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“Know what to expect, but overall nice place.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Bear Valley Lodge

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Bear Valley Lodge
3 Bear Valley Rd, Bear Valley, CA 95223   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Bear Valley
Blackdoglabs
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Know what to expect, but overall nice place.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2008

This is a lovely old lodge (built several decades ago) that has not been updated except for the addition of free wireless (which is very helpful).

The rooms do not have any type of temperature control. The heat is central and always on full tilt. They tell you at the front desk that if it is too hot you have to regulate the temperature by opening and closing the window. It is not easy to achieve a comfortable temperature that way (we got the full range from 65 to 85 degrees!). If you know that up-front, it's not that huge a deal, but can be annoying. Tip: turn on the ceiling fan to help circulate the cold air from the window.

Otherwise, the location is fantastic and the in-house bar and restaurant are really great. The main reason for the less-than-stellar review is the need for renovation of the rooms - at least the environmental controls. Otherwise, it is decent and fun for kids, with reasonable pricing for what you get.

Stayed March 2008
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41 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
California
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2007

The ski lodge was quaint. It has a nice large gas fireplace sitting room/lobby, but a lot of the rooms open into this area (picture a 4-5 floor atrium, but in a dark wooden ski lodge way). I couldn't get a picture of it because it was too dark. There is a large screen TV in this main room where a group was watching TV when we arrived. Needless to say we didn't get to enjoy sitting in this area in the evening. I know it's a family place, but do they really need a huge TV in the only place to relax outside your room?

Luckily our queen bed room was located off the main atrium, so we didn't hear any hotel noise. The people above us were quiet, but I can see how you might hear others around you if they were noisy. The room was tastefully decorated and rustic looking. I wish there were a few more amenities for the price. There was no blowdryer (I haven't been to a hotel in the last 10 years that didn't have a blowdryer, so I didn't even think to bring one). To remedy the situation I washed my hair at night so it was dry by the next day. Shower, no tub. There was no coffee maker. I asked the front desk if they had any coffee makers or hot water makers and he said no, they blow the fuses. He did offer the employee work room microwave if we wanted to heat some water. Although I suppose that would have worked, we just didn't have any tea or hot cocoa that night.

The "coffeehouse" restaurant was pretty good. You can grab a bagel, coffee, donut, or sandwich to go at the register. You can also be seated for a sit-down meal with a waitress. The to-go sandwiches looked pretty gourmet and the lunch menu looked good too, but we were out skiing at lunch time. Unfortunately, they were only open for breakfast & lunch, so we didn't eat dinner there. They did say they would be open for dinner on Saturdays the following weekend (February 17th).

We did sit down & eat breakfast at the coffeeehouse and it was pretty good. The service was a bit slow even though there weren't many people there. So if you need to get to a ski lesson, grab a bagel and go. I found that the coffeehouse would fill up my travel mug with hot water so I could make some tea in the morning. I should say there was a bar in the lodge that also looked like it offered dinner. There was also a fancy restaurant where you could get dinner for $20 + a plate, but that was out of our price range.

We did have dinner at the Base Camp Pub/Restaurant walkable down the road and it was great. The Base Camp is the hostel/dorm lodging on the property. We overheard someone say that place was supernoisy because their room was right behind the restaurant. The restaurant had a much better menu than I was expecting. They had a lot of vegetarian offerings with the option of adding grilled chicken, dinners, burgers & sandwiches, homemade fries, tasty appetizers, and desserts.

I liked the Bear Valley Lodge and had a pleasant, quiet stay there even though it was booked to capacity. I thought the Lodge was pretty pricey, but it really is the only decent place to stay on the property. The food was better than average, even at the ski resort on the mountain. It would be nice if they had blowdryers and coffee makers in the room. Ask for a corner room if it's available so you can be away from the noise in the center of the hotel atrium. The lodge is small, so it is NOT a bit deal to walk up the stairs to your room. The only time we used the elevator was to bring our luggage up/down and the elevator was not that slow. I didn't find the walk to the parking lot to be a problem, but I was with my husband. They offer a shuttle to the ski resort or you can drive the 5 minutes to the resort. I thought the ski resort was very beautiful - you can see the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness and the Dardanelles from the top! We went cross country skiing on Sunday and that was also very enjoyable.

  • Liked — the food, tastefully decorated, convenient location, internet access available
  • Disliked — no blowdryer, no coffeemaker, a bit pricey for what you get
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern California
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2006

A bad experience. As there is only one entrance to the lodge and only one, tiny, slow elevator, if your room is on an upper floor, you will have to wait a long time to carry your luggage seemingly miles to get it put away. The lodge has very poor outside lighting and actual parking is on the other side of a dark road, so after unloading you will have to repark the car and then negotiate the darkness to get back to the lodge (bring a flashlight). This set-up is not congenial for women travelling solo who plan to arrive after dark. Also, if you arrive in the evening, the lodge staff is likely to be MIA, and you will have to wait a long time to rouse anyone. The rooms are pleasantly decorated with nice views from the windows, but the walls are paper thin with almost no soundproofing. On the night I stayed, I had to listen to the noises of cars coming and going, drunken revelers outside the lodge, and, finally, my neighbor's energetic lovemaking session followed by their extended argument which lasted until well after 2 am. I was so exhausted the next day that I could barely stay awake during my friend's wedding ceremony. The experience soured me for a long time on the whole idea of travel. My advice: if you value quiet, safety and convenience, choose another place.

Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Bear Valley Lodge

Address: 3 Bear Valley Rd, Bear Valley, CA 95223
Location: United States > California > Bear Valley
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Bear Valley
Also Known As:
Bear Valley Hotel Bear Valley

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