We *SO* wanted to love the Garden Cottage – it had everything and MORE we hoped to find in a vacation rental for quiet semi-seclusion in a lakefront setting. While it most definitely delivered on the promise of quaint charm, our experience was it sadly lacked in comfort.
The furnishings, certainly keeping in the “retro-cottage” feel, were lumpy, bumpy, and sagging – in some cases, the upholstery wearing quite thin. Furniture placement, particularly in the downstairs TV room, seemed illogical – the sofa facing AWAY from the TV (an easy if not lame distraction during rainy or evening hours). We tried re-arranging, but ultimately opted to bring our own camp chairs in from the car. The beautiful, expansive view across the lake from the upstairs sitting room, which should have offered hours of lingering pleasure, was distinctly marred by the lack of any comfortable seating. We were sad.
Good lighting also seemed to be lacking, particularly in the kitchen where meal preparation and clean-up sometimes proved amusing, if not frustrating. In the sitting room, one had the choice between turning on the heat and turning on the lamp…which promptly extinguished itself whenever the thermostat turned too far to the right. We relocated the lamp.
Dim lighting in the bathroom also invoked feelings of claustrophobia…but was perhaps good to distract from the hole in the ceiling where the exhaust fan was “supposed” to go. I do hope the owner will consider a contractor to remedy the situation before colder weather sets in, as even with the window full open and the door ajar, the after-shower atmosphere was decidedly moist, with everything coated in a fine mist which took some time to dry.
What's truly ironic is that the owner happens to be an apparently well-decorated (no pun intended) interior designer – a fact repeatedly emphasized in the cottage PR. A reading of the copious guestbook comments over the course of 15 years indicates that either: a) we have ridiculously high standards; or: b) the owner is resting on her design laurels. Perhaps it’s a bit of both. We were left to scratch our heads in utter confusion as to how it's possible we are the only guests who might feel this way.
Charm here is OFF the charts – loved it! But charm without at least an equal amount of comfort is meaningless – our opinion only – when we’ve waiting so long for a prized vacation.
On the plus: the owner's agent, Janine, couldn't have been nicer or more helpful - appreciated!