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  1. #1
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    Default Hot Springs Lodging

    Just spent 2 nights in beautiful Hot Springs and stayed in a real dump Creekside Court, rented 2 rooms because they had no doubles only singles and we had Family coming to visit my Grandson & I while we are thru-hiking the trail. Was very dissapointed to say the least, hikers beware, this is a dump!

  2. #2
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    Sunnybank Inn is the place to stay, if they have room.

  3. #3

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    Sunnybank Inn is the place to stay, if they have room.
    Yes, for sure. There's no place like it along the trail, and just meeting Elmer is worth the price of admission.
    http://www.sunnybankretreatassociation.org/index.html

  4. #4

    Default Hot Springs Lodging

    Quote Originally Posted by SAnVA View Post
    Just spent 2 nights in beautiful Hot Springs and stayed in a real dump Creekside Court, rented 2 rooms because they had no doubles only singles and we had Family coming to visit my Grandson & I while we are thru-hiking the trail. Was very dissapointed to say the least, hikers beware, this is a dump!
    Hikers actually look for "dumps" to stay in because they are low cost-usually. Many of the comments I've seen on this site about various hostels being a dump I think are unfounded by hikers standards.
    Last edited by Deacon; 04-06-2016 at 09:59.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rafe View Post
    Sunnybank Inn is the place to stay, if they have room.
    Even though I stayed there & loved it, it's not exactly "spit shined" either
    Take Time to Watch the Trees Dance with The Wind.....Then Join In

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by wornoutboots View Post
    Even though I stayed there & loved it, it's not exactly "spit shined" either
    It has character through and through. Same management for what, 30 years now? Elmer is my hero.

  7. #7

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    It's a venerable Victorian mansion, furnished with antiques, lined with bookshelves filled with books. There's a music room (piano, guitars, other instruments) and hikers are encouraged to use it. Not to mention vegetarian breakfasts and dinners. And an owner who is genuinely interested in hikers, and many other topics as well: history, Eastern religions, politics, the arts, and more. For me, part of the joy of backpacking the AT is discovering places like this.

  8. #8

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    No love for laughing heart? Whats up with that
    Trail Miles: 3,715.9
    AT Trips: 67
    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
    AT Map 2 Completion: 263.8 Gaps From GA - PA

  9. #9
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    Sunnybank Inn (Elmer's) is a wonderful place and has been taking care of hikers for perhaps thirty years. I don't stay there cuz I'm not a vegetarian and I don't like political stuff jammed at me at the dinner table, but it's still a fine establishment. You also would do well to check out Laughing Heart Hostel, directly on the Trail when you come out of the woods Northbound. The staff is wonderful, the place is incredibly well run, and it is the ONLY hiker hostel I've seen in twenty years with a 100% certificate from the health inspector hanging by the front door. Most hostels, God bless 'em, generally get around 19%. If you're lucky.

  10. #10
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    I can also vouch for the Iron Horse Station. http://www.theironhorsestation.com/

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiptoe View Post
    It's a venerable Victorian mansion, furnished with antiques, lined with bookshelves filled with books. There's a music room (piano, guitars, other instruments) and hikers are encouraged to use it. Not to mention vegetarian breakfasts and dinners. And an owner who is genuinely interested in hikers, and many other topics as well: history, Eastern religions, politics, the arts, and more. For me, part of the joy of backpacking the AT is discovering places like this.
    I agree 100% I love it's nostalgia!
    Take Time to Watch the Trees Dance with The Wind.....Then Join In

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    No love for laughing heart? Whats up with that
    I've stayed at both Laughing Heart and Sunnybank and I give the nod to Laughing Heart. There is such a great energy there, and fun staff. It is a offset from a retreat center, something that can be felt.

  13. #13

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    I've stayed at Sunnybank, Laughing Heart and Alpine Court. Elmer's gets points for the most interesting (even if your not staying there, it's worth the 25 cent tour). Laughing Heart is okay but nothing special. Alpine Court is just a typical motel and worth the extra money if you want privacy and a TV. The problem with Iron Horse Station is it's right on the RR tracks and you will be woken up a couple times by the trains going by.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  14. #14
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    The politics at Elmers is evident from the moment you step in. Elmer is an old hippie from way back. I was worried about the vegetarian food when I signed in, but it was in fact delicious. (I don't think you're required to pay for meals there if you don't want them. There are other good options for eats.)

    In any case, the food is all prepared from scratch. Elmers' place is somewhat reminiscent of Shaws' in Maine, but more upscale and with a hippie vibe. Most or all of the help is young people, former thru-hikers and similar trashy types. I was there to reminisce a month or so back. Didn't catch Elmer but chatted with this fella in the kitchen. (Whose name I've since forgotten.)

    (Photos: fridge on porch, kitchen at Elmers')
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  16. #16
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    The porch at Elmers when I arrived there years ago as a thru hiker wannabe. Nowadays the porch is closed in, not quite as attractive from this view.
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    I stayed at Creekside Court last month with my two sons and brother in law - 3 rooms. Rooms were clean, spacious and plenty of hot water. The owner came down in price! If I was staying at a beach resort, I would have higher expectations. But this place is on the AT just across the street from an outfitter store... I couldn't get anyone to answer the phone at Sunnybrook. That was my first choice!

  18. #18
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    I stayed at Laughing Heart in Aug 2014. It was okay (minus the screaming teens). Only real downside was the mosquitos. Those things were vicious.

    Stayed at Elmer's last July. Even though HS was having a "heat wave", I was comfortable with just the table fan (an old relic too) going. I disagree with 70% of Elmer's bumper stickers, but they were hilarious to read! I figure we had enough in common (the trail) to get along just fine. He's a swell guy. I missed the dinner but the vegetarian breakfast was still very satisfying. The downside was some of the rooms share bathooms, and I think only one shower was working (could be wrong).

    Next time I'm in HS overnight I want to try Iron Horse, but only because I haven't stayed there yet. But Elmer's is cool.
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep."

  19. #19

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    +1 for Laughing Heart!
    "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" - Mary Oliver

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