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Robert Phelps

Member since: 2011
Call Owner
Speaks English, Spanish

Spacious Retreat on large property next to the National Forest

38 Reviews
Bedrooms 5
Separate WC's1
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 nights

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Photos and Description of this 5 bedroom holiday home in Running Springs - Safe Haven Forest Retreat

6 bedrooms 6 baths

Our 3,300 square foot residence was built to accommodate 25 people so that we could offer a comfortable place in nature for large groups to enjoy. Read some of the reviews of our satisfied guests.

Safe Haven Forest Retreat is a unique 2 acre property that sits at the end of Wilderness Road at an altitude of 6,200 ft. It is the last private property on the road with three sides connected to the National Forest. You'll enjoy the broad mountain views and surrounding forest in this tranquil retreat. The wilderness is your back yard to enjoy. And yet, it is less than 1 mile to the town of Running Springs, 8 miles to Lake Arrowhead, and 18 miles to Big Bear Lake. You are literally in the middle of the mountains yet have all the amenities of the easy to reach resort towns. You can explore the National Forest and the mountain communities at your leisure. Or, you can just stay put and enjoy the spacious cabin and activity centers around the property, such as the boating pond, the rock creek and sandy beach, archery & air rifle range, Volleyball court, the climbing wall, the outdoor chess board, the mini zip line with low suspension bridge, the toboggan run and the many paths around the property and into the forest.

Notice to people who want to party: Our property was developed as a forest retreat where people could find a SAFE HAVEN to pursue their enjoyment, personal / spiritual growth, connectedness with nature and each other in a positive and uplifting way. With this in mind, we don’t want to have wild, drunken, disorderly, abusive, and destructive behavior on the property. If you are looking for a place to have a wild drunken party, don't choose us.

More Details
  • Events Allowed
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair accessible
Robert Phelps (Owner)
Member since: 2011
Call Owner
Speaks English, Spanish

About Robert Phelps

As retired teachers we wanted to develop a place in the mountains where children could come to learn about nature. Our dream evolved from the idea of starting a youth camp to a more inclusive one where people of all ages could find a Forest Retreat that would be a SAFE HAVEN to convene with nature.

We built the house to create a spacious and comfortable environment where our family and friends, and short term renters would find a SAFE HAVEN to pursue their enjoyment and connectedness with nature and each other in a positive and uplifting way. With this in mind, we don’t want to have wild, drunken, disorderly, abusive, and destructive behavior on the property. If you are looking for a place to have a wild drunken party to go nuts in nature, please look for another place.

Robert Phelps purchased this house in 2007

Why Robert Phelps chose Inland Empire

After a three year search for the appropriate property, we chose this place for it's unique location; having the National Forest as our back yard and being an easy drive to all the other mountain areas. It is in the middle of the mountains yet has easy access to all the mountain resort communities and activities. From our home in Orange County it takes us 90 minutes to get to the property. Once here, we feel we are in another world where we can breath deep, relax and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us.

What makes this house unique

We have a comfortable house with many activity centers around it like a mini resort that people of all ages will enjoy. Walk out the back door and you have wilderness. Walk out the front door and you have civilization. Walk around the property and you have the best of both worlds.

The size of the property (2 acres) and it's geographic features offer the space to create a number of activity areas. There is a boating pond with a sandy beach and rock creek with bridges across it. The tipi gathering area allows for small group activities overlooking the pond. There is also a climbing wall, Volleyball court, archery & air rifle range, large in ground chess board, and horseshoe pitch. And the picnic area behind the cabin allows for a large group gathering with fireplace, and B-B-Q units. There is also a small zip line over a suspension bridge 1 foot off the ground for kids. And, a 200 foot long zip line for those who take part in our Outdoor Adventure Program. Check the Amenities section under suitability for children.


based on 38 holidaymaker reviews

Spacious Retreat on large property next to the National Forest
average rating of 4.763158 based on 38 reviews

A pretty good experience

  • 4 of 5

The property is pretty awesome, with a small rock wall, horseshoe toss, pond, and all the other stuff mentioned in the description (we even made a relay race with everything). We brought our high school youth group, and they had a great time.

There are some minor issues that I think the owner can fix to make this an even better stay. The main thing: sleeping accommodations. We had two students sleep on the floor because the top bunk beds were uncomfortable and kept swaying. One of the futons on the 1st floor doesn't open. The 1st floor beds/couches are all together, so the same place some our guys slept was also the place where we had our group meetings. This meant everything had to be cleaned up each morning. It would be a lot easier if the 2nd floor rooms only had bunk beds (ones that don't creak or sway).

The other issue was that we were told a trail is behind the cabin, and that there was trail information by the front door, but all it turned out to be was a mostly empty box by the door with a few pamphlets, none of which gave us information about a trail behind the cabin. We went down the one we thought was it, but it ended, and didn't really go anywhere.

Also, all of the cupboards/drawers were mislabeled. They had the things we needed, it just took longer to find things.

Overall, a good place to stay, and we would come back.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 25, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Enough space for entire family

  • 3 of 5

Property is comfortable for a large party. Although Big Bear temperature drops at night, inside temperature is warm and humid even with windows open and ceiling fans operating. The property is somewhat clean, however, furniture is old and outdated. Window screens are dusty/dirty.

There is plenty to do for kids ( a plus) although we did not use the pool because it was dirty. If you enjoy nature, surrounding is great and peaceful.

Owner was apologetic and accessible. Overall, my family enjoyed our stay.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 19, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Fun for everyone 4.5 stars

  • 4 of 5

We had 4 families for a total of 18 people, age ranging from 15 months to 40yo. The house was very well stocked and we really appreciated all the available beds and bathrooms. The furniture and arrangement was well thought out with plenty of chairs, tables, and seating for everyone. Our favorite places were outside on the grounds -- the kids zip line, rock wall, and fire pit were awesome and we made sure to use everything.

We did do the adventure package on Saturday morning and it was very fun and interesting. I would say this was probably the most efficient way to do outdoor activities with a large group that included very young kids. Robert was very pleasant and easy to work with. You could tell he put his heart into Safehaven and we were glad to have met him. He also gave us some tips on a perfect hiking spot with our group. After the hike we stopped by the little town and a market. The people were very friendly and told my kids where to catch a pokemon =).

Keep in mind that this is not a luxury house with hotel amenities (not that the kids noticed). We, unfortunately, had very warm weather (80's) and with no A/C most of our group found it difficult to sleep at night. The ceiling fans helped, but we were a little afraid to turn them on because of the dust on them. A couple suggestions would be 1) blackout shades in bedrooms 2) a deep cleaning of the house (we don't mind older furniture and decor but cleanliness goes a long way to feeling comfy in a rental house). A few more pricey suggestions would be 1) better flooring (many cultures keep shoes off in the house, but we had to put ours back on since it was cement floor) and 2) if it had A/C we would have fallen in love with it (although I know this would be a luxury upgrade).

Having said all though, we would definitely go back again. It was an incredibly good price for what we got and we could tell the kids we went "camping" sort of (since our group doesn't really want to do real camping). We had many happy memories there from the 4 days we stayed.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 18, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We appreciate frank reviews and suggestions of how we can improve our place. We have a professional cleaning company that comes after each guest to clean the house for the next guest. I will bring the dusty fan blades to their attention. We do a deep cleaning of the house once a year and keep up with the cleaning after each guest. Sorry about the fan blades. Each bedroom does have curtains on the windows that close. The need for Black out shades has never come to our attention before. It's something to consider. As for the floors: the first floor is tiled. The second and third floors are poured cell-crete with a mottled rose colored tint and waterproof sealer on top. The swirl pattern in the floors might appear to be unclean but they are not. They all have cell-crete for residential application with water pipes running through them for radiant heat (turned off in the summer of course). Many guests appreciate the fact that they can walk barefooted or in socks on warm floors in the cold weather. And, radiant heat is much healthier and effecient than forced air blowing on you. As for air-conditioning: There are about two months of the year when air conditioning could make the house more comfortable. But that would take a $20,000 investment and force us to increase the rental rates. When coming to the mountains for a few days to be in nature, one can't expect to have all the comforts of home unless you want to rent a luxury hotel. Robert
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  • 5 of 5

Our group had a nice stay. We will surely come back!

  • Review Submitted: Aug 1, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are always happy to welcome back our satisfied guests.
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Nice camp experience

  • 4 of 5

Our overall experience was good. It's great for a large group as there are many rooms and bathrooms. No master suite or anything of the sort. It's not luxurious at all but clean and comfortable. Be careful about leaving it near spotless or they will charge you extra for cleaning. They charged us an extra $75 for 3 bags of trash that were left in the house instead of in the bin. That was disappointing but other than that it was good.

  • Review Submitted: Jul 25, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: I dispute this misleading claim. This guest was sent a check, within a few days, for the security deposit refund less $75 for extra cleaning charged by my professional cleaning company. The report I received from the cleaning company was that this group left the property, both inside and outside extremely messy and they had to spend an additional 1.5 hours cleaning up after them. We do not require guest to leave the place spotless. We charge a cleaning fee for a professional cleaning company to clean. This cleaning company cleans a large number of vacation properties in the mountains where our property is. I rely on them to give me an objective report on the condition of the place after they have cleaned it. Our Rental agreement states that there is no daily housekeeping service. Our cleaning company will come to clean after your stay. Additional charges may be incurred if the property is left so dirty and disorderly as to require additional cleaning and furniture moving charges by the cleaning company. Also, it was made clear that 25 people was the maximum occupancy, as is advertised on our site with HomeAway. They had 30 and I charged them an agreed upon extra amount of $20 per person per night over the 25 maximum. The $160 was for 4 additional people and I did not charge for an infant. Her thinking that the extra amount should allow for extra garbage being left around the place is an unreasonable assumption. Our Rental agreement states that People other than those in the Guest party may not stay overnight in the property without approval of the owner. Maximum occupancy of any guest party is 25 people. Exceeding this limit will generate extra charges. It was obvious to the cleaners and me that they were so careless in how they left the place and even left a large canvas bag of personal items and notebook with personal documents. I called her to notify her about the items left behind. She requested that I bring it to my home where a relative could more easily pick it up. I picked her things up and brought them back to my home where it was collected. I did this as a courtesy without charge. I was at the property on Wednesday July 13 to conduct a 3 hour Outdoor Adventure Program for her group. Although it was an agreed upon fee for a three hour program I did not charge her for the extra hour it took for her large group. This careless and unappreciating guest will not be allowed to rent from us again.
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Pretty Good Deal

  • 3 of 5

It's nice how they let you pick and choose how much of the property you wish to pay for but we did end up with some surprise charges that would not be returned. The beds were not very comfortable, but it was a very good place to let a large group of kids enjoy themselves. Also, the $400 adventure program was enjoyed (zip lines, rappelling, shooting bows and arrows). Mr. Phelps took care to make sure even the little ones (mine included) could enjoy the adventure.

  • Review Submitted: Jul 21, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: This review should be looked at as somewhat of a retaliatory review from this guest for me having charged her $25 per day for hooking up her RV. This is what I wrote to her in response to her email complaint: We do not like to nickel and dime our guests with minor charges and frequently overlook breakage and excessive wear and tear.  We have also set our rental price to be the best value for the size and amenities of any place in the mountains.  We have investigated the cost of RV hook ups in numerous places that provide for RVs to determine what would be a fair price to charge guests who want to bring an RV.  We have also traveled in RVs and have an idea of what to expect for RV hook ups. Nowhere would you find a place that would let you hook up your RV for free.    We don't have any way to meter the usage to determine how much electricity was used (for lights, fridge, fans, stove, air-conditioning or what), so we can only deal with it by charging a flat rate.   If you had asked me to allow you to connect your RV to the electricity, I would have told you it would cost $25 per day.  I'm sorry we disagree, but I feel that I have charged you a fair rate, especially when you tell me you have already paid a total of $200 for hook ups at other places on your travels. She said in a subsequent email: “The RV expense caught us completely by surprise. Just generally leaving a bad feeling. Still, we are to blame for not communicating proactively on our end, and asking if we were welcome to plug in the RV.  I apologize and take responsibility for that, Robert.” It was also clearly communicated to her that the 5 person paddle boat could be rented for $25 per day, compared to the $25 per hour charged at the Lake boat rental places. As for the beds not being comfortable, that's a subjective opinion not confirmed by others. Most guests are reasonable and fair minded, especially knowing that this is our only rental property and that we are not a branch of the Hilton Hotel chain. Then there are guests who have unreasonable expectations, as these guests did. Robert Phelps
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Nearest Restaurant
1 Miles
Running Springs
Nearest Beach
30 Metres
We have a boating pond, sandy beach and creek.
Car: necessary

We offer a 3-6 hour outdoor adventure program which includes the rock climbing wall, rappelling, zip lining, archery and air rifle shooting at the range. And, in the winter there can be snowshoeing, tobogganing, and snowboarding. Contact us for more details about the cost and times.


Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday house in Running Springs, Inland Empire

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights

Additional pricing information

cleaning £115
Refundable Damage Deposit £229
Pet Fee £8
Tax Rate 8.0%

Three night holiday weekends for the following are $600 per night.
MLK Jr. Day, President's Day, Easter, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving.
Three night holiday stays for Christmas and New years are $650 per night.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund for cancellations more than 14 days before check-in date.
  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
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Accommodation and facilities for this holiday house in Running Springs in California

Property Type:
  • house
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 3300 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • mountain ...
  • Mountain View ...
  • rural ...
  • village ...
  • Water View ...
  • Waterfront ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Basic Soaps
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Covered Parking ...
  • Filtered Water
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Gas Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Local Activities Guide
  • Local Maps
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Mobile Phone
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer ...
  • Security System
  • Sofa Bed
  • Thermos Flask
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine
  • Water Cooler
  • Wireless Internet ...
  • Wood Fireplace ...
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Blender
  • Catering Available
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer ...
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen ...
  • Kitchenette
  • Microwave ...
  • Mini Refrigerator
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Hob ...
  • Stove
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 25 people
  • 5 Bathrooms
  • 1 Separate WC
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure , 2nd floor wheel chair accessible
    Bathroom 2 - Toilet , Bath with Shower , 2nd floor
    Bathroom 3 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure , 3rd floor
    Bathroom 4 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure , 3rd floor
    Bathroom 5 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure , 1st floor
    Bathroom 6 - Toilet , 1st floor sink and toilet
  • The 2nd floor bathrooms are tiled. The one closest to the front door entrance is wheelchair accessible and also acts as a wet boot and clothing room. The other one is a full tub/shower bathroom. The two on the third floor have corner showers. The first floor has one corner shower bathroom and one half bath with toilet and sink. Both have outside access through a door opening into a hall way separating the two baths.
  • 5 Bedrooms, Sleeps 25
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 Double Bed , 2 Single Bed , 2nd floor (sleeps 4)
    Bedroom 2 - 1 Large Double Bed , 1 Single Bed , 2nd floor (sleeps 3)
    Bedroom 3 - 1 Double Bed , 3 Single Bed , 3rd floor (sleeps 5)
    Bedroom 4 - 1 Double Bed , 3 Single Bed , 3rd floor (sleeps 5)
    Bedroom 6 - 2 Single Bed , 1st floor entertainment room (sleeps 2)
    Bedroom 7 - 4 Single Bed , 3rd floor loft (2 trundle beds sleeps 4)
    Bedroom 5 - 1 Double Bed , 3 Single Bed , 3rd floor (sleeps 5)
  • There are 6 bedrooms: The one on the 1st floor that could be considered a studio apartment because it has it's own kitchenett, two on the 2nd floor and three on the 3rd floor, Also, there is a loft area with two trundle beds (considered 7th bedroom) between the bedrooms on the third floor. There are 2 sofas on either side of the fireplace on the second floor and four sofas on the first floor.
  • Books
  • Books for Kids
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Game Room ...
  • Games
  • Games for Kids
  • Ping Pong Table
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • Toys
  • Video Games
  • Video Library
  • Balcony ...
  • Barbecue
  • Terrace ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo ...
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue ...
  • Patio
  • Veranda ...
  • Terrace
  • veranda
  • Walkway to Water
  • 25 garden chairs
  • Events Allowed
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered ...
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair accessible ...
  • arboretum
  • autumn foliage
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • forests
  • library
  • live theatre
  • playground
  • pond
  • recreation centre
  • restaurants
  • waterfalls
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • Boating
  • horse riding
  • Horseshoes
  • Miniature golf
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • Shopping
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • Wildlife Viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundrette - serviced
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • ice skating
  • jet skiing
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • sailing
  • ski lift pass
  • ski
  • swimming
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
The main kitchen has a 5 burner gas stove top and two ovens. It has a granite counter top and oak cabinets with a roll out island to extend the kitchen area, if desired. The two high efficiency free standing gas fireplaces do not use wood but have a glass front to view the flame heating the faux wood logs. The first floor has a kitchenette with mini fridge and table for the entertainment area. The laundry room is on the first floor and has a door to the outside as well. There is a covered 8ft walk way around the house at the first level. There is an 8ft. deck surrounding the house on the 2nd level that is covered on the front and back. There is an 8ft by 16ft. balcony at the 3rd level facing into the forest. Roads and paths through the property lead to activity areas on the property, such as, the tipi gathering site, horse shoe pitch, toboggan runs, children's play areas and stage, and to forest hiking paths.

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