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“we love crystal crag lodge”
Review of Crystal Crag Lodge

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Crystal Crag Lodge
A TripAdvisor Member
sacramento
12
Reviewed June 11, 2005

we, as a family have stayed at many cabins and lodges all over the states
and found crystal crag lodge to be a beautiful place to be, staff were friendly and welcoming to us and the cabins had a certain dated charm, the surroundings beautiful, the fishing is great and the hiking incredible. it was our first trip to crystal crag and not our last. i did not have a problem taking out my own trash especially if it helps keep the bears away from my family and other guests.
we will certainly be back to crystal crag on another family vacation.

  • Stayed: August 2004
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51 - 55 of 55 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
Sacramento, CA
16
Reviewed January 16, 2005

What a shame. We have been going to Crystal Crag Lodge for years. The previous owners treated everyone like family and there was nothing they wouldn't do to make your stay the best it could be. The new owner doesn't seem to care about much except money. We've never seen so many surcharges. We agree with a previous reviewer about the drinking. Very unprofessional and we too felt unwelcome in the office after 5PM. It's a really beautiful setting. Fortunately there are others as we won't be going back to CC.

  • Stayed: August 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CCLmgmt, Owner at Crystal Crag Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 11, 2009

We truly regret that this person did not feel welcome here in 2004. We have a new team since then who have really made a great connection with our guests. They get rave reviews. We encourage you to read these reviews (2006 onward) here! Our goal is 100% satisfaction, even though we know that is an impossible standard. We only wish that any guest who is not satisfied would talk to us as soon as they have a complaint while here, so that we can make it good for them in real time. Posting it online later for all time doesn’t serve that purpose, and it really hurts our feelings to boot!

For the record, let us say emphatically that there is absolutely no drinking here by staff during their work hours. None. But please also be aware that this is our home as well as our business. We live here! And we do reserve the right to have a glass of wine now and then in the evening at our own home, just as you might at your own home. We are absolutely tasteful and not excessive about it. In addition, some evenings we share a glass and/or food with our longtime guests (and new ones) on our deck, and we also sometimes host mixers and other events for our all of guests, which most guests really enjoy! This is something you can choose to be part of or not. In general, alcohol is not present here at the lodge, and these stories are wildly exaggerated and offensive to us. We would not be here very long if these stories were accurate.

As for the taxes and fees we collect, all of them are reasonable and straightforward. Please ask about them when you call to reserve a cabin, and we will explain them. Briefly, there is a bed tax for the town (just like every other town in America), and there is a use fee for the Inyo National Forest (which is more unique). We are very upfront about these. Yes, we also charge a nightly pet fee ($10) for those that bring a pet, just as we have for decades. This is very standard in our business, and it helps to cover the significant additional costs of upkeep that pets are responsible for. (We travel too, and when we bring our dog with us, we expect to pay a pet fee if a place is nice enough to allow her to stay.) That’s it. There are no other additional charges of any kind. The vast majority of guests are fine with all of this. We are sorry this person was not. We do our best to make it all clear to everyone.

As for cabin size, we have many sizes available. Some of the older cabins are petite. But many of these older ones are the most beloved by our guests! So please just ask us when you are booking yours for us to describe it to you. We are happy to do so!

Again, we are sorry that this person did not feel at home here back in 2004. We hope they will give us another chance! We have gotten better every year, as our return rate demonstrates. We hope you will not take these complaints too much heart. We are doing great things around here! Just read all the praise we have received as well.

Thanks for reading this!

Crystal Crag Lodge

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A TripAdvisor Member
Buena Park, California
16
Reviewed November 3, 2004

I just want to confirm what the other reviewers have basically said. It is a beautiful place, but... You will pay more than you think, I thought I was at a used car dealership with all the extra fees. You have to take your own trash out of your cabin to a dumpster that is somehow always full. The owner is not very nice. He's all business and I think he just sees dollar signs instead of guests, which takes me back to the used car dealership analogy. It really could be a great place, and when you see it you feel like it really will be, but it's not and you find out it's not pretty fast.

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CCLmgmt, Owner at Crystal Crag Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 11, 2009

We waited five long years to respond to this extremely tough review of our very early tenure at the lodge. First, because it hurt our feelings so much that we didn’t know what to say. Second, because the vast majority of our guests have been so positive and complimentary about what we have been doing since 2004 that we just didn’t want to get sidetracked by it. Now that a lot of time has passed, and we have matured into this place, we feel we should address the specifics of these complaints and finally set the record straight!

1. Every town we know of in the USA has a bed tax, which is just like a sales tax. Mammoth is no different. We collect this bed tax and pass it straight to the town of Mammoth. We don’t like it any more than you do, but we don’t know how we can be held at fault for this.

2. We also pay the Inyo National Forest a fee to operate a lodge in the National Forest. Beginning in 2004, we disclosed this to our guests on their bills rather than burying it in the nightly rate. We felt it was important for guests to know where this money was going (to help preserve and maintain the forest). This change was understood and appreciated by the overwhelming majority of our longtime guests, 85% of whom return each summer to Crystal Crag Lodge. A small handful of people were confused or annoyed by this change early on, and we regret not explaining it better to them at the time. We have improved our communication since then such that we virtually never hear this complaint any more.

3. Like most establishments that except pets, we have a nightly pet fee ($10). We always have charged a pet fee, going back decades, so this complaint is a little perplexing. As you probably guessed, this fee helps to cover the increased cleaning and more frequent replacement of carpets and the like that result from the pets. (It actually only covers a fraction of the cost.) We believe this is entirely reasonable, as do virtually all of our guests. Do you think it is reasonable? We hope so!

[How any of this makes us seem like a used car lot is hard to understand. We are a business, yes, but other than that, we see no similarities.]

4. We have had larger dumpsters for quite a while now, so that complaint is not current. Sometimes people who are not staying here drive by and dump their trash in our dumpster, and this causes us a little grief because we do not have the capacity to serve as a community dumpster for everyone who drives around Lake Mary, but we always work it out somehow. If the dumpster happens to be full when you go to use it, please just let us know! We will take your garbage. Thanks!

As for the personal complaints about the owners being a money grubbers, this hurts a bit. Especially because the owners re-invest most of the money that comes into the lodge back into it every year to improve it for the loyal guests who keep coming back every year. Believe us, we didn't get into this nor do we stay in this for the money. We are only able to be open 4 months a year, and it is difficult to both run and improve the lodge with this short a season. But we manage to do it! Just ask our loyal guests.

No one is perfect, but we get better every year, and we are proud of what we are doing here! We are sorry that this person did not like us or his experience. As much as we try, we know we can’t please everyone all of the time, but we urge you to read reviews from all of the very happy guests who have also taken the time to tell their stories!

Finally, we urge you to tell the management at here (and anywhere else you stay) what you like and don’t like as soon as you get here, so that we have a chance to make it right. Posting complaints online where they remain forever doesn’t make your experience better, and it hurts those involved in a way you probably can’t even imagine.

Thanks for reading this!

Crystal Crag Lodge

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A TripAdvisor Member
Moreno Vallley, CA.
12
Reviewed August 30, 2004

The owner is new, in his second season. Bound to be some problems to work out. We enjoyed our stay very much. There wasn't always someone in the office but they could be readily found on the premises. One thing, when we made our reservations I wish I had been informed of the $20. per night tax and a $100 gratuity for the city of Mammoth!? It caught me unprepared. There was no problem with the trash being picked up. There was a problem with one bear (approaching people) but they (forestry service) had put out a trap to catch and relocate him.

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CCLmgmt, Owner at Crystal Crag Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 9, 2009

We appreciate the partial defense by this guest, but we want to take this opportunity to clarify the issue of taxes and fees that was raised here and elsewhere.

First off, everywhere we know of (including your home town), there is a sales tax on lodging, just as there is a sales tax on most purchases of any kind. Here in Mammoth the bed tax, as it is called, is 13%. It is not a "gratuity". It is a sales tax.

Second, we do not know of a business that quotes their prices including tax. Normally a price for a hotel room or a computer or a garden hose or anything else is quoted as "$XXX, plus tax". That's how we do it also. And then we go on to tell our prospective guests how much the tax is, just like any merchant would. We are not sure why folks are surprised by that approach in our case. As we said, it seems just like any other purchase to which a sales tax is applied.

Third, bed taxes, just like sales taxes, are controlled by local governments. And we enthusiastically urge you to oppose raising the 'bed tax' in your community as we do in ours. (They tend to be unopposed because local voters do not pay them, outsiders do.)

Forth, in addition to the Mammoth bed tax, we pay a 4% fee to the Inyo National Forest for operating a lodge on public land. Most other places like ours hide this fee in their rates so you do not know you are paying it, but we like you to know where your money is going. Beginning in 2004 when we made this fee known to our guests on their bills, we had a handful of misunderstandings, but we have since improved our communication, which has all but eliminated the confusion. You could avoid this 4% fee by staying somewhere outside the National Forest, but we believe the value of staying right on Lake Mary is worth it! We appreciate your understanding.

Finally, as always, we are incredibly appreciative for the opportunity to serve our guests and for their loyalty to us! We simply ask that you please speak to us about anything you want improved or more clearly communicated while you are here, rather than waiting until it is too late for us to do anything and posting the issue online where it lingers for decades.

Thanks!
Crystal Crag Lodge

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A TripAdvisor Member
Los Angeles, CA
118
Reviewed July 9, 2004

Crystal Crag Lodge was once a great place to stay, but the new owners put a serious damper on things. When you walk in to the office you'll find that either no one is there, or someone is on the phone acting like a frustrated parent interupted by a child as you approach. In the afternoon and evening the employees and owners then start drinking and treat you as if you interrupted a private party. The trash used to be picked up daily, but this is no longer the case. On a daily basis, several of us vacationers met by the trash attempting to stuff our bags in and worrying about the bear problem the overfull receptacle was creating. Our cabin had a stove with no fan and a newly installed fire alarm just above it. The new owners have ruined this place, and I will never stay here again. There are plenty of lake side cabin rentals in Mammoth Lakes, stay away from Crystal Crag Lodge.

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CCLmgmt, Owner at Crystal Crag Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 3, 2009

This review has been here for five years giving us a black eye and hurting our feelings. We chose not to respond to it all this time because we did not want to dignify it with a response, as the old saying goes. We found it unbelievable that someone would say these untrue things about us and our place with no regard for the impact it would have on us forever---thanks to the internet. Yes, we were brand new owners here in 2004, but please be assured that this person's views (if indeed it is a real person), are not shared by the hundreds of guests we have each summer who return at an 85% rate. Many of these guests have become our friends. We care for them and they care for us. We are very sorry this person was angry for some reason but chose not to speak to us about it. If we have one request, it is that guests please ask us to meet their specific needs while they are here, rather than simply post complaints after the fact. And if you are considering joining us this summer, please read some more positive reviews and find out about all the neat stuff we are doing here! We love this place, and we love our guests!

Thank you.
Crystal Crag Lodge

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Additional Information about Crystal Crag Lodge

Address: Lake Mary Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
Location: United States > California > Mammoth Lakes
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 55 Specialty Lodging in Mammoth Lakes
Price Range: $85 - $290 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We have 22 cabins from 1-4 bedrooms set right alongside beautiful Lake Mary, just minutes from the town of Mammoth Lakes, but in a world of our own. Incomparable setting and views and some of the best hiking, biking, and fishing anywhere. Not fancy, but clean and comfortable, and the beds have all been replaced recently and are of very good quality. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Crystal Crag Hotel Mammoth Lakes

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