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Take a look inside the renovated Bear Springs Hotel in Highland

It’s starting to drizzle on a recent Wednesday morning, and upon a guest’s arrival at the Bear Springs Hotel in Highland, a hotel attendant walks through the parking lot with an open umbrella, under which he leads the man to the lobby.
Inside, not a staff member walks by without bidding the guest a good morning.
In their combined 45 years in the hotel industry, Bear Springs General Manager Gerri Manzo and Assistant General Manager Moya Phimmasane have learned that, while important, accommodations, internet speeds and fancy food don’t separate great hotels from their competitors.
What does, they say, is service.
The Bear Springs Lounge at the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ newly renovated Bear Springs Hotel in Highland on Wednesday, December 5, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)
“Fresh Face” towels are seen in one of the guest room bathrooms at the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ newly renovated Bear Springs Hotel in Highland on Wednesday, December 5, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)
Sound The gallery will resume in seconds The Bear Springs Lounge at the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ newly renovated Bear Springs Hotel in Highland on Wednesday, December 5, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)
One of the Studio King rooms is seen at the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ newly renovated Bear Springs Hotel in Highland on Wednesday, December 5, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)
Robes hang in the bathroom of one of the Studio King rooms at the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ newly renovated Bear Springs Hotel in Highland on Wednesday, December 5, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ newly renovated Bear Springs Hotel in Highland on Wednesday, December 5, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)
A phone and tablet, to reach the front desk, are seen in one of the guest rooms at the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ newly renovated Bear Springs Hotel in Highland on Wednesday, December 5, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)
The Bear Springs Bistro at the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ newly renovated Bear Springs Hotel in Highland on Wednesday, December 5, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)
Digital room numbers are seen in the hallway at the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ newly renovated Bear Springs Hotel in Highland on Wednesday, December 5, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)
San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ newly renovated Bear Springs Hotel in Highland on Wednesday, December 5, 2018. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)
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“We’re our guests’ home away from home,” Manzo said on a recent tour of the former Hampton Inn and Suites just off State Route 330. “We want to offer our guests an experience. I like the fact we’re good at anticipating our guests’ needs. I think that sets us apart.”
The hotel, which opened about 10 years ago under the Hampton Inn & Suites brand, is owned and managed by Hakwaanain LCC, an economic enterprise of San Manuel. The renamed Bear Springs Hotel reopened this week after an 11-month renovation.
Located within San Manuel Village, the 105-room boutique hotel has added a full-service bistro, lounge, outdoor spa area and state-of-the-art fitness center. Guests can stay in modern, deluxe rooms or studios, all equipped with tablets on which visitors can order room service, surf the web or schedule wake-up calls.
And while most hotels have only one wireless hot spot for every two, three or four rooms, each Bear Springs room has a hot spot, a subtle touch appreciated dearly by families traveling with several electronic devices, Manzo said.
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“Five years ago, it was a big deal to have a flat-screen TV,” Manzo added. “As technology has evolved, hotels generally have been behind. But here, we have been given the opportunity to catch up with the rest of the universe because we had an empty pallet.”
At 27959 Highland Ave., Bear Springs is about two miles from San Manuel Casino and about 18 miles from the Big Bear region. Marketed toward people visiting the San Bernardino Mountains, Los Angeles and Inland Valley areas, desert cities and other local attractions, the hotel has a mountain cabin aesthetic and wintry, cozy feel to it.
“We’re teaching our employees that this is our home,” Phimmasane said. “And if we’re inviting family and friends to stay at our home, we need to be attentive to everything so our guests have the perfect stay.”
“This is a reflection of who we are as professionals,” Manzo added. “We want everyone to have the best experience possible here.”

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