These Restored Cabins Are a Dream Work-From-Mountain Destination

Gorgeous design, smart kitchenettes and strong wifi make Big Bear's Noble + Proper a superior workcation spot

April 4, 2023 7:46 am
Noble + Proper cabins in Big Bear, California
Noble + Proper is now open in Big Bear. Don't wait to book.
Jenny Siegwart

Whether you’re a snow bunny or just an avid après-ski appreciator, Los Angeles’s proximity to a couple sets of snow-covered mountains is one of the best perks of living here. And given the way the hospitality industry is trending toward smaller, bespoke and boutique properties, it’s no surprise that the #aesthetic movement is making its way up the mountain. If Mammoth now has fine-dining spots like Vulcania, then it should come as no surprise that the latest addition to Big Bear’s ample rental properties is a cluster of beautiful luxury vacation lodges called Noble + Proper

With eight standalone cabins — seven of which are two-bed/two-bath layouts, plus one four-bedroom house that can technically sleep up to 14 — this little enclave is a high-end, design-focused property chic enough to draw a different crowd to the area. The couple behind the project, Sara and Sven Simon, bought the property in 2021 and carefully restored and redesigned each cabin, calling on their own grandparents as patron saints for each unit. Here’s exactly what makes this hotel the perfect home base for your next Big Bear getaway.

Unique Personalities in Every Cabin

Sara Simon is also the founder of her own interior design firm, Handsome Salt, and it’s obvious that an expert was involved in the flip. These cabins aren’t just redesigned — they’re completely reimagined, with an open floor plan on the ground floor that includes a front door with the image of the cabin’s namesake etched in glass, a working gas fireplace, a massive TV for cozy evenings in, and the kind of custom tiled bathroom with a walk-in shower that’s more common in a luxury hotel suite than a mountain cabin. It’s also clear that the owners customized each building to pay homage to the personality of its namesake, as different units like Fran’s Flat and Otto’s Chalet have completely different decor, veering more feminine or masculine and incorporating different wallpaper, textures and tones. While everything is clean and fresh, a vintage-chic tone brings the past into the present.

Kitchenettes Expand Options Beyond Takeout

If you’re heading up the mountain to take advantage of some of the snow that continues to fall in California this year at record-breaking rates, then the ability to cook is a huge perk. Like most great hotels, these cabins offer all the fixings to make coffee, along with an almost-full-size fridge and freezer, plus a toaster, full place settings and enough counter space to do a little cooking. There’s no oven or stovetop, so you can’t get into anything too gourmet, but just the ability to do some pre- and post-mountain meals in the comfort of your own cabin is definitely a plus. And with strong wifi, work-from-mountain is fully an option up here.

Connectivity and Amenities Galore

As mentioned, the wifi at the cabins was particularly impressive (I was able to write and file a whole story while up in Big Bear). For a new wave of remote workers, this kind of connectivity is huge, as “workcations” continue to be the name of the game in travel right now. Along with strong internet, the central AC and heat was another welcome luxury, along with a large flat-screen TV that was perfect for binging or getting into a classic old movie. During our trip, it happened to be particularly snowy — so much so that we were almost worried about getting back down. We couldn’t really explore the barbecues, bikes, picnic tables, hammock or horseshoe pits onsite, but for summer visitors, these will certainly be worth getting into.

Privacy and Proximity in Equal Measure

If you felt like walking, it would only be about 10 minutes to get down to the main drag of the Village and pick up some pizza from Saucy Mama’s, or a bottle of wine or two at Barrel 33. During the colder weather, driving will be the thing, and one of the other great design choices at Noble + Proper is a designated parking spot next door to each cabin. There’s no schlepping down to a parking lot, pushing your way through the snow — it’s just a couple of steps from your front door to the car. If you come up during the summer, each of the cabins has an outdoor area with tables and chairs right in front of the entrance. 

Great for Friends, Couples or Family Traveling Together

The layout of these cabins couldn’t be better for modern travelers, who aren’t always traveling as a couple. Two bedrooms means a couple of friends can come up and each still have their own privacy, or a couple along with a friend, or even a pair of couples. Perhaps my only quibble with the bedroom setup is that the beds felt small for queens, so keep that in mind if you plan on sharing a bed while up here. Parachute linen is used in all the cabins, and there’s also customized For All Folks toiletries in both the full downstairs bathroom and the half-bath upstairs. It’s just one more thoughtful detail in a property where the owners have personally ensured a ton of them.


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