Cool summer escapes

A view of the lake from the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa's restaurant. Images provided by Vicki King Public Relations

When the heat is on head for the mountains. New in the mountain community of Lake Arrowhead is the 173-room Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa, making a debut after an ambitious $14 million renovation. The challenging drive takes you to an altitude of 5,100 feet above sea level sweeping you into an invigorating Alpine setting. If you can’t make it to Switzerland this summer, this stunning resort, surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest is a haven for those seeking fishing, sailing, waterskiing and, with the opening of BIN189, fine dining with a stellar wine list.

This chic retreat has a few surprises. The first is Executive Chef Stewart Redhead, hailing from the W Hotel in New Orleans. It’s no surprise that one of the events happening this summer is the Sunday Brunch, with Jazz provided by the Blue Jay Jazz Foundation. On the cold buffet menu is the BIN189 house-cured whole salmon with all the trimmings, including wild berry cream cheese, crème fraiche and capers. Neighboring dishes included the resort’s freshly made donuts and pecan-praline sticky buns. A touch of New Orleans is definitely in store for diners. On the literary side is Hemingway’s Trout, simply prepared with a dusting of cornmeal and pan fried, topped with bacon and scallions sharing the plate with two eggs, “your way.”

And then there is the new Spa of the Pines, located off the lobby on the lower level. It takes 10 treatment rooms to carry out a well-designed spa menu, which includes a fine balance of skincare and massage. Their Signature Massage, inspired by the majestic surroundings, is 50 or 80 minutes (priced at $120/$175) and enables you to customize an aromatherapy blend. There are six choices for facials from the True Reveal Anti-Aging Treatment with Idebenone to the Native Clay Organic Facial.

Combine either with a brisk walk around Lake Arrowhead and you should regain that youthful glow, naturally.

The resort is privy to its own private beachfront and adjacent to the Village where the Lake Arrowhead Queen navigates visitors around the lake. Local history is a part of Captain Bill’s narration. There are free live concerts year round at the center stage pavilion, hiking trails galore and for those who want to try ice skating, the Ice Castle International Training Center with an Olympic-size rink; Michelle Kwan once trained here.

Add to this, the resort’s sporty guestrooms accentuated by pine and granite, indigenous to the area. Peter Henry, general manager said the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa promises to be Southern California’s premier lakeside getaway. Managed by Gemstone Resorts International (they specialize in boutique hotels and resorts in the U.S.), their newest “gem” is good company with 20 other properties including the Mosaic Hotel in Beverly Hills, the Calistoga Ranch in the Napa Valley and the Hotel ZaZa in Dallas.

For details contact the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa 800.800 6792 or For the latest on what’s happening at Lake Arrowhead this summer contact the Lake Arrowhead Communities Chamber of Commerce at 909.337.3715 or

Pamela Price is the coauthor of “Fun with the Family in Southern CA” published by the Globe Pequot Press.