocols

Prior to your arrival, all the hard surfaces in your room that you might touch will have been disinfected a product from the EPA’s list N: “Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2”.  This means doors and door knobs, closets and cupboards, lights, light switches and lamps, televisions and remote controls, thermostat and telephone, bathroom and kitchen fixtures. Furniture surfaces are disinfected too.  Laminated information sheets are also disinfected.

Bedding is washed as usual, with the addition that we will also wash all blankets between guests.  We will have removed our bedspreads because they cannot be washed as frequently; we hope you will pardon the appearance.

Rooms with kitchens will have all dishes, glassware, and silverware rewashed before arrival.

NOTE.  We will not provide daily housekeeping service during this time, so no one will enter your room while you are away.  If an urgent maintenance issue requires us to enter your room, all touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected when we leave and you will be informed that we were there.

If you require assistance, you can reach us by dialing 0 on your room phone.  If we don't answer, try 9-583-3350 also from your room phone.

Length of Stay Requirements

In effect winter 2020/2021

We are encouraging longer stays in order to reduce the number of comings and goings at Tamarack, and to lessen the burden of our new cleaning protocols.  During the year end holidays and on holiday weekends, we will require a two-night minimum to stay in the Lodge Rooms or Poker Rooms.  The four Cabins will have a three-night minimum stay.  During the rest of the winter a two night stay is required on the weekends.  Lodge rooms are available for one night on weekdays starting in January.

We continue to offer discounts based on length of stay.  In the Lodge rooms, a two night stay costs 5% or 10% less than the standard rate.  A four night stay earns a 15% discount.  Stay a week in one of the cabins and get a 15% discount.  (For a week's stay, that is like getting one night free.)

The goal of these requirements is to keep you safe, to keep our staff safe, and to keep us safe too.

Thanks for your understanding.

Natural Advantages

Tamarack Lodge is a sensible place to be.

Tamarack Lodge is a motel.  As such there are no inside corridors where you might cross paths with others.  Tamarack is located one mile from Tahoe City, immediately adjacent to Burton Creek State Park.  There are no other establishments of any sort nearby, so the number of people you encounter will be limited.  We are situated on 3.7 acres of land, so you can social distance right here.  There are thousands of acres of parkland and national forest right behind us.  These are great for hiking and mountain biking.  The Lake Forest beaches are a short walk or drive from where we are.  Usually these are sparsely populated even in July and August, although this year may be different.  Eleven of our 21 rooms and cabins have full kitchens, so you can make a meal right in your room.  The other rooms all have small refrigerators, microwave ovens, and coffee makers, allowing the preparation of simple meals.  We will be suspending our popular bagel breakfast option for this summer, but we do have toasters available if you bring your own bagels or bread.  (Our bagel supplier has long been the Tahoe House, and we recommend them highly.)


For Guests Here Now

Some Important Changes

Notable changes in the guest experience have occurred due to COVID-19.  The motivation for all of these changes is to keep our guests, and our staff, safe.  Please call the front desk if you have any questions or concerns.



Housekeeping staff will not make up your room if you are staying over.  Unless there is an emergency, staff will only enter your room upon your request and only when you are absent.  If you need service, please contact the front desk.  For longer stays, we will bring you new sheets and towels as needed.



Because our delightfully cute bedspreads can only be washed so many times, we have temporarily removed them from the rooms.  We regret that this is necessary, but it seems best.



These are stored in a plastic bag in your room.  If you need these items, please use them.  If you don't, kindly leave them in the unopened bag.



If you require additional coffee packets, coffee filters, sugar or creamer, please call the office.  Idem for soap and shampoo.



Before you leave, please strip your bed and place your sheets (incl. pillow cases), blankets and towels separately in the three laundry bags provided.  This is to keep our staff as safe as possible, and in turn to minimize risk for our guests. 

Please text us at (530) 580-8699 (note that this is not our main phone number, it’s just for texts) to let us know that you are leaving.  Staff will wait one hour before entering your room.  Be sure to give your name and room number.

(note: message and data rates may apply.  By texting us, you agree that we may reply.  We will never send marketing texts.)

Check-out time is 11:00 am, and we regret that we cannot offer late check-outsat this time.  Staff won’t enter your room for an hour after your departure, but we still need to have all rooms done well before check-in time.  Thanks for understanding.



Office Hours are 8:30 am to 10:00 pm.  On school days, we might not open until shortly after 9:00 am.  On Sundays, it could be as late as 9:30.  If you need us outside of these hours, please call.  Dial “0” from your in-room phone, or call us on (530) 583-3350.  When we are open, there is a door bell on the table in from of the office.  Please wait outside.


Thanks for your help with these matters.  Please let us know if you have any suggestions for improvement.  We know we’re asking more of our guests than usual, but if everyone continues to be cautious, we’ll all be better off.  Thanks again.