As an avid Trip Advisor member, I was disappointed to find little or no information on the Hawks View Cottages in Fountain City, Wisconsin. We had been “tipped off” by some friends about Hawks View and made a two-night reservation for my wife’s birthday, August 15-16, 2008. I’m very glad we did and I’m happy to share our experience with other Trip Advisor readers.
While my wife would enjoy a camping trip…I am more the Sheraton, Westin hotel type…so we compromised on these cottages about 45 minutes north of La Crosse, WI.
Usually check-in for a cottage is 4 p.m., but we arrived early and were cheerfully greeted at the Seven Hawks Vineyards Wine Tasting room (the check-in location for Hawks View Cottages). We were given prompt service and a map/directions to the nearby cottages. Now, we had heard that they were built on the side of the bluff overlooking the Mississippi River but this was an understatement. The first turn off the road was a steep incline leading to the first cottage (Marshhawk) with a private parking space. The road levels off momentarily and then continues at an even steeper grade to the “main” parking lot (four spaces) for the remaining four cottages (Falcon, Goshawk, Coopers & Red Tail). You essentially make a U turn into the parking area and need to maneuver your vehicle into the space provided. Don’t bother bringing a large SUV or truck…you won’t fit. My Honda Civic Hybrid fit comfortably in the space provided. Although the steep grades and small parking area is a challenge…it was all part of the fun just beginning!
We got our first glance of these four beautiful cottages built into the hillside…close in proximity but privacy is not a problem. My wife and I had reserved the Red Tail cottage which was only 86 short stairs from the parking area! Upon seeing the staircase (very steep as well) we decided to check out our cottage before carrying up our luggage and any items we might not need. While the stairs are a climb, they are very well maintained with treated-wood trim and cement. We reached the entrance and found the cottage to be outstanding! As we entered the main floor there was a large living room area with a futon couch and chair (if extra sleeping is needed for families); a small bathroom with toilet and sink; and a well-equipped kitchen with full size refrigerator, small stove and microwave and all the necessary appliances/conveniences you would have at home to complete meals (should you decide to cook instead of dining out). Sorry guys…no dishwasher! A door off the living room led to a small deck with chairs and an electric grill. The deck was “stocked” with bird feeders which were constantly being used by a variety of birds…the squirrels and chipmunks got the leftovers. Just around the corner of the kitchen was a staircase leading to the upstairs “master bedroom suite.” The bedroom had an attached bathroom with large shower. In the bedroom was a two-person whirlpool heart-shaped bathtub. There was a sitting area with a small couch (again this could be converted to a small bed if needed) and a comfortable queen bed. A small dresser and nightstands completed the furnishings along with a closet for hanging clothes. Another door off the bedroom led to another small deck that was directly above the deck on the first floor. Completely surrounded by nature and 100% private. I forgot to mention that both the upstairs and downstairs had gas fireplace/stoves…a nice touch that we fortunately did not need.
My biggest surprise came when the cottage came complete with air conditioning (which meant I did not have to carry my two fans up 86 stairs)! Two wall units…one upstairs and one downstairs…kept the cottage comfortable, although this was not a real problem as the highs were in the low to mid 80s and lows were around 60 during our stay. Plus, the cottage is completely surrounded by trees and shade…but the sun does get through providing ample light…especially the upstairs which has huge windows along the front of the room. There is only one shade for all those windows in the entire cottage and that is above the whirlpool bath on a window that faces one of the other cottages.
Needless to say this is a very romantic setting for a couple to celebrate time together. TVs are not provided nor needed. The cottages do provide nice “boom boxes,” both upstairs and down, with radios, CD and cassette players. We enjoyed the music we brought along plus some that is left in the cabin. We also enjoyed all the magazines and area brochures that are left in the cottage for visitors. Also, each cottage maintains a guest book/journal for all that have stayed in the past…for Red Tail, there were notes dating back 8-9 years. Not only do you get to see who has been there, most tell where they were from and what they enjoyed while visiting…very helpful.
While we did want to spend a fair amount of time at the cottage, we did venture out for dinner on Friday night. We chose the Hillside Fish House (about 10 miles outside of Fountain City) and could not have been happier with the food and prices. This has to be a “local” favorite as it seemed people were constantly coming and going as the service was good and the food even better. My wife enjoyed her birthday scallops which were some of the best she’s ever had! A piece of Chocolate Mint Pie at the Monarch Public House in downtown Fountain City was delicious for dessert. On Saturday, we traveled the Great River Road out of Fountain City and made a stop in Alma, WI, which had a variety of small shops and restaurants. Our next stop, our favorite, was the Nelson Creamery in Nelson, WI. A great shop for cheese, sausage and other treats. They have a great selection of hot and cold sandwiches that can be enjoyed either on their patio or indoors. We chose to enjoy our Reuben sandwich outside with some delicious sweet potato chips. Before we left the creamery, we had to do what almost everyone else does and that is to enjoy an ice cream cone. One scoop for $1, two scoops $2…a great treat! For the ride back we decided to cross the river at Nelson to Wabasha, MN, traveling highway 61 through Winona, crossing the river back to Fountain City, WI. Saturday night we chose to have our dinner at the Monarch Public House in Fountain City. While widely praised by many in the journals left in the cottage…our meal was good but average. Most of the entrees revolved around Irish Champ (a smashed potato recipe). While the before dinner drinks were good and wait staff pleasant, we expected more based on the “cottage reviews.”
Another interesting stop in Fountain City is “The Rock in the House.” A house that had a 55 ton boulder fall on it many years ago and has remained the same ever since. The owners, who no longer live there, ask for a $1 donation to view the home along with the press clippings and photos they share with visitors.
I think that you’ll find your trip, if you decide to take it, to Hawks View Cottages is a great value for the money! The cottages are very nicely appointed, very clean and, I forgot to mention, stocked with breakfast items so you can lounge around each morning. While Red Tail was the largest of the cottages, my wife and I may choose one of the other accommodations next time…just to change things up. Plus, 86 stairs is just not a challenge when the highest (we’ve been told) is 117 stairs! Just make sure you come with a vehicle in which the transmission and brakes have been thoroughly checked. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me through Trip Advisor.
- Also Known As:
- Hawks View Cottages And Lodges
- Hawks View Cottages Hotel Fountain City