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Hotel Review

Lazy Bear Lodge
315 Lazy Bear Trl
Vilas, NC 28692
(828) 963-9201
Hotel Website
Five Stars Five Stars Five Stars Five Stars Five Stars 4.5
Hotel Photo
Date of Visit: 12/20/2014

Lazy Bear Lodge, located in the scenic Blue Ridge mountains of Western North Carolina, is an ideal choice for a relaxing mountain getaway. The 2 story lodge is located in a secluded area with tremendous mountain views, giving guests the opportunity to relax in a wonderful, natural setting. It's a great escape for those coming from busy cities who are seeking to get away from it all for a few days.

Conveniently, the lodge is located within a short drive of many of the areas best attractions including the Blue Ridge Parkway, Grandfather Mountain, and the charming downtowns of both Boone and Blowing Rock.


Lazy Bear is located on a mountain top, surrounded by 7 acres of beautiful woods. The lodge is a perfect compliment to your Western North Carolina vacation. After your day out enjoying all the wonderful natural activities found in the area, you get to come back to a cozy lodge, complete with breathtaking views.

Outside, you will find a pretty Koi pond and waterfall, a large porch, and plenty of spots to relax and enjoy the day.

The lodge is clean and well-maintained, although the decor can be a hit or miss depending on your personal taste. The Christmas and woodsy themed decor where very attractive. My only complaint was that they still had a lot of spring decor up: updating to winter decor for the season would be great.

The main room is very beautiful with tremendous views of the Blue Ridge mountains. The large walk out deck is perfect for watching a beautiful North Carolina sunrise. Even during the winter season with the barren trees, the views were still outstanding. I can't imagine how beautiful it looks during the lush summer season or during peak fall foliage!

If I had anything negative to say, it would be that the main room is a bit small, especially if the 5 room lodge is completely booked. It could get a bit cramped at full occupancy. Nevertheless, it is still a very relaxing place to sit and enjoy your morning coffee by the fireplace, taking a relaxing tea break after your hiking adventure, or just sitting and enjoying the views and country style atmosphere.

The lodge was decorated very nicely for the holidays. The grand Christmas tree, staircase garland, and decorated fireplaces were very beautiful. Little extra touches like 24/7 holiday music really made the visit even more special. Even the rooms had a bit of holiday decor. The outside was brightly decorated with lights as well.

As I stated above, the mix of spring style decor clashed a bit with the holiday decor (for example: spring style curtains with Christmas decor) but as a whole, it looked beautiful. I would just go out all out for the holidays next year by replacing the spring/summer decor with more of a winter design.


Lazy Bear offers several great amenities including a full breakfast each morning. Anne, one of the owners of the lodge, was great at providing options for gluten-free guests, including special gluten-free toast and even gluten-free pancakes. Breakfast includes: fresh fruit, orange juice, and your choice between 2 daily entrees.

Dining each morning next to the fireplace with a view of the mountains is a perfect way to start each day of your vacation. The dining room is quaint and woodsy with a beautiful fireplace. Coffee, hot chocolate, and dozens of tea flavors are available.

In addition, tea and snacks are out for your pleasure anytime of the day. The treats looked great, unfortunately, no gluten-free options were available, so we did not get to test out any of the delicious looking homemade treats. Perhaps, they could offer at least one allergy friendly option in the future!

A spa room is available with variety of treatments ranging from a basic Swedish massage to a hot stone treatment (appointments must be made 48 hours in advance). A rejuvenating massage treatment is a great addition to any trip, especially if you plan on engaging in a lot of intense activities like hiking, skiing, or rafting.

I was truly surprised that the lodge did not have a hot tub. I recommend Lazy Bear take advantage of those great views and install one up on their massive deck. A soak while taking in the gorgeous mountain views would really add to the guest experience.

Anne and Mark Winkleman, the owners of Lazy Bear, are friendly without being intrusive. Anne had no problems looking up directions or suggesting a restaurant or attraction. Mark was a great breakfast chef. Bo, their dog, was frequently around to entertain guests with his tricks.

Be aware that the lodge itself has a bit more of a "do it yourself" style atmosphere versus others I have stayed at across the country. For example. there was no assistance with the luggage which was a bit of a disappointment after driving 12 hours.

However, the many positives at Lazy Bear definitely outweigh the small inconveniences.

The prime amenity here, besides the beautiful views, is the convenient access to must-see attractions. Downtown Boone and Blowing Rock (great restaurants and shopping) are just a 10-15 minute drive away. Appalachian Ski Mountain is just a 20 minute drive.

The Linville area (just a half hour away) is home to some of the top activities in the area including Grandfather Mountain, home to a mile high swinging bridge and 11 hiking trails. Linville Falls (one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state), and Linville Caverns (guided tours are available) are also just a short drive away.

If you need any help finding something to do, Anne will be happy to help you and even print out directions and suggest nearby dining.

Hotel Photos

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Prices range from $159-179 per night, depending upon which room you book. This is a great deal, especially considering the wonderful amenities, scenic views, and convenient access to area attractions.


When making a reservation, you will have your choice amongst 5 guest rooms. All rooms feature a gas fireplace or wood stove. Jetted tubs are available in all the rooms except Black Bear. Beds are very comfortable. The Hummingbird, Lost Creek, and Black Bear rooms feature private porches with views of the mountains, while the Mountain And Garden View rooms overlook the front garden.

The rooms feature an antique style design, which is not my personal style as I would have preferred a more rustic theme, however, those who like vintage should be impressed. I did appreciate the lighted Christmas garland around the fireplace: definitely a nice touch!

The views from Hummingbird, a 2 bedroom option, were absolutely wonderful. The porch is perfect for morning coffee while taking in a sunrise or a glass of wine at sunset.

The bathroom is large with a separate shower, whirlpool tub, and window seat. Again, more rustic decor would have fit in better with the overall hotel theme.

The tiny 13 inch TV was a bit strange, however, you likely be spending the majority of your time outdoors anyways!

No coffee pot in the room, however, you can find a fresh cup waiting for you starting at 6am each morning in the dining area.

Final Remarks

Overall, Lazy Bear Lodge is a great choice for those seeking a comfortable, relaxing vacation with a great home-cooked breakfast each morning.

Yes, there are a few improvements to be made (an outdoor hot tub and seasonal specific decor would be nice), the space is a bit cramped (although still cozy), yet the views, convenience to top area attractions, and affordability make it more than worthy of a visit.

Hotel Staff