"Each year, since 1995, our family has been patronizing Golden Bear Resort. We have rented several different cabins over the past 15 years and for stays of 2 to 7 nights. Sometimes once a year, sometimes 2 or 3 times a year.
We have become friends with Don and Karen DiCarlo, and their daughter, Lisa, and son-in-law, Lenny Duran. Truly nice folks.
Some suggestions: if you will be there between the months of October and March or April, take tire chains; If you plan to use the pool or spa, take a few bath towels from home; take a portable radio with fresh batteries; include a clamp-on light cuz kitchen lighting may be a bit dim; pack a couple candles for the dinner table; if you cook, take a sharp paring knife, chef's knife, and a cheese grater; maintain a sense of adventure. And, if you take your pet, please clean up after it.
Regarding the tire chains: please understand that it snows in Big Bear. Duh. Last winter, one storm dumped about 5 feet, leaving roads and driveways blocked. You can imagine the complaints from those who choose to be clueless about being prepared for what is normal in SoCal's mountains in the winter.
Even with chains, very few vehicles, even 4WD, can manage 4 or 5-ft deep snow, especially, if it is dense. Powder snow is easy, though. If you have tall and narrow snow tires and a heavy old pickup or suburban, you should be OK in really deep snow, but if you have wide tires, or low-profile rubber on your sportcute, be sure you have snowshoes or cross-country skis.
We always take supplies in case we are stranded by a road closure or need to deal with an electric power failure. Big Bear experienced a major earthquake in the early 90's. It will happen again. It also is in a wildfire area. So–unless you choose to be a victim, be prepared. This said, Golden Bear keeps emergency supplies on hand for guests for those times when Momma Nature reminds us who is the boss. For you ham radio licensees, two good repeaters are KI6BB, 147.330, negative, PL 131.4, and Keller Pk 146.385, positive, PL 146.2. You can always raise someone on Keller.
Golden Bear is not a 5-star hotel. It's better, but it is not perfect, meaning that the doors on the older (some date from before 1910) cabins may be a tad drafty. Some cabins have sinks with the cold/hot faucets reversed. Who cares? The hot water is hot. If you want a sterile place, stay in town at one of the big places or at one of the resorts where the cabins are cookie-cutter, but if you want an enjoyable stay in a traditional and rustic mountain cabin, choose Golden Bear! We do and will continue to use it for family stays and anniversary stays. Stays at Golden Bear have become one of our family traditions.
One last thing. Breakfast at Grizzly Manor, across from Big Bear Middle School, is de rigeur at least once during a stay. Unless you arrive at dawn, expect to wait outside. Rain or shine, hot or freezing, there WILL be a line. Sign in, pour yourself a coffee, and wait outside with locals and fellow visitors. The Griz is tiny, but the portions will satisfy a hungry teenage boy, and you'll still have leftovers for lunch and supper.
Steve and Michele and family,
Steve HigbeeBanning 12-03-2010
"Golden Bear Cottages---Reviewed. We have been coming here since I was a kid! The cabins are so clean and cozy, the owners and staff have always been great and accommodating, and it's in a quieter area near the lake. The pool is great during the summer, and it's a perfect hideaway when it snows because you get to stay in a real mountain cabin with a fireplace. It's one of those places where we really feel right at home. The prices on the cabin rentals and gift shop are always fair too."
Dana TRedlands 01-31-2011
"My daugher and I had a great time at your cabin and we will for sure come back. We loved the friendly staff! If you want to go to the best place to stay, Golden Bear is it!
My daughter Madison wants to bring her grandma the end of April!"
Kimberly KuhnLos Alamitos 02-11-2011
"We love staying at your lodge, we alway's stay there it feel's like home when were able to visit. My Daughter and I will visit again soon in March. I have been sick and unable to visit since last year. Finally my doctors gave me an ok, so we booked our vacation. Money has just been tight due to my disability, so thank you for the kindness and the discount. See you soon at Golden Bear Cottages!"
Susan ZekasFontana 02-21-2011
"We went this past Winter and it was the most unforgettable experience of our lifetime! We felt like we were in a 'Storybook Fairytale.' The cabins are a dream and transported us back in time. There is so much to do on the property our girls 6 & 13 did not want to come back home. The hospitality from the owners was amazing and we were treated like family!! I do not have enough words to describe our wonderful vacation experience!! We can not wait to go back for the Thanksgiving Holiday!!!
The Colón family from Los Angeles"
The Colon familyLos Angeles, CA 10-29-2015
"We took a group of 8 friends up to Golden Bear Cottages in Big Bear to celebrate a Birthday and we had a GREAT TIME! We stayed in Cabin #25 which was spacious, clean and very comfortable.
The cabin was located less than a block from Pleasure Point Marina which made it very convenient to go out trout fishing (which was great by the way). Don at Golden Bear even gave us a coupon for a discount on a boat rental and a good fishing report.
In our opinion, Golden Bear Cottages is one of the best places for cabin rentals in Big Bear, CA and we are looking forward to coming back as soon as possible. We will try to plan for a Christmas holiday season trip."
Mike CMoreno Valley 04-29-2011
"We rented out one of the large cabins for a young adult retreat from our church. Booking was really easy, and Lisa was really helpful.
The cabin was comfortable and had everything we needed for our weekend. None of the usual pitfalls of group cabins: low water pressure or unpredictable temperature fluctuations. Those things were a big deal for our group and Golden Bear Cottages resort cabins had everything covered.
Our group had a great time sitting around the tables in the kitchen playing games and talking. They had nice appliances for all the food prep we did, and plenty of kitchenware.
It's close to Big Bear Village and the Alpine Slide, so our group had the flexibility of making up our schedule as we felt like it. We even decided to visit the on-site jacuzzi, and the managers went out of their way to make sure we could access it even though the operating hours had ended.
I'd recommend this place to other church groups for their retreats. It's not uber-modern so if you like flat screen TVs, this comfortable historic place probably isn't for you.
It was perfect for our church group's needs, and we enjoyed our weekend there!"
Paul HValencia 04-08-2011
"Golden Bear Cottages resort is a great place to stay! A top AAA historic resort property. I give the Golden Bear my best rating"
Nancy SalinasSan Gabriel 06-03-2011
"Both the cabins and the grounds were very will kept up. Came back for our second time. We stayed for seven days for our vacation. It was very peaceful and relaxing. All I would like to suggest is the cabin we were in could use a little shelf in the kitchen to put extra food on, but that's just me. Everyone should go there and enjoy themselves. There's a nice heated pool and a very nice play area for the kids with lots of tall shade trees to keep you cool. I'm very sure we will be coming back. P.S The Maid Service was very will trained and very sweet the same with the grounds keeper. Bruce & Fay"
Bruce & Fay MaloneRiverside 07-23-2011
"This was a great facility for our group of girls for a week-long Cheer Retreat Camp. Lisa was just amazing !!!
Stayed August 2011, August 2013 and this September 2016. We traveled to Big Bear Lake on school business for retreats with a group of about 75 each time. Always a great value for a mountain group resort. Top quality and top rated for cleanliness. Superior Service!
Group Booking Tip: talk to Lisa"
Tony RClaremont, CA 09-17-2016
"For the past 10 years my family has been visiting Big Bear Lake during the summer time, and we always stay at the Golden Bear. The cabins are the perfect sizes for all families and everything is close together so everyone can visit each other. They have a great pool and a fun recreation place where people can play basketball, volleyball, horseshoes and ping pong. It's a great family place and we wouldn't stay any else in Big Bear! This year we stayed August 11-16 and traveled with our extended family of four generations. We will happily return again"
Gretchen SkruggsEncinitas 08-20-2011
"My review of Golden Bear. Can't wait to go back to your beautiful mountain cabins. I felt relaxed and at home, Very clean, roomy and comfortable. Very friendly staff. I have recommended Golden Bear Cottages resort to all my friends. It's great for a quick relaxing getaway, or a week-long vacation. We had a fabulous time!!!"
Tina GarciaSan Bernardino 08-23-2011
Lisa was the greatest!! So nice and accommodating to our needs. So nice to get great service. Unfortunately we were unable to get there as we planned this week due to an unexpected trip for my husband. We were hoping to get there the next week and because of the accommodating staff, we did. We have stayed there before and the owners/managers Lisa, Lenny, Don and Karen and property staff are always great. There are not a lot of cabins in Big Bear that compare!! A+ review rating"
Sandra McNabbOrange 10-27-2012
"We love Golden Bear Cottages!!
by KSD63, a Citysearch member.
Our entire family just left beautiful Golden Bear Cottages in Big Bear Lake, California. They hosted our family reunion for the first time. Even though we usually change locations every year, the whole family group decided to come back to Golden Bear again next year (and some of our family members who live closer are planning to come back this winter fot Thanksgiving holiday). Golden Bear has the perfect facilities to host a large family reunion of our size, which was about 200. It is the best place to stay. The owners and their entire staff were absolutely phenomenal! They catered to all of our needs and bent over backwards to make sure we had a great time. All of the cabins were clean and well stocked and the maids made sure that we always had cleaned towels and that our cabins were well kept. Even though we were all more than content to spend most of our time on the beautiful grounds and in our quaint, rustic cottages at Golden Bear we planned one special outing in Big Bear each day for those who wanted to participate. We were amazed at the number of things there are to do in Big Bear! In the 15 years that we have been having our big reunion we have never enjoyed a more serene and beautiful location with so many activities available to family members of all ages(and it is so close to home). I am a photographer and I enjoyed taking pictures of the beautiful wildflowers and even got shots of a mama and baby bear who were out at 6:00 a.m. Several of our famiy members enjoyed a Civic Light Opera performance at the Performing Arts Center. Others went on the scenic skychair and caught the most beautiful views of the entire valley below. Some of our younger family members did a lot of hiking and found that there were trails for all levels of hikers. Biking and quad riding went over really well with some of our more hearty famlly members. Many of our elders enjoyed the sunset cruise around the lake. I don't think any of us realized how many multi-million dollar mansions were around the perimeter of the lake! It was breathtaking. There was also lots to do for the chidren. Their favorite places were the zoo, the Discovery Center, and of course, going in a boat on the lake. All in all this was the very best reunion we have ever enjoyed - and we owe it to Golden Bear Cottages. This is my review of our retreat. Our families will be booking their cottages for August 2012!!!!"
Katrina SandeilloCamarillo 08-28-2011
"Golden Bear Cottages resort is clean, fresh, everything in working order, and friendly staff.” Stayed for a week in August 2011, traveled with all my family. Also reviewed on TripAdvisor September 2, 2011. NEW COMMENTS. We've been there with our family a few different times and always go back. I think it's the best place and its a great place to stay for family and kids."
Mrs. MendellosLos Angeles 09-03-2011
"Review comments: I love your facilities and return there every year. Our family really looks forward to spending our vacation at Golden Bear Cottages. We weren't able to come last year. Hope to see you again this year for our regular vacation"
"“Very Impressed” Reviewed November 19, 2011.
Our family found this resort cozy and the family staff helpful. Very happy with the cottage we had, it was cozy, very clean and good kitchen equipment. The staff were really friendly and helpful. We will certainly stay there the next time we go back to Big Bear. We stayed in November 2011, and traveled with our family. Golden Bear is a good value. The location and sleep quality is very good. This is the best place to stay with a family in Big Bear."
Penny WBurbank, CA 11-19-2011
5 of 5 stars Review.
Just got back from another great long weekend in Big Bear. We have a family reunion up there every summer. We have stayed at the Golden Bear Cottages for the past 11 years. They have every type of cabin to accommodate both our big families as well as our small families. There is a lot do do for the kids, swimming, ping pong, basketball, volleyball, horse shoes, and there is even a playground for small children. Last year my car broke down and I was stuck for two extra days. Lisa who works in the office was able to find me a great mechanic and helped me get my car on the rode again. Golden Bear also made sure I had a place to stay while my car was in the shop, and they gave me a great rate since I was stranded. Can't wait to go up there again next Summer."
Bill RArcadia, CA 08-25-2012
"Thank you Golden Bear cottages for the wonderful mountain getaway. I surprised my kids with one last summer hooraah before the much anticipated 'Back to School' season started. It was such great time to all be together and enjoy all the beautiful surroundings that the golden bear cottages and Big Bear have to offer. We absolutely loved the cozy and quaint feel of the cabins, the 'night at the movies' by the poolside, and the beautiful location. It was so convenient to travel to so many attractions yet we felt like we were right at home. The kids loved it so much they can't wait to go back again next year, or maybe again in the winter. Thank you to everyone... Don, Karen, Lisa and Lenny"
Nancie FilkinsChino 09-25-2011
"I was invited to go to Golden Bear with my best friends family. These fully restored historic cabins are spacious and full of amenities. It snowed the day after we arrived and the area looked like a picture post card. The staff was professional and gracious; they took care of our every need. Thank you (especially Lisa) for one of the best times in my life."
Faye KenolyBig Bear Lake 01-20-2012
"“We Love Golden Bear,”
My husband and I spent our 4th Anniversary at Golden Bear Last Year! I couldn't believe it when I called this year and the lady on the line remembered our name and knew we had previously stayed there.
Last week we just spent our 5th Anniversary at Golden Bear and we couldn't be more pleased! We like the really cozy cabins, so we have stayed in 2 of their smallest romantic cabins. And no matter how small, the cabins were perfect! My favorite part of Golden Bear is that it is centrally located to lake and snow. It is safe and the staff is very inviting. I'm sure if I ever encountered a problem, they would be right there! Although we didn't need anything, because everything was provided, everything was perfect.
We recommend Golden Bear Cottages to everyone... great for a quick getaway, or a week's vacation. Had a fabulous time and will for sure return.
My second favorite part of Golden Bear, is the realistic cabin look and features. It has everything you need and the cabins are decorated with a very country and homey feel, and they are really clean.
We brought wine, but forgot the corkscrew....guess what? There was one in our room!
We recently learned they have honeymoon cabins and definitely plan to check them out in the near future! Also,The gift store has a many unique treasures!
If someone is writing bad reviews on here its probably because they didnt plan to stay in a mountain CABIN. Staying in a private cabin means, necessities are included like in your home. Cabins are not a stay at the Hilton in Orange County. It is a cozy, country stay with all the necessities, relaxation and serenity one expects when staying in the mountains.
If you are thinking of making a reservation here, I hope you do it!! YOU WILL GO BACK! We are making it a tradition you should too! Also, cabins start at VERY, VERY AFFORDABLE PRICES! NOTHING IS OVER PRICED!!
Great place to stay for couples and families."
Sarah B TripAdvisor MemberHighland 03-06-2012
"Thank you Don. I am very happy with the Golden Bear Cottages and for you and your family run operation. Your Big Bear Lake resort property harkens back to a day that has passed for most of the country when families enjoyed being together in the outdoors and we did not have all of the noise and distractions. I hope you continue to prosper and more people, families and groups discover your “treasure in the mountains”. It is the best place to stay in Big Bear Lake!
Shannon D. Marks"
Shannon MarksOrlando, FL 04-01-2012
"April 26-28, 2012...days we will always remember up in Big Bear at Golden Bear Cottages... our church ladies where so thrilled and thankful to testify during our church service how uplifting and spiritually fruitful our retreat was...the beautiful, clean, rustic cabins contributed a great deal in our long-awaited activity. Our church group loved it. I personally am thanking you again for accommodating us, cared for my special requests...you, folks, are awesome! I know there will be a third time for me and family and friends to stay at beautiful Golden Bear Cottages. God bless you and everyone at Golden Bear Cottages.
Olivia GreeneSoftwind, CA 04-29-2012
"My first visit to your cottages was this week back on 4-30-11. As I love being in Big Bear Lake and staying at my favorite cabin spot, I am returning on our 1 year anniversary. Your hospitality gives me a reason to go back and visit a place I love again. Truly God is here among the trees and mountains at Golden Bear Cottages. And, we love it that your pet friendly cottages have fenced pet yards. This review is from a very satisfied guest. Thanks Sharon"
Sharon DuenasWalnut, CA 04-30-2012
"This place is awesome. Not your typical awesome... but amazingly romantic! Well, I like the wilderness to begin with... so maybe that helps... but it was amazing and I had an amazing time. I cannot begin to rationalize in my mind how great it was.
We stayed in the 'Honey Pot' cabin... did I mention these cabins have adorable names? Well, they do...and it's just... so cute! Anyway, this cabin is situated across the street...pretty much away from the other cabins.
Anyway, apparently this is the honeymoon cottage...as the guy kept mentioning. hahaha. I am sure I was blushing...
Anyway... the cabin was adorable! There was a bedroom, a bathroom, living room (with a fireplace), a little kitchen (complete with a stove and it's fully stocked with plates/silverware/etc. - which I never would have thought!) and the best of all, an indoor jacuzzi. It was also very clean, neat and well organized.
The whole place is very rustic... there was a deer head on one side of the living room...and just everything in the place is rustic. It's adorable...I really really loved it. It made my first time being away with my sweetie... really really special.
There are two tvs... one in the bedroom... which is necessary since I need to have something in the background to be able to sleep... I swear though... the following morning, that happened before... it's weird... but I remember the guy saying that exact line... ah well. Waking up next to my sweetie...was so adorable. Anyway, I'm digressing...the other is in the living room area.
As someone mentioned, there isn't central heating... since these are restored cabins... I believe ours was from the 20s... which you know I was secretly swooning over... but the heat worked fine. They had a heater in the living room and a double sided wall type heater in the kitchen/bedroom. It was definitely warm enough for us in this place.
There was this cutest wooded branch swing on the porch...which was adorable and fun to swing on.
It didn't snow while we were up here... but there was sill snow on the ground.
They also allow you to bring your dog... since some of the cabins are fenced.
The best part... the indoor jacuzzi. We spent a good portion of our weekend in that thing... hahaha. I am sure I am part prune now... but it was worth it. I had the best time.
It's a beautiful place...and I am still in awe of this place and the weekend we had together here.
This is our review"
Sam LWooldand Hills, CA 05-02-2012
"Spending time at Golden Bear Cottages with great people is the most relaxing time anyone can find within a reasonable drive so close to home here in the Inland Empire. Great food, good friends and the amazing restored historic 'Honey Pot' cottage, a honeymoon cabin suite, we stayed in. We look forward to coming back again with our grandson in the near future so we can have even more fun 'fishin' and renting a boat at Pleasure Point Marina with the discount coupons you gave us. Thanks for spending time with us after closing last night... Ron had a great time last night getting to know you. This was our second relaxing visit to Golden Bear Cottages resort in the last 2 months; these vacation cabin rentals are really a great value. The great Jacuzzi cabin we stayed in on our last visit was cottage #18 Grizzly's Den. Sincerely Tracylyn and Ron. Tracylyn Sharrit on Golden Bear Cottages in beautiful Big Bear Lake, the Sharritz choice for great weekend or weekday vacation... Best hosts in Big Bear. Posted on Facebook"
Tracylyn SharrittRedlands, CA 06-19-2012
"Our review: Wonderful Family Experience! My wife and I priced several locations in the Big Bear area for a long family weekend. We wanted to take the kids and our little dog to the mountains before they had to go back to school.
I immediately like the way the young lady on the phone treated me. She took her time and found
the perfect cabin for us. When we arrived the next evening around 10pm she met us with the
keys even though the office had been closed for some time. She was as nice in person as on the
phone. The cabin was great, two beds in each room, a very serviceable kitchen and best of all a
jacuzzi in the cabin that fit us all comfortably. We barbecued on the grill provided us and had an
all around great time. If you fish make sure you get the coupon for 20% off the boat. We didn't
catch anything but still had a fun time. This is a very friendly family oriented property and is priced
right. Our special tip: Tell the folks at the desk what you need and they will tailor the cabin to you.
Jon and Stephanie"
Jon, Stephanie S.Fullerton, CA 07-24-2012
"5 of 5 stars. Reviewed July 28, 2012
“Great Corp. Retreat - Wonderful Experience”
Just what a mountain cabin should be like ! We came up for a long weekend for a corporate retreat and were provided with wonderful story book cabins. It was picturesque on the outside and wonderfully homey and cozy on the inside. The cabins were clean and the furnishings made us immediately comfortable. Also, Golden Bear’s staff was completely welcoming and friendly. They treated us all like family and helped us choose great restaurants and the best sites to visit during the trip. They are located in a great spot that is close to the lake and marinas and not too close to down town so you don’t have to worry about the crazy traffic that can build up during peak season, but still close to a lot of great attractions, which made it easy to organize team building activities. The cleaning staff was great and we always came back to a spotless cabin, which made the trip for me all the more enjoyable. Among our whole company group there wasn’t one complaint, and the most have mentioned to me how they can’t wait to bring their families up to Golden Bear on their next personal vacations.
I highly recommend this cabin resort to all of our friends and can’t wait to go back next year!"
K. HillNewport Beach, CA 07-28-2012
"Comments and Review from a military family.
We just wanted to let you know we really enjoyed our week in cabin 11. It was the perfect fit for our family. Barbara Sue Taylor"
Barbara Sue Taylor, A MILITARY MOMOceanside, CA 07-30-2012
"“LOVED IT. We were NOT disappointed by our return family visit to Golden Bear Cottages”.
This quiet rustic cabin resort is what we wanted when we first visited a few years ago. When we traveled to the U.S. this year, we are so happy we returned to stay at Golden Bear! The office staff once again suggested the perfect cabin when we called to reserve this year. When we got there it was once again just like they described: great! This year we vacationed with our own extended family members for the first week of August. The weather was cool during the day,in the 70's and at night in the mid 50's. What a welcome change from the heat where we live in Mexico. Now that we have returned home, we are still thinking about those cool days, great times and experiences again Golden Bear Cottages. We strongly recommend this rustic family Christian resort. It is always a great value for family vacations. Thanks to Lisa and all the great staff. We will visit you again when we return to the U.S. for vacation in the coming years. This was our second wonderful trip to Golden Bear Cottages. God bless you and for all the wonderful service and lodging."
D SalasCabo San Lucas, Mexico 08-10-2013