South Lake Tahoe’s 7 Seas Inn resurfaces |

South Lake Tahoe’s 7 Seas Inn resurfaces

Autumn Whitney
Bill and Debbie Hirsch stand outside the 7 Seas Inn, located near Stateline. The bed and breakfast recently saw a five-week interior renovation.
Autumn Whitney / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

Every morning, Bill and Debbie Hirsch, new owners of South Lake Tahoe’s 7 Seas Inn, wake up at 6:30 a.m. to prepare breakfast for their guests. Lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberries were one the menu one morning — the next day they served a frittata. At night they hold wine tastings and serve hors d’oeuvres. They also recently hosted a cheese tasting featuring selections from England, Ireland and Wisconsin.

According to the Hirsches, they serve breakfast daily from 8-9:30 a.m., and hors d’oeuvres from 6-7:30 p.m. Vegetarian, gluten-free and kid-friendly selections are always available, and the couple avoids using artificial preservatives when possible.

“Our goal is to provide a really comfortable atmosphere,” Debbie said.

Originally from San Diego, the Hirsches moved to South Lake Tahoe in September before purchasing the 7 Seas Inn — located at 4145 Manzanita Ave. near Stateline, two blocks from Heavenly Mountain Resort — in October.

“We were interested in finding a property here because we’ve come to the [Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival] for years and visit in the winter to ski,” Debbie said. “We had a concept of a boutique with a bed-and-breakfast attitude. We’ve been thinking about this for a long time.”

Now owners of the inn for the past seven months, the Hirsches began renovations in April to transform the structure into the business of their dreams. Closed for five weeks, it re-opened in mid-May, showcasing a new rustic theme, which combines Tahoe traits with modern design.

“The goal was to modernize the 1950s hotel, which really had not been [updated],” Bill added.

Every room now has two chairs and a table, the latter of which local carpenter Greg Locarnini designed with wood sourced from Tahoe. The wood — cut, measured and finished on site — features a rough-hewn look, which contributes to the rustic-contemporary feel the Hirsches desired. Each room offers a refrigerator located in the closet, but no microwave. Furniture was chosen to maximize space and limit clutter.

“We use as many natural colors as we can,” Debbie said.

According to Debbie, they tried to work with local businesses whenever possible. Throughout the inn local photographer Rob Morse’s works, which display iconic Tahoe locations, hang on the walls.

The renovations cost approximately $200,000, Debbie added.

By this time next year, the Hirsches hope to complete phase two of renovations, which focuses on exterior work. Plans include repaving the parking lot and sidewalks, as well as updating door locks. Also in the works is an expansion of the outdoor seating area.

“We want people’s impression of the outside to match their impression of the inside,” Bill said. “We want them to pull up and have that ‘ah’ moment.”

Both Bill and Debbie left corporate America to run the inn, and neither regrets the decision.

“It’s been a real pleasure for both of us. We meet people from all over the world. All the continents are represented here — except Antarctica — every month,” Bill said. “I’ve learned more about hospitality through doing this than anything else.”

This is the second project of its kind this year on Tahoe’s South Shore. The Coachman Hotel, also near Stateline, underwent a massive remodel this spring.

Prices for the 16-room inn are currently around $100 per room per night, according to the site’s booking page. The Hirsches said pricing varies based on time of year and number of occupants. For more information, visit

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