Safe Summer 2020

making changes to keep us all well


when we're both ready

In conformity with California's "shelter in place" order (in fact one day before) the Tamarack Lodge decided to temporarily close.  We wanted to do our part to discourage unnecessary travel in the state.  We don't know when we'll reopen, but we realize that it will be necessary to adapt our practices to the new coronavirus reality.

These pages describe how we will attempt to do that. Check back for updates, as Placer County or the State of California may provide us with specific guidance on Summer 2020 operations.

Once we are able to reopen, we believe that Tamarack Lodge will be an excellent choice for many Tahoe visitors.  The measures we describe here all have the goal of reducing the risk of encountering pathogens, such as the novel coronavirus, while you are here. The measures are designed to keep you safe, and to keep us safe too. 

Please read the related pages to learn how you can "self check-in" and get access to your room without seeing anyone.  Note that all of our cabins and many of our rooms have full kitchens so that you can cook a good meal if the restaurants are not yet ready to receive you, or if you are not yet ready to go.  Be aware that our cleaning protocols have been modified, and that we are hoping to have less room turnover by encouraging longer stays.  We've always thought that our location - out of town, at the edge of the forest - was an advantage, and now that is even more true.  Finally, as a motel, our guests are outside until they enter their room.  There are no corridors to navigate here.

If you have questions after reading theses pages, please contact us.

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 five 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 with diluted chlorine bleach, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.  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, so are the Do Not Disturb signs.

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 a maintenance issue requires us to enter your room, all touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected when we leave.

If you require assistance, you can reach us by dialing 0 on your room phone, or (530) 583-3350 on your personal phone.

Length of Stay Requirements

In effect until 30 September 2020

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.  Our standard room rates will apply for stays of two or three days.  Stays of four days or more will receive a 15% discount for all room types except the Poker rooms.  The Poker rooms already offer an unbeatable deal in North Tahoe, so the Poker room discount will be limited to 5%.  Single night reservations cannot be made from our website.  If you need accommodation for one night, please call us on (530) 583-3350, and we’ll see if we can help you.  Note that the rate for one night stays will be 20% above the standard rate. 

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.)


Original COVID-19 Statement

18 March 2020

To our guests:


Tamarack Lodge has decided to close its doors until California is ready to reopen.  That date is currently unknown.  This was a difficult decision for us to make because the hospitality business is about lodging guests, not refusing them lodging.  But much has happened in little time.  State and local officials are working hard to stop the spread of COVID-19.  Many of our fellow Californians are being asked to “shelter in place”, not “go to Tahoe”.  We know that we must work in conjunction with these efforts rather than in opposition to them.  As much as we would like to attract more visitors to our fabulous corner of California, we believe that our duty now is to promote the safety of all by requesting that those coming for a getaway defer their stay with us.  Those who have already reserved for today or tomorrow will be welcomed as usual, and those already here are welcome to stay as planned.  All reservations from March 19th through May 21st will be cancelled.  We will contact you if you are in this group.  Please note that this date has been extended twice already and is subject to change.


We are hopeful that a more complete knowledge of the novel coronavirus will be forthcoming which will allow officials new strategies for containment.  But we are also planning to offer our guests a safer space here.  When we reopen we will offer “self check-in”.  This means that our guests won’t have to have any contact with Tamarack staff to gain access to their room; your smart phone will become your key.  Since we are a motel, there are no inside hallways to navigate, which is a big plus.  Finally, we will have new housekeeping protocols in place, to insure the lowest possible risk of transmission of any pathogen to our guests, our staff, or ourselves. 


We hope you will fight this same fight with us.  It is going to hurt, and indeed it is already hurting badly, even if we are not sick.  When it becomes reasonable to travel again for leisure and for vacation, we hope you’ll come back and stay with us again.  We’ll need you then more than ever. 


Thank you for your understanding and for your support.


Sincerely yours,


Frederique & Gerard Fenech

Lodge Managers

Tamarack Lodge Motel                        

Tahoe City, CA