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“Black Bear needs a renovation, leave it for hockey families to beat up” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Black Bear Lodge

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Black Bear Lodge
3 Village Road, Box 357, Waterville Valley, NH 03215   |  
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Ski & Stay starts $112pp
Manchester, NH
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Black Bear needs a renovation, leave it for hockey families to beat up”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2009

The lodge has seen better days. Overpriced for what you get. I hope everything else at WV doesn't get the same money for the same quality or WV has a big problem.
I didn't have a lot of time to do comparisons before booking our stay. We wanted to be walking distance to the Village Square while visiting for the skiing.
One elevator. Front desk clerk does everything -- takes reservations, walks towels (small) down to pool, etc. Hallways are tight. Rooms are individually owned. Furniture is beat proof by hockey families and mostly already beat.
The pool is half inside, half outside, small. Sort of heated.
Hot tub is outside. You walk on an icy wooden ramp to get to it. Wouldn't think it would pass code.
As I said above, if this is value for WV then WV has a problem. The skiing at WV is pretty good. Nice little village at the base level.
We had our best meal at Coyote Grill.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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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178 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Boston, MA
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2008

I had stayed at this hotel about a year ago and it was marginal at best. I returned only as a last resort as my wife and I had been traveling for leaf viewing and didn't want to drive back to Boston. To my pleasant surprise I found this place to have completely turned around. The lobby was fresh and clean and the staff excellant to work with. I had asked at the front desk what had changed and the very nice young lady stated that there was a new management team in place and a brand new staff since April. Well let me tell you what a staff they have now. I can only hope they stay and continue to bring this gem back to where it once was and from what I see, they will. Stay here if you can, it is well worth it.

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maynard, MA
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2008

I should have paid more attention to the previous reviews on this property. These are individually-owned condo units, that are rented out for more than $200 per night. There does not seem to be a limit on the number of people that can be crammed into these 1 and 2-bedroom units.

During our stay the hotel was FILLED with middle-school hockey teams and their families. Every hallway had several open doors, music blarring, and people filling rooms and hallways as if it were a dormitory. The entire hotel was 1 big game of hide and seek, including elevators and stairwells. Sleeping was difficult with all the unsupervised children running and shouting at all hours. The pool was disgusting.

The 1-bedroom apartment we stayed in appeared to be clean, but had peeling wallpaper, and a nasty odor. The beds were very comfortable, the kitchen was well-equipped. The TV got a total of 6 channels.

FYI- According to our waiter at a nearby restaurant, hockey tournaments are EVERY WEEKEND from Thanksgiving until Easter. This is NOT a quiet hotel for a lovely stay in Waterville Valley. Be warned.

  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2008

We stayed at the Black Bear during school vacation week (MA vacation week, not NH's, which delays their vacation week to handle all the vacationers). 2 parents, 3 kids (ages 7, 5, 2), in a Deluxe Suite for 4 nights.

I planned on skiing with the oldest 2 boys for 3 days, while my wife would take the youngest swimming etc. Before I get to the hotel, I'd like to talk about Waterville Valley itself briefly. This was our first time, and I enjoyed skiing on the mountain, and the kids LOVED the Kids Camp ski program. I thought the Mtn was very well run, but that was the last thing in Waterville Valley that seemed to be.

The Village itself was suffering from a bit of snow/rain/ice, and they didn't seem to know how to handle it. There was no parking near the "center", and it was terribly dangerous to walk around. How can a ski town not have a handle on basics like plowing?

Also, the restaurant choices were limited, and 2 of the restaurants that were advertised on the various town & hotel flyers were closed (and I don't mean just for the week). This is a CONDO town, and I think most people must cook for themselves, not dine out.

OK, back to the Lodge. I was happy with the Lodge's appearance and the room quality. The Deluxe Suite was nice - the kitchen itself was small but an extra large dining table let us all eat breakfast at the same time.

The first problem's came when we went to the pool. If you don't have kids or don't plan on swimming, you can skip this part - and you could stay at the Lodge and probably be very happy. If you have kids, you know the pool is KEY. This one was FREEZING. The kids went in with some enthusiasm (less so for me), but were shivering quickly. When it came time to get out, there were no towels on the towel rack. Requests to the Front Desk didn't resolve it. Eventually had to call the wife to come bring towels down.

Other nits - the "arcade" seemed to have more broken games than working ones; the outdoor hottub was located VERY far away from the door leading outside (this was not only poor design, causing you to freeze (again), but was extra hazardous as the path to the hottub was frozen from the dripping water).

There were some kids running around the hotel at night, but I did not consider this a serious annoyance (I guess freezing bothers me more!).

If it wasn't for the pool being completely useless (and not being open till 10am), the other little things probably wouldn't have bothered me much. But, overall, I was left with the impression that the Lodge owners might be real estate folks, but they certainly weren't "hotel" folks. There was no impression of professional hotel-like training or experience there.

Recommendation: I don't know how the other lodges are, but next time we go (if we go), we'll just go for a regular stand-alone condo, and plan on eating in more. I think the regular condo rentals (like this and the other lodges) include membership at the nice Athletic Club down the road a bit. Of course, the pool there is freezing too...

  • Liked — Room
  • Disliked — Pool
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Hampshire
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2008

We just stayed for 2 nights over New Year's Eve. The place was crowded as was the entire village. Check in was easy and we were allowed to go to the room before the actual check in time. My 3 children wanted to go swimming right away so we did. The pool was not that warm inside or outside. I guess the hot tub was warm. The ceiling tiles inside the pool area were cracked and looked like they could fall apart and land in the pool at any time. The room was fine for the five of us. We had a queen size bed and a trundle bed that slept 2 in the bedroom. My oldest son slept on the murphy bed in the living room. The living room had the only TV in the suite. The kitchen was fully equipped but not a lot of dishes. There was no hot water after a day skiing for showers on New Year's Eve! I didn't even bother to complain. The toaster in the kitchen was also broken.

The lodge was very convenient to all the activities in the village. You truly could park your car and not need it again until you were ready to leave. The shuttle buses up to the mountain came every 10 or 15 minutes.

I guess we expected better services in the hotel since it was high ski season and vacation week. At least hot water for showers. I'm not sure we would stay here again. Friends stayed at some other resorts in the area and they were definitely not happy with their choices! The hotel was quiet as far as noise and the children were all supervised which seemed to be a concern in previous posts.

  • Liked — The location
  • Disliked — Finding things that didn't work.
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2007

We stayed with 6 people in a two-level loft suite over a weekend to go skiing.

The suite was very spacious - a full kitchen, one bedroom with a queen-sized bed, a loft area with two trundle beds (i.e. two twin beds with another two twin beds that could be pulled out from underneath - on the hotel web site only one of these is shown) and a living area with another queen-sized bed that can be pulled out from the wall. There were several board games in the living room, which was nice. Lighting in the living room was inadequate, but was ok in the other rooms. There were several light switches that seemed to do nothing, which was odd.

There was only one bathroom, and it was on the upper floor. There was one sink inside and one outside the bathroom, which was a good feature, although two bathrooms would have been even better.

The suite was reasonably clean and was neither in bad nor in great shape. Unfortunately, I found the bedding rather uncomfortable, especially the pillows. They had a tag on them saying "the most economical choice" (probably $2.99 at Walmart). Even after skiing a whole day I woke up frequently during the night due to the poor quality of the bedding.

The hotel has a swimming pool in the basement, but it is really quite unattractive, rather small and seems to be reserved for 6 to 12-year-old children, who also monopolize the hot tub, even though they are not allowed in it according to hotel policy. There were plenty of unsupervised children running around in the lobby and the corridors and "playing" with the hotel's only elevator so that getting to the upper floors took a long time.

There is no restaurant in the hotel, but restaurants at Town Square are a 5-minute walk away.

Overall, the Black Bear Lodge is not bad, but it is really no resort and the management should do something about the unsupervised kids.

As for Waterville Valley, there is not much more to it than Town Square and the condos and hotels around it. It's all very small, with only a couple of real restaurants to choose from (plus bars and a pizza place). The ski area is less than a 10-minute drive away, I-93 is about 13 miles away. Skiing was pretty good thanks to snow making (there was less than an inch on the ground in the town).

  • Liked — size of suite
  • Disliked — bedding
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2006

Big groups of kids with of without chaperones were in every part of the hotel. 10-15 kids were even sitting on the floor in the hallway eating from paper plates while the adults were cooking in the nearest room with the open door and the smell of the food were all over the hotel.
Not sure what was the event, some hockey team or just a patty, but kids were stuffed in the rooms, sleeping in the sleeping bags. The swimming pool and whirlpool were overcrowded. Kids are not suppose to use it after 8 PM, but nobody cares.
On the top of all this we got a fire alarm.
After we got back home I talked to one of my friends who goes there to ski and she said that it is always like this.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Black Bear Lodge

Address: 3 Village Road, Box 357, Waterville Valley, NH 03215
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New Hampshire > White Mountains > Waterville Valley
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Waterville Valley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 107
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Black Bear Hotel Waterville Valley
Black Bear Waterville Valley

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