Cohutta Lodge

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Where I stayed

Flag of United States  , Georgia
Wednesday, August 27, 2008

NOTE:  My last trip up to Fort Mountain was met with disappointment.  My beloved Cohutta Lodge has been closed due to Bankruptcy.  I guess it shouldn't be a big surprise, my recomendation on travel advisor was the last GOOD  And that was a year ago!  I found Casey at the front desk to always be super friendly, but I have to admit that not all people there have been equally nice.  Most of them were, just an occasional unattentive waiter at the restaurant.  And yes, the decor had become pretty shabby over the years, but I felt the view from my window was worth it.  I was more annoyed by the bridal groups who tended to make too much noise and the youth groups, but understood that I had to share this special place.  Climbing up to the top of the mountain, it was like death hung all around as the fog had socked in the entire mountain top.  I was hoping to walk around one last time but there was just no point.  I hope the new owner, whoever he is, will realize what a special place it is.

For more information, see website  www.cohuttalodge.com

This hotel was featured in my blog for Blue Ridge, GA, but it is actually located between Elijay and Chattsworth on Fort Mountain.

Being on top of a mountain, half of the fun is just getting there.  You go up and down a mountain road passing pastoral scenes such as a farm with a brook running through the land, or pass an over look where you can look down on all the mountains spread out as if in a grand tableau.  But if you want to see that every time you spend the night, then all you have to do is go to Cohutta Lodge. 

There are two buildings there.  The main lodge and the Valley View Rooms, a three story hotel built to the side of the lodge.  I have stayed in both buildings and the Valley View far exceeds my expectations.  It faces between the east and west, so you don't have spectacular sunrises or sunsets, but they can be found if you are willing to go out.  The best thing about the Valley View rooms is that you get a private balcony to look over the Cohutta mountains.  And the price is reasonable too, less than $100 a night.  Just be warned that during the fall, there is a two day minimum.

The restaurant has a great, All You Can Eat Saturday Night Prime Rib Buffet.  And if you don't like Prime Rib, there is usually a pan of baked chicken.  Vegetables are served on a chafing dish, so the quality tends to vary with the age of the dish, but generally I have enjoyed it almost every time.  I can't say the same for Sunday breakfast.  If they offered menu food, I would probably eat there, but the food in the buffet line is overcooked and dry.   But, one thing I should mention, the view is to die for.  The restaurant features big bay windowns (limited seating available at the windows).  Large groups must sit in the middle of the room.  There is a warm, inviting fire at the far end of the room with a piano.  The last time I was there, a young girl came up and sang for the restaurant.  Never knew if it was organized or impromptu. 

It can sometimes be a bit noisy on Saturday nights.  A lot of the weddings are held on Saturday or if not the wedding, then the dinner before the wedding is held in the banquet room..  And sometimes I must admit, they party a bit longer than they should in the hotel rooms, but most of the time, it is a quiet retreat.

While I am being honest, let me mention the tv reception.  Or lack thereof.  You are on top of the mountain and there is a cable running to what I assume is some kind of antenna, but tv reception up there is pretty bad.  Now, if you are an old fogy like me, and remember what it was like to watch tv on a rabbit ears, it won't bother you all that much (unless you think that your hotel payment should entitle you to a decent tv picture).  Me, I bring up a dvd  player (personal) and some movies to watch so that if I can not tune something in, I have something to watch.

In the past, internet was not available, but according to Casey, the front desk manager, it is available now.  It is wireless in the lodge, or available through a hard line in the Valley View.

What is there to do?  A short drive will take you to Fort Mountain State Park, Amicolola Falls State Park or the Blue Ridge Railroad.  Or there are two lakes in the area, Carter's Lake and Blue Ridge Lake.  There is also a beautiful area called Rich Mountain Nature Preserve.  But if all you want to do, is stay at the hotel and enjoy the view from your window, you will not feel like you were cheated.  I highly recommend this hotel.
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