19 September 2013

Travel Review - Lake Arrowhead - Food, Lodging, Activities

Travel Review - Lake Arrowhead / www.delightfulrepast.com

Am I just timid, or is it normal for a lifelong flatlander to be a little anxious about heading to the mountains? I needn't have worried; I didn't even feel a twinge of carsickness. Just 90 miles from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and 44 miles east of LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT) in Southern California, Lake Arrowhead is an accessible and very popular destination in the San Bernardino Mountains.

Travel Review - Lake Arrowhead / www.delightfulrepast.com
Lake Arrowhead is a man-made lake carved out of a forest of several species of pine, as well as cedar, alders, oaks, willows, cottonwoods, dogwood and things I wouldn't recognize. On the south shore of the lake stands the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa. The atmosphere of the resort could be described as upscale but casual, refined but relaxed.
For starters, valet parking is available for those who want it but is not forced on those who do not. Bellmen are there to assist if needed but not to escort each and every guest to his room just to point out the light switches. The lobby is spacious and comfortable, decorated in a "mountain style." Our first order of business was to have lunch, so the bellman stored our luggage until we were ready to pick up our keys. 

Travel Review - Lake Arrowhead - Lake Arrowhead Resort & Spa / www.delightfulrepast.com

Aroma's is a combination snack bar-gift shop that we didn't get a chance to try because we enjoyed the restaurant so much. BIN189 is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As I mentioned, our first meal was lunch--outside, overlooking the lake, of course. No photos of the food, I'm afraid. What kind of food blogger dives into her lunch before she has photographed it? A very hungry one! But, take my word for it, it was gorgeous.

Travel Review - Lake Arrowhead - Lake Arrowhead Resort & Spa / www.delightfulrepast.com
Then we checked into our room. Wow! We stepped through double doors into a stylish entry hall, with a powder room to the right. Ahead was a large dining room and a living room with a fireplace. Both rooms had sliding glass doors to the wrap-around balcony overlooking the lake. To the left was the bedroom with a wall of windows, also overlooking the lake, and another fireplace. The bathroom was just as luxurious as you would expect to find in a lakeview corner suite.

Travel Review - Lake Arrowhead / www.delightfulrepast.com

After wine and cheese on the balcony (looking at the view above), it was time for dinner at BIN189. I had enjoyed the Creamy Chicken and Mushroom soup at lunch so much that I ordered it again at dinner! My husband had the Porterhouse Pork Chop, which he pronounced delicious.



Of course, I'm all about the food; but I did manage to do a few non-food activities the next day. I am a great believer in the benefits of massage, so scheduled a massage in the Spa of the Pines on the first floor. The spa is gorgeous and well-appointed and has the ideal spa atmosphere. I'm sure all the massage therapists at Spa of the Pines are very good, but my therapist was exceptionally good. So much so that I scheduled an appointment with her the next day for my husband.

Travel Review - Lake Arrowhead - Lake Arrowhead Resort & Spa / www.delightfulrepast.com
The spa also has estheticians on staff--what a treat that would be (as long as I don't have to look at my skin through that magnifying glass)! Hmm ... maybe next time ... There is also a full-service salon at the spa. I just might be willing to try taking a steam next time, too, as long as I can get my hair done afterward!


Another fun non-food thing we did: a narrated tour of the lake. The Arrowhead Queen is a traditional paddlewheel Mississippi riverboat. Tours run every hour and a half. Though our captain had already taken several groups out that day, his narration was as fresh as if we were his first. I plan to take the tour every time I return to Lake Arrowhead!

Travel Review - Lake Arrowhead / www.delightfulrepast.com
Though we would have been happy to have a second dinner at BIN189, a friend recommended The Grill at Antlers Inn in nearby Twin Peaks. This log-cabin mountain lodge restaurant is very popular with the locals, and deservedly so. We had the Tequila Chicken Fettuccine and the Chicken and Penne Gorgonzola, both excellent. (For squeamish types like me--you will be relieved to find that, despite the name, there are no animal body parts on the walls!)

We had little time on this trip to explore charming Lake Arrowhead Village--something we will definitely do next time. And there will be a next time!

PS Did I mention the pool and private beach? Oh well, another time ...

Travel Review - Lake Arrowhead - Lake Arrowhead Resort & Spa / www.delightfulrepast.com
Disclosure: Though parts of this trip were comped or discounted, I assure you that does not alter my opinions or influence my reviews.

18 comments:

Cranberry Morning said...

Jean, what a fabulous place and amazing vacation! So glad you were able to do this. Sounds like a wonderful time.

Amy at love made my home said...

Oh Jean, that looks so wonderful!! I almost didn't want to look at the lake pictures in case I loved it more than my beloved Lake Tahoe. I think that it would be hard to choose between them in a competition. Sounds (and looks) as though you had a wonderful time, glad that you enjoyed your trip to the mountains even though you weren't too sure!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Judy, thank you! It was sooo fun!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thank you, Amy! I think Lake Tahoe is wonderful, too. But Tahoe is about 1,100 feet higher, and I have a bit of a problem with altitude.

Anonymous said...

Jean I am so glad you had a great time up there. I was a part time resident for over 20 years and I try to go up there every few months. Yes, next time hit the Lake Arrowhead Village and enjoy yourself. The people are very friendly and they love new visitors from "down below" as they like to call it.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thank you! Every "local" I spoke to volunteered how many years they've lived there and that it's a great place to raise their family. I loved the fresh mountain air and the very healthy trees.

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Ah, a blast from the past...many, many years ago. You do make it sound so yummy...from food to spa to massage to scenery!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Sue, thank you! I love blasts from the past. One friend calls some of them "do-overs."

Charles said...

Gosh, I always wonder at the work that must go into making a man-made *LAKE*. Pond, sure, easy (kind of), but a lake? How does one even do that? It must take ages... and then where does the water come from? Do they route a river over to it, or pump it in, or just let it fill up with rainwater?

Looks like a lovely place to visit - really beautiful... great looking food too, yum!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Charles, we have lots of man-made lakes in the US. My very simplified understanding of the process is that trees are cleared away and a river is dammed, and voila, a lake is formed!

LANA said...

Hope you are enjoying your vacation. Wine and cheese on the balcony sounds pretty good to me!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Lana! Wine + cheese + balcony with a great view = a good time!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Blimey, happy to be back on my main computer where I can access and post things that aren’t always available on the myriad wireless devices away from home. Jeani, have to tell you, your security should be loaned to the Department of Defense! For a self-described “flatlander,” you negotiate the San Bernardino Mountains as smoothly as a Disney monorail. My only critique is that they should fully comp you wherever you go! Very thorough, and the photos were almost redundant to your excellent word pictures. Almost. I do enjoy the photos. I’m not often satisfied with soup, but that would’ve had me back for seconds too. Highlight, though, would be that massage. I don’t suppose it was shiatsu, but good massages delivered with rapport are always worthwhile. 5…um, clavicles?

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks for the 5 clavicles, Sully! I really had a grand time and look forward to going there again.

Grant said...

Heya Jean, great review of what sounds and looks like a fantastic place to holiday and relax. I'm thinking you wouldn't need much ANS control at Lake Arrowhead, just being there would relax and revive even the most extreme of ANS responses :-)

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Grant! Yes, it was one of the most relaxing holidays I've taken in a long time.

Unknown said...

This looks like my kind of place. I recently went to Big Bear Lake (right next door to Arrowhead). We had a nice time but this looks more my speed. GREG

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

I've never been to Big Bear, Greg (sippitysup.com) because it's too high an altitude for me, so I can't compare the two. But I loved Lake Arrowhead.

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