Wanderlust: Basecamp Hotel, Lake Tahoe

Like most small hometowns, the beauty of the environment are often lost on people who grow up there; so focused are we on quickly graduating high school so that we can move somewhere more "interesting". Until moving to New York City from the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, I had hardly took note of the frequent encounters with wildlife (mostly deer and snakes, but one time a mountain lion) or that my best friend was a Shoshone Native American or how, at that elevation, we could be buried in snow for a couple weeks and lake swimming just a few months later.  Returning home to visit family and old friends, I now admire the rolling and rocky beauty of the Northern Nevadan landscape. The air alone could be bottled and sold. For all its beauty and charm, though, the experience does seem to lack the cool and dialed-in nature that we grow accustomed to in New York City. Introducing: Basecamp Hotel.

This very well priced, clean and modern boutique hotel might be the only option in the area for lodgers with a sensibility for design. The New York Times reviews it aptly, calling it "a hotel started by your hippest friends and run by your most organized." Illustrations by Wendy MacNaughton are a welcome and fitting addition to each room.

The theme here is "Wes Anderson Explorer" but doesn't feel too contrived. The hotel, a short walk to both the beach and skiing, hosts outdoor feasts and fire pits for guests. And once you've taken in enough nature, retiring to a stylish room with a hot shower and flat screen might be the best way to marry The Great Outdoors with The Great Indoors.

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