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The Geneva Riverside, Lake Lure, North Carolina

Every traveler knows that a good place to sleep at night can make your entire trip. You can see and do so much more after you've been refreshed after a solid night's sleep.

Geneva Riverside Motel, Lake Lure, NC | CosmosMariners.com

On my recent tour of Rutherford County, North Carolina, I settled in for a few nights' stay at the Geneva Riverside in Lake Lure. As I mentioned in my 10 Reasons to Visit Lake Lure post, there aren't any franchises of any kind allowed in the area. I was pleased as could be with this information, as I prefer to support local businesses whenever I can. 

Geneva Riverside Motel, Lake Lure, NC | CosmosMariners.com

The Geneva Riverside turned out to be everything that a family-owned and locally-operated business should be. While the owners, Lynn and Vicki, travel quite a bit, the managers, Greg and Marcia, fill in when the owners aren't able to be there. The managers live on the property and are available 24 hours a day no matter what you might need. How's that for some service? 

Geneva Riverside Motel, Lake Lure, NC | CosmosMariners.com

My dad, my daughter, and I stayed in the owners' suite for the duration of our visit, and I'm not exaggerating at all when I tell you that the apartment (at 1900 square feet) is larger than the townhouse I just moved out of (at slightly over 1200 square feet). 

When you walk into the apartment, you're greeted by a sitting room, complete with a fireplace. I bet this would be so much fun to rent during the winter with a group of friends and hang out by the fire every night while wearing chunky sweaters and boots. (Or, is that a Ralph Lauren commercial I'm thinking about?!)

Geneva Riverside Motel, Lake Lure, NC | CosmosMariners.com

Just past the sitting area is a small wet bar, a huge kitchen, and a dining room with seating for six at the table plus four more at the eat-in kitchen counter.
Geneva Riverside Motel, Lake Lure, NC | CosmosMariners.com

Upstairs are two bedrooms--one with a California king, and the other with two double beds--and two ensuite bathrooms. I was incredibly kind and gave the California king to my dad (I know. I should win Daughter of the Year!) because I wanted him to have a little bit of rest on our wild and crazy trip. 

Geneva Riverside Motel, Lake Lure, NC | CosmosMariners.com

My favorite part of the entire apartment was the double decker balconies that are attached to the back. They overlook the pool and the tiki bar, and you get great views of the Rocky Broad River flowing behind the property. Best of all are the amazing views of Chimney Rock--it's practically in your backyard when you stay here!

Geneva Riverside Motel, Lake Lure, NC | CosmosMariners.com

The owners' apartment is available for rental year-round and can easily fit up to 8 people: 2 in the master bedroom, 4 in the second bedroom, and another 2 on the sleeper sofa in the sitting room. If you had an even bigger family or group of friends, you can also rent out 15A, a standard room that has access to the sitting room through a shared door, and add 2 more to your gathering. 

If you've got a smaller group that you're traveling with (or if you just want a reason to get away with whomever you're traveling!), the Geneva has lots of other room options including double rooms, apartments, efficiencies, and everything in between. I didn't have the chance to stay in a smaller room, but I did peek into a few of them as I was walking around the property. The ones that I saw were very basic with one or two double beds--they certainly weren't fancy by any means and could use some additional updating.

Geneva Riverside Motel, Lake Lure, NC | CosmosMariners.com

As an added bonus, the Tiki Bar out back is open every single day of the year other than Thanksgiving and Christmas Day...but, as the head bartender told me, "If people wanted to come out then, we'd open for them!" My dad and I had a Cuban sandwich and fries from the bar, and it was to die for. I love a good Cuban, and this one was one of the best I've ever had: delicious pulled pork, loads of pickles, melted cheese, and mustard. YUM.

While I was there, there were only a few locals coming in for a hamburger or beer, but Gary, the manager, said that the vibe of the Geneva changes with the seasons. Come summer, it's completely packed--they were sold out every weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day this year--and filled with kids playing in the pool, locals hanging out at the bar, and tourists heading out to see the sites. Because of the set up of the motel room and the pool/bar, I could see that the noise from the public areas might interfere with those who want to turn in early each night.

During the fall and winter, the Geneva slows down but never closes (they're only one of two in the area that stay open 365 days a year), which makes it perfect for a quiet getaway or quick family trip during school vacations. 

The property's been there since the early 1950s and is named after the original owner's wife. Over the years, it's changed hands a few times, and there have been many additions, the most recent being the apartments on either end of the property. The Geneva certainly isn't a five star hotel, but it doesn't really try to be that--but for an inexpensive, roadside motel, the Geneva is in a great location. 

Geneva Riverside Motel, Lake Lure, NC | CosmosMariners.com

When you head up to Lake Lure, book a room at the Geneva Riverside for an authentic, home-grown stay. Tell Gary and Marcia that Cosmos Mariners sent you!

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Do you like staying at locally owned hotels and motels, or do you prefer to stay at a chain? What's your must-have when choosing a hotel room?

P.S. I'm looking for guest posters while I'm hanging with Mickey at Disney World in a few weeks. I'm open to any posts that have to do with travel (tips, tricks, favorite memories, etc.)--you don't have to be a travel blogger, just willing to write something about traveling! If you're interested, email me at cosmosmariners@gmail.com with your post idea, and I'll get you scheduled!

Start planning your vacation to Lake Lure with the Rutherford County Tourism Bureau. I was provided a free room in exchange for my honest opinion.