In the COVID new world it’s hard to find any opportunity to escape the tedium of daily life. When travelling across state lines can lead to weeks of soul crushing quarantine, it is a special treat to find a little local place to hide away from life. The chalet at St. Mary’s seems like one of these hidden spots where you can unplug and recharge away from anyone but the squirrels. However...
Let me dispel the idea, firstly, that this is a private getaway. It isn’t private, there is an on-site manager who lives ten feet away from the chalet. You can go to the beach or cook in the yard or have a little bonfire, but the on-site manager can see you. The bathroom on the first floor has a window that opens out directly into her front door. You WILL have an audience.
After the first night when the on-site manager threw a birthday party for one of the many, MANY, daily visitors to the property, we refrained from doing any outside activities. The continuous arrival of the managers’ guests made it uncomfortable for us to spend time at the chalet. We ended up closing all the windows and lowering all the blinds to try to have the privacy the property promised.
Secondly, Grand Lake is terrible shallow. It’s mainly six feet deep with a middle area of around eight feet. The shallow nature of the lake means warm water...which you’d think is great for swimming...but it’s actually better for growing algae. This left the lake a brilliant green color and we didn’t want to swim in it.
Add to that the copious amount of bugs and there was no incentive to spend time outside.
Undaunted, we still enjoyed our time IN the chalet, the AC works very well, but it is shockingly loud. Running it made conversation in the living room difficult and watching the television nearly impossible.
We also had the misfortune of staying during the week the refrigerator stopped working. This complicated things since we brought a lot of food and then had only the freezer in which to store it. The day we checked out, the owner said they would be replacing the fridge by the end of the day.
We ended up replacing half a dozen light bulbs because they were missing or burned out. It may not matter for some people but when you spend all your time actually inside the lack of light can become oppressive.
So, why did I give it three stars when the place had such big issues? I think if you go during the cold months, when you have no interest in swimming or sitting outside, when you don’t need to run the AC and just want to cuddle by the (fake) fire, this place would be a lovely getaway.
But, do plan ahead, there is a serious lack of three-prong plugs. You want to plan for that and bring an adapter.
The Chalet at The8Acres is sweet and peaceful. Although our winter stay was short, our family was grateful for the heat inside (each room had its own convenient electric baseboard heat control) and the cold outside (the frozen lake and the layer of snow provided a beautiful scenic view for both the sunrise and the sunset) We appreciated the clean and ample supply of bed, bath, and kitchen linens and the warm welcome extended to us by Sandy and Kay. We would definitely return again for a peaceful winter retreat.
We booked the 8 acres because it was beautiful & they said they welcomed outdoor weddings. A month before our wedding we were notified that the owner decided to expand the deck which caused the yard to get tore up so they had to reseed the grass. There was 1 small patch of grass just big enough for us to put the tent for our wedding & because of the short notice, we weren't able to find another venue in time so we had no choice but to deal with it. It rained all day on our wedding day so, naturally with the straw everywhere & the small patch of grass we had, it became a muddy mess. We didn't mind because the day still turned out great! All our guests were very polite with the property & careful not to tear anything up. When we cleaned up the next day, we made sure the property was back to the same way as when we got there. The day we were cleaning up, the owner creeped by the property slowly 4 different times but, when we called & called it took a few times for them to answer. When they finally answered they said they wouldn't be able to come out & walk the property with us that day, but, our deposit would be mailed to us. When we got back from our honeymoon & saw there was still no deposit we called to see what was going on. The owner said we had left the place completely destroyed & would not get a deposit back & that we are lucky he isn't sending us a bill. Then, while we were trying to ask him what was destroyed, he hung up on us! We had friends wanting to book this place for a getaway who will now not be going there & we will never be recommending this place to anyone. What takes the cake for us is that all we were doing was trying to get answers & he hung up on us! Bad business all the way around.
Good friends, lots of laughs, great views, peaceful, and good eating all made for a great get away. Recommend the chalet, clean and had everything we needed. Diana Keiser