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“Romance in Beautiful Big Bear”

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Knickerbocker Mansion Country Inn
Reviewed 22 November 2013

If you are looking for a romantic, rustic getaway….Old School Style -then you may want to check outKnickerbocker Mansion in Big Bear. It was our 2 year Anniversary and we wanted to spend a nice weekend away but didn’t want to go too far or spend too much. My Husband found this place through Living Social and since we had such great success last year with a deal from them (see my review on the Villa Rolandi-Isla Mujeres, Mexico) we took a chance on someplace new.

Knickerbocker Mansion is a Bed & Breakfast located in the heart of Big Bear. It was originally built in 1920 by one of the Founding Fathers of the area- William Knickerbocker, who was the original Damkeeper. In the 1980’s it was turned into a Bed & Breakfast and other buildings were converted into cozy cabins. We got the biggest and the best- “The Carriage House”. According to the owner, it used to be the barn. As a life-long Horse Person, I found this extremely appealing.

The Carriage House is large and has it’s own wrap-around deck, complete with rocking chairs and tables and chairs. The view of Big Bear Lake is peek-a-boo at best but it is still a lovely, serene view. The room is very large. The King Bed is huge and inviting, although the linens could use an update. There is a dining area complete with place settings ,utensils and a small fridge. Upon check-in, you are provided a bottle of red wine- I thought: "Oh…how sweet- an Anniversary Gift!” …..ummmm not this time! Along with the bottle, a couple of wine glasses and an opener is a note letting you know that you are welcome to the bottle and the charge will be $23 ! LOL…How ‘Bout NO! . I look at it this way: Nice of them to offer so you don’t have to go down the hill to the liquor store BUT most smart travelers BYO- as I did. I don’t drink wine but I love Champagne and brought a bottle with me. I suggest you do the same.

The room has a large TV and they provide some great coffee table books. There are also some CDs and a player if you prefer music. A big, beautiful fireplace (gas with a switch) sets the mood. The heating works well…almost too well- it heated up that cold room pretty quick! The bathroom is large and contemporary with a big Jacuzzi tub, stall shower and a closet with plush robes (love that!). The lighting is even good, which is a miracle these days. One great touch-a Rubber Ducky is provided for your bath.

Overall, the accommodations were lovely and perfect for the mountain setting. There are just a couple of things that we didn’t care for:

The Carriage House is broken up into suites, therefore, you hear the people next to you and above. I mean REALLY hear them. The clomping of footsteps above you is LOUD and if your roomies upstairs are up at 6:00 AM- you will be too.

When the water drains from the bathrooms in the other rooms, you hear a LOUD rush of water- it will wake you up at all hours if anyone uses the facilities. The drains must be right next to the vents and it is a little off -putting to suddenly feel as though a waterfall will rush right into the room.

The “Private Deck” is private to the Carriage House only BUT that means everyone that is staying in that building has access. As we had the main room in front- people could walk right in front of the windows of the room and look right in- and they did…only once but still, it can be a bit startling if you are not expecting it.

Breakfast is provided and it is really good. Not a buffet, not a huge portion but for us- just right. If there are any dietary restrictions or allergies, they will accommodate. You will be warned that you need to get down to the Bistro between 8:30 -9 if you expect to be served. We got there at about 8:50 and were the last ones to arrive. The Bistro at the Mansion also features dinner but we ended up going out both nights.However, they have an excellent reputation and judging by the breakfast, it is probably a lovely experience.

This was a lovely, low-key weekend away and we really enjoyed our stay. Just remember that it is a rustic setting AND a B&B -not a “Hotel” – and enjoy it for what it is. If you are looking for romance and a quiet getaway in beautiful Big Bear, you will have a lovely time

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank EBJ11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 November 2013

I had been ill all year, and my friend thought I needed a change. We had to do business on the mountain and chose The Historic Knickerbocker Mansion Country Inn B&B at Big Bear Lake, CA. We were there for three nights, and four days. It was SO NICE and the people were WONDERFUL. The food was very good and there were the most heavenly blueberry pancakes, yum! I very much enjoyed the breakfasts and the friendly conversations of the guests. I had a handicapped room because of my illness, and it was perfect for me and had an enormous bathtub, devine. The room was clean, as were the linens. I enjoyed my little fireplace and had it going the first nite as it was nippy. Stan was terrific! What a wonderful person, we ran late getting there but he waited for us and made sure we got settled in our rooms. Slept so well the first night I totally missed breakfast the first morning, didn't even wake up until my friend called to find out where I was. But the next night she slept so well she missed breakfast the second day. It was quiet and peaceful. Fall was in full effect with the trees changing color and the chill in the air. There had been the first snow only two days before we arrived, so there was still snow on the ground in patches. When I left I felt entirely refreshed. We had spent four days doing mostly business during the day, but still with the amazing breakfasts and beautiful people, I couldn't help but leave not only mentally refreshed but physically energized. I would recommend the Knickerbocker to anyone who wants to be treated in a good old fashioned way. It is a great location and has nice clean rooms. There are two, lovely, groomed, trained, standard poodle dogs who greeted, with manners each guest, and didn't shed, as their bread doesn't. If you love nature, and critters, and the mountains, or want to begin to, then you must stay at The Historic Knickerbocker B&B and become refreshed.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank randeelj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2013

This is the second time since summer staying here. The "Knick" is warm and cozy with serene views of Big Bear Lake and surrounding mountains.

We first found this place on "Purple Roofs" and plan on returning quite frequently. It is well worth it.

  • Stayed: November 2013
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1  Thank Jon P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2013

ok stayed here a few weeks ago, great location and rooms are good, the downside is that I am one that prefers to avoid dog hair, dogs in the main community rooms, and when having breakfast the @#$%& dogs are around, uhh, give it a break with the dogs, they are yours Mr. proprietor and not all folks like to have the hair and odor of dogs in the resort, the breakfast was good, will look for other lodging in the area that respects guest want for freedom from the poodles, yes I forgot mention that, will come back if I find the bow wow thing ends, the surrounding wilderness is greaat

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Stanley H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2013

We stayed at Knickerbocker for 3 nights in September and had a very relaxing time pottering around the area - beautiful mountain drives, lake walks, good shopping in the village.
Our room was reasonably comfortable and we had a huge balcony looking out into the woods. the building could perhaps do with a little updating but we certainly wouldn't complain about that.
Stan, the owner was great fun and very entertaining to chat to and he made us feel very welcome. The main house was always open for tea, coffee, cake and snacks and the balcony there was perfect for watching local wildlife.
Breakfasts were huge, freshly made each day and delicious (although as an Englishwoman, find sausages and waffles a taste to be acquired- still I ate it all!).

Room Tip: The building is wooden and old and you can hear others above you - just take some good earplugs and...
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Amanda L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2013

My husband and I just got home from a 2 night stay at Knickerbocker Mansion Country Inn. What a great place! Right off, Stan the owner was such a blessing. I booked my stay with a Living Social for an amazing deal. Problem was I must have done something wrong when booking online and we had no reservations when we arrived. Always check for an email conformation...lesson learned! Stan immediately arranged for us a very nice room. (it was a small room and needed a little better cleaning) He also was so nice to take our Living Social coupon. He did not have to do that because all Living Social reservations needed to be made online. Bless his heart! We so appreciated all that he did for us. He is such a funny and interesting man. Is there nothing you haven't experienced Stan? What a character he was. We really enjoyed the times we chatted during breakfast and other times. We were treated to 2 large delicious breakfasts...our compliments to the chef....Yummo! We had dinner there the 2nd night and had 2 amazingly delicious meals with a great bottle of wine (guests get 40% off a bottle of wine and 10% off the meal.) Wow, we just loved our whole experience there. Quiet, calming, rustic, with a 2nd floor front porch with a lovely view of the forest and the lake. We were treated to an amazing thunder and lightening storm so we did nothing the second day but read, relax, and enjoy herb tea on the porch watching the Lord bless us with quite a show! Loved it!!! We will return to Knicherbocker for sure sometime soon I hope. Our last bit of fun was a challenging game of an out door chess game with pieces that were about 2 feet tall. My husband used to play chess quite a bit. It had been many years for me. He had to remind me how to play. I figured we'd play about a 10 minute game with him winning spectacularly, but with a little help from the Love of my Life, we played for 1 1/2 hours! Whoo hoo!! Gave him a run for his money...too much fun! I would recommend Knickerbocker to anyone and everyone! What's not to like! Thank you Stan! Many blessings to you and your staff! We'll be back! By the way, Miss Liberty Paddlewheel Tour Boat was great fun and very interesting! Woodland Trail was easy, interesting, and had some amazing picture taking spots! Our weekend was a little different with the storm but was definitely one of the best ever!

Room Tip: The least expensive rooms are for 1-2 people only. There are some amazing suites if you have enough...
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Barbara M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2013

The property is located right at the base of the mountain. Bike, hike or trail run right from the property if you don't mind hills. Great location for a short walk to "The Village" for shopping, restaurants, bars and lots of live music. 1/2 mile to the lake. Beautiful wooded property. Main house has a lot of charm and Stan was very pleasant and a very interesting person just the right amount of charm and sarcasm. We really enjoyed meeting Stan and his staff. We stayed in the carriage house in Lakeview 1. The room was small, but nice view of forest out the window, and keeping the screen door helped make the room feel a little bigger and brighter. Guests have run of the house with their own key and access to the main house front porch and upper level porch with views of the forest and lake. Breakfast was outstanding. I only give 4 stars because of the small room and "dated" small bathroom. The bed was a bit lumpy. I would stay here again.

Room Tip: Splurge on the suite in the carriage house for more room and a private deck.
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank CODoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Knickerbocker Mansion Country Inn

Address: 869 Knickerbocker Road, PO Box 1907, CA 92315
Region: United States > California > Big Bear Region
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 16 B&Bs / Inns in Big Bear Region
Price Range: £77 - £147 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Knickerbocker Mansion Country Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 11
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Knickerbocker Mansion Country Hotel Big Bear Lake
Country Inn Big Bear Lake
Big Bear Lake Country Inn

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