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Black Forest Lodge
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Reviews (154)
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All reviewsbavarian styleclean mountain airjacuzzi tubwood burningbig bear lakerestaurants and shopsstayed one nightsnow summitritakatrinafireplacevillagecottagemountainslogdogslopes
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82 - 87 of 154 reviews
Reviewed May 12, 2013

Just got back from spending Mother's Day weekend at this lodge. I booked through their website and had initially reserved one of the jacuzzi/fireplace suites. To be honest, I was really not pleased with the room in which we were placed at first (#49). The bed was way too high (not easy for older folks) and the black and grey color scheme wasn't my favorite (particularly because I'd requested one of the more "girly" rooms with floral wallpaper pictured on the site as this was for a moms getaway weekend). We probably could've lived with those things, but what made me call the front desk was a hole I noticed in the bathtub where it looked like perhaps a piece of patching had come loose.

That being said, I want to emphasize that the owner Rita and her daughter Katrina reacted IMMEDIATELY and bent over backwards to make things right. Within three minutes of our call, Katrina showed up to inspect the tub and the moment she saw the damage, she upgraded us at no extra charge to the Belclare Cabin.

Indeed, what an upgrade that was! The cabin was built in 1910 and has a very rustic, Alpine woodsy feel to it: dark wood with a forest green roof, white gingerbread and native stone exterior trim and a lovely beamed ceiling inside. No, it's not perfect, but the issues were pretty minor (a broken plate on one of the electrical outlets and the pipe under the sink had been repaired with plumber's tape) and considering you're talking about a 100+ year old cabin, it seems to me that the owners put a great deal of care into the upkeep and have done what they could for the most part to update it. The TV was small and older (but if you go to a resort to watch TV, then I suggest you get a life!). We had a fridge and a microwave that functioned perfectly. The room didn't have the coffeemaker that was supposed to be included, but it wasn't an issue as we had brought our own and with as helpful as both Rita and Katrina were all weekend any time we needed anything, I am sure that I'd have gotten one if I had asked. It was a bit difficult to find someplace to plug it in, but again, it's a one-room cabin with a separate bathroom and it was built way before we knew we'd ever need fifteen outlet plugs in each room. I had a bit of trouble connecting to the Wi-Fi, but when I called the front desk to ask if there was a password, they were very cheerful and offered to help me get it going if I brought my laptop to the office. I just used my phone instead (and the cell signal was fine up there). We managed!

The jacuzzi tub and fireplace that dominate the main room were the highlight of the cabin. The jacuzzi was older but clean and in good repair, and relaxing in it by the fire was such a wonderful way to unwind on a chilly night! The outdoor pool and jacuzzi were still closed for the season (small nit: this would have been nice to know at booking). We spent a lot of time on the small wooden porch attached to the cabin, which featured a built-in wooden bench and also a large round umbrella table and four plastic chairs. In the morning following our first night's stay, a couple of women showed up and scrubbed down the table and chairs and placed a cheerful plastic tablecloth with colorful butterflies on the table for us. It was so nice to sit out on the porch with a cup of coffee and a book or a sketchpad and breathe the clean mountain air and just chill.

The appropriately-named lodge and the surrounding grounds are absolutely charming and the setting is so tranquil. You are nestled among beautiful pine trees, some of which we were told have been around for 800 years, and the cabins that dot the landscape are each a little different but all have the cozy and quaint appearance that ours did. It felt like spending the weekend in a quiet little storybook land. All of the neighbors were very friendly (well, except the jerk near our first room who'd not only hogged two spaces but had left a lit BBQ unattended in a third space--whomever you are, hope you're happy that your selfishness caused an old lady with a cane to schlep twice as far with a bunch of heavy bags!). This is a pet-friendly resort and a lot of the cabin occupants had well-behaved dogs in tow.

Finally, Rita didn't even bat an eye when I asked for a late checkout. Maybe it would be different when they're full up during busy season, but we certainly appreciated the couple extra hours to just take our time and gather up our stuff and prepare to transition back to the real world! I know I've already said this, but I just can't overstate the degree to which Rita and Katrina's helpful and friendly attitudes really took the quality of our stay to a whole new level. We chatted with them often as they went about their chores (and they were always doing something around the grounds, watering flowers or washing things down; as I said before, it is clear to me that they take pride in the place and care how it looks). Katrina shared food with us from her child's birthday party and Rita even came up with a castoff shirt for me when I mentioned I wanted to dye my hair but had forgotten to bring a ratty t-shirt. We truly felt like valued guests at this resort.

We will be happy to return to Black Forest Lodge next time we visit Big Bear.

Room Tip: Definitely go for the cabins. This review might have been a lot different if we had stayed with the first room we had.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank EuterpeThelo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2013

The cabins are 35 years old, but they are trying to keep them updated. Kitchens well stocked. They real thermostat so no constant adjustment of heater. A bathroom door may not close just right because of swelling, etc. Queen bed was against one wall which created some acrobatics. Room did have a Jacuzzi tub however not utilized.

Room Tip: Cabins as opposed to hotel must be much quieter.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank OldSrg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2013

PLEASE think twice about staying here! We bk our reservation on orbiz and that made the mgt. up set. Wanted a upgrated rm pd another $92.00. The rm was misty smelling, the bathrm fan lound, T.V. outdated couldn't see it from the bed. Micro wave and frig not in good working order. Next day woke up in hives, blisters and rashes from head to toe. Showed mgt my skin condition, she argeed to comp. my rm. I needed to get home on a Medical Emergency. I asked her to e mail it to me. It took her 2wks of me constanly bugging her on the phone. When she did she put all kinds of restrictions on the comp. room. I told her that was not the deal so she said fine you get nothing at all. Had the dermatoglist due a bx and found out 99.9% chance of bed bugs! A month later and still not healed. Dr visit and 1 wk off work. Plenty of predsone for 3 wks! The rm came to $292.00 for 2 days and only stayed 1 night. I asked her at least give me back the $92.00 up grade. She said NO! Stay at Black Forest Lodge at your own risk!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank christina c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tomas H, Manager at Black Forest Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded February 18, 2013

We tried everything to accomodate this customer and her husband. She checked in to our lodge on December 31st and complained that there was too much noise from the street so we moved her and her husband to the rear of the property. The next day this customer complained again and we offered to give her credit to come back but not during the holiday or weekend. This customer said that she would only take the credit on weekend which was not offered her. When customers sign our registration form it clearly states that there are no refunds for early checkout! We tried and were unable to accomodate this customer, but to no avail!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2012

We have been able to visit Big Bear and play in the snow several times because the Black Forest Lodge has affordable rooms and just what we need to enjoy our time there.

We have stayed in a small hotel room #24 (this is a cute small room with a Queen bed, gas fireplace, t.v., a dresser and chest of drawers and a restroom - of course); various hotel rooms above the lobby (all of which have Queen beds, gas fireplaces, a t.v., other furniture, bathroom and a small refrigerator and microwave) and just recently we stayed in room 5 (a small room with a Queen bed, wood-burning fireplace, an upholstered chair, a dresser and a bathroom) just perfect for what we needed. And the best part was that my 4 year old daughter was able to just go out the front door and flop into the snow!!! What Great Fun!

In all of my experiences our rooms have been clean and in good condition. Sure, some of them are a little out-dated but that is also some of the charm. Yes, some of carpets are more worn and dirty than others but when you think that ALL of us (especially in the winter) are tracking dirt and snow in and out constantly, the carpets are going to have wear. I am sure that the carpet could be replaced every year or season if you paid more (remember this is the more reasonable place to stay). And most of the entries into the rooms are right from the outdoors.

Also, I once saw a bad review for room #21. . . so I asked for a key to go see for myself. People are really brutal on these reviews (in my opinion). This room has its purpose (it wouldn't work for me because it is to big) but for youth groups or large groups where the girls could stay in room 21 and the boys in 20 (or visa versa). There are 4 Queen beds in each corner of the room, a large spa tub in front of the fireplace with a large t.v. above in the center of the room, a wet bar with a large counter and cabinets and a bathroom with a shower/tub. A fun sleep-over room. My daughter really got excited when we went in and asked if we could live there. It would be a fun gathering place for friends after playing in the snow or on the slopes.

As an overall, there is nothing for be to speak badly about. The staff is very nice and accommodating, all I have to do is ask for anything extra that I need (like towels, dish towels, soap to clean dishes, dishes, hair dryer, etc.) and they have provided pretty much anything that I have asked for. I cannot ask for a friendlier "Big Bear Home" as my daughter puts it.

Room Tip: The cabins and chalets off the road are quieter. Just ask to see different rooms/cabins to see what will work for you.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank BigBearFan3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tomas H, Manager at Black Forest Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded February 18, 2013

Hello "Still the right choice for us",

Thank you for taking the time in your important day to give us a good review! We appriciate your comments.

Thanks again!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2012

My boyfriend and I enjoy going up to the mountains on weekends and snowboarding. We hadn't gone at all for the 2012 season until this first week of December! We saw what seemed to be a pretty sweet deal on a website for $190.00 for 2 nights. It was advertised as a cabin with a fireplace, jacuzzi and queen bed. My boyfriend and I drove up after work and got there around 7PM and checked in. From the street, the place doesn't look half bad! They had really festive Christmas lights and decorations going on. We checked in, and I was charged $210 to my card... We pulled around back and saw the rooms that are part of the regular hotel and we saw a few scattered cabins in the back. They all looked different and all had a different "theme." My boyfriend and I got the Log Cabin.

The location of the cabin was right up against the corner of the property, and it was so tiny and cute! I unlocked the door and turned on the lights.. The place was about the size of my pinkie. For some reason, the bed was angled really weird and just jutted out into the middle of the room, leaving barely enough space to walk between the bed frame and the jacuzzi. We literally had to walk sideways when passing between our your hips will get stuck on one or the other. There was a tiny little table with two super uncomfortable-looking table chairs. The nice thing about this cabin was the fact that it had a jacuzzi and a fireplace. We scrubbed down the entire jacuzzi, which seemed fairly clean and we started up a fire (wood bundles sold for $7 at the main office, sold for $4-$5 anywhere down the street). It was a nice, cozy experience! The jacuzzi was nice after we went snowboarding, the fireplace was a life saver. The heater kept making sounds throughout the night, but it was bearable for us. Don't walk around anywhere without your shoes on, my boyfriend and I packed our slippers with us.
BEWARE LADIES. THERE ARE SPIDERS. The lady in the front office tried to calm my nerves by telling me they were harmless spiders and whatnot, but when I find a nasty, black spider about the 2" in length just chilling in my jacuzzi when I first get into the room.. Not cool. And my boyfriend also saved me from walking into spider that was hanging from to doorframe right where my face would have been.
DO NOT USE ANYTHING IN THE ROOM WITHOUT WASHING. My boyfriend and I were trying to make some hot water for cider, we brought clean water with us (our only clean water by the way..) and ran it through the coffee maker, and it just had NOT been washed.. There were little white flakes in our water. When my boyfriend cleaned another part, there was a dead gnat in there. Dirty, dirty, dirty. We didn't even trust the glasses they left in the room, we tried to wash it but there was nothing to wipe it clean with. We tried using the 3 styrofoam cups that were sitting next to the microwave, and they had already been used.. All of the cups were sticking together with whatever liquid there was in there.
My boyfriend and I actually talked about how we were going to rate the room. 3 was way too generous and 2 was being nice. The wallpaper had been there since the 60s, carpet has been there since the 70s, and cobwebs in the different corners of the ceiling. The carpet was so gross, it's hard to tell because the room is so poorly lit. The bed sunk in where my boyfriend was sleeping, they need to get new mattresses.. The fireplace was GREAT! They give you phone books to rip up and to help start the log fires. My boyfriend and I really loved that fireplace, nice, roaring flames if you do it right!
This room was absolutely not worth $105 per night. I think it was worth maybe $40-$50. But they really need to take the extra $100 I paid for that cabin and seriously start updating the place. Two words for you: RIP. OFF.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Michelle Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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