we were very impressed, being a military family the location in the mountains were a plus and having all 6+ of us servicing in Europe was a major attraction for the retired service-members as well as our none service-members, the home is very large and quiet, very relating outdoors, the drive up the hill was a little tricky but manageable,
more than enough sleeping space for a large group. we are definitely considering a do-over in the near future, we didn't get to fully enjoy the area.
thanks again for opportunities to enjoy your home.
I hardly know where to begin, because everything was just so wonderful. My husband and I decided to take a mini vacation while we had to evacuate from the hurricane in our area. We had never been to Helen Ga. Or this lodge. So really didn't know what to expect. Nothing disappointed. From the time we walked through the door into a beautiful, warm, peaceful setting, to the time we left. The lodge was absolutely stunning. The view was gorgeous. Everything was so clean, neat, and well organized. We loved the layout and the big rooms, the game rooms, the hot tub, fire pit, to the swing. It was so close to everything we wanted to do. The host made sure we were comfortable and had everything we needed. She, also, recommended several restaurants, falls, and parks and she was right on on all of them. I have not had a vacation that was so stress free, peaceful, and stayed in such a beautiful place in a long time. It was absolutely the best get away in every aspect in a long time. My husband and I will be back and we will recommend this to all of our friends. Thank you for giving us such great memories!!!
Where do I begin? Not pet friendly, not guest friendly.
About a week prior to our stay, Annie forgot (or pretended to forget) that our party of 15 was bringing three small dogs. As is typical based on other reviews, she then asked us to leave the housekeeper a “really nice tip” because of the dogs, even though it was communicated up front and in writing that they would be present during our stay. Annie communicated in writing that leaving a tip was, of course, our choice. My friend that made the reservation indicated that she would pass on this message to the other guests staying for the weekend, which she did, but she never committed to leaving said tip.
The listing for this property is extremely misleading in how it describes the positioning of the cameras and should be updated out of basic respect for guests. Upon our arrival, we were shocked to find the “security” cameras pointed at all of the common areas. On the one hand, we felt quite uncomfortable knowing we were potentially watched eating, playing board games, and enjoying conversation with one another. On the other, we must now question whether Annie even reviews this footage, since the behaviors she claims to have observed via these cameras simply did not occur. Frankly, despite the egregious invasions of privacy these cameras represent, we would welcome the video footage at this point simply to refute Annie’s baseless claims. We have nothing to hide.
Our group opted not to leave an additional tip upon checkout for the following reasons:
• We frequently stay at Airbnbs/rental properties and tipping is not customary as the cleaning fee is built in, including with pet-friendly rentals.
• A hefty cleaning fee was included in our original reservation.
• We communicated up front about how many dogs would be present, one of which is a breed that does not shed.
• Our group had to do some minor cleaning upon arrival in some of the rooms and bathrooms that evidently had not been used in a while.
• No provisions were made for the additional guests, even though we paid extra for each guest beyond six people (no beds prepared, no extra paper products provided, etc.).
An hour after our checkout as we drove home, I had the unfortunate privilege of hearing the phone call Annie placed to my friend, in which she brazenly accused our party of leaving the worst mess she had ever seen. She alleged there were muddy paw prints “all through the house” and clumps of fur “everywhere,” which starkly contrasts with the condition in which the house was left. We took painstaking care to ensure the house was left in the same condition as when we arrived, above and beyond the already very strict check-out instructions, all of which can be confirmed via the video footage. Annie asked that we remedy the alleged pet mess by paying a fee, which none of our guests felt comfortable paying knowing the condition in which we left the house. When informed of this, Annie then felt compelled to mention “gouges” in the hardwood floor, which were not mentioned in her call, and began her barrage of threats regarding the video footage. The pictures she shared with us are far from compelling: a grey dust bunny (the two dogs that shed are white), two smudges on the floor that could be eliminated with one swipe of a Lysol wipe, and minor scratches on the hardwood floor that are characteristic of the normal wear and tear that we observed throughout the house. At no point did we scratch the hardwood floors, but Annie claims the security cameras prove we did (wow, they must be military grade with that kind of resolution!). Again, I’d love to see the footage. She also claims that she does not use her cameras to spy on her guests, yet our experience and other reviews indicate otherwise. In retrospect, we wish we had been more thorough in vetting out this host beforehand.
The more we pushed back, the more damages she invented. Annie submitted a claim for the “excessive pet mess” and the hardwood floor scratches, which we of course disputed. Thankfully nearly all conversations with Annie took place in writing, so we have supplied the necessary documentation and refuted her allegations with ease. She has recently gone on to mention that she should have charged us for the “bodily fluid” in the hot tub, which seems to be a common fallback based on other reviews. Needless to say, I don’t think we would have enjoyed sitting in the hot tub had we known it was filled with miscellaneous bodily fluids. This seems like the first thing I would have mentioned to guests, but she didn’t until after several back-and-forths, in her words to “keep this simple.” Ok Annie.
This seems like a good time to repeat that Tripadvisor has officially deemed her damage claim to be invalid.
Annie’s claims are not founded in reality and are clearly an attempt to extort money from guests that have the audacity to forego the “optional” tip. She could easily avoid this recurring situation by simply charging a higher cleaning fee up front and not mentioning a tip, but inexplicably chooses not to. Unfortunately, her retaliatory, predatory behavior must pay off often enough that it’s still worth it to threaten guests that “sneak” dogs onto the property.
Save your money and your sanity.
While the property is beautiful, the location great, and the space excellent for a large group, I recommend that if you have more than 12 people or would like to bring your pet, you should not rent this home.
I have struggled with whether or not to review this property for the following reason: leading up to the stay, and during our time at Eagles Rest Lodge, we had a great, 4 to 5 star experience. However, 1 hour after we checked out and left the property, I had one of the most distasteful and shocking interactions I have had with a host when renting a vacation home.
During our stay, we only experienced minor issues that did not impact the enjoyment of our time at Eagles Rest: the hot water in the upstairs showers was intermittent but there were 4 bathrooms with working hot water downstairs. The host offered to try to get someone out to look at the issue, but we chose to just make do with the other bathrooms. Although we paid for 15 people to stay in the house, nothing extra was provided for this additional money. There were not sufficient paper products, no extra beds were laid out or made, etc. Some of the rooms had numerous dead bugs, surfaces were dusty, and bathrooms clearly had not been used / cleaned in a while. However, we did not feel any of that was significant enough for us to report because it is difficult to find a place to host a large group that allows pets, so we remedied those issues ourselves or reached an agreement with the host.
One hour after following all check out instructions, checking out, and leaving the property, I received a phone call from Annie to inquire why no cash tip was left at the house. I informed her that I notified all guests that they could leave a tip, but it was at their discretion. She then informed me that her cleaning crew sent her photos of muddy paw prints and clumps of fur and dirt, and they require additional money to clean her home. I shared my surprise since we had spent hours walking through rooms, stripping the linens, collecting trash from bathrooms, putting all items back where we found them, cleaning out the fridge, folding blankets, etc. During all of it, we did not see any of the mess that her cleaning crew described. When I asked for specific details (which room the dirt was found in), she could not provide me that information. Annie stated that she would need to pay the cleaning crew the extra money they were requesting, so I committed to following up with all guests to see if they would like to provide additional compensation even though we did not leave the mess that the cleaning crew accused us of.
When I informed Annie that we we were not comfortable with paying additional money for damage that we did not cause, she was nothing short of defensive, rude, and accusatory. Made claims that we "gashed" her hardwood floors, are the kind of people who take no accountability, and regularly must disrespect homes that we rent. These comments are inflammatory at best, and unfortunately prevent me from recommending anyone rent from Annie and Tim in the future.
We stayed in the Royal Suite and the views were breathtaking. We shared the lodge with a group of friends. Everyone had a great time. The jacuzzi is perfect. We could see all of downtown from our balcony. Every room is beautiful. Their are even games available to play. It is extremely close to all Helen has to offer. The lodge is extremely comfortable and immaculate!
Luxury room and common areas. So peaceful and beautiful view of mountains.
We will be back again and again.
I stayed here with a group of 11 friends for a birthday and four nights of bicycle riding in the mountains.
This is an exceptional home. The finest of more than 10 in the area we have stayed at over the years. Also, the host Annie is EXCEPTIONAL. We all agreed it was our favorite, most luxurious, most BREATHTAKING stay ever. The kitchen is incredibly well stocked; blenders, cast iron cookware, all the pots, pans, and utensils you could ever need. The views are UNREAL and spectacular. Sunrise comes and fills the house with light and views of the mountains in the distance and Helen below. We walked down the 1/2 mi driveway/street into town, and there are lots of great, authentic german restaurants at which to eat. Each bedroom is clean, well-stocked, and much nicer than a usual rental.
This was an Exceptional stay, and we will definitely be back!