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“Can't beat the location”

Laguna Mountain Lodge
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Laguna Mountain Lodge
Level Contributor
79 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Can't beat the location”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 25, 2013 via mobile

We booked here at the last minute while enjoying some hiking in the Cleveland National Forest. The location is great being that it's in the park on Laguna Mountain. Super convenient. We got a cabin for a good rate and stayed just one night. The cabins are essentially mobile homes and ours had a bedroom, a bathroom (full plumbing) and a living space that combined a tiny kitchenette, a table, a wood burning fireplace and a sofabed type piece of furniture. The setup was fine but everything was just old. For instance, I couldn't tell if the floors were really dirty or the tile was very worn. As long as you go into it knowing it's not a nice hotel situation you won't be disappointed. It was nice being able to start a fire in the cabin. It was cold and windy at night so the fire was a nice touch. There is a heater in there by the way because the fireplace barely radiated any heat.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mario0007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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28 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
156 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 258 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2013

This is one of those goofy rare cases where circumstances and a unique location transform average to very good or excellent. Bluntly, the Laguna Mountain Lodge is not fancy; it's akin to an above average bunkhouse or a truly off-the-beaten-path 1950s motel. One might say it's rustic, but it is relatively clean. I stayed in a room, rather than a cabin, so I can't speak to the cabins. I didn't turn on the TV or use the mcirowave, but I did enjoy the clean towels and hot shower and after sleeping on the ground for a day or two, the saggy bed was divine. The room was essentially clean, probably not surgically sterile, but I didn't really see any problems. Again, for perspective, I was dirty, hot and sweaty, so it certainly satisfied me. My only minor complaint was the kid who did my $5 laundry apparently was in a hurry to get home as a few of my clean clothes were still noticably damp, but eh? I had clean clothes! Now, for full disclosure, the owners have had the place for a few years and cater to the out-of-towner/winter/summer weekend adventurers from San Diego or a few of us stray Pacific Crest Trail hikers. The owners reportedly can be surly and brusque despite the fact that you're paying their livelihood, which actually, for me, makes their reported attitudes deliciously ironic and sorta entertaining when you see it. That said, I actually had a very pleasant, extended chat with one of the brothers despite other hiking companions' complaints about rude treatment. Again, often reported, and I can see that it wouldn't be too difficult to get sideways in a brief conversation with them, but I didn't experience that. Of note, the store and post office are colocated and that's handy. The store stocks a fair range of stuff; Nacho Cheese Doritos and beer were a definite hit at the impromptu hiker party after a few days up from Campo. Finally, I frankly never expect to visit there again, but for the cost (~$65), the trail access convenience, the modern amenities (a hot shower, easy goin' down beer & Doritos), and the tingling promise of mild entertainment value delivered by curmudgeonly innkeeps, it's well worth it. Oh yeah, and the room heater worked like a champ!

Room Tip: They're all pretty average; you might choose on on the ends to limit sound transmission.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Fritz59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California, United States
Level Contributor
145 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2013

We plan weekends here when the weekend forecast is for snow. That's worked out great for us twice so far! The place is NOT a fancy mountain lodge but we like it. We're campers/backpackers normally so a bed, electricity, a fireplace and a TV are pretty luxurious for us! We love that we can sleep warm in the storm and then get out and snowshoe all by ourselves! It's truly like our own mountain and we love it. Know what you're getting and you'll enjoy it. If you think you're getting a luxury lodge, you will be disappointed.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Location
Helpful?
3 Thank Karen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 4, 2012

I recently stayed at this dump, the cabin I payed for was supposed to be the most updated cabin and it was nothing like the pictures. There were spiders crawling inside the cabin and the carpets in both rooms were extremly dirty. The people in the general store were very rud and it seemed like they were trying to pinch every penny out of people who were staying there. I woul not stay there again nore I recomend this place to anyone I know.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank dannyak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Mount Laguna hotels

San Diego, California
Level Contributor
110 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2012

There is quite a range in accomodation sizes here--1,2 and 3 Bdr cabins as well as pretty spacious motel rooms. Motel rooms can be booked for just one night anytime, cabins require 2 night minimum on weekends! All are bare bones, no frills rooms--towels and linens are included. They also come wi small fridge and microwave, cabins come wi stoves and some larger ones have ovens--check before booking. Bringing pre-prepared food is best. All come wi a small wood burning fireplace--wood is available at the store. Heaters in the rooms work well so it is cozy in the winter. Reasonable value, only one hour from San Diego, close to many excellent hiking trails, Julian, Borrego and Cuyamaca. Book a night or weekend when there is no moon--the views of the Milky Way are spectacular!

Room Tip: If crowded, the hotel rooms can be a bit noisy. Cabins furthest from the road are usually very quie...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank pinacoleggo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Level Contributor
91 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 22, 2012

There are extraordinary aspects to this inn. You can stay in an individual “cabin.” You can hike directly therefrom or close by on wonderful trails. You are just a one hour drive from downtown San Diego. The price is very reasonable. The location is rustic. Cabins have small propane stoves and small refrigerators, as well as electricity.

You need to anticipate that the cabins are essentially mobile homes adapted as cabins, with nice paneling and Motel 6 decor. The closest restaurant that is open daily is 20 miles away (Julian), so plan to cook all meals for yourself or drive somewhere. If you don’t bring your own food (or other necessities) for the entire stay, you will find a limited selection at the main store, but don’t count on it. You definitely need to bring cooking implements (including knife, spoons, spatula, etc.) and eating implements (plates, utensils, napkins). The bed (at least in our cabin) was brutally soft and ensured that any two people will end up in the middle, sunk low like two hot dogs in a single bun. The rooms are basically outfitted to ensure that there is nothing for anyone to steal except towels, so no coat hangers, for example, but a decent sized closet. The staff is somewhat brusque, but quite accommodating if you accept that this is not a Starwood hotel and don’t ask for things that they have made very clear on their website are not part of the package.

Reservations for us were an interesting experience. We made the reservations on a Tuesday for the following Tuesday, which were accepted. We expected to be asked to mail a check, but they said this would take too long, so they asked us to call back on Saturday from 9 – 5, when they accept credit cards over the phone. Who knows why they could not take the credit card on the day the reservation was made.

The bottom line is that this is a very inexpensive, mountain accommodation, in a wonderful mountain forest, surprisingly close to a major city and immediately adjacent to wonderful hiking. It is primitive, but less primitive than a campsite. Come prepared for what it is and you will enjoy a great value.

Room Tip: If you choose a cabin, try for one that is furthest from the lodge and the road. #8 and #9 are good...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank lifesaver1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Level Contributor
244 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 502 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2011

After reading all the reviews about rude staff, it was with much trepidation that we booked a stay here. However, the owners could not have been more friendly and accommodating with a late cheek-in and help gaining access to WiFi. They are also very knowledgeable about the local area and provided good tips on hikes and the best spots for sunrise photos etc.

The cabin was far better than I had expected with central heating, almost instant hot water in the bathroom, a TV, microwave etc. The bedroom was a decent size with good storage space.

OK, it was basic but was certainly not primitive! Trash was collected every day and towels replaced if required.

The kitchenette was basically a cupboard which opened to reveal a decent sized fridge, 2 burners and a sink. Whilst it was a bit cramped, it was more than adequate.

We knew that the local restaurant only opens on weekends so took sufficient food and wine for the duration of our stay (although the store sells some basic provisions).

You also have to provide all your own cooking and eating utensils, so we had to carefully plan what we would need from home, right down to a saucepan to boil water and coffee mugs!

A BBQ is provided (bring your own coal) and also a logburning stove (either bring your own or buy logs from the store).

Dogs are permitted for a small extra fee.

Things which made life easier:
Even though bed linen, blankets and towels are provided, we brought a comforter from home for the bed and used that instead. I am not sure how warm the bedding would have been on a very cold night and even though the central heating was very efficient, the blower/vent was right by the side of the bed and would have kept me awake.

We also prepared most of the food which required prep (such as garlic bread, marinated wings etc) before we left home and popped it in the fridge when we got there. That was a good move, as there was not too much space (apart from the table).

My only gripe was that the floor was very dusty when we arrived (maybe it hadn't been used for a while) and so I found some old rags in the car and wiped it over. That solved the problem.

All in all, we would certainly stay there again and being only and hour from San Diego, is very close yet seems like another world once you are up there.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank 92075
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Laguna Mountain Lodge

Property: Laguna Mountain Lodge
Address: 10678 Sunrise Highway, P.O. Box 146, Mount Laguna, CA 91948
Location: United States > California > Mount Laguna
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Mount Laguna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 29
Also Known As:
Laguna Mountain Hotel Mount Laguna

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