10 Best Resorts in Big Bear, CA
Author Freddy Sherman lives in Los Angeles and makes several trips to Big Bear each winter, most recently visiting in 2023.
Big Bear, less than two hours from downtown Los Angeles, is where Southern California goes to ski. During the summer months, the large ski resort welcomes hikers, mountain bikers, and people who want to enjoy Big Bear Lake.
There are two main ski resorts in Big Bear: Bear Mountain and Snow Summit. Neither ski area has an on-site resort or ski-in, ski-out hotel, but there are accommodations available within walking distance from both.
Many of the hotels in Big Bear are cottage resorts located near the lake or near the shopping and dining of Big Bear Village. These accommodations are individual cabins, offering a lot of privacy. If you're visiting Big Bear with kids, a resort like the WorldMark Big Bear Lake is a good choice. It offers condo-style accommodations with full kitchens and a wide range of activities and sports available at the resort.
If you're visiting Big Bear during the summer, you may want to stay at a lakefront resort like the Marina Riviera, which has its own private beach. If you're visiting during the winter, you may want a resort close to the ski areas, like the Best Western Big Bear Chateau.
Plan your getaway with our list of the best resorts in Big Bear, CA.
1. Grey Squirrel Resort
Accommodation: Grey Squirrel Resort
Highlights: Vintage style, pet-friendly, close to ski resorts and Big Bear Village, park-like property with a pond
This vintage, pet-friendly cabin resort is located right off Big Bear Blvd and about a 10-minute drive from the ski areas. It's set in a three-acre park-like area with a pond and very tall pine trees. Here, you get the idyllic Southern California mountain experience regardless of what time of year you visit. It feels secluded, yet you are close to the Big Bear Village shopping area.
Rustic cabins come with free Wi-Fi and have the typical knotty pine wood-paneled interiors, most with stone wood-burning fireplaces. Some have whirlpool tubs, also set in stone, inside the cabin. They come in a few sizes, from studio cabins for two people to larger cabins, which are great for families or groups. Some cabins have kitchenettes, some have full kitchens, and others have luxe upgrades like 55-inch flat-screen TVs.
It's one of the best resorts in Big Bear because the cabin furniture and amenities are more modern than at other cabin resorts. Grey Squirrel also has rental homes, which can also accommodate very large groups and families.
The resort has a picnic area with barbecue grills available for guest use. There is also a large children's play area and playground. In the summertime, you can swim in the heated pool. There's even an on-site laundry room.
Address: 39372 Big Bear Blvd., Big Bear Lake, California
2. Cienaga Creek Ranch
Accommodation: Cienaga Creek Ranch
Highlights: Private 40-acre property, miles of hiking trails, off-leash dogs OK, sustainable, solar powered, remote, a bit off-grid
If you're traveling up into the mountains with a dog (or dogs), the pet-friendly Cienaga Creek Ranch is the best resort in Big Bear for pet parents. The 40-acre ranch has miles of hiking trails (including the Pacific Crest Trail), which means you can hike with your dog off-leash. If you're a stargazer, the clear night skies make it an amazing place to look up.
The sustainable resort uses solar power (and a battery array), which is good for the environment but bad if you need to charge an EV (you can't do it here). There is also no Wi-Fi and very poor cellular coverage, so you'll mainly be off the grid.
Accommodations are five individual cottages and a large home, offering the privacy you can't get at other Big Bear resorts. Each cottage is at least 200 yards away from the next one. The location means you can mountain bike or snowshoe right from your cottage and never leave the property.
The ranch has some gravel roads, and in the winter, you may need tire chains even if they're not needed on the roads to get here. It's about 20 minutes from the ski resorts and 20 minutes from Big Bear Village.
Address: 43630 Rainbow Lane, Angelus Oaks, California
3. Gold Mountain Manor Bed and Breakfast
Accommodation: Gold Mountain Manor Bed and Breakfast
Highlights: Huge 1920s log cabin, bed and breakfast experience, fireplaces, communal kitchen, excellent homemade breakfast served daily
One of the best resorts in Big Bear is a massive 7,000-square-foot log cabin built in the 1920s when the area was a popular getaway for Hollywood stars. Now a luxury bed and breakfast, it's a great place to stay for couples.
Go for an upstairs room, as the vintage floors can be creaky. Each room is unique in design, with antiques and vintage pieces. They all have their own bathrooms with luxe features like clawfoot tubs, organic toiletries, plush robes, and towel warmers. Rooms also have 40-inch TVs with cable and free high-speed Wi-Fi. They all have fireplaces with stone mantels.
The rustic experience means the rooms are heated by the fireplace, with some help from a space heater. There is no air conditioning.
Guests have access to a full (communal) kitchen and can use it to cook and store food. Hot beverages, snacks, and popcorn are provided at no charge. A homemade breakfast, considered by some to be a highlight of any stay, is served each morning in the dining room.
Address: 1117 Anita Avenue, Big Bear Lake, California
4. Bluegreen Vacations The Club at Big Bear Village, Ascend Resort Collection
Highlights: Large, luxurious, condo-style units with gourmet kitchens; great for families; some have garages; a heated pool; community activity center
This condo resort is a great place to stay for families with kids, as you get large, luxurious fully-equipped condo-style accommodations. That means there are multiple bedrooms, multiple flat-screen TVs, a large living area, a dining area, a full gourmet kitchen, and even washers and dryers inside each unit. Each villa has a big fireplace, and some come with two-car enclosed garages.
Bluegreen The Club at Big Bear Village is the best resort in Big Bear for families and large groups, as the very modern and stylish accommodations can fit between 6 and 10 people. Most have three bedrooms and a sofa bed in the living room area.
The property includes gourmet-level BBQ grills; a full fitness center; and a well-stocked arcade, billiards area, and game room. You can spend time in the main lodge, which is a fun place to relax. It also has specific kids' and teen zones with activities and age-appropriate games.
There's a big heated pool open all year, along with an outdoor hot tub and a separate kiddie pool. The desk is staffed 24 hours a day, and the staff can help arrange and advise on local adventures.
Address: 40671 Village Drive, Big Bear Lake, California
5. Best Western Big Bear Chateau
Accommodation: Best Western Big Bear Chateau
Highlights: Every room has a fireplace, a year-round heated hot tub, close to ski resorts
If you want to sit in front of your own fireplace after a long day on the slopes, the Best Western Big Bear Chateau is the best resort in Big Bear because all the rooms have their own fireplace. You can upgrade your accommodation to a room with a balcony and/or one with a big jetted bathtub.
Rooms at the mountain resort have rustic decor with corporate-style furniture. They each come with a refrigerator and microwave, so you can prepare some snacks. Beds have pillow-top mattresses.
The on-site café serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the on-site lounge has a dinner menu on weekends. There is a Walgreens almost directly across the street, making it convenient to pick up snacks or anything you forgot at home.
The resort is just off Big Bear Blvd, the main road leading to the ski resorts, which are about a mile away. Amenities include a fitness center and a game room along with an outdoor pool. The pool is closed in the winter, but the outdoor hot tub is open year-round.
It's a great place to stay for couples and offers a "Wedding in the Pines" package should you wish to tie the knot in the mountains. Wi-Fi is included in the room rate, as is a full breakfast.
Address: 42200 Moonridge Drive, Big Bear Lake, California
6. WorldMark Big Bear Lake
Accommodation: WorldMark Big Bear Lake
Highlights: Modern condo units, full kitchens and fireplaces, washers and dryers inside units, all have BBQ grills and balconies, a tennis court, a summer outdoor pool
This resort near Big Bear Village offers spacious and stylish one- and two-bedroom condo units. Unlike a regular hotel room, accommodations at the WorldMark are more like apartments. Each unit has a full kitchen along with a washer and dryer. They also have their own fireplace.
The large suites have an open-plan kitchen and large living and dining area, as well as a separate bedroom (the two-bedroom units have two separate bedrooms) with a king, queen or two twin beds. They also have a queen-sized Murphy bed in the living room, which means the suites can sleep four adults comfortably and with some privacy. The two-bedroom units can accommodate six adults.
The WorldMark Big Bear Lake is one of the best resorts in Big Bear for families traveling with kids. Families can save money by cooking meals in their own kitchen or have a BBQ, as all the units have their own grills on the balcony.
There are play areas for the kids, a horseshoe pit, a full basketball court, and a tennis court. The kids can also play in the game room, with arcade games, pool tables, a ping pong table, and an air hockey table, too. The kids will love the big outdoor pool (closed in the winter) and the huge pool-sized hot tub (open year-round). Parents will love the well-equipped fitness center.
Some things at WorldMark are extra, like Wi-Fi and daily maid service (available for a fee). There is no restaurant, only snack vending machines in the arcade area.
Address: 240 Starvation Flats Road, Big Bear Lake, California
7. Marina Riviera
Accommodation: Marina Riviera
Highlights: A complete renovation in 2022; stylish, modern rooms; on the lakeshore with a private beach; a heated pool, hot tub, and sauna
This is one of the best resorts in Big Bear if you want to be right on the lake and have stylish, modern rooms. The Marina Riviera is on the shore, with its own private beach area (a snow play area in winter). You're only about 10 minutes from the ski resorts and a short walk away from the shopping and dining at Big Bear Village.
Originally built in 1969, the property has just been completely overhauled and modernized (2022), making it now one of the newest places to stay in Big Bear. A lot of the hotels in Big Bear have dated design, furniture, and fixtures; not the Marina Riviera.
The design and style of the rooms and the public areas is extreme log cabin. You have massive log walls and most of the furniture is made from rough-hewn logs. Rooms come with fireplaces with river rock mantels and balconies, which come with BBQ grills. Some of the rooms and suites have beautiful views across the lake (avoid the ones that face the parking lot).
There's a heated pool and hot tub, a sauna, and a huge deck where you can take in the lake views.
Address: 40770 Big Bear Blvd., Big Bear Lake, California
8. Holiday Inn Resort The Lodge at Big Bear Lake, an IHG Hotel
Accommodation: Holiday Inn Resort The Lodge at Big Bear Lake, an IHG Hotel
Highlights: Well managed, right in Big Bear Village, all rooms have fireplaces and in-room spa tubs, a paid shuttle to ski resorts, a heated outdoor pool, sauna, fitness center
The Holiday Inn Resort The Lodge at Big Bear Lake is right in Big Bear Village, which has some great shopping and dining. You're about 10 minutes from the ski slopes. The Holiday Inn has a paid shuttle, which will take you right to the ski resort entrance.
Rooms and suites are clean and modern, all of them come with fireplaces and in-room spa tubs. You can watch the big flat-screen TV and prepare snacks with the mini-fridge and microwave in each room. The hotel's Stillwells Restaurant has a traditional American menu and serves three meals a day, including dinner until 10pm on weekends (8pm during the week).
The Holiday Inn is one of the few resorts in Big Bear with an outdoor heated pool and spa open year-round. That means you can swim in the snow, which is a very popular thing to do here. There is a dry sauna and a well-equipped fitness center for your après-ski workouts.
Address: 40650 Village Drive, Big Bear Lake, California
9. Noon Lodge at Mallard Bay
Accommodation: Noon Lodge at Mallard Bay
Highlights: Cool hipster vibe and design, cabin accommodations, pool and activities, great for summer visits
Another cabin resort in Big Bear Lake, Noon Lodge at Mallard Bay offers a bit more privacy and seclusion than some of the other Big Bear hotel options. It's on the lake, about a mile outside town. The mid-century modern 1950s mountain resort was thoughtfully restored in 2015 and now boasts a polished, hipster vibe.
Cabins are rustic but rather stylishly furnished, with newer mid-century modern furniture and hip art pieces. Some cabins have kitchens, some have fireplaces, and some have upstairs loft bedrooms. Cabin sizes vary. Some are for two people, some for four, and some are for up to eight guests. Each one does have free high-speed Wi-Fi and a big flat-screen TV with cable.
You don't get daily maid service or any real concierge services. Cabins come stocked with fresh towels and bed linens along with bathroom toiletries, and the kitchens come with dishes, glasses, and silverware.
There's a lot to do at Noon Lodge. In the spring and summer, you can take out complimentary bicycles to explore the town. You can play bocce ball, cornhole, shuffleboard, or go for a swim in the pool. You can also have a cookout with the available BBQs and picnic area, and roast marshmallows over the fire pits at night. Of course in the winter, you'll be spending all your time on the slopes.
Address: 214 Lagunita Lane, Big Bear Lake, California
10. Sierra Blue Suites
Accommodation: Sierra Blue Suites
Highlights: Updated retro resort in Big Bear Village, only indoor heated pool in town, free Tesla chargers, smart SMS-based system for check-in and guest needs
Formerly known as the iconic Thundercloud Lodge, this boutique resort is in the heart of Big Bear Village. Completely updated in 2021, it's a great place to stay for couples, as they offer special wedding packages. It's also a great place to stay for families, as the resort has some larger suites that can accommodate up to five people. Renovated rooms (some with lake views) have stylish furniture, and all have a mini-fridge and microwave oven.
The resort has a lot of cool amenities. The coolest is that they have the only indoor heated pool, hot tub, and sauna in town. Off the lobby, there's a gaming area with an indoor shuffleboard table and a wide selection of board games to enjoy. Other amenities include free high-speed Wi-Fi and an SMS contact system for self-check-in and any guest needs 24/7.
This is the best resort in Big Bear for Tesla owners, as they have free Tesla EV chargers.
The Sierra Blue Suites has a front desk staffed 24 hours a day and the friendly staff members are helpful at recommending activities and helping to set up local adventures.
Address: 563 Lynn Road, Big Bear Lake, California
Map of Resorts in Big Bear, CA
Big Bear City, CA - Climate Chart
|Average minimum and maximum temperatures for Big Bear City, CA in °C|
|8 -6||9 -6||11 -4||14 -2||19 1||24 5||27 8||26 8||23 5||18 0||12 -4||9 -6|
|Average monthly precipitation totals for Big Bear City, CA in mm.|
|Average minimum and maximum temperatures for Big Bear City, CA in °F|
|47 21||48 22||51 24||58 28||66 34||76 41||81 47||79 46||74 41||64 32||54 25||48 21|
|Average monthly precipitation totals for Big Bear City, CA in inches.|
The best time to visit Big Bear really depends on what you want to do and if you need snow to do it in. As a winter ski resort, the best time to visit Big Bear is in December, January, and February, with the season sometimes extending into March or even April.
The start of the winter season usually coincides with the first big snowfall, which typically happens in mid-December. Natural snow is supplemented by snowmaking, but you need the temperatures to stay below freezing.
To enjoy Big Bear Lake and the mountains on foot and mountain bike, the summer season starts around the Memorial Day holiday, the last weekend in May, and goes into June, July, and August, right through the Labor Day holiday, the first weekend in September.
During the summer, the temperatures can average about 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, cooling a bit into the 60s at night.
During the winter, the temperatures are cold but do not drop to extreme levels. You see an average winter temperature in the 40s during the day, dropping into the 20s at night.