My recent trip to Lakeside, Ohio with my sister was such fun and one of the things we decided to do was to stay at the historic Hotel Lakeside. While it does not have all of the bells and whistles that modern hotels have there is definitely charm and history that makes it a fabulous place to stay.
Hotel Lakeside was designed and built in 1875 so you can imagine the history that goes along with this building. There was no running water but there was a two story outhouse in the space that is the current courtyard. A two story outhouse intrigues me.
Of course changes had to occur over the years and some of those changes included the addition of an east wing along Maple Avenue and electric lights and finally public baths and restrooms. The front porch was enlarged in 1914 and there was a concrete floor put in along with a fireplace in the lobby.
The Lakeside Association acquired the hotel in 1955 and some of the changes that were made at that time included new wallpaper, rugs, mattresses and plumbing. I can not begin to imagine the changes that needed to be made to keep the hotel up to date.
The condition of the hotel deteriorated over time due to poor maintenance and it was decided by the Board of Trustees to demolish it. Financing of the demolition and construction of the new proposed hotel or restaurant never happened and by 1977 half of the rooms in Hotel Lakeside were not usable.
In August of that year a group of concerned Lakeside residents set out to save the hotel and formed The Friends of Hotel Lakeside. The Board of Trustees of Lakeside saw the value in restoring the hotel and the rest is, as they say, history. Thanks to 40 years of work by these Lakesiders, the hotel stands today as an iconic structure in the small community. The most important improvements included complete rewiring, new plumbing, installation of a sprinkler system, elevator access, new kitchen, foundation repair and restoration, and air conditioning of the dining room, lobby and all of the guest rooms. Without these improvements the hotel would not be able to provide such a wonderful place for visitors to stay. All of this has happened with the help of the Lakeside Chautauqua staff and its Board of Directors.
Antiques line the halls and grace the rooms. We were able to enjoy a nice breakfast both mornings we were there despite the shortage of staff (which seems to be everywhere). The dining room was closed but the staff made sure we had a nice plate of food and unlimited coffee both mornings. We ate on the massive porch overlooking Lake Erie.
While it has a lot of history it was the first time I had stayed here. My niece got married in Lakeside and this was where she and her bridesmaids got dressed before the ceremony in the gazebo and my sister reminisced about that day, having pictures taken on those stairs, getting hair and make up done, and all of the excitement of the wedding. I am so happy that they have managed to keep Hotel Lakeside open. There are a variety of rooms available and while it was not busy at all when we were there I imagine it will be booked up in the coming weeks. If you are interested in staying here click here for room rates and availability.
What do you think? Would you stay here or do you like more modern places to stay when you travel? Let me know in the comments and remember that each comment this month means a 50 cent donation to Comments for a Cause – Jubilee Partners.