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“an overpriced shanty” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Bear Valley Lodge

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Bear Valley Lodge
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3 Bear Valley Rd, Bear Valley, CA 95223   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bear Valley
Columbia, South Carolina
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“an overpriced shanty”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2011

The lodge is quaint -- beautiful great room with fireplace...but that is the highlight. Unfortunately for those that desire to ski at Bear Valley, this is your only option -- and the hotel knows it. The rooms are small, dingy, with paper thin walls (when the hotel provides ear plugs for your room, you know you will have sleep problems). The beds are old, squeak, and are uncomfortable, and the bathrooms are in need of a serious remodeling. At $200 a night during ski season, it is a complete ripoff to say the least -- not worth the $$. The continental breakfast was of poor quality so we didn't come back after our first night (had a reservation for three nights).

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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41 reviews from our community

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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
Oakland, California
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2011

The only thing this lodge has going for it is the proximity to a ski area. Unfortunately, there seem to be very few other places for people to choose from in terms of accomodation in the local area, so Bear Valley Lodge is able to get away with completely ripping of its guests, and still having them. We paid just shy of $200 for a 4th floor room with twin beds, which was supposedly newly remodeled just recently. The remodel is a joke. The beds were old and awful to sleep on. When we first walked into the room, it felt like a cave. It was dark and one of two table lamps that had a burnt-out lightbulb. I called the front desk and went straight to voice mail. I went down physically and it took the apathetic front desk person 45 minutes to locate the maintenance man who was the only person who knew where the lightbulbs were stored. I felt I had to stay by the front desk all this time to remind her of my need, otherwise she would have neglected it. Finally, I got the lightbulb and we could see the room better. Then the biggest problem revealed itself: a major leak from the ceiling straight onto the carpet by the desk. I approached the desk in my socks and they became soaking wet - the whole area of the of the carpet was soaked. The sound of a large drop every second hitting the carpet was enought to drive anyone crazy. It was like a torture chamber with dripping water, and we had no way of stopping it. I called the front desk again and, again, went straight into voice mail. I went downstairs and the same lady told me they had no other rooms to move us to - the place was full. I asked for someone to remedy the sound of dripping water at least and she said she would get someone up there. Needless to say, nobody ever came. As a result, my wife did not sleep at all during the night. The fact that this hotel can get away with charging almost $200 to stay in such an awful room is absolutely astonishing to me.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Bear Valley hotels

Belmont, California
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2010

We arrived on 12/19/10 and there was a SUV stuck in the snow blocking the entrance to the Bear Valley Lodge. A few people helped with shovels but there was so much snow after the storm that the SUV had to wait for a tow truck. We reserved the Summit Queen room, one of the newly renovated rooms on the 4th floor. The room was acceptable; it had new paint, mattress, flat screen TV, and a down comforter. When we walked in, we noticed the alarm clock was flashing so we set the time. When we came back from grabbing a bite to eat, we noticed the alarm clock was flashing again, and it turned out the power went out. The power went out a few more times while we were in the room, and each time it went back on after 5 minutes, and then finally it went out for good. We called the front desk attendant for help, and she said she will try to turn it back on but she was not able to. Then afer 9pm, there was no one to answer the phone anymore. We went without any power until the next morning. My husband had to remove his contact lenses using a flashlight. For some reason, all the rooms are supposed to have a lantern, but our room did not. The next morning, after getting ready in a dark bathroom, the lights came back on. The front desk assured us that the electrical problem had been fixed, and that it would not happen again. However, that same evening, while using the hair dryer, the power went out again. The front desk attendant informed us that the maintenance people had already gone home, and she could not solve the problem for us. She said we shouldn't use the hair dryer anymore, and suggested we moved to a non-renovated room on the third floor to avoid this problem. We agreed, and moved our stuff to the new room. When we entered the room, we noticed the alarm clock was flashing again. I suspect that room had a recent power outage as well. We were careful not to use our hair dryer anymore. During our 3 night stay, the TV could not get a signal 75% of the time, and the boiler that heats the entire hotel was down for 3 hours. I agreed with other reviewers that the walls are thin, and can get very noisy with screaming kids. One needs to beware of the parking restriction during weekdays, otherwise you may get a parking ticket. We weren't told during check-in that we can not park in certain parking lots on certain days. We just found out by chance while looking at a display window. It took awhile to shovel away the snow to move our car. We were misinformed at check-in on how frequently the shuttle bus leaves for the ski resort. We were told that the shuttle runs every 1/2 hour, but that is not the case on non-holiday weekdays; the shuttle only runs once every hour. On 12/21/10, at 9am, there were many people gathered outside, waiting for the first bus. Everyone was so eager to get on the bus, because no one wanted to wait another hour for the next bus. Every seat on the bus was taken, and the aisle was packed with people standing during the entire ride. It can be challenging for some to stand while holding skis and poles, and having nothing to hang on to for the 15 minute bus ride. The shuttle is an old school bus, and unlike commuter buses, it has no handles to hang on to whatsoever. One bright spot is the Headwaters Cafe, good food and nice service.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2010

To say this hotel is due for an upgrade is more than kind. Checking in went well and the clerk was friendly enough. Unfortunatly that was the highlight of our stay.
The rooms are basically clean and simple. The beds aren't super comfortable, but they are not the source for a poor night's sleep. The rooms of this lodge are built in a large rectangle around the lobby/ lounge area. I wasn't aware that the lobby lounge, elevators and all hallways would become a children's playzone. There were children running around, apparently playing tag or hide n seek. At a hotel with wall insulation or soundboard, this might not be a problem. At Bear Valley Lodge, it sounds as if they are headed into your room. The lodge does leave earplugs on the night stand ( red flag) along with a small lantern- which does come in handy when the power goes out as it does often. Cold showers are apparently common as well.
If you are seeking more of a semi luxury camping experience, this is a place for you.
If you are planning to relax at some point during your stay- you might find your car may be the only solitude you will get here.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento,Calif
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2010

This place has seen a better day, like a long, long time ago. My husband & I spent one night here, and it was one too many. Lobby could be beautiful: Like, why don't they light a fire in the fireplace, put out a candle or two, and set out some complimentary wine? Lobby was dark, cold, unwelcoming. Restaurant was closed, so can't rate it. The pizza cafe was open, and this was the ONLY bright spot of the entire stay. We had a wonderful bartender.....Don. Also, the food was very good!! However, the walk back to our 'room' and I use the term loosely, was horrible. It reminded me of The Overlook Hotel in "The Shining" and I half expected Jack Nicholson to break into our room with an axe, and to see a small boy riding a BigWheel while yelling.........REDRUM. The room had ok furniture, but the walls/ceiling had obviously had many leaks, the baseboard heater didn't work, and was falling off of the wall (they did provide a space heater), the carpet in the hallway was rippled, and the baseboards were literally 'missing' and had been torn off in such a manner that you could see the marks left behind. We paid $130.00 for this 'room' and it was AWFUL. Oh yeah, the TV was the 'old kind' and it was maybe 20 inches, maybe less. Here is the hilarious part.......we drove to Lake Tahoe for our next nights stay, paid $79.00 at Harvey's......for a beautiful room, flat screen TV, lake view, and beautiful, comfortable beds. I would NEVER stay at Bear Valley Lodge again.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2010

I have been coming to Bear Valley since I was a small child. The past several years we have only done day-trips but this weekend, my husband and I stayed for the 3 day weekend at the Bear Valley Lodge with our infant. The Lodge costs about $100/night, which is not worth the money. It has a great lobby area with a huge fire place and seating. The restaurant is really good and has attractive outdoor seating. However, the rooms are awful: Very threadbare; uncomfortable beds; sheets didn't stay on the bed; no refrigerator; gross couch; old shower; no toiletries except for shampoo and conditioner that are dispensed from a dispenser mounted on the wall. There is Dish TV that you can watch on an old box TV.
I love Bear Valley and there is a lot to do there both during the summer and winter, but the Lodge is not worth the money. Unfortunately, the Lodge has a monopoly right now and is the only "hotel" in Bear Valley. Might get more for your money if you stay down the mountain in Arnold and drive up to Bear Valley for the day.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Takoma Park, Maryland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2010

My husband and I wanted our wedding to be at a ski resort and were deciding between Tahoe or Bear Valley. I am so happy that we chose Bear Valley! It was perfect and exactly what we wanted. Bear Valley is a small, laid-back community with very friendly staff and lots of help. Mark Phillips was extremely helpful and overly generous. We had a very small wedding (38 people) in the Cathedral Lounge and it was beautiful. The huge fireplace was the perfect setting. We then had our reception in the attached Dining Room. The head chef, Rob Christie, and his staff did an excellent job. All of the staff - from the service staff to the front desk - went out of their way to be helpful and accommodating for our small wedding party. Although our guests did not stay there, my husband and I did stay one night for the ski & stay package. Granted, the rooms are not the nicest (I would have rather spent all of my time in the Cathedral Lounge), but it was convenient and contributed to the mountain feel. The rooms could use a good makeover. We also stayed in one of the new Bear Valley Real Estate drive-up condos on our wedding night and they were very nice with modern amenities. Overall, I couldn't be happier with our choice to have our wedding at Bear Valley. Even though we live in Maryland now, we will definitely make an effort to go back and visit after having such a superb experience.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bear Valley
Number of rooms: 53
Also Known As:
Bear Valley Hotel Bear Valley

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