I love unusual lodging, so I was very excited about staying here. Overall, I’m glad we went, but in hindsight I wish I had only booked one night instead of two. Also, I probably won’t bother to go back a second time, but I’m very glad we went once. It was mostly a fun and interesting experience.
We stayed in the Orient Express, which seemed like the best option after reviewing the website. The caboose was very nicely done, and I was happy with my choice. I enjoyed the hot tub and upper loft reading area. The bathroom was tiny, but that was fine. Note that there’s no regular shower. There is only a shower wand in the hot-tub. (More about that later.) Anyway, I just loved that fact that this was a real converted caboose! It was very unusual, quaint, and romantic. The room also had a nice little desk area, and a TV. The TV was too small and too far from the bed to make it very useful, in my opinion, but there are a lot better things to do on vacation than watch TV anyway. So, that wasn’t a problem at all.
One of the big reasons I picked the Orient Express was because it has a direct view of the lake, and I thought it might be nice to sit on the little deck and read while enjoying the view. After being there, I don’t feel like that should have been a priority during my selection process. Perhaps this is seasonal, but the lake was actually pretty gross. It was full of algae, and it smelled terrible. There were also millions of bugs in huge swarms. Like I said, maybe that’s a seasonal thing. Perhaps at other times of the year the lake is gorgeous. I honestly don’t know. And even when we were there, we did enjoy seeing the lake, which is very pretty from a distance. Anyway, my point was that I wouldn’t necessarily put a priority on being close to the lake when you pick your caboose.
We like to gamble and there are two casinos nearby. The closer one is in a regular building, but inside it is old and crappy. The farther one (Running Creek) is in a large tent-like structure, but the slot machines are newer and nicer, and the place was bright, new, and clean. We also went out to an Italian dinner at Sicily’s Cucina in nearby Lakeport, which was fine. It wasn’t great, but maybe it’s the best Italian place around. I would go back there if I ever found myself in Lakeport again.
I believe there are places on the lake where you can rent watercraft of various types, but after seeing how gross the lake was, we bailed on that idea. However, we drove all around the lake and enjoyed the views. This is really a very beautiful area.
My one big disappointment with our visit was the lack of housekeeping. We stayed two nights (Friday and Saturday). After spending most of the day Saturday out running around, we returned about 4:30 to find our room hadn’t been cleaned yet. When I inquired at the office, they said that they don’t clean the rooms unless people specifically ask for it. Well, that’s a new one. I’ve stayed in hundreds of hotels and B&B’s all over the world, and I don’t remember ever having to ask for housekeeping before. So anyway, I said OK I specifically would like my room cleaned. But they said it was too late. I needed to request it earlier in the day, which would have been a good trick since I didn’t know earlier in the day that they wouldn’t clean my room. So after they told me there was no way I could get my room cleaned, I asked for clean towels, and ended up cleaning the room myself. As I was making the bed, wiping out the hot tub, and picking up wet towels, I wondered why the hosts hadn’t walked over and done it themselves, since they were just standing around anyway.
Earlier I mentioned that in hindsight I wish I had only booked one night, which would have avoided the housekeeping problem. Another reason to just stay one night is the lack of shower. Bathing in the hot tub is fun if you make a romantic event out of it, but if you just want to take a quick normal shower in the morning before going out, it really sucks. However, for a 1-night stay, and if you make the bathing/tubbing experience into a romantic event, it’s really very nice!
One other small disappointment was when we walked out on the dock in front of the B&B. It was so covered in bird poop that we didn’t want to sit or touch anything. That was only a minor disappointment. Certainly, this isn’t a reason to skip staying here, but I mention it only so you have appropriate expectations. You should still stay here, since the overall experience was more positive than negative, but just don’t expect to sit on the dock and dangle your feet in the water.
Maybe it’s just me (and my old-man eyes), but I found the lighting in the caboose to be quite inadequate. Fortunately, we always travel with little headlamps (for occasional times like this), and we used them for reading, and my wife also used hers in the tub to shave her legs. So, it wasn’t really a problem for us.
By the way, if you enjoy unusual lodging, here are some other places we have enjoyed: Queen Mary Hotel in Long Beach (historic cruise ship converted to a hotel), Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo (unusual theme rooms ), Victorian Mansion in Los Alamos, CA (Crazy rooms! e.g. bed made from 1956 Cadillac convertible!), Safari West in Santa Rosa, CA (stay in a furnished safari tent and see African animals outside), Hobbit House in Hawaii (cute hobbit-style B&B on the big island), Delta King in Old Sacramento (converted paddlewheel boat on the river), Out 'n' About Treehouses in Southern Oregon (the rooms are high up in real tree houses), Kokopelli B&B in Farmington New Mexico (huge and nicely-furnished apartment in an actual cave in the side of a cliff with a great view).
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.